Don’t you dare quit life drawing!!  

Male nude

Male nude

Be warned – drawing, particularly life drawing, can catch you by surprise and never let you go.  It can turn your life upside down and fill every spare moment if you let it. That’s brilliant – and the rewards are great because the challenge is so great!

I caught the bug at art school and it is the one single thing that drove my artistic ambitions:

As with all ups in life there can be a down! And I tend to hear it a lot from students. 

The downside I’m talking about is the little cheeky arty-monster that sits on so many shoulders and pipes up when no-one really wants to hear it.  ‘You can’t draw’, ‘That’s rubbish!’ it says.  And lo and behold all too often we listen.


So – Don’t you dare quit life drawing!!  

  1. The life drawing road is the ‘road less travelled’. Be proud that you carry the mantle of a long artistic tradition.
  2. Keep focused on the practise, not the outcomes.
  3. Try never to judge your own work less than 3 months from date of creation.
  4. Keep your sights focused on the long term, one step at a time.
  5. Learn to accept the ups and downs.
  6. Stay true to your own style of drawing – of what feels right for you – don’t change for anyone. 
  7. Pick up tips and techniques along the way that you feel you can apply to your work as and when you want. 
  8. Listen to feedback from teachers and colleagues – the positive comments feed your passion, the negative feed your determination.
  9. Life drawing is a way of life – not a hobby.
  10. Play.

So please relish the ‘act of looking’.