(Rewind) Life Drawing Workshop with Sean Counley August 2018

So I hadn’t put my name down for this because I didn’t think it was my thing. I tend to do landscapes and abstracts, very rarely draw living things, have a problem with things moving, and yes, that does include breathing.

However at one point there didn’t seem to be much take-up and we panicked, thought about cancelling so I took one for the team, and signed myself up. (Needn’t have worried, a very healthy 13 turned up)

I am so glad I did. I had a brilliant two hours and learned so much.

I think the reason I don’t do living things is because I think I’m not very good at it, which of course, is precisely the reason I needed to go. Beside how often do you get the chance for a lesson with an accomplished life drawing artist/tutor and a very competent model for £15. A no-brainer as they say.

I found I wasn’t actually that bad, a lot of fear around drawing is psychological and Sean was very good at getting you to see that. With Life Drawing in particular, it’s because we are desperate to get a likeness, but the tools are all the same and like any skill the key to success is practise, practise and practise again

We had several exercises to get our heads round the concepts but also learnt techniques that get us there faster. I could see improvement right from the start. By the end of the session, it was definitely fast and furious, and for me that actually was the key, no laborious pencil licking and rubbing out. I felt more comfortable with a biro!

Alan, our charming model was a hero, very calm and experienced:and still (and breathing) and I did get it, there is something about the nude body that encourages a more relaxed gestural approach, that genuinely seems to improve the eye, arm and hand. Had there been any objections to a nude model, he would have been clothed and that would have been a pity, anyway we’re artists we’re cool with that, it just wasn’t an issue.

So I came away with a new found confidence that I wanted to continue and remembering Sean’s words, don’t rub out. don’t discard failures, try again, fail again, fail harder and another diktat, this time from “Strictly”, Keep Drawing.