Abstract Painting & Drawing

ARTWORK: Sketches


There are a few practices within the visual arts that give you quite so much enjoyment — and which can take a whole lifetime to master — as the practice of life drawing. Like many artists, I'm my own worst critic, never really quite believing that my efforts are &slquo;good enough&srquo; so, back to the drawing board.

Life Drawing (including: painting, pastels, charcoal, chalk and so on) is a fundermental practice of any creative person. Apart from being a very grounding and humbling experience to study the human form, a good discipline like life drawing feeds creative energy into the rest of your left-brain pursuits; from creating an abstract composition, to spending an hour-or-so on some creative coding on the PC.

Why Not Join a Class?

Life Drawing is a kind of ‘Artistic Meditation’ which limbers up your artistic skills, your sense of colour, light, proportion, shading and so on. If you haven't practiced for a while then I'd highly recommend you enrolling at your local FE college, community centre or art's centre. Courses are generally quite reasonably priced and for the speed at which you find your creative skills increasing, it's well worth the price.

My Own Efforts

The images that I am showing below (apologies by-the-way for the poor documentation; I was using a small phone camera at the time.) – these images were all produced at the Leamington Art School, within the Mid-Warwickshire FE College. The class size was just right for me, around 8-10 students, and I found the tutor to very helpful, positively critical and excellent at making suggestions when one gets ‘stuck’. Each session was two hours long, again, which is ideal. We were also encouraged to use a variety of materials and medium, as well as different kinds of tools for mark-making.

I was pleased with the progress that I made and I felt much more confident, not only in my own art practice, but more confident with other creative decision making in general.

“All art is but dirtying the paper delicately..”

John Ruskin in The Elements of Drawing

“My dear Reader, -Whether this book is to be of use to you or not, depends wholly on your reason for wishing to learn to draw. If you desire only to possess a graceful accomplishment, to be able to converse in a fluent manner about drawing, or to amuse yourself listlessly in listless hours, I cannot help you: but if you wish to learn drawing that you may be able to set down clearly, and usefully, records of such things as cannot be described in words, either to assist your own memory of them, or to convey distinct ideas of them to other people; if you wish to obtain quicker perceptions of the beauty of the natural world, and to preserve something like a true image of beautiful things that pass away, or which you must yourself leave; if, also, you wish to understand the minds of great painters, and to be able to appreciate their work sincerely, seeing it for yourself, and loving it, not merely taking up the thoughts of other people about it; then I can help you, or, which is better, show you how to help yourself.”


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