Drawing and painting from life isn’t easy. It’s arguably one of the most challenging activities there is. When we struggle to produce a lifelike representation of what we see, we quickly decide we’re not good enough. But how can we expect to succeed at difficult task like this if we’ve never been shown how? You would seek guidance to perfect any other skill – why should drawing or painting be different? Believe it or not, with the right kind of training, anyone can learn to draw and paint from life.
Throughout history, artists have depicted the world around them. Over the centuries, they found ways of doing so with breathtaking realism. Up until the 20th century, this knowledge, acquired by many brilliant artists over hundreds of years, formed the mainstay of art education. But when representational art went out of fashion, the craft of drawing and painting from life stopped being taught in art school.
I am one of a growing number who are rediscovering the methods traditionally used to train figurative artists in the past. My own work would not be possible without them. I firmly believe the know-how and experience of previous generations of artists needs to be preserved and should be available for everyone who wants to draw and paint from life.
Find out more about my figurative painting courses in London