Thursday, 25 June 2009

Good Nudes for Artists

Something rather special will be coming to Britain's daytime living rooms in July. Despite panic in some circles about shock horror nudity before the evening watershed, Channel 4 is screening five half-hour life drawing classes.

They will be led by John Berger, Judy Purbeck, Maggi Hambling, Gary Hume and Humphrey Ocean and will feature different types of model in a range of locations from the famous Life Drawing room at the Royal Academy of Arts to the artist's own studio.

Meanwhile, to promote the series and help bring life models to a wider public, free drop-in life drawing classes are being held in various locations this week and next. London, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and Glasgow are benefiting from this initiative supported by the Arts Council, Artangel, Jerwood and the London Graphic Centre.

On Monday I dropped into Shoreditch Town Hall for a free half-hour session with Judy Purbeck. The sessions ran between noon and two o'clock and were organised most efficiently. It was tantalisingly short, even though I was able to take advantage of a vacant easel in the next group. Much appreciated. I am showing three of the five-minute poses I did. The last one had to have an extension because I failed to fit her feet in first time. Don't you just hate it when that happens!

Find out about the remaining free drop-in classes here

Life Class: Today’s Nude is conceived by artist Alan Kane, commissioned and produced for Channel 4 by Artangel as part of the Jerwood/Artangel Open.
6 - 10 July 2009 12.30 pm + Channel 4
Find details here

All images © Rosie West


  1. I did a Life Drawing class in Amsterdam a few years ago and I realized, "I am a Prude!!!" My teacher kept telling me, "What you've drawn is beautiful... but why aren't you drawing what you've seen!!?!??" Funnily enough, for the month after the class was finished everywhere I went I ran into one of the models everywhere - the grocery store, on the train, the bookstore - and it was so weird to see her with clothes on!

  2. Thanks Toma - It is a strange relationship with the life model i find. Always a nanosecond of embarrassment at the moment when the dressing
    gown comes off and then a strange disappointment when you see them in their own clothes at the end.

  3. Lovely drawings RCLV, i think they are very life- like and the proportions are spot on. Have always loved your pen and ink- style.
    I'll mail you shortly..

    W x

  4. Thanks TellyWilly, always good to have you on my blog. These are charcoal drawings but I know what you mean!


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