A marathon workshop using ink, shellac, charcoal and pastel

Last Saturday we held a Drawing Workshop using Ink and Shellac with Hilmi; we were very excited because it was our first of this sort and it proved to be very popular.

The workshop’s primary focus was on structural drawing techniques and describing value. Hilmi summed the experience up as a marathon day, where students worked from Still Life, beginning the day with a structural drawing, then introduced value with ink washes and then sealed this with a shellac layer. Pastel and charcoal was then used to further develop the drawing.

You can see their incredible process below! Unfortunately we do not have images of all our students’ works (if you are not featured here and would like to share your work with us – please email Lauren).

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Attending to the lightness of seeing

Drawing and Painting Student, and Guest Blogger Ivana, inspires us with her newly-found dedication to agreeing to pay attention to the act of seeing.

A little while ago a post floated across my facebook feed, one of those pithy inspirational quotes – you know the sort; the sort that is ever so wise and makes you feel good and whole while otherwise scrolling cat vids*.

From William James, the American Philosopher and Psychologist it said simply:

“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”

It got me thinking around a bunch of stuff. Now, some of that stuff is pretty personal and I’ll hold it close but in respect to the act of drawing there is an insight bound in the idea of agreement and attention I thought might be relevant and of interest. Here goes…

Left to my own devices, I’m a sloppy drawer. Hard handed and while not lacking confidence in attacking the page I’m a little too focussed on immediate gratification. I just want to get that damn image down! Quickly. I’ve got 20:20 vision and know one end of a pencil from the other but you might not always be able to tell when looking my work.

Here’s an example, sketched quickly at home:

Moomin with Mummy, Ivana Lees
Moomin with Mummy, Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I take drawing classes and I do this for two reasons:

1) To develop technique, and;

2) To tame my giddy inner self and focus on seeing.

It is true that with each drawing and each class my technique improves; manipulation of material and touch becomes easier, tips are gained and tricks learned but… If that’s all a drawing class was, I’d still be a sloppy drawer –with admittedly significantly better tools at my disposal.

So this is where the second point comes in. Obtuse perhaps, but insanely important it’s about the act of seeing – agreeing to pay attention to the act seeing; to force myself to do this in a structured and warm but firm environment.  To learn to look at. To learn to look around. To learn to look through. To learn to truly look. To agree to do this so that I might actually see. Through this, my naturally excited hand becomes light and free; truly trained and tamed and my work while still distinctly mine becomes all the better for it. At least, that’s my goal. Some recent Melbourne Art Class drawing class works:

Ivana, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana Dash, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana, charcoal on paper, March 2016
Ivana Dash, charcoal on paper, March 2016

Now, I’ve done a number of MAC drawing classes with Hilmi Baskurt and am intensely driven to continue however other than the obvious improvement in technique (which in itself is delightful and not in question) I was feeling a little at a loss as to why I was so compelled. After all, I lead a busy life like everybody else and classes come at the cost of doing something else. Then, I saw that little quote and my gut instinct got a voice. I want to learn to see.

I agree to attend to being able to see.

Written by Ivana Dash

*BTW, cat vids are awesome. I have nothing against cat vids. Oh look! Here’s one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUtn3pvWmpg

Award-winning artist Irene Ferguson joins MAC

We are extremely fortunate to have artist Irene Ferguson in our rank of professional artists/teachers here at Melbourne Art Class!

Irene is currently teaching our popular six-week General Drawing Course, and her Sunday Studio Art Course begins this weekend (enrolments are still open!).

Irene was born in New Zealand and we are very lucky she has chosen to cross the Tasman after wandering all around the world. She completed a Master Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art, (cum laude) and also has a Diploma of Fine Arts, with Honours (printmaking) from Otago School of Fine Art, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Irene Ferguson with Blue Girl

Irene has had over thirteen solo exhibitions and a number of group exhibitions in her career, and has worked as studio assistant for both Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois.

A highly-recognized artist, Irene has been a finalist in many prizes, including the BP Portaiture Award at the National Gallery in London.

Irene is best known for her portraiture work. In 2008 she won the Adam Portraiture Award with her work, The Blue Girl, Johanna Sanders in her Back Yard (pictured).  She travelled to Italy in 2010 to the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy to complete her training in portraiture. And Irene will soon be taking a portraiture class here at MAC!

