West Dartmoor Art Courses is dedicated to encouraging everyone to have a go at drawing and learning how to recreate what they see around them into a well formed and readable document. Everyone can learn to draw, and learn to draw well.
As I am in my final year of an MA in Contemporary Art Practice and have some time constraints I am offering one class a week on a Monday afternoon 2pm until 4.30pm. We work from a studio at Court farmhouse, Lamerton or from my own studio in Brentor for six students. Our prices are very competitive at £75.00 for 5 lessons.
1st Session for this semester is on the 7th October
Its not a magic formula I have on offer but a concrete grounding in understanding the process of translating what you see in front of you into a believable two dimensional image on a piece of paper. So often I hear people say I haven’t drawn anything since I was at school or I can’t draw so this isn’t for me. It’s not you can’t draw – its that you haven’t learnt how to draw….and… that’s what I am here for.
We have on offer a programme which teaches you step by step how to build a solid foundation based on technical exercises and using what you have learnt in a live drawing process. Each week of a five week course we visit a new technical process. This helps you understand how the process works. By repeating the sessions again (and again) you begin to understand what you are looking for and how to translate that into a drawing and with each revisit you will see that you improve and become competant as time goes on. There are no short cuts – you literally just have to do it and you can then make the magic happen yourself.
It’s not instant and some do find it harder than others but I think that is the point, its the struggle, the trying and the practicing that improve what you do. The more you repeat the exercise the more you relax and begin to see the benefits of homework and repetition.
Not that we offer the same thing over and over again. Each week the live drawing sessions offer a challenge in their own way. It might be a colleciton of fruit, eggs or simple white shapes or even a plant from the garden. Each set up will offer challenges and help you see how to work with the techniques you are learning to bring your drawing to life.
Afterall there isn’t a horse in your pencil, there is only a stick of graphite. Its you, the artist who creates the horse.
We feel that art is about learning to look and creating a connection from your mind to your hand. Often we have preconceived ideas of what we are trying to produce and, slightly unrealistically, expect to be able to magically pull this vision out of a hat. It does happen, of course, but first you have to practice, practice, practice. Each session will introduce a new way of seeing things and expand your artistic vocabulary by practicing technical exercises and then using these in your own work as part of the session activitites.
Class sizes are kept small so that we can give each student individual attention during the sessions. We will push you to try new things and to experiment and as you progress you will become confident that its OK to make mistakes and work through them.
Even though it may not feel like it at the time, it is this struggle which brings you a step closer to realising that ultimate image you have in your head. From this you will learn to relax and make marks that show how much being creative absorbs and intrigues you. This is when you can confidently say to people “I am an artist”