We are now offering Zoom based life drawing and painting sessions.

Zoom Drop-in Groups – click on the links below

Tuesday Afternoon Short Pose Drop-in Life Drawing
Wednesday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting
Saturday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting


Freya by Bukie Kawano, study from live video stream

It’s been a long time since I walked in the moonlight…

It’s been a long time now since the lock down started and I imagine that you, like me, are missing painting from life. Working from photos is a good discipline to master but it’s not the same as having a model in front of you.

Unfortunately it looks like our studio will not be a realistic place to work in for some time. Even when we are allowed to reconvene we expect strictures on the way we use the space.

Is there a solution? We hope so. You may know that Clare Haward has been using Zoom to run her classes online. Initially we all felt this would fall short of what we expect from an art class but we’ve all been very positively surprised, both at how much value artists get from it and also how much fun it is. It’s not the same as being in a studio, it is different, not worse, just different.

Whilst this format works well for tutor led groups, the drop-ins have been causing us to scratch our heads somewhat. We felt that having a high quality live image to work from was important for you, along with the ability to interact with others.

Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting using Zoom and a Live Stream

The system we have arrived at is to broadcast a live stream of the model, which will appear on our website, coupled with a Zoom meeting where we will be able to chat and bicker as we usually do.

The live stream (which is just a page on our website, think of it like a YouTube video) uses high quality optics at our end to bring you the nuances of colour and light that many observational artists enjoy. We will often couple this with a camera looking over the shoulder of the tutor or artist taking the session so you can see how they tackle the image, for inspiration or amusement.

You may wonder why we don’t just use Facebook or YouTube live? If only life were that simple, unfortunately they have an odd attitude towards nudity and much of what we do requires a nude model. (Profanity, subversion and murder is OK. Just not nipples or pubes.)

We now have everything in place to do this, all except the fibre broadband for the live stream. Whilst we think that the combination of good quality imagery and a Zoom meeting best recreates the feel of our studio in better times, some artists may find that they are happy enough just using Zoom. The painting above was done by Bukie Kawano at one of our test sessions using Zoom, and as they say, the results speak for themselves. The fibre does not get installed until early June, so until then, off we Zoom.

The good news

We are offering Zoom sessions at a discounted rate, see below. We hope you’ll get as much value out of it as we’ve found that others have.

Understanding Zoom

Zoom is very simple but it is new. Do you remember as a child finding it staggeringly complex to use a payphone? In real terms Zoom is as easy as using a phone but the first time can feel a little confusing so, if you are not confident using Zoom, can we suggest that you have a look at some videos online? Alison thought this one was a good introduction. There are many others if you google “How to use Zoom

The routine will be that about half an hour before the session you will receive an email with a link to the meeting. If you’ve never used Zoom before, just click on the link and the system will walk you through the setup – it’s only a couple of clicks – and you’ll be ready to go. Once you have Zoom installed you’ll get straight into the waiting room for the meeting where Carole or Alison will then let you in.

Obviously a good wifi connection is going to help at your end and if you can set up your computer/tablet beside your easel or table, you’ll find it is an acceptable way to work. Your computer or tablet will send pictures of you to the Zoom group so you can see yourself and others on the screen and talk. It’s best to be there a bit before we start drawing, just as in a real studio it takes time to get all set up.

We’ll follow our familiar format, you can chat away before the session then at the starting time we’ll begin drawing or painting the model from the screen. We’ll pause for a 5 minute model break every 25 minutes.

Don’t forget to apply the discount code when you are checking out!

Art materials

Mr Green’s, or the Art Stationer’s in Dulwich Village (their proper name) are happy to deliver any materials you want to buy during lock down. It’s often Mary, Mr Green’s daughter, who is the paint monger these days and she is also offering a 10% discount as a further inducement to local art groups. So if you need anything, make the order and mention the Dulwich Art Group to get your discount. Their new website is here

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

Our model is actor and performance artist Ros.

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

Valeria is a young dancer who we have painted before. She hails from Greece.

This will be the first of two three hour sessions with the second session being next Wednesday You’ll know that we often have a model pose for three weeks but this is a slightly different situation and we will discuss this further as we go along.

Please book here

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

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

Sara is a French dancer who will sit for us for three hours this Saturday and next. As above we will discuss how long it is appropriate to keep a pose as we move forward.

Please book here

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