We currently have one class with Irene with places still available – our Sunday Studio Art Course, where we invite all artists, whether you are a complete beginner and would like to learn how to draw or paint, or if have your on project you would like to work and receive critical feedback. The nine-week course begins this Sunday April 17th, and you can enrol and find out more about the course here: https://melbourneartclass.com/sunday-studio-art-with-irene-ferguson/.

 

I learned to mix black – this may have changed my world

Ivana’s inspiring experience during our Summer School

Ivana was one of a few students who undertook the challenge of completing both our Painting and Drawing Masterclasses in-between Christmas and New Year (not to mention the challenge of the heat)!

She has had previous experience in painting, however it was the first time she had ever experienced life drawing. We gratefully received her feedback and detailed experience below, and hope you also find it helpful and an insight into the classes we hold here at MAC. Thank you Ivana for allowing us to share your wonderfully candid account! This is why we love what we do.

“My objective in these classes was twofold. To refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation as these are areas where I am poor. Also to dive into the Flemish technique as I’m obsessed by light and form but am yet to represent them in a way I find satisfying. The class was a remarkable opportunity to do that.

I see an immense difference and again, must say I’m thrilled with the result. I think I’ve come a long way in a short time. At home, I paint something I am more often than not unhappy, sometimes to the point of wanting to go all ninja on it, beat it with nun chucks and chuck ninja stars… You’ll be pleased to know that these works remain safe from Japanese implements of combat. J

…I’m also practicing Flemish technique on some small canvasses at home (I’m intent on capturing that light, dammit!) and am happy to share those once done and if I’m happy with them.

Ivana Dash, Still Life Imprimatura
Ivana Dash, Still Life Glaze (work in progress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My focus was on learning; the technical in these two specific areas (refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation) and that goal was achieved. I am thrilled with the results.

I think it’s also important to point out that these are my first still life and portrait paintings. Ever.

Now, with my drawing skills they are significantly less progressed and in respect to the drawing class, I think I was probably on a par with the others. I spoke with Hilmi about this before signing up as it was a Masterclass, and he encouraged me to do so as refining skills in this area would only be of benefit to my painting… even if I was slow and didn’t totally rock the class.

He was right.

First time working with charcoal, first time life drawing – I Loved It!

I don’t think my drawings will be hanging anytime soon, however even I could see the progress as the days progressed. See what you think:

Day 1: Still Life Gestural  
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Dark Base w/ shellac and Day 4 painted highlights
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Light Base.
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Life Drawing #1. Pencil + Black Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Life Drawing #2. Pencil + Black & White Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I was thrilled by the results and have become slightly obsessed with life drawing. I need to do more. Soon!

I also learned to mix black. I think this may have changed my world.

I really enjoyed Himi’s teaching style. He’s quiet and confident, firm and precise but also gentle. I think one of the most important things in a learning environment is to have the freedom, comfort and latitude to feel free to make mistakes; countered with a confidence in your lecturer that they can pull you up on these without making you feel like an arse and have the skill to pull your work back from the brink so you can move forward. That’s a tricky balance.

Hilmi did this with me many times and I am hugely grateful and inspired to continue.”

We are very appreciative of any feedback we receive and also encourage students to share their work with us so we can share it with everyone at MAC!

We have two painting courses beginning this Saturday, running for seven weeks – Painting from Still Life with Hilmi Baskurt and Painting from the Life Model with Marco Corsini. These classes are open to all skill levels and our teachers will focus on drawing fundamentals in the beginning for those of you who are new to painting. We also have students in the class who have been returning for many terms. If you are interested in joining these classes, you can find out more information and enrol here: http://melbourneartclass.com/painting-courses/

What happens every week in Marco’s Studio Art Class

Marco Corsini’s Studio Art is a term-based course and has tended to be an eclectic fusion of talks and presentations by Marco (about four or five per term), guest speakers (one per term) and studio time.

We have a range of students attending this course; from dedicated, practising artists who have been with us for over three years, high school students supplementing their in-hours art classes, to creative people who just need an outlet.

The skill level is extremely varied as well – students tend to either be beginners who are guided through the fundamentals, or more experienced and ongoing artists who work on their own projects with Marco’s guidance. That’s the beauty of our Studio Art program – you can be the creative individual that you are, in an encouraging, non-judgemental environment, and also receive critical and professional artistic guidance if that is what you seek.

