IRL – a new acronym for the socially distanced artist

The Autumn Term

Sign up for these excellent courses starting now:

Claire Haward oil painting using Zoom on Mondays all day and Friday mornings
Alex Tzavaras portraiture course with Zoom on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings
Daisy Perkins Introduction to Life Drawing through Zoom on Thursday evenings.

IRL – a new acronym for the socially distanced. ‘In Real Life’ life drawing has become our most fervently requested session over the Zoom filled months of isolation, actually being in a studio with a living nude model. We’ve all been surprised at how good Zoom sessions can be. We all love the international networking and unusual angles. We’ve discovered ways of working in our own space and the graphic possibilities of using 2d source material. But the thing about life drawing is that the other artists are often just about as important as the models. We value our models hugely but there is a complex flow of energies in a life drawing group which amounts to more than the sum of the parts. We look, we learn, we josh; most importantly, our work proceeds better than it may do by ourselves. It seems that working in the company of other artistic souls, particularly when our observation rests on the living flesh of another human being, is not only excellent fun but brings huge benefits to our work.

But the heinous virus has halted all that. Until now.

We are now opening up our studio for IRL sessions. These are much smaller groups than the old days and you will be separated from your fellow artists by a transparent screen so you can remain Covid safe whilst you paint and draw. We’ve trialled the system over the last couple of Saturdays and it works exceedingly well. It was brilliant to see wonderful real people with smiles, arting away happily in the transformed studio.

We also had the cameras running, with artists painting along from home on Zoom, which still works very well for some artists.

So now you can join us on Zoom or in person, it’s up to you and you will be welcome whichever way you choose.


A screen grab from last term with Daisy teaching the line of action

Introduction to Life Drawing

If you’re new to life drawing and find that your drawings don’t really go in the direction you want them to, or you’re pretty good but know you could be better, why not sign up for this term’s Introduction to Life Drawing? It’s a well proven course that will get you drawing the figure confidently and fast. It works very well over Zoom, which is how we’re delivering it this term. In your own space the only thing you need to give your attention to is the model, the tutor and your drawing. You get theory, demonstration, practice and personal critique. The course runs for ten weeks starting this Thursday. 7.00pm-9.30pm

Our tutor is artist Daisy Perkins

Book here

Pleinairists (without!) David Sawyer RBA


Ornamental Grasses, Salvias & last of the Cardoons – David Sawyer – from last week’s Pleinairists’ outing.

David is now in France for the rest of the month, he will be back later this Autumn to host more outdoor painting sessions and to run a ‘Painting Architecture’ workshop.

In the meantime you can join up with other plein air artists – drop us an email to be included on the Pleinairists Whatsapp group. I think they may be meeting up this week, Friday the 18th has been mooted.

Monday Evening Bad Drawing Group 7.00pm-8.30pm on Zoom

We have Adrian as our model for this session of bad drawing. Tonight will be a fun session where we can engage the more playful side of our art and make images without fear of judgement. If you’ve never drawn, this will kick the process off, if you draw a lot this might give you new perspectives or the chance to try something new. This evening’s session will be run by Simon Dunstan.

You can join us on Zoom from 6.45pm and get to know us and any other drawers before work commences at 7.00pm.

The cost is £8 but if you can convince us you’re a student we’ll give you a code to get the session for £5: drop us an email

Click here to book

Tuesday Evening Life Drawing 7.00pm-8.30pm on Zoom


Hannah wondering what to wear..

Hannah is our dancer model this evening. Hannah studies at Laban and has a classical ballet dancer’s figure.

Freya will be facilitating this short pose session conducted via Zoom. Last week we had coloured up-lights and this week Freya will invite us to use both hands for our drawings.

You can join us on Zoom from 6.45pm and get to know us and any other drawers before work commences at 7.00pm.

The cost is £8 but if you can convince us you’re a student we’ll give you a code to get the session for £5: drop us an email

Click here to book

Wednesday Drop-in Portraiture 2.00pm-5.00pm on Zoom


Rebecca wetting her feet.

Rebecca is a dancer too, hailing from Italy where she has spent the summer. She will be our portrait model for the next two weeks.

This is a two camera setup with a portrait camera and a wide camera to get the figure in should you need it.

Please note that it is now possible to paint from life in the studio but the technology is lagging a bit so you cannot yet book online. If you’d like to come into the studio for this session could you drop us an email and we’ll arrange it directly with you. The fee will be £25.

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £12 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.

Saturday Drop-in Long Pose Life Drawing 10.00am-1.00pm on Zoom


Elizabeth going all Norwegian

We will have Elizabeth for this week and next. She is new to us and I have no biographical detail to hand but her photos show her to be young with a boyish figure, I’m sure we’ll enjoy painting her.

So we will have two weeks of the same pose, you can join us over Zoom or actually come into the studio (Yay!)

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £12 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.