Were you afraid to look?

Never fear, this simply deals with that age-old, innocent exercise – life drawing.

I know, “click-bait”!

Actually, when I started college I hated the life drawing classes. They felt something like flossing – undeniably beneficial but a bit of a drag. I include here only one drawing from that time.

In 1986 I started to attend a weekly unsupervised class at the now defunct, “Edgely Road Lambeth Adult Education Centre” (my efforts there had nothing to do with its demise I promise). My great friend Paul Ryan, a superb artist and draughtsman, had encouraged me to go. More importantly he gave me some essential advice: to loosen up. I began to use cheap paper, more painterly media and big brushes that stopped me getting “into the weeds”. The result was I started to enjoy myself. Perhaps his best piece of advice was this: take the work home, store it and only consider throwing it away after six months. I mostly continue to follow that rule and it is the reason that these drawings are here some 33 years later. Not every one is good but I am glad they are still around.

Thank you Paul x


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To see more images – and in greater detail – visit this page Life Drawing


  1. Drawing is observing, seeing. Drawing is thinking. It is understanding. Fixing the movement. Highlights that simplify and clarify the form. Pushing your pen and brush quickly to render the illusion of volume and tone. You get it, Michael!

    1. I remember you telling me, while I was trying to draw: “look at what is in front of you, not at the paper!”. A good lesson.

Please let me know what you think!