Artist Framed: Lord Leighton

From live drawing demonstrations to figure drawing workshops, London Fine Art Studios has developed a strong relationship with Leighton House Museum and a great affection for the house and its original owner.

Now, one of our own students and artists shares his interest in Lord Leighton’s life and work and offers a different perspective on this leading light of Victorian art.

Artist Framed talks are informal, student led discussions.  All proceeds go towards our Next Generation Scholarship Fund, helping support students in their training at the Studios.

London Fine Art Studios is committed to offering rigorous training within the figurative tradition, drawing on classical techniques as represented by, amongst others, Lord Leighton, PRA.

£3 on the door, refreshments provided.

Artists in Conversation @ St Paul’s Studios, Talgarth Rd

atelier london artists studios

London Fine Art Studios is excited to attend this event tomorrow, Thursday 19 May at 7pm.

Stacey Gledhill, founder of the Blue Platter Club, brings together James Hayes and Clare Shenstone for an evening of conversation and insight.  James trained in Florence, Clare is a portrait artist who completed her MA at the Royal College in 1979.

A unique opportunity to learn of their professional challenges and landmarks, their influences and what it means to be an artist today.  All this in the exceptional setting of St. Paul’s Studios, Talgarth Road.

Refreshments provided, plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Tickets £5, email:

Landscape Painting with LFAS

landscape london course atelier sheep

It is just the weather for being outside – finally!  LFAS artists are looking forward to painting in the park with Ann tomorrow and every Thursday throughout the Summer Term.

Term began on 18 April but if you are keen to sign up there will be a short Landscape Painting Course, 25-29 July, £350.  To book email

We are also excited for James Kroner’s Workshop on 11 & 12 June 2016.  Full details here or email


London Fine Art Studios is an independent art school based in Battersea, London.  We teach the classical techniques or drawing and oil painting whilst enabling our students to find their own painterly style.  Classes are taught in the atelier tradition and range from Foundation through to full time, including options such as Sculpture, Printmaking, Gesture & Anatomy, Still Life, Figure and Portrait.  Apply here or email

Mall Galleries visits LFAS

Last Wednesday Elli Koumousi, Head of Education and Cultural Strategy for the Mall Galleries joined us to explain a little about their history and initiatives to support artists in their professional development.

A great talk and resounding message: “don’t be shy – apply, apply, apply!”

With this in mind a handful of lucky artists were given free entries to Mall Galleries competitions in 2016/17.  Watch out for all those talented individuals, we hope to see their work gracing the walls of many an exhibition space to come.



The Vitruvian Man

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Courtesy of Jon Schwochert

Over the last week I have been brushing up on my knowledge of the human anatomy; quite ironic given that I opted out of Biology GCSE and swore never to return to the subject again.


I did not anticipate that I would become a yoga teacher, nor the Director of a Fine Art School based in Battersea, London. Both have precipitated this return to the textbooks. As I consulted the latest images of the human body in my yoga reference books, London Fine Art Studios’ co-director regaled me with the details of George Bridgman’s 1920 edition of Constructive Anatomy.


I am in this way reminded that knowledge is not finite, nor delimited by a profession and that any good student will be as, if not more aware of what they do not know compared to what they do know. A conversation with a student reaffirmed this:

before I came to the studios I thought I could draw and paint, now I realise that there is so much I do not know. It is both challenging and inspiring, best of all it is exciting to see the improvement and know that I can be even better!”


At London Fine Art Studios we offer a range of courses throughout the year. Last week we held a 3-day Figure Drawing & Painting Course. The over-subscribed half-term intensive offered the opportunity to hone and direct skills further. True to form, and to their credit, students gathered like artists around free food!


As they grappled with proportion, gesture, values and colour they simultaneously deepened their understanding of human anatomy. It is timely that my co-conspirator should now be writing a series of articles on working from the life figure; and that I can add to the discussion and swap notes from a yoga perspective. Knowledge converges and we are all enriched and encouraged to push the boundaries of our discipline in order to be better.


Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 13.10.11It is surprising and hugely instructive to realise that the forehead makes up almost half of the human skull and that, therefore, the eyes are much further down towards the middle of the head. It transpires that most of us do not really see what is in front of us! It is also useful to note that the nose acts as a vertical (-ish) axis against which the eyes are the horizontal (more or less). For this reason any tilt of the head implies an equal and relative slanting of the horizontal axis, also a reference point for ears, mouth etc.


Revisiting these principles of anatomy and drawing is thrilling and allows us all to progress in leaps and bounds. My eye detects more keenly how the displacement of the pelvis affects the line of the shoulders, how it also causes the leg muscles to tighten differently and the shadow shapes to shift.


As with any self-respecting art school, and indeed any discerning artist, we do not assume knowledge or seek to work in isolation. Leonardo de Vinci’s legacy is great and enduring precisely because it crosses disciplines.


At London Fine Art Studios our philosophy is no less rigorous. The teaching is classically inspired, drawn from the techniques of the European Masters, but it also integrates other subjects and interests to provide a solid foundation with the potential for individual style.


The atelier methodology is the final and essential component of our training. It is the connective tissue running through all we do: students are assured comprehensive and supported instruction through 1:1 critiques and demonstrations, they also learn through observing their peers and tutors working alongside them.


More links and learning:image-4 (1)

  • Ann Witheridge’s articles on Painting & Drawing the Figure will feature in the Autumn editions of The Artist magazine.
  • Life-drawing with Ann Witheridge in Leighton’s Grand Studio at Leighton House Museum on Tuesday 15 March, 1-4pm. Booking here.
  • Figure Drawing & Painting Course at London Fine Art Studios, 11-15 July. Contact:
  • Henry Yan, author of Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing Techniques & Tips, will give 2 workshops at the Studios 5-8 & 9-11 September. Details & booking:  (Image courtesy of Henry Yan)


Art fettered, fetters the human race

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Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish.


William Blake



London Fine Art Studios, based in Battersea, is part of a long history of atelier training and has an on-going commitment to classical art courses and the figurative tradition.


London Fine Art Studios is the sum of many talented teacher-artists, all trained at the school and represented nationally and abroad.


From Foundation through to full time courses across a range of genres, including figure, portrait, still life, landscape and sculpture, students of all backgrounds and levels are catered for. Each receives clear instruction as well as the support of their peers.


Over time, students develop the skills to forge their own particular path as artists. Some will remain within a representational lineage; others will transition into the world of animation, Matissegraphic design, concept art – even body art.


London Fine Art Studios artists have successfully found their niche across the creative industries and as individuals.


In keeping with this ethos the Studios have embarked on myriad projects with organisations from across the arts. As a London atelier it would seem contrary to do otherwise for the city is home to a rich and diverse artistic community that constantly offers up new and exciting possibilities. In the words of Samuel Johnson: when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.


This week Griselda Murray Brown, Commissioning Editor for the FT Arts Desk, explores the synergy of art forms with specific reference to the representation of music in art. Cross-pollination is hardly a new idea the European Masters were long ago looking to their brothers in arms for inspiration.


Music to their Eyes originally took the form of an article written by Griselda and featured in the Art Quarterly magazine. She now takes up and develops the theme further, playing extracts of music and soundscapes originally commissioned and now generously shared with us by the National Gallery. The evening will be punctuated by an exquisite selection of images drawn form across the history of art and bringing us right up to the present day.


Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Chelsea 1871 James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903 Bequeathed by Miss Rachel and Miss Jean Alexander 1972

London Fine Art Studios maybe a south London institution, nestled on Lavender Hill, but it reaches well beyond its physical boundaries bringing learning and opportunity to all those with a love of fine art and a desire to broaden their horizons.


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Classical skills that go hand-in-hand

This week started with, amongst other things, a conversation on the news about media bartering. A grosso modo it referenced the way in which large organisations are cutting marketing costs through in-kind exchange.

