Year of the figure and portrait projects
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: VH753
Duration: 30 sessions (over 40 weeks)
What is the course about?
For the committed student, this advanced course covers a combination of approaches, from technical to experimental. We start by learning and practicing figurative drawing techniques such as how to see proportion and to create structure and volume in the head and body from observation of the live model. From this foundation we advance into painting approaches: how to prepare a ground, colour mixing and brush techniques to depict the flesh and form of the figure and face. Later in the course we explore various expressive and experimental approaches, using a range of interesting starting points. Through the course there will be the option to work from observation of the model and/or to make use of given projects as a starting point for personal work, such as working from personal narratives and photographs. We will take inspiration from artists' work to build up our knowledge of historical and contemporary contexts for representation of the human form.
What will we cover?
A comprehensive course covering the range of technical approaches to drawing and painting the human figure and head working though to various experimental approaches and starting points. Working from the live model and photographs/found images we will cover a wide range of aspects of the figure and portrait. We will begin by examining methods for drawing heads and bodies including how to render volume and structure in facial features and basic anatomy of the head and body. We will practice different approaches to rendering tone and composition then progress onto using colour in paint. We will learn about mixing colours for both naturalistic and expressive flesh tones. We will have a chance to experiment with different drawing and painting materials and approaches and be led through a variety of starting points such as making work from found images and/or our own personal photographs.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Develop your drawing from observation of the human figure as subject
- Learn painting techniques and colour mixing relevant to portraits and the body
- Experiment with composition and understand its impact on meaning
- Explore making experimental images of the figure from memory and imagination
- Recognise narrative and ideas relating to identity and personality in images of the figure.
- Develop an awareness of artist contexts; historic, modern and contemporary.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for those students with some prior experience of life drawing and painting (ie:having completed some shorter courses or having built up some practice drawing or painting the human figure/face in your own time).
This is an intensive course for the commited student; please read the course outline carefully to ensure this is the right course for you.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The class will be primarily practical, with one-to-one support from a team of tuotrs specialising in drawing and painting portraits, and the figure. There will be projects, exercises, practical demonstrations, informal lectures, group discussions and optional homework assignments and gallery research.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All basic 2D materials are supplied, however you are encouraged to invest in your own brushes, canvas, boards etc if you specialise in painting. Advice on this will be given throughout the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
VH953 City Lit year of the figure and portrait:advanced makes an ideal follow up this course. Other alternatives include: City Lit fine art course or our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, you will find a new and growing range of professional practice workshops in the school of Visual Arts (from October 2020), aimed at providing support, skills and context, and developing communities of practice. These workshops can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of a modular course, which you design for yourself; either way, they are there to provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.
REBECCA BOYD ALLEN After receiving a BFA degree from Kansas State University, Rebecca moved to New York and studied at the New York Studio School. There, she studied with a vast assortment of New York artists, many with ties to the abstract expressionist movement. The Studio School selected her as an exchangee student to study at the Slade School of Art in London for one year. Returning to New York, she received her MFA from Parsons School of Design. She has been teaching in London for over 20 years and created numerous courses, based on specific exhibitions and the permanent collection, at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Since 2010 she has been teaching at City Lit with courses including Life Drawing, Life Painting, Painting 2, Ways into Abstract Painting and many Watercolour courses. She has a background in figurative work, which has included observation, memory, and a love for tone and colour. More recent work is rooted in observation, yet more abstract in appearance, focusing on process and largely done using watercolour.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.