DISPATCHES FROM DENMARK – Ester Wadsworth

Workshop - Online Art Courses

Hi. I’m Ester Rose, an American living in Copenhagen Denmark. I’m a tattoo apprentice and hobby painter. As an apprentice, it’s my job to learn how to draw better and faster, and I am practicing daily. But, this type of education is not very structured. Even though I go to work and practice drawing, painting, making tattoo designs, and tattooing people daily. I really missed having a plan for learning the basics.

Before starting this apprenticeship, I was drawing and painting on my own for a few years. I’ve experimented and tried to teach myself. Art and creating is something I am passionate about, and I’ve spent so much of my free time in my little art space. I started with acrylic paint and what I created was pretty abstract. After doing this for a few years, I wanted to level-up, to learn classical techniques, about structure, composition, and the fundamentals of form, gesture, value, light, and color. I knew what I wanted to paint in my head but didn’t know how to start or go about it.

Someone recommended LFAS in Battersea London. I decided to find a way to study there, even if it was just a short course. In December 2018, I gave myself a birthday trip to London for a one-week course with LFAS. The final day of the course was my birthday, and I was so happy. It was a dream come true to be in their very classical studio and painting in the way the ‘greats’ did. This was my first experience painting from life instead of photos.

Working from a live subject was something I hadn’t dared to try and I had this mental block that it was something I couldn’t do. After a week of daily classes, I began to feel that it was possible. If I’m honest, my paintings from that week weren’t masterpieces. But for the first time in my art journey, I was focusing on the process rather than judging myself by the final piece.
I felt that I’d just begun to scratch the surface when it came to learning the techniques we were shown in class, and I really wanted to go back or find a way to study with them again.

It wasn’t possible for me to drop my life in DK and move. But when they launched online courses, I was so excited. Again, it was a birthday gift from family, to take the 10-week ‘Drawing for Beginners’ course. It was an amazing foundation boot camp, and exactly what I needed to get going with my apprenticeship as well. Then we had the COVID lockdown in Denmark. I couldn’t go to work, but the timing was kind of perfect because that’s when I took ‘Transitioning to Oils’, the 2nd online course. I learned so much.
Getting feedback and critique from my classmates and teacher, Ann Witheridge, was amazing. It gave me the opportunity to correct my work till it was better.

I would love to do the whole course again, as a refresher and to go through those basic steps of building up a drawing or painting.
I would really recommend these courses for anyone who is new to drawing and oils or just want to learn the proper steps to build up an art piece.

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