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The inestimable delight of the digital space

Zoom and Plein Air Drop-in Groups – click on the links below

Tuesday and Friday morning Pleinairists
Tuesday Afternoon Short Pose Drop-in Life Drawing
Wednesday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting
Wednesday Afternoon – Drop-in Portraiture
Saturday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting

Alison and Carole running a Zoom session from the studio

Love is infinite, the more you give the more is available. Time and energy not so much. We have to make decisions about where to put our energies.  If you’re like us, you’re putting some of your valuable time into drawing and painting from life because you know that when you do, your other creative activities tend to flow better. The human figure is the perfect subject for observation, we are so biologically attuned to looking at it, we vibrate with every nuance. We literally have parts of our brain devoted to the task so it seems only natural that we use it as a vehicle for our art.

We’d like to invite you back into our studio to paint and draw but in the short term this is not going to be possible for us, and when we do the group sizes will have to be much smaller. Meanwhile much of the value of life drawing and painting can be gained by joining a group using Zoom.

So can we tempt you to start Zooming as an artist?

  • First, don’t be daunted by the technology, we’ve had plenty of digital dunderheads mastering the act of Zooming, it’s all very straight forward. You sign up for the class or group, we send you an invite with a link, you click on the link and Zoom will install itself if you don’t already have it and you’re in.
  • There will be other artists there, some of whom you may know, we’ve had several joyful surprise reunions! Having other souls poring over the model, sharing the same conceptual space with you, carries the feeling of group or community that we all love.
  • The formality of a timed appointment gets you into a focused place to do your work.
  • Working from a screen can be completely immersive. Just like when we watch a movie at home and we’re not lamenting the lack of a sixty foot screen, very quickly we move beyond the hardware and we’re just drawing.
  • Unlike in a physical class where you may not get the perfect spot you get a perfectly framed view of the model with the lighting optimised for you.
  • We work with professional models who are happy to pose nude in front of the camera, we like costume but for our purposes we’ve always found the nude works best.
  • It’s good value – no transport costs and during the summer we’re keeping our discounts in place so you can experience a three hour painting session for just £10

Life drawing is where we train our eye and our hand, the unforgiving process of representing what we see strengthens us as artists regardless of whether our final work is figurative or not. Whilst none of us would have chosen to be where we are now, as artists we are well placed to embrace these new ways of working.

And if we put some of our time and energy into this we may also discover that our love for our work is renewed.

Simon getting some drawing done amongst the wires, cameras and computers

nb: for any newcomers, Alison and Simon organise the Dulwich Art Group and School


A couple of pictures from the Whatsapp group:

Some good fresh colours in this work by Rizwan Pradhan

Shirley Henry painting valiantly into the wind

David says: 
Plans for painting next week
Hopefully the winds will be gone after today
I’m planning to paint in the Rookery gardens at Streatham common on Tuesday morning
Wednesday & Thursday aren’t looking that good
Everyone at last Friday’s session seemed interested in painting in Beddington Park, especially the lake, so this coming Friday we’ll be there unless the weather takes a turn for the worse
Hope to see you sometime this week

If you are interested in painting along with David the Cost is £35 per session, which lasts approximately three hours. We use our Pleinairists Whatsapp Group to coordinate.

These are small groups where social distancing is maintained throughout.

Sign up here

Tuesday Drop-in Short Pose Life Drawing 2.00pm-5.00pm on Zoom

Boulderer Holly is the short pose model this week. She is strong and flexible, qualities she needs for her other job, teaching people to clamber over rocks. As ever we start each hour with very short poses which extend in length until we end with a ten minute pose.

You can choose to join us for one, two or three hours and as we’re still rolling this out the charge will only be £2.50 per hour. To get the special price use the discount code PESTE1 at final check out when purchasing the session.

Click here to book

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

Stephanie was a surprise replacement for Rebecca last week and she has a second week with us in a reclining pose with the camera looking slightly down on her. You can see the arrangement in the picture by Heather Sherratt. She is lying on a dark green drape which sets off her cool skin tones.

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.

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

Marcus will be our portrait model for this week and next, two chances to capture his charm and good looks.

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.

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

You may have drawn Holly earlier in the week and she will be dropping down from her boulder again on Saturday for a two week pose.

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.