Artwork · Creative Courses

Henley-on-Thames School of Art…

I discovered The Henley on Thames School of Art last year – when I was looking for something creative to do that fits around working and making lampshades.

Thank goodness I discovered it! What a lovely place it is! It’s a warm, welcoming, sunlit studio at the back of Hart Street, with a little courtyard. You’d never know it was there, unless you spot the little sign at the entrance to the alleyway…

Henley School of Art2Henley School of Art

Last year I attended a ‘Drawing and Painting from Scratch’ course with Max Hale. I know it’s ridiculous, considering I have drawn quite a few commissions for people, but I’ve never been taught how to draw and I found the tips Max shared with us incredibly eye opening and oh so helpful. “Ah, that’s why artists hold out their brushes to measure!” I said to myself… And simple things like drawing a line of symmetry first. Bit of a light bulb moment! (or 2 ha ha!) You can see the lines of symmetry in my drawing below.


Drawing I like. But I have to say, I found the acrylic painting really hard and don’t have a lot of pieces to share on here. This one was all about shade and I found it easiest as you didn’t have to think about mixing different colours yet.


The next one was a bit more tricky although it looks fine from a distance, but then all the great paintings are like that too aren’t they?!


So that was my adventures with drawing and painting from scratch. Max was a brilliant teacher, very patient and knowledgeable, an amazing painter too.

For the last ten weeks I have been attending a life drawing class. Such fun! I have always wanted to have a go but always been too scared, which is crazy, I’m not the one naked after all.

We were thrown in at the deep end on week one, but that’s the best way to learn isn’t it? Have a go, draw big, free and loose – so different from my usual drawing style which is very intricate and detailed and precise. Over the weeks we have had a go at using charcoals, various pencils, conte crayons, ripping bits of coloured paper and ink (my least favourite!)

Jo Harris took the class, along with her adorable dog Lulu, who likes to sit with the model, especially when there’s a lamp giving out heat! Jo is a very talented illustrator who is also really lovely and friendly and a really good teacher (with a great taste in music too, very important when you’re drawing!) I have learnt an awful lot, but still lots of practicing to do which is why I have signed up to another term.

We destroyed most of our work in this class as it was all about having a go and not worrying about the outcome. I loved that idea! I did keep a couple though. Hopefully my drawings next term will be an improvement and I’ll want to share more…

If you’re looking for art classes in the area look no further, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re a bit wary about life drawing, don’t be, it’s all just shapes after all!!

Drawing by tearing pieces of flesh coloured paper – very very difficult, and he didn’t even have a moustache!
Drawing with conte crayons

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