On Thursday February 7th, A level Art students had the opportunity to take part in a day-long life drawing workshop, led by an artist and model from the Royal Academy of Arts. As the model held various different poses, the artist told us to draw what we saw, focusing on looking at the model, rather than keeping our heads down, fixated on the images that we were drawing. The artist set out to challenge our approach to observational drawing, setting us a variety tasks, including continuous line drawings of the model without look down at the page. They instructed us not to draw outlines, and instead to use mark making and tone to create an impression of the being — to give the images depth and dimension, which help to make them appear more lifelike.
Overall the day was lots of fun and very messy too – as we immersed ourselves in the activities, spending lots of time on the floor, mostly working with charcoal often onto large sheets of paper. This being my first experience of life drawing, initially I found it quite challenging. However, both Hannah and our workshop leaders created an environment that nurtured creativity and experimentation, offering lots of guidance and making us feel confident, while simultaneously pushing us out of our comfort zone. We were encouraged to try new techniques, and the workshop provided us with the opportunity to develop our artistic skills beyond the classroom and outside of regular lesson time.
Nicole Clif, first year A level student.