Lauren Ottaway, Red Kitchen, acrylic on canvas, 2015. Completed in Studio Art Class

We have had individuals on a Tuesday, arrive inspired with a new set of stamps and a stamp pad and stamp on huge pieces of paper all night, whilst others work painstakingly at an oil painting they have been focusing on for weeks. And we always have one or two beginners working on exercises set by Marco with his still life arrangement. The mix of people and their combined creativity is truly inspiring.

This class nurtures creativity and expression, and many students also find it an oasis from the “daily grind”. I was part of the class for three years and it was like a breath of fresh air where I was able to access that creative flow where time does not exist. Having this in my busy, corporate week was invaluable.

Marco’s Studio Art class is where I began to take my art practice seriously. Many of the materials are provided for beginners so the program allows a cost effective entry into art practice.

The class is limited to ten students to allow one-on-one tuition. Enrolments are now open for next term: https://melbourneartclass.com/studio-art/.

Returning to the River

I’ve just come back from camping and I’m drying out tents. Huge cubist polyester birds in hues of green, stretched by rope hanging over our back courtyard between a row of pencil pines and the fence. Defeated by the alpine rain and now drying, so as to be packed away. Soon the array of camping gear around the house will also be filed away to distant corners and hiding places. The underside of our bed will become an impenetrable block of chairs, tents and camping mattresses, not to be emptied and dusted until the next time we need the ‘gear’. This is camping for the inner-city dweller.

I went back to the river. Not any river; the King River in North East, Victoria. This river supplies and feeds the King Valley, its agriculture and my home town. A thriving tobacco industry existed back then, our Italian families had settled in the area and contributed to the major part of that local industry. As children and teenagers we spent long hours in the river’s not quite tamed waters. In swimming holes where ‘snags’ or fallen logs and other uncertain things hid, where occasionally we could even see a snake swimming.

All along the valley, the river’s flood plains were seasonally under threat from floods. The King River flows into the Ovens and it is there that my home town of Wangaratta lay under regular threat of flooding until a levy bank was built around it’s perimeter. I remember seeing a VW Beetle that had been swept off the flooded, washed out road near the town of Cheshunt, ending up three hundred metres downstream, wedged in a River Red Gum. Apparently its driver had to sit there above the flood waters and wait to be rescued.

I also remember the men of the town leaving work to help sand bag houses that lay close to the flooding One Mile creek. My father, old Bill and I in a row boat as we rowed through the flood waters at the garage where dad had come to work after he had to leave the family farm as a young man. We rowed through to collect the tools off the back of a truck dad had been working on. Old Bill who wasn’t so old back then, rowing. Bill, wirey in stature, toughened by growing up in the the Great Depression, a carpenter who would never buy a new piece of timber, when another could be recycled.

I came to Melbourne and the other world cities I have lived in because I needed them. I needed their knowledge. I needed to know that what I had within me would not be lost and could be connected with the great artistic narratives of the world. Or maybe I came because Greg who was with me when I was painting in Dad’s garage, told me he could not see me staying in Wangaratta. Greg who would scramble to hide my Beastie Boys tape (which he quietly hated) in my Valiant before I could find and play it loud as we drove down to the local swimming hole.

I returned to the river. We have found a place with a beautiful swimming hole not far from from Lake William Hovell, an imposing man-made lake that sits in the hills at the base of the Alpine region. We swim, we eat; we try to avoid the rain, but inevitably get rained on. I go to rest and to be with my family. Actually, I spend most of my time working, setting up camp and cleaning, but it is all done in the context of these magnificent mountains and I seem to soak up the essence of them like I soak up the water.

In the past I have often gone to actively look for inspiration for my work, sketching and collecting, but not this time. After a busy year and with my head full of such stuff as art school budgets, course plans and even the pressure that I place within myself to produce something out of my painting days I have in my own studio, I allowed myself not to feel I had to produce anything. I needed to let go.

Upon arriving I soon realised I was operating as camp manager and parent, always slightly anxious and always looking, checking and cross checking for logistics and possible dangers. Very far from my artist mind and any notion of creativity. I wanted to feel something deeper and thankfully as time went by I found that the environment began to seduce me with its complexity and strange, stark beauty. My sight or the way I saw things began to change. Beauty, or what I call beauty, filtered into my consciousness. I was awed by the erosion of the river into the bank and the smooth river stones imbedded in an overhang which formed part of a layer that was intertwined with tree roots from a tree that perhaps one day will just lean over and fall into the river.  While swimming I could look up at this fusion of elements and species, seemingly random yet so intricately magnificent. A little slice of the complexity of the universe laying at edge of the river with moss, little ferns, the alien blackberry bushes and countless plants and bushes sitting on a loose arrangement of precariously undercut river stones, roots and earth.

