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The Vine, London, 25 March 2019

23 Apr 2019

This was my debut as a model for life drawing at The Vine, Kentish Town so I made sure to reach the venue comfortably early. It meant I had time to order a glass of wine and get settled. When group organiser Simon arrived, he showed me to the smaller of two upstairs rooms where easels occupied every usable space. The regular attendees took up favoured positions, and an unexpected flurry of newcomers filled the gaps.

The number of life drawing groups in pubs has been growing with every passing year, but few provide individual guidance for artists. Here, however, Simon sets challenges and offers suggestions throughout. To begin with, the artists studied me in pose then drew me from memory: first for 60-seconds and 3-minutes; again for 30-seconds and 2-minutes. Next I pivoted in a 5-minute movement pose; slowly rising, slowly falling.

I enjoyed these unusual warm-up exercises and the personality that Simon brought to them. After what was a fairly dynamic start, the session settled into a 30-minute pose taking us to a break. I stood with a forward stride and one arm raised while each artist used just two coloured pastels to capture the stance. Half an hour later, with fine work created, they all decamped to the bar for some well-earned refreshment.

By the time they returned there was time for one more pose lasting 40-minutes. I was given leave to be seated, and the artists were free to draw in whatever way they liked. Simon restarted the dance-pop playlist that had been our accompaniment all evening, and continued to share friendly hints and tips. At the end, everybody stayed to review their work but, alas, I had to dash for a train. I was sad to go – it had been lots of fun.

From → Art

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