Divine Dancing Drawings

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. The final day, and what a day it was. The whole day saw us submerged in life drawing. Patti our model was divine to draw, an artist’s dream. Her slender form revealed muscle, sinew, tendon and bone. As she danced to the selection of music that she had brought with her, we were able to catch her in motion as her stretched and flexed, revealing her incredible form. The modest speed at which she turned allowed us the opportunity to make marks on the paper to reflect her gentile swaying which so magically revealed her delicate form. I became utterly entranced and lost myself in the beauty of her mesmeric movement and the fine ba

Relaxation, Raphael and the Renaissance Rectus Abdominis

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. So today was day six of the ‘Art and Anatomy’ course. Today was a combination day, studio time, continued anatomy learning, drawing and a visit to the Raphael exhibtion in the Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford. Today I began to evaluate all the work, learning and thoughts that have filled my mind for the past week. The Raphael exhibtion was a good place to start this. Examining the detailed work of a master with new eyes was an amazing way to evaluate how my new understanding of anatomy feeds into my appreciation of the accomplishments of other artists. I may not yet remember the names of all the beautifully rendered muscles within th

Anatomical Andrews

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. Day five and I feel the end of the course looming. Not a welcome thought, as I want to stay and learn so much more. Today with the skilled guidance of Eleanor Crook we created little wax torsos from the form of professional life model Andrew Crayford. These were in the style of an early Roman portrayal of a god or athlete. These headless, truncated forms, modelled over the day, were made by observing and replicating his physically fit male form. Starting with a vertical stick coming out of a small wooden platform, plus 2 horizontal sticks wired on for shoulders and hips, we added coloured wax to form tiny Andrews. His defined

Grimaces and Grins

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. Day four and a move on to sculpture, wax and the teachings of Eleanor Crook. Eleanor has great knowledge in the field of anatomical waxes. A specialist in this area she has worked for various universities, museums and medical foundations constructing scientific, historical, educational and artistic wax models. Today was spent learning about, and apply in modelling wax, the muscles of the face. One by one we applied areas of (wax) muscles to plaster skulls, whilst Eleanor explained and demonstrated (much to our delight) the facial expressions that would be produced by each muscular action. Grimaces and grins accompanied the ex

The Anatomical Vessel

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. Day three and wow does my brain ache. I will really sleep well tonight. I am astonished at how much information the mind can retain. Dr Sarah Simblet yet again astounds with her incredible knowledge within her field of study. We had a whole day of fast track learning about the anatomical system, layering drawings to illustrate the functions of the muscles and ligaments. Apart from learning about anatomy, today I also learned about teaching. The Ruskin students have been lucky to have been taught by Sarah for many years. She has vast experience of relating information to a variety of audiences. What comes across most apparen

Foramen or Foramina, Artist's Anatomy

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”. Day two at the Ruskin School of Art sees us immersed in the world of anatomy. If you ever neglected to pay attention in your school biology classes then it’s not going to be a huge problem because Dr Sarah Simblet talks in detail about bones and skeletal systems in a way that could have engaged the most truculent of school children. Never would I have thought that I could be so excited to learn about foramen and foramina (holes in bone). In a studio full of bones, both human and animal (for which we must thank Cath Clay and her collection) we are left to wonder at the beauty and complexity of humans and animals. A full day of

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