I began to reflect on the King River as a source. It’s river stone beds and shallow streams, sometimes bubbling around arrangements of boulders, sometimes disappearing into deep, dark, still waters, which had never been beautiful to me when growing up and I had never thought of its significance in our lives beyond its supply of water. The river as a source which had branded a primordial sense of dependancy and intimacy within me over my half life time. The river that constantly flowed, had always flowed, will always flow. The river that bound us around itself and preserved us. I slowly connected to the idea of source and slowly felt that my own dependancy on this source was being revealed. That I had felt a need for years now, to constantly return to this source. I began to connect with the notion of origin and that just as I sat on the banks of this river or swam or drank from it, all I could ever do was draw close to it, to be within in, return to it. I had to return to this river. I have always returned to the King River.

In the city, as I studied art, I was taught to question the idea of source or origin. So I went looking for another way to understand what we were and how in encountering each other we could understand ourselves. I found the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas who had settled upon building an understanding of ethics based upon encounters between people. Meaning and ethics are derived from encounters and the values highlighted by those encounters.  So, that is often how I live, understanding myself through encounters with others, in the negotiation between myself and others. Returning to the idea of source is for me, to step back to absolute origins where meaning is not negotiated, it already exists.  Call it Logos, God or call it the creative universe, which ever way, meaning and values begin to reveal itself in the text of the mountains and the water. The complexity of this universe is not negotiated when I immerse myself in it, rather it is read, as the veil of everyday life falls away. Meaning and values are observed or perhaps experienced through the magnificence of what one is looking at. Celtic spirituality speaks of certain places where the veil between heaven and earth is thin. For me the veil at the King River is thin, falling away easily to reveal a deeper sense of self, with a stronger current of creativity at its origins.

If the town in which I grew up in is culture, mixing and clashing, negotiating meaning within encounters and reimagining; if Wangaratta is everyday life with all its distractions and tensions, then it sits, unbeknown to itself as a beneficiary of the river that gives it life, a beneficiary from a source that is far more magnificent in scope and complexity than the physical town itself, and yet mostly unrecognised or unnoticed until the floods come.

Awakened by the river and its surrounds, I began to use Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, whereby you write three uncensored pages every morning, first thing. This is a fantastic un-blocker for creatives and I am once again blown away by how effective it is. What a thin veil exists between our everyday selves and the inner creative self that links back into our own creative origins. I found myself further able to imagine and see.

Today would have been the third day I used Julia Cameron’s exercises. I woke up, took my journal, a few books and a pen and I went outside to begin my Morning Pages. I sat in a chair beneath my drying tents. I sat and stared at the magnificence of the forms, the tension in the fabric, deep caverns and the ropes. With other equipment scattered and visually intertwined amongst the forms, I was overcome with new ideas and inspirations. I did not feel that I was producing anything or offering anything for negotiation. I simply had seen something and the implications of that something lept onto my mind from its source. I felt like I was receiving a present as child. I had received.

I drew. I imagined a new work.  How thin the veil between ourselves and our creative origins.

Written by Marco Corsini

Introducing Melbourne artist, Adrian Stojkovich

We are very fortunate to have Adrian Stojkovich joining us at MAC and presenting our new drawing course.

Adrian is as endearing in real life as his work. He carries a youthful energy, seemingly swaggering on the edge of the precipice of creative potentiality he is about to dive into. His work, traced with cool, skilled abandon is undergird by a sound humanity and is about to fall into something wonderful.

Based in Melbourne, Adrian completed his Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours in 2009, and his Masters of Fine Art in 2013 at the Victorian College of the Arts. His recent show at Paradise Hills in Richmond was made up of room of large abstract works and a room of dead fish paintings. He can handle either style well, demonstrating that he is an artist and painter who has taken the time to explore his craft at a high technical level. The work is infused with subtle passion but maintains the clarity to steer his little project whichever way he chooses.

Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian’s abstract work comprises  hovering planes of coloured marks on a consistent pale, or dark, or umber background. The marks vary in size and slightly in tone, diffusing beneath layers of thin paint, therefore creating several planes. Despite being on a flat, consistent background, the marks drift off into pockets of infinity. Like little galaxies or the infinite suggested by certain repetitive patterns. These paintings aspire for a greater harmony, a greater resolution, a sense that there is or could be an infinite. The colours Adrain uses are slightly cool and acid, slightly sour yellows and greens, supported by pastels and more mellow cool colours. The colour combinations are fresh enough to keep the whole project interesting yet still harmonise. Abstraction at this end of its historical passage is difficult to do well and Adrian passes it off successfully.

Adrian Stojkovich's abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery
Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

Contrasting these abstract works are the dead fish, Fish Tondo painting, two of which he also presented at Paradise Hills. Painted on large circular canvases, the fish paintings maintain an element of abstraction in the big sweeping forms of fish bodies in glass bowls. Up close, they erupt into the most beautiful colours gently laced with glazing. If for a moment you can avoid seeing the fish as you stand back, they are big sweeping abstracts and up close, masterly plays of raw colour. But they are fish, dead and dumped into a bowl for someone’s consumption or aesthetic amusement. There is a fishy, slimy look to the water they are in, with bubbles hovering around the gill area. They undoubtedly reference the Dutch Golden Age and its genre of dead fish paintings. The works speak of life, survival, death and mortality. Painting is a trade for Adrian, from recent abstraction to 17th century Dutch painting, he knows that trade.

The death of Anastasio Somoza, Modified Mercedes-Benz 280SEL. Image: Matthew Stanton (http://www.adrianstojkovich.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also knows installation and representation. He created a fascinating work in 2014 whereby he rebuilt from historical photographs, the Mercedes Benz within which Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza was assassinated in 1980. An insightful investigation of popular media, it hovers between the same banal pop appropriation we have become accustomed to in the last three generations and the other tired contemporary art influence, Duchamp’s found object. But it is not the original object and its role as a facsimile seems to be very tentative. The power of the work is in its materiality and absences. It describes severe violence that we are all familiar with from our own current news reports. It describes the destruction of the impact of a rocket propelled grenade on a car. We know it is not the real deal but the materials, charred, torn and burned are the same, not just a copy. There is something real about the object we see. The knowledge that lives were lost is also very real. The absence of bodies in the installation makes the suggestion of death more relevant. The work jolts out from the plethora of violent images we see every day, somehow adding gravitas back to the humanity, or lack of humanity of the those original images. It recontextualises the decontextualised pop image into a new discourse of humanity and mortality.

Adrian is a solid young artist who knows his craft as a painter and handles the complexities of contemporary art and representation well. He has built up a sound base early in his career with wonderful results. Now what remains is to see what Adrian will do next.

Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009
Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009

Drawing with Adrian Stojkovich

During this six-week course, Adrian will introduce strategies and techniques for drawing from Still Life. This course will assist beginners in developing fundamental drawing techniques. It is also well suited to people with some drawing experience who want to re-establish the foundations of their practice. Read more and enrol here.

Written by Marco Corsini

That finishing feeling

We tend to have so much happening in our lives. When we wake up we already have a list of what we need to do that day formulated in our head and on top of this, we also have constant interruptions from an electronic device in our pocket, which seem to easily distract the best of us.

Many of our students at MAC have commented on the wonderful feeling they get in our classes when they take time out of their busy lives to concentrate on sketching or painting, and then finish a piece.

Carla Murray, oil on canvas
Carla Murray, oil on canvas

 

Are you ever able to concentrating on one thing – that you enjoy – until completion?

Because of these to-do lists we create in our lives, this state of being a constant “work in progress” doesn’t often allow us to stop, take our time, complete something, then reflect and admire. Daily “stuff” inhibits the pursuit of activities that bring us joy – especially those that allow us to be creative.

Another reason why we may not finish what we start is because we get a feeling of satisfaction when we tell other people our intentions. Over a long period of time, there have been a number of studies undertaken that have shown that people are less likely to pursue their goals after they have told people about them*. This is because once we let someone know about our new idea that requires our action, we get a feeling that satisfies our self-identity, which unfortunately renders us less motivated to complete what we set out to do.

Why it feels good to finish artwork

When was the last time you admired some flowers in your garden and actually sat down to sketch them? Or walked down to the river to photograph the ripples on the water? Finishing something generally makes you feel good, and finishing a piece of art definitely has something special about it.

When we start something new we receive a dopamine rush, hence why we like to tell people about our goals. This rush is not unlike the same feel-good sensation we get from doing anything we find pleasurable. This positive sensation is linked to the increased activity of dopamine in the brain. We also receive a dopamine rush when we complete something.

