Drawing is the cornerstone of painting and the foundation of an artist’s training. At the studios, we place great emphasis on drawing as an essential part of every artist’s formal training.
Those who have completed the Foundation Course will continue to develop their draughting technique in our specialist Cast Drawing Studio.
Projects last 2/3 weeks with thorough exploration of outline, shadow line, mass in the shadow, mass in the background, middle tones and modelling up to the lights. Students will develop a thorough understanding of the medium, the support and its potential.
Classes at a variety of times in the week, enrolment dependent on having completed the Foundation Course.
Cast drawing (put link to cast drawing page) This is the first step and is the most essential academic form of the learning process. Working from a plaster cast, one learns the importance of light and shade in creating form. The cast is white, so colours and temperature don’t distract. It is static, therefore there is little room for interpretation. The student learns accuracy of drawing, value patterns and treatment of edges.
Figure & Portrait drawing Once the artist has honed the skills from the cast drawing class, they can transfer them to portrait and figure, drawing from life. The same principles of shadow patterns and shapes apply, but we learn how the transitions between light and dark are subtler. The shadow shapes are not as dark or clear as they are for cast drawing.
The student moves onto using a toned ground, with the paper itself as the mid-tone. The drawings do not just move from light to dark, but from mid-tone, using charcoal, sanguine and ink to darken and chalk to lighten. This process is similar to painting on a toned canvas ground. With pastel drawing, the artist introduces more colour. Again, the start is tonal and the colour is built on top.
One can learn so much with drawing before moving onto oil paints. It is best to be clear in understanding proportion, values and edges before adding the extra dimension of paints, mediums and canvas supports.
The craft of drawing is covered in most of the courses available. For further details please refer to the detailed section for each course.
Term dates & prices here.
At the beginning of term students will need to buy a box of charcoal and chamois (fabric for erasing), available from Lavender Hill Colours (£4.75). Paper is provided initially. In week 4 you will need to buy quality paper so as to more effectively work the chiaroscuro stage (£1 per sheet).
Recommended Further Studies:
We encourage students to compliment their studies by taking the time to visit exhibitions and practice sketching in museums. In addition, the Studios host a range of events throughout the term aimed at enhancing the artist’s understanding of their craft and the tradition that they are working within.
We recommend the following books available from Lavender Hill Colours
Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing Techniques and Tips – Henry Yan
Charles Bargue & Jean-Léon Gérôme Drawing Course – Gerald M. Ackerman
The Art Spirit – Robert Henri
The Practice & Science of Drawing – Harold Speed
Portrait Drawings – John Singer Sargent
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