Drawing from plaster casts teaches students how to render form through the effect of light and shadow, without the complication of colour, or movement. It promotes a methodical approach, and is the best way to learn the language of seeing through values (tone). In addition to training the eye, cast drawing fosters skills essential to portraiture, as well as nurturing an appreciation of historical sculpture.
Figure Drawing & Painting
The ability to draw and paint accurately from life is a fundamental artistic requisite. At the Sarum Studio, sustained poses and regular critiques encourage a comprehensive enquiry into gesture and proportion, modelling and colour. On attaining mandatory drawing skills, students progress to painting, using a traditional palette of historically proven colours. They also learn how to prepare canvas and grounds, and how to make paint and painting media.
Using the sight-size method, students are guided through the process of drawing or painting a head from life. Clear objectives are set for each sitting, which are explained with practical demonstrations and frequent critiques.
A full academic year (in practice thirty weeks) is the absolute minimum for the most basic training, during which students can expect to graduate from cast to portrait drawing, and from figure drawing to painting using a limited palette. Over the full course of three years, students further develop visual and technical skills through constant practice and the challenge of more ambitious projects, particularly in the field of portraiture. In addition, a two-week sculpture course is offered twice a year, which students are encouraged to attend.
Because full-time study is not always possible, the studio also accommodates the requirements of those who find it convenient to pursue their training on a semi-regular basis, as well as others who wish to study for shorter periods only. My obligation as a teacher is to ensure that all who attend the Sarum Studio, even for a limited period, leave with not only an enhanced understanding of what it means to draw and paint from life, but also an appreciation of the practical and aesthetic advantages of the sight-size method.