An academic year (in practice thirty weeks) is the absolute minimum for a basic training. Using the sight-size method, beginners work from the life model each morning, then cast or portrait projects in the afternoon according to experience. Over the full three-year course, students evolve visual and technical abilities through constant practice and the challenge of progressively advanced projects. A two-week sculpture course is offered twice a year.
Drawing from plaster casts teaches students how to convey form through the effect of light and shadow, without the complication of colour or movement. In addition to training the eye, cast drawing fosters skills essential to portraiture, as well as an appreciation of historical sculpture.
Figure Drawing & Painting
The ability to draw and paint accurately from life is a fundamental artistic requisite. On attaining mandatory drawing skills beginners progress to painting using a traditional palette of historically proven colours. Students 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 and painting a portrait from life. Clear objectives are set for each stage, which are explained with practical demonstrations and frequent critiques.
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.
Because full-time study is not always possible, the studio also accepts students on a semi-regular, or part-time basis, providing there is space.
Other activities include art history lectures, visits to historic houses and galleries, sketch classes, anatomy classes, and technical workshops. Still-life and landscape painting options are available at appropriate times of the year.