London Life Drawing (Clerkenwell)
Where? B&H Buildings, Clerkenwell When? Mondays, 7-9.30pm How much? £6 concession per class
This session is part of Adrian Dutton’s London Life Drawing classes, which happen at various locations around London, including in Hoxton and Bethnal Green. This particular class is untutored, held in a small, intimate space below a beautifully decorated pub. It is drop-in, and does not often fill up, although it only fits a maximum of around 15 people. The small space means that there is a lot of interaction among artists, and a closer view of the model. However, there is no music played, which makes the session eerily quiet.
Life Drawing with the ELSC
Where? Crown and Shuttle pub, Shoreditch When? Mondays, 7-9.30pm How much? £15, free materials for students
ELSC stands for East London Strippers Collective. Yes, you heard it right. This session is run by the people at ELSC who hope to challenge the stereotypes of strippers and make sure their voices are heard. As part of that effort, they run a weekly life drawing session at an ex strip club, the Crown and Shuttle, with dynamic poses by striptease dancers. This is a good chance to practice capturing life drawing in motion, as the models practice what the organisers call ‘strip-freeze’ - where they freeze in various one minute poses in the midst of doing a dance routine. Definitely a fun and unique experience!
London Life Drawing (Bethnal Green)
Where? Eastbourne House, Bethnal Green When? Thursdays and Fridays, 7-9.30pm How much? £6 concession per class
This was another of Adrian Dutton’s series of classes that I tried, specifically the ‘Cheese and Wine’ night that happens every Thursday evening. On Friday evenings, there is a long poses class at the same venue at the same time. This is held in a large gallery-like space in an old building, with the artists sitting in a large rectangle around the model. It is tutored, and the tutor walks around the class observing your work, giving useful feedback and advice. During the break cheese and wine is provided, which is nice.
‘Drink and Draw’ at The Exhibit
Where? The Exhibit bar, Balham When? Wednesdays, 7.30-9.30pm How much? £8.50 per class
This tutored class is run by Dan Whiteson, who also runs several other life drawing classes at various other locations throughout London, including the pub The Prince in Stoke Newington. This class is located on the top floor function room of The Exhibit, a pretty pub just a two minute walk from Balham station. It is billed as ‘drink and draw’ as participants are encouraged to bring a pint from the bar up with them to the class. Materials are provided, and generally everyone gets a good view of the model. Tickets have to be bought in advance online from Dan’s website. The poses are generally refreshing, and Dan talks continuously throughout the class, giving very useful creative exercises and advice about drawing more freely. However, note that these exercises and advice tend to repeat every week, which is great for first-time attenders but may get repetitive after the second session.
Candid Arts life drawing class
Where? Candid Arts Centre, Islington When? Mondays to Thursdays, 7-9pm How much? £9 per class
Located in the expansive Candid Arts Centre which is housed in two Victorian warehouses in Islington (near Angel station), this class is run on a drop-in basis on Mondays to Thursdays from 7-9pm, with daytime classes on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11am - 1pm. There is no need to book, but do arrive early as these are quite popular. The sessions are tutored with one tutor each class.
London Drawing drop-in classes
Where? Artizan Street Library, Aldgate & Waterloo Action Centre, Waterloo When? Monday-Wednesday, 7-9pm How much? £10 per class
Monday evening classes are held at Artizan Street Library, while Tuesday and Wednesday classes are held at Waterloo Action Centre. These are drop-in sessions and there is no need to book.
Life drawing at Village Underground
Where? Village Underground, Shoreditch When? Next one is on Monday 4 December, 7.30-9.30pm How much? £16
This can be described as nothing less than a life drawing extravaganza. Happening every few months, it is run by Dan Whiteson, the guy behind ‘Drink and Draw’ at The Exhibit. This session involves several models in a large, open and creative space, experimenting with interesting poses. The event aims to explore the impact of sound and music on visual expression against a backdrop of an eclectic playlist. Like in his regular classes, Dan is expected to provide plenty of friendly guidance and lots of creative exercises designed to stretch your skills.
Covent Garden life drawing
Where? Society of Friends Meeting House, Covent Garden When? Thursdays, 7-9pm How much? £14 per class
The pros of this class is that it is very central, and always has a male and female model each time. However, it is quite pricey for nothing very special, and classes are huge, with the space able to accommodate more than 50 artists. Materials are not provided but are for sale. That said, the quality of models are said to be of a high professional standard and there is a friendly vibe.