Radio Day

Before I get to the significance of the above title, here are a few watercolour sketches of Laura from a couple of Tuesdays ago at SCAC. The last one was another pencil-free experiment, starting out by painting the negative space around the figure then loosely adding a few brushstrokes to suggest the form. Only a partial success, but another avenue worthy of further investigation, for sure.


A somewhat bottom-heavy pencil & watercolour selfie from the new landscape-format Moleskine. I’m not really quite so conical in real life, thankfully.


Last Friday lunchtime I went along to a packed Draw studio, where the BBC were recording an episode of the forthcoming Radio 4 series ‘Gompertz Gets Creative’ on the theme, you guessed it, of life-drawing. Also in attendance, as well as BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, was Royal Academy Professor of Perspective (what an impressive job description!) Humphrey Ocean, who ran the session and dispensed pearls of down-to-earth wisdom throughout, and Sue Tilley, AKA the ‘Benefits Supervisor’ – subject of some of Lucien Freud’s best-known paintings.

It made for a fascinating couple of hours. The event was a triumph of spatial organisation as much as anything, with the small studio somehow managing to accommodate a recording engineer and his sound desk, several mike stands and yards of cabling, the three-piece Drawchestra, seating for the twenty-odd doodlers plus space in the middle for Frankie, who valiantly held a rock-solid pose for the entire hour-and-a-half duration of the recording. Not to mention enough space left over for the producer and presenters to circulate among us with critical eyes and microphones.

The whole thing will somehow be edited down to a half-hour show to be broadcast on 11th July at 10:30am. It’ll be interesting to see which bits make the final cut. I was torn between listening to Humphrey and making a drawing but just about managed to do both. I also, happily, managed a quick sketch of Sue while she was being interviewed about her experience of working with Freud. She was refreshingly candid and down-to-earth about being the subject of such iconic – and valuable – images.


Finally, here are a few images from last Tuesday’s creature-only Drawing Circus. Lion, Bear and Unicorn (Clementine, John and Laura to their friends), in pencil and brush-pen filled with diluted Dr Martin’s Saddle Brown watercolour. Additional spot colour was added later back in the studio.


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