Updated: Mar 2, 2021
In January 2018 I began a course on Drawing and Painting with London Art College. Having drawn for many years already I thought it would be a good idea to sharpen my skills and learn something new at the same time. The course runs through perspective, composition, colour mixing, textures, techniques and life drawing. Also covering a wide range of subjects from still life to animals and portraiture. By breaking the course down into study units per month I set my self the challenge to complete it within a year and in January 2019 I submitted my final assignments :) In February I received my diploma and had passed with distinction!
The first study units are all about drawing. Pencil, Charcoal, Pen and ink, fine liners, home made implements, pretty much anything you can make a mark with. We then move on to techniques and learning what each drawing tool can do and how we can create realistic textures, drawing in perspective and using tonal values to create form.
Drawing every day was something I got into the habit of early on in the course. I would draw every week anyway, usually on a weekend but the course pushed me into creating small sketches from life every day. Sometimes it would be a quick two minute sketch of vase in a window and other times it was 30 minutes focusing on details of flowers or reflections, either way I would draw every day. From drawing the course then moves into painting. Now this covers watercolours, oils, acrylics and gouache and you can choose whichever medium you prefer to complete your tasks. I worked through water colours, the step by steps, lots of practising and experimenting but found I much preferred oil paints. The great thing about this course is you have the freedom to experiment with different styles and mediums and once you've found your feet you can use which ever suits you best to complete the assignments. The painting study units start off with exercises on composition and moves on through different shapes and sizes of canvas and then into some step by step tutorials.
The last part of the course brings us back to drawing but this time its for the human figure and life studies. You can take as much or as little from the course as you want but I chose to really push myself. Failing to find any life study classes I found an online version and practised gesture drawing every night after work, The course will take you through anatomy, bone structure, facial features and so on but its up to you to practise, practise, practise. The final assignment asks you to create a portrait or figure study in any medium you choose, not wanting to do everything in pencil I opted for a male nude in oil paint. With this I could demonstrate how I can work with the correct proportions, use shadows and light to form muscle structure, create skin tones from 5 basic colours and show a general understanding of the human form.