I’ve just got back from the first of two life drawing Saturday classes I’m running, not at my usual Bristol Grammar School home but at a church hall in Filton/Horfield, beautifully lit by a single,central skylight. It could almost be purpose built for this kind of thing.

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Anyway I’m posting a sequence of pictures of a painting executed by John Leggatt in the morning session showing how it developed over the two and a half hours.  It’s not a long time to do a painting but I think it came out  well and hopefully it’s of some interest as an example of how a painting builds up in stages.  At the start it’s usual for a painting to look quite rough, the interest being  not so much in fine details but establishing a basic shape on the canvas, the main blocks of light and shade, the main proportions and so on.  Then, through a gradual process of layering and subtle adjustments the painting takes shape on the canvas and the fine details start to appear towards the end.  I’ve always found it interesting, having taught beginners classes over the years to see how nervous people get if their paintings start off looking untidy or messy or uncertain  When you’ve been painting for a while I think you start to relax and realise that the messy stage is really a kind of thinking out aloud and what really matters is not how you begin but how you go on from there.

Anyway John’s a terrific painter of landscapes and figures and I’m looking forward to putting some more images of his work up on the site when he has time.

I’ll conclude this post with a few other images from the days. If anyone is reading this in the Bristol area another class will be taking place next week and a couple of spaces are still available

life drawing by Will Stevens   life drawing by Lee Evans   dscn6047.jpg  matt.jpg