Life drawing update

Since last autumn I have been busy with increased working hours at NUA where I teach Architecture. The work and students are inspiring but have sucked away a lot of my creative energy from continuing to make art. However, I did attend another excellent course at the Royal Drawing School and found another evening life drawing class at Shine in Wood Green, London.

All life drawing classes have now closed. Teaching at NUA is now only online. It should mean there is more time to get back to making art, hence the post below on the postcards, which surprisingly have been keeping me occupied.

I will start to regularly post here. Please see our contribution to the neighbourly rainbows of South Tottenham, London!

Lockdown self-portraits 01

Pencil on paper – 30 x 42

A quick drawing early this morning. Still some way off with regard to a likeness. Yasmin thinks I’ve a thicker set jaw and neck. And the face is too long.

It felt great to be drawing again, emptying the mind to look carefully at what you see to draw and not what you might imagine.

Abstract postcards

I’ve started to play with blank postcards, experimenting with how water washes and folds distort ink lines and smudges. The pleasure is not knowing quite what you are going to get from the process. I’ve done many more than the ones shown here. They keep suggesting other ways of working, a useful distraction in these Covid-19 times.

I hope you are all safe and well.


Oil paint on canvas – 40 x 50cm

This isn’t quite finished.

I tried applying the white highlights to leafs and reflective glass but ended up with smudges as the paint below was still too wet after 24hrs of drying. A rookie mistake really. The whites became green and grey smudges and not the bright highlights intended.

However I’m learning some of the ways to structure these kinds of Still Lifes and paintings more generally. The lines that order and proportion the canvas, the location of the vanishing point and position of objects are critical considerations before commencing. I now realise they cannot be left to chance.

So in this painting the order comes from the grey square of the rear wall, the vanishing point of the table cloth below the lip of the vase, the water almost level with the eye, and the celery fitting within the remaining frame of canvas. These are simple satisfactions.