Attending a course at the Royal Academy

I signed up for an art course this last weekend. It was on the back of the current exhibition relating to impressionism on paper.

Being self-taught I thought it might help to understand a little more about the whole art topic. I have to confess I didn’t know what was going to happen.

The results of the two days are featured here. The course focussed on soft pastel usage on paper with two sets of male and female models.

My key learning from the days is still being absorbed. One of them is that you need to stand back a bit from the work you are creating. Also even if you have a model brought in for the day in this instance you have to consider the space that the model is in as equal importance to the model.

In this course if you were not confident in drawing the figure you might be intimidated…even though it was about the space around the model.

Keeping experimenting is the name of the game also and don’t be worried about using coloured paper.

My penchant for speed of course helps ‘smash it out’, but that is not entirely the approach taken by some of the old masters of the game.

I am astonished that nobody particularly mentioned the story in the pictures. I have to think of a story even for a naked model or a clothed model in front of me.

Also, this idea of ‘light ‘ and impressionism I gather is essential.

A key learning also of the exercise was that something you may feel a bit deflated about, others can see quite a lot of character in the figures. So the figures need to have some soul. The context of the rooms also then takes on the condition or place this human is in. A mirror in the diorama might be a window. Andy who taught the course persevered and saw the best in most things. All power to his arm because taking the blank canvas of our understanding of the topic and then trying to get us to self-teach ourselves from varying backgrounds cannot be easy. He kept his concentration and in the end, liked a lot of the progress made y those in the room over two days.

David Jackson
5th February 2024