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Swapping goods and services for promotional opportunity or something similar is hardly a new concept, and it is certainly prevalent amongst many arts organisations. Indeed, it is at the heart of how many communities operate.


London Fine Art Studios is testament to this tradition. A Battersea-based, independent fine art school, the Studios is in essence an atelier offering classical art courses for aspiring and established artists. This encompasses drawing and oil painting, printmaking and sculpture, all from within a representational art lineage.


In keeping with the atelier methodology, much importance is placed on learning through exchange. We barter knowledge and experience, in exchange artists, teachers and students alike learn more, enjoy more and ultimately retain more. Small student groups work together, receiving focused and constructive critiques from their tutor-artist who draws and paints alongside them. They also gain from regular demonstrations as well as through observing their peers.


Underlying this process is a deep respect for the craft of drawing and painting. Again, there is a shared understanding that mastery comes through practice. It is the result of concrete instruction as opposed to conceptual or theoretical training, which, all too often, leaves students floundering, trying to run before they can walk.


This collaborative ethos runs through everything we do, and that is a lot! In a previous life one of our award-winning artists was also an award-winning barista (painted left), he now runs the Studios’ coffee bar supplementing his income whilst giving us (and our work) a welcome caffeine kick. We have yoga teachers and chefs, all of whom find a way of trading goods to everyone’s advantage!


It has also propelled LFAS and its artists well beyond the confines of the studios, working alongside a range of organisations across London. Projects with Poet in the City and Central School of Ballet have helped forge new working relationships between different art forms. In the case of Leighton House Museum and Dulwich Picture Gallery we have brought practical expertise to the seat of art history; and, different again, popping up at the Affordable Art Fair and Pintar Rapido we have brought classical principles into a contemporary context.


Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.49.14Whatever we choose to call it – bartering, collaboration, in-kind exchange – this age old tradition has enabled us all to gain at so many different levels. Evidently it brings with it exposure and so the opportunity of increased following and, more importantly, new creative adventures. More significantly, it allows the participants to grow professionally as they try their skills out in new arenas and push the boundaries of their craft.


Finally, in a world that is notoriously cash-strapped and solitary, it has consolidated ties between artists and individuals and meant that we all get more bang for our buck.

Newsletter November 2015

Spring Term: 11 January – 24 March 2016
Applications open, contact:
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A spectacular launch for London Fine Art Studios

We were delighted to partner with Leighton House Museum to deliver a wonderful evening in the company of Simon Schama, marking at the same time the publication of his new book and accompanying documentary series, Face of Britain, part of which was filmed at London Fine Art Studios.  Check us out here.  Simon Schama enthralled us with his discussion in the apt setting of Lord Leighton’ studio.      

More events at the studio to look forward to… 
Artist & Empire, Wednesday 2 December, Studio 101, 6.30pm – Alison Smith, British Art Curator at Tate Britain, will speak about the Tate’s exhibition, Artist & Empire.  Tickets: £10 / £7 conc.  Booking essential, email
Michael Harding Workshop, Monday 7 December, 3.30pm – Michael Harding of Michael Harding Oil Paints will talk about the make-up of paints and how this affects the artist’s work.

Portrait Course, 14- 18 December
Learn to apply the fundamentals of drawing & oil-painting to the Portrait.
Time & Place:
9.30am-3.30pm, 101
Cost: £385 (inc. model costs; Mon Sketch Club, 4-6pm; Tues Demo, 4-5pm)
To book and for further information:

Sculpture Course, 15-17 December
Construction of basic armature and build-up of clay as applied to the Portrait.
Time & Place: 10am-4pm, 95
Cost: £260 (inc. models costs; Tues Demo 4-5pm)  Does not include mould-making.
To book and for further information:

Apply for a course now
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
Gabriel García Márquez


Copyright © 2015 London Fine Art Studios
146, Battersea Business Centre, 99-109 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5QL
Tel.  +44 (0) 7762892987

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