The title of this looks very grand and of course the Royal Academy is very grand but also very accessible. They have been doing life drawing sessions for a while I think but last weekend they started a short 75 minute sketch club on Saturday morning. Last week’s session was on still life, but my goodness it was nothing like I imagined. They had set up the most complicated set of objects imaginable and we started off with 2 minutes to look over them followed by 2 minutes to get started; yes 2 minutes. The leader of the session was very good, very entertaining and very challenging. We were asked in 2 minute bursts, to continue without reference to the image, draw the main contour lines, draw with our non-dominant hand, draw with two hands simultaneously – something I am completely unable to do, then draw with two hands with them crossed over in front of us, draw blindly – without looking at the paper, use multiple pencils at the same time and then draw quick snapshots of various views of the objects.
It was great fun and very challenging and it certainly did the trick of loosening us up and as I can spend literally hours on getting a shape as I want it. It gave me a lot of confidence to be much looser and be a bit more experimental.
The image above was my version of the still life done in 2 minutes using 4 pencils held in my fist. I rather like it. I certainly enjoyed doing it. They are running similar sessions for the next few months. Next week is life drawing and I have booked on that with sessions on anatomy and botanical drawing in future weeks. You can see shared work on instagram and twitter using #RASketchclub and there is a Facebook group that is pretty active and the whole session can be viewed on YouTube.