Art your Heart Out: Themed Life Drawing at Summerhall

“Try new things”, they said.

“It’ll be fun”, they promised.

“The weather’s too shitty to spend outside anyways”.

This is how an artist (Kara), an aspiring architect (Leanne), a Food & Drink writer (Emily) and an interior designer (moi) wandered into Summerhall with pencils and sketchbooks and some very rusty illustration skills. This is how, somehow, we ended up at a life drawing class. Not just any life drawing class either, but one with a Mediaeval Queen as our model. 

Some people just have that look about them, don’t they? The smooth oval faces of Vermeer’s middle-class, the evocative pre-Raphaelite ginger hair, the pale skin and childlike chins of Boucher’s Rococo odalisques or the very distinctive gaze of Manet’s Olympia. It’s like they just walked straight out of a painting.

Today was the first session of the year, but these will be on every Wednesday at Summerhall’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre. As someone who’s mostly done garment and textile-themed life drawing in the past, so this would be an entirely new experience for me. It’s been so long since I’ve done an actual sketch of a human form without the express purpose of arranging clothing on top of it that let’s be honest, my drawings are probably going to suck. Thank fuck it was lightly themed.

Did I enjoy it? I actually really did, though I’ll admit I didn’t take it as seriously as some. I mean I actually started sketching a girl sitting a few rows in front of me because I loved her haircut. I practiced my croquis. I drew a woman in a ball dress. A top hat. A cup.

It was so much fun to get back into doing something artistic again. Even though I stopped sketching what I saw 20 minutes in and started drawing from my imagination, the idea of sitting down for a couple of hours once a week, specifically set aside to draw…it was just what I’ve been needing.



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