Creating art is significant because it is something created and finished by the individual for the purpose (mostly) of the individual. However, it is not like writing a novel, or learning a language; these end-points seem almost unreachable. We can control the time it takes to complete a piece of art, and the completion is made all the more satisfying because we have brought an image to life from a white, flat surface which we can admire.

Although there is a sense of completion when we finish reading a novel, or watching a movie, it is different because we may feel like we have lost something; the story is over and the characters lives’ are frozen in time on the final page. Though when we see a piece of art we have completed, we may feel a sense of pride and achievement that lives on as long as the work does. Even finishing the tiniest sketch of a leaf – and being happy with it – can bring about this feeling. It is so simple, yet so special.

At MAC, we aim to inspire people who take the time out of their routine to be creative with us. Some simply pick up a piece of charcoal and make marks on paper, while others spend weeks and months touching up an oil painting they are deeply involved with, and proud of. No matter what your medium, we hope that you too feel that wonderful sensation of completion, whilst enjoying the journey of creating art. Now go and pick up that pencil!

*Peter Gollwitser, Symbolic Self-Completion

 

Summer Art Classes at MAC

Over the summer holidays many of us our leave our paintbrushes and pencils where we left them after our final art class. So we have introduced two new short courses to motivate you to continue your art practice throughout the break. These short courses are also great gifts to give at Christmas time because the gift of creativity and experience is invaluable. Be sure to request a gift certificate upon payment.

Drawing and Painting Intensive with Marco Corsini – Dec 29th, 30th and 31st

Join Marco this December for a three-day Intensive Drawing and Painting Course.

Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.
Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.

Marco will combine a series of presentations with personal tuition in drawing and painting, with an emphasis on working from observation and the development of sophisticated technique. Some of the aspects covered include composition, underpainting, representing form, space and texture, colour and its relationship to composition and form, and more.   Find out more information and enrol here

Introduction to Drawing with Hilmi Baskurt – Jan 15th to Jan 29th

This course presents a fantastic opportunity to learn the four elements of sketching with our new teacher, Hilmi Baskurt.

Hilmi Baskurt Untitled
Hilmi Baskurt Untitled

A former student of iconic British painter Frank Auerbach, Hilmi will introduce you to structural sketching, value sketching, Chiaroscuro and contour sketching. Hilmi earned a Master of Fine Art degree in painting from Royal Academy of Arts and his Masters’ thesis was on the subject of Composition. This drawing course will be extremely beneficial for beginners and artists who would like a refresher over the holidays. Find out more information and enrol here

Six ways that Life Drawing improves you

1. Life drawing helps improve your fundamental drawing skills

Drawing the figure demands a lot of an artist as the anatomical and structural complexity of the figure is difficult to master. Many artists use drawing from a model to see and describe subtle nuances of proportion, tone, texture, space and gesture.

Student Life Drawing
Student Life Drawing

2. Drawing from a model increases the fluency and economy of your drawing.

With the inevitable time limitations of a Life Drawing session and the range of expression available from a Life Model, an artist can constantly find new and more economical ways to describe the figure. The possibilities for expression available to an artist are virtually unlimited.3.

3. Drawing the body tunes you to the visual proportions, rhythms and harmonies of the body

As with drawing from nature in general, working from the body’s complex proportions, rhythms and harmonies can tune an artist in to many rich visual possibilities. This could prove useful in in other fields such as architecture, design, various forms of composition and engineering. It could even help art practice!

Student Life Drawing
Student Life Drawing

4. Drawing as a form of meditation

Drawing from a Life Model encourages you to focus your mind upon and respond to the human body and to a human being. Not only is this a great way of clearing your mind but it can invite a reality check by reminding us of our common humanity.

5. Drawing from life is better than drawing from photographs

An authentic experience in our digital era is becoming more of a rarity. Life Drawing allows you to see and capture the human body with a sensitivity and understanding that you simply cannot achieve through copying a photograph.

6. Drawing within a group encourages learning

Life Drawing classes not only bring like-minded people together, they also help artists explore a variety of ways to approach a single subject.

We do not often have the privilege of viewing individual artists’ processes, and Life Drawing classes encourage sharing and critiquing of work in a relaxed and non-judgemental environment. You will always find artists of varying skills in a Life Drawing class.

MAC’s next tutored Life Drawing Short Course with Jesse Dayan begins on October 30. Find out more information here.