Tuesday, October 31, 2017

‘Art Macabre’ drawing at the Tower of London

I had the chance to get in the Halloween spirit a little early yesterday when I went to a drawing event at the Tower of London…

I was asked to arrive half an hour before the start of the event and this gave me and the other participants time to soak up the atmosphere, take a few photos and get a little flavour of the Tower at night. At 7pm we were ushered up stone steps into the building, welcomed by the host and given a brief outline of the evening. The theme was ‘Women and witchcraft’ and the set-ups for the models were both dramatically lit, with the interior of the building incredibly inspiring.

The scene before the model arrived
There were two models, in different rooms and with a plentiful selection of drawing materials - boards, white and black paper, small sheets of coloured paper and a variety of dry media (compressed charcoal, coloured pencils and pastel pencils). Unfortunately because of the historic location, watercolours and paint were not allowed.

Initially I found it rather crowded (there were probably about 40 people plus Tower of London staff) and it took a while to get going. There were short 5 minute poses to start with, then 10, then 20 for the last poses. Seating wise, there were cushions and fold-up stools although some people stood for the short poses. The dramatic lighting meant lots of great shadows but you needed to pick your spot to see what you were drawing. We were encouraged to move between the rooms so we could get a chance to draw both models. Each room had an artist who led the session but there was no formal tuition.

I was given a complimentary ticket for the event in return for a review on social media but the normal price is £25 per person. Obviously you are paying a premium over a standard drawing class because of the location but I do think overall it is a fair price for the event. I also think that whatever your drawing ability, it would be an enjoyable experience because of the amazing venue. Also if I were to go again, I’d probably take some of my own materials, maybe some toned paper and favourite pencils.

The next ‘Drawn at the Tower’ event is on Monday 11th December with a theme of ‘Echoes and Shadows’. More details here - https://www.artmacabre.co.uk/new-events/2017/10/30/drawn-at-the-tower-women-witchcraft-d87a9

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Autumn harvest at Saffron Central

It’s autumn in Croydon, so it’s time for the harvest at Saffron Central. I drew, while a team of hard working volunteers picked saffron strands, weeded the beds and tidied up the garden. The flowers are just starting to appear and hopefully within a week the area will be a carpet of purple. It will be the third saffron harvest, and the last, as the site will be developed in the new year. The block which will have foundations on the site will be as tall as the Nestle Tower which you can see in the drawing. By this time next year, the whole scene will have changed completely.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lucinda Rogers exhibition

My haul of postcards from last night’s PV for the new Lucinda Rogers exhibition at the House of Illustration in London.  I’m a big fan of her reportage work and this show is drawings made in Ridley Road Market, Dalston.

More information here - http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Big red box

The container that housed a fabulous dance performance in Croydon this evening by Dance Umbrella.  Entitled 'Origami', the whole structure opened out with an amazing acrobatic performance by the solo dancer.

Thursday, October 12, 2017