To provide quality, fundamental drawing / painting instruction from life for students of painting to practice consistently. Truth to natural appearances without exaggeration is a priority. Using the great 16th - 19th century painters as points of reference is essential.

A figure drawing and painting program is held daily from 10:00 am to 13:00.. Students begin drawing in graphite, progressing to charcoal, then to painting in oils. The core of any academic or atelier style training is the daily figure drawing. Here students of painting can train regularly the most essential component of draughting with one to one critiques and demonstrations from the instructor. The instructor works alongside students for purposes of demonstration. Self study on the part of students on their own time is encouraged as is reading a list of recommended texts. Painting Module PDF

In the studio, work is done sight size, the subject being rendered on the canvas at the same size at which it appears to the artist; a technique employed by leading artists of the late 19th century and by several high level painters and academies today. It is used in an artist’s training to avoid mannerism in drawing and allow for an effective, disciplined study of natural appearances. The canvas and model are lit by the same, even, north light. This natural light is beneficial in the painting studio as it is more complex than electric light. It shows the subject or model with a variety of colour temperature, well worthy of study by the oil painter.

List of Projects

Pencil Drawing - Line Drawing
The core component of an artist’s training which can not be repeated enough times. The objective is to block in the human figure in pencil, with minimal modelling. paying careful attention to the proportion, gesture and structure. In addition to accuracy, a sense of weight should be present, with the specific character of the model conveyed and an understanding of human anatomy indicated with line.
2 hours to 15 hours.

Transfer Drawing
The same process as the pencil drawing done on a larger scale, in charcoal. Only the essential components of the outline and shadow line are drawn and revised to be very accurate. These drawings can be transferred to high quality artist’s paper or canvas to be developed into completed works.
4 - 15 hours.

Charcoal Value Study - Mass Drawing
Identify the major values in the figure pose, break them down into four tones on the paper with charcoal and white chalk, make a shape out of each one and compress extraneous half tones into one of the four values: the highlight, the halftone, a dark halftone and a shadow value. Each of the values can modulate slightly, not to be confused with the adjacent value.
1 - 2 hours.

Charcoal Figure Drawing
The two skills developed in pencil drawing and the charcoal value study with the addition of time to allow a higher finish and level of resolution. A transfer drawing is completed then on high quality paper, a lay in or first pass of the initial value statement (practically the value study) is done in charcoal before modelling the figure. Rendering the forms in addition to the anatomical halftones, will be practiced here.
15 - 45 hours.

Colour Study
Using the limited palette, lead white, yellow ochre, vermillion extra and ivory black we repeat the process of the charcoal value study with the addition of colour. Each value now has a hue (colour), temperature (warm or cool), and chroma (intensity). Ideally the first half of the session is spent laying in the colour with the second half for adjusting so that the tones work in relation to one another to be consistent.
3 hours.

Figure Painting
A transfer drawing is completed, transferred to canvas, a colour study completed and a complete figure painting initiated. The process is an accumulation of all of the previous projects to render the human figure in colour. A statement of accurate proportion and anatomy with naturalistic flesh tones varying in value and temperature is developed over the course of 45 hours, or three weeks.

Reserve your place:

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Life class runs from 10:00 - 13:00.
Materials not included.