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Life Drawing Classes in London and Elsewhere
'Anyone can draw' is one of the principles of the Drawing School. You do not need to be a member or a Friend of the NEAC, and you do not need to sign up for a term or year or course. It is entirely possible to drop in to any of the courses without booking and draw in our classes, although probably best to email the day before to confirm that the class is running.
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The NEAC Drawing School Courses
at the Learning Centre, Mall Galleries
The NEAC Drawing School is at the Learning Centre at the Mall Galleries, where we hold our regular classes on Tuesdays.
Michael Kirkbride NEAC Curator Drawing School
Staffed entirely by members of the NEAC, many of whom have a wealth of teaching experience, the Drawing School offers a thorough and sound approach to drawing in its many forms, with small classes to ensure a personal and individual tutor/student relationship.
The Drawing School is at the heart of what the NEAC represents. We run courses at various venues, mainly in London, on drawing, sketching en plein air, and working from drawing to painting. Courses are constantly in development, so check back regularly to keep up-to-date.
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The sessions this term will be taught by Mick Kirkbride NEAC.
All levels of ability are welcome,with some basic materials provided. Poses vary from short to more sustained, with an emphasis on exploring the broad language of drawing through a flexible approach , and varied methodology.
Some basic materials are provided, but more information is given by scrolling to the bottom of this page.
Time and Date
Every Tuesday, 6pm to 8pm during Term Time.
Autumn Term 2015.
Tues 8th Sept - Tues 8th Dec [ there will be no class on Tues 6th Oct and Tues 1st Dec. ]
£15.00 per drop in session
£75.00 for six sessions.
Mall Gallery Learning Centre
Title -Landscape Painting and Drawing workshop at Alexandra Palace with Patrick Cullen NEAC.
Information - Alexandra Palace is an iconic Victorian landmark located in Alexandra Park North London. Originally opened in 1873 it is perhaps best known as the home of the worlds first regular public television service run by the BBC. Its geographical location is extremely elevated, commanding some of the most spectacular views across London,and offers the landscape painter a unique opportunity to capture a sense of the spatial, and visually expansive.
The workshop will encourage you to explore various media, and adopt a flexible approach, with some exploratory compositional studies in the morning session, progressing to a more sustained image in the afternoon. There will be a plenary session at the end of the day. Should the weather be inclement there are covered outside areas of the building which still allow you to take in the panoramic views. There are also cafes in the nearby park as well as the Palace itself.
Your tutor - Patrick Cullen NEAC is a much travelled landscape artist working in oil, pastel and watercolour.Over recent years he has made a number of painting trips to India, including one with Ken Howard RA culminating in a group exhibition at the Tryon Gallery in London in 2013. Patrick is also an accomplished portrait painter, and most recently was a prize winner at the Lynn Painter Stainer Prize 2015, having been a finalist for the past three years.
Where/when - Alexandra Palace North London , meet at the BBC blue plaque which is at the base of the Palace TV mast at 10.00am on Saturday 29th Aug. There will be a plenary session at 3.30 - 4.00. [Your tutor will designate the location for this].
Getting there - by Tube -
Wood Green station Piccadilly Line - then take W3 bus to Alexandra Palace. Or Finsbury Pk tube then take the same W3 bus.
By Rail - Alexandra Palace has its own BR station [ located at Wood Green entrance to Alexandra Park]. A regular train service runs from Kings Cross changing at Finsbury Pk.
Materials - You may work in your preferred medium, but bring a selection if possible, and a portable easel if you want to paint. A sketching stool would also be useful, as would an umbrella. As previously mentioned there are options to eat with a selection of local cafes [ including a pub in the Palace ], but you could bring your own packed lunch if preferred. There are further suggestions for drawing materials by scrolling to the bottom of this page.
Time and Date
10.00am on Saturday 29th Aug. There will be a plenary session at 3.30 - 4.00.
£45.00 for the day. [ there is a 10% discount for friends and students].
Alexandra Palace North London
Information - This intense two day workshop will focus on the creation of an invented image based on information gathered from locations within close proximity to the Mall Galleries.These could include St James Park, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square and Somerset House, other options can be agreed with your tutors. The main aim is to observe people in the mode of day both indoors and out.
Day one will focus on drawing and painting in and around the aforementioned locations.
Day two we will work in the Malls Learning Center where you will be encouraged to synthesise your findings into an invented or partially imagined pictorial outcome ,where one scenario could be hybridised with another. Allow observation and invention to cohabit the same image, where notions of dialogue or narrative could be implied. You may attend only of the days if you wish. If you opt for day two only bring some drawings you can work from.
