Friday, 25 April 2014

Draw In The Drawing Office Belfast Titanic Quarter

Belfast has a long tradition of shipbuilding, and the new museum, Titanic Belfast, provides a wonderful insight into our maritime heritage, as well as the history of excellence in engineering, inventiveness, craftsmanship and draftsmanship of this city.

The museum was built right at the top of the slipway, and behind the original Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, which are about to undergo major renovation.

On 17th May, it is my great pleasure to be taking students to draw in The Drawing Office, in the very room where plans were drawn for many ships which were built here, including Titanic. 

I will teach how to deal with working outside the studio environment, how to choose where to start and to become comfortable working on location. It will be fun, friendly and informative. 

This is part of the National Drawing Day of Ireland, whose aim is to allow everyone to have access to a FREE tutored drawing session, no matter what their artistic background or past experience is. I was delighted to host a session last year, in Belfast School of Art. Students who attended that day really enjoyed the experience, and learnt a lot of new things.

If you would like to come along, please email me to reserve a place and to receive details of times etc - the price is FREE but spaces are strictly limited. No past experience is necessary. 

Drawings of busts, by Jean R, student
Sketch book drawing of the front of the Drawing Office, with the new museum reflected in the windows, by Julie Douglas

Materials - all students must bring their own drawing materials.  Please bring a sketch book (no bigger than A3) and pencils, elbow grease and enthusiasm. I provide tuition, encouragement and buckets of praise. 

Note: This must be treated as location drawing, so be prepared for chilly weather. Dress for comfort! 

Upcoming workshops - oil painting weekend, portrait weekend, water colour landscapes, intensive portfolio course. 

25th Aug - 5th Sept - Draw In, action packed two weeks of drawing and painting workshops with some of the finest artists working today. Handson workshops in figure drawing, oil painting, portraiture and tonal studies, with Colleen Barry (NY), PJ Lynch, Paul Foxton, Kathering Tyrrell and more.

 Check for details at  

Friday, 11 April 2014

Arts - food for the soul

I read a great quote the other day which said:
"You don't need to ask if you have a soul. You ARE a soul, you have a body."

And today I got a letter from a friend who is embarking on a drawing course, saying

Now I feel my soul dried. How amazing to read this expressed in such a way.  How interesting it is that no matter what we have studied or what our occupation may be (because this wasn't anything to do with history or sociology), eventually we acknowledge the calling to address our need to feed the soul.   It doesn't mean we've been doing everything wrong, but finding ways to ensure space in our days for some of all things, keeps the soul happy and reconnects us to... our self. 

Above, a page from the Nature Sketchbook Exchange project, my painting in Debbie's sketch book. 

Upcoming courses: Portrait drawing, this weekend
Oil painting workshop, portfolio course. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Teddy Bear's Picnic - tonal drawings, student work, pencil.

I asked my students to bring a teddy bear to class for drawing. It was so charming seeing them arriving, clutching their cuddly toys lovingly.. Great drawings, though pencil is difficult to photograph. This was such a popular subject - though there was nothing frivolous about it. The aim was to consider texture, and to understand that tone comes before texture

Sarah M, student

Ruth T, student

Sara C, student

Sarah B, student

Liz C, student

Upcoming workshops - Portrait Drawing 12th April, Oil Painting Workshop 26th & 27th April. 
Next Portfolio course is in June, email for details.

Draw In - summer drawing weekend 30th & 31st August with demonstrations and workshops by  PJLynch, Colleen Barry, Katherine Tyrrell and Paul Foxton, among others.