Online Life Drawing Classes
Online life drawing classes became a big hit for people looking for creativity and mindfulness during the recent lockdowns. A recent article in The Guardian highlighted how ‘thousands turn to online life drawing’ and how ‘a diverse and growing crowd is finding solace in isolation through pencil, paper and a model on a screen.’
Each week Insight streams three life drawing sessions via Zoom to people of all abilities, all over the world. We undertook extensive research before taking our classes online last April, to find the most effective way of replicating the studio experience and make it as easy as possible for people at home. We control most of the system, so that students can just sit back and draw.
Initially the number of students switching to Zoom was 50/50. Now, the majority of our regular students are attending, plus lots of new people who have heard about what we are doing.
“Just had to tell you – I think that was a really brilliant online life session – you guys are nailing it” – J
Students set themselves up at home for online life drawing in different ways. Some work from an ipad, using pencil or charcoal to draw in a sketchbook, whereas others work from their TV screens, with paints at an easel. Some students even project the class on their wall, making the models life size!
With an Insight Zoom Pass, students have access to as many Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday/Thursday evening life drawing sessions as they wish. Insight tutor and artist Mick Kirkbride NEAC is joined in the studio by a different model for each session, whilst Studio Manager and artist Celestine Thomas takes control of Zoom, cameras and lighting.
Each session starts with Mick introducing a theme. He shares his knowledge of art history and demonstrates useful processes and techniques. Students are then challenged with a series of short and long poses, using angles that maximise the potential of camera. Mick’s wise and gentle voice highlights various aspects of each composition to look out for, helping everyone to progress.
There have been some advantages with life drawing online we hadn’t anticipated. The camera and lighting will give everyone in the class the best view, and the teaching is relevant to everyone, as they have the same view.
“Insight’s Online Art School has been an absolute lifesaver during this lockdown period and greatly exceeded my expectations” – Naomi
The feedback from students has been amazing. They get to meet their teacher and fellow students each week, watch demonstrations, develop their skills, and their knowledge of art history. We can share subject matter on the screen when necessary and students can share their work with others at the end of the session. We’ve tried to make it as much like ‘interactive tv’ as possible.
When we’ve not been in lockdown, we open our Whetstone studio for students to work directly in front of the model, at the same time as people working from home. It’s a chance to see first hand how sessions are made and streamed direct to your homes.
Ready to take part?
Online life drawing has become one of the most popular and enjoyable creative activities of the lockdowns. If you haven’t tried it yet, grab your Zoom Pass and join in.
Once the virus is over, we’ll continue our online art classes. It’s important to us to keep providing an Insight education to everyone who has joined us, from all over the world, over the last year.