Your Tutors - The workshop will be taught by Mick Kirkbride and Richard Sorrell both NEAC members.
Mick Kirkbride is the current curator of the NEAC Drawing School and former Senior Lecturer in drawing at The University of the arts London. His work although primarily about invention has its foundations in the observed world where people , objects , styling and gesture are often starting points.
Richard Sorrell is a former president of The Royal Watercolour Society. His work has encompassed many approaches to painting , but over recent years has focused on a reinvention of reality based on a lifetime of looking . His forms are imbued with an idiosyncrasy which heightens their communicative power, rather than simply illustrating. Both artists currently share the same creative ethos and by further coincidence are graduates of The Royal Academy Schools.
Materials - Day one is primarily about information gathering, so a practical size sketchbook [ A3 or A4 would be suitable ] also a sketching stool of some kind. Consider charcoal , pen, wash or whatever medium you prefer. For day two you should decide what kind of support you want to work on. This could be a canvas if you want to do a painting, or if you want to work bigger we can use the walls of the Learning Center. The Drawing School can provide some basic media ie - large rolls of paper and some charcoal, but you are expected to bring as much of your own media as you can. A more extensive materials list is suggested by scrolling to the bottom of this page.
Meet FRI 16TH Oct at the entrance to the Mall galleries at 10.00am. Day two - Sat 17th Oct - Meet in the Learning Center at the Mall galleries at 10.00am. Enter via 17 Carlton House Terrace at the rear of the Gallery.
Each day will run from 10.00 - 4.00pm and will finish with a plenary session.
£50.00 for one day, £90.00 for two days.
Need more information?
Email us at email@example.com or alternatively leave a message on 07494 343653.
There are many drawing implements other than pencils – pen and ink, watercolour, pastels, conte crayon, as many different styles and inclinations as there are artists, and they are all useable, but here is a basic list for life drawing classes.
It is best to have some good quality drawing paper, pencils, a craft-knife to sharpen them with, and an eraser. Masking tape is also a good aid.
Paper can be bought in blocks or loose from good art shops. I buy it loose and tear it down to the size I require, but blocks are fine. The best size is the most convenient size for you – if you have long arms and want to make large drawings, buy large sheets of paper, but there is no gain in doing that if you don’t usually make large works. You can always visit the shop again. Buy ‘cartridge’ or ‘drawing’ paper, don’t buy watercolour paper unless you plan to put watercolour washes on the drawing. Keep it in a portfolio, either cardboard or faux leather.
Pencils are graded in hardness, from 7H (very hard) to 6B (very soft). For observational drawing, B to 3B is the most useful range. There are many different manufacturers, and it’s best to try various and develop your own preferences.
Some lecturers prefer the use of charcoal to pencil, as it is more ‘expressive’ and putting down tone is quicker and perhaps less stilted. If you have charcoal, you can use ordinary drawing paper, although you can also use ‘ingres’ paper, which has a slight ‘tooth ‘or texture, but you will also probably need a putty rubber. This is unlike a pencil eraser in that it is malleable and becomes more effective when warm. I usually draw with charcoal in my right hand while keeping the putty rubber warm in my left, and when I want to make a correction, I mould the rubber into the shape I need and, rather than rub at the paper as one does with a pencil eraser, dab at it, lifting off the charcoal. A spray can of fixative is useful, or hairspray will do the same – apply it at the end of the session, out of the room.
A craft knife is better to sharpen your pencil than a sharpener, mainly because you have to concentrate on making your point when you use a knife. Try to keep your pencils sharp at all times. Elementary advice, but you’d be surprised how often people ignore it.
Recommended materials: Items in bold type are most necessary!
A variety of smooth and rough papers, different types of weight and colour, cut to same size as sketch book unless bringing a drawing board
Sketchbooks –preferably at least one large one and one small one,
Black paper cut to same size as sketch book unless bringing a drawing board
Pencils: B – 4B
Black ink and drawing pen or gel pen/ sketching pen
White ink and drawing pen or white gel pen/ sketching pen
Rags or tissues
Craft or Stanley knife
Bag for rubbish
Some wet colour medium: Watercolours and brushes, watercolour paper or other painting medium- oils or acrylics as desired with board or canvas paper support
Drawing board and larger sheets of paper if desired
Warm clothes and snacks
Bottles of water for brushes
Something to sit on: stool or gardening kneeling cushion or a cushion in a carrier bag
Viewfinder – card or otherwise