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Take Heart, Take Up Art part two: How to make it?

Even if you're not one of these people with fabled time on their hands to better themselves, you might like to dream of taking some art classes. We've got a whole range, suitable for adults, children, anyone who wants to draw slime monsters, or be soothed while a man with huge hair draws mountains. Today's post covers how to draw, depict, and make things. (In Part 3 we will look at collaborating and group projects.)

Part two: How to make it?

Whether you’re getting back on the metaphorical horse, or picking up art for the first time, there are many places to pick up new techniques and hone your existing ones:

6. Oil Painting Landscapes – The Joy of Bob Ross

The BBC have begun to re-broadcast Bob Ross’ classic series The Joy of Painting – a lovely slice of escapist entertainment, gently guiding the viewer through the process of painting a picturesque landscape, in oil paint, over the course of half an hour. With softly spoken, gentle encouragement (Ross speaks at roughly the same volume as the paintbrush on the canvas, and frequently describes bushes in playful terms), you can either join in at home, or just admire the process. Joyful.

7. How to Think When You Draw

The Etherington brothers have serious pedigree as illustrators (having worked for Disney, DreamWorks, Aardman, and more), and have created a huge number of tutorials online, entitled How To Think When You Draw. Equally suitable for those picking up a pencil for the first time and those who might already be working as illustrators, the illustrated guides cover both the very basics and broad concepts (composition, shading, how to draw realistic grass), and incredibly niche specifics (how to make your slime monster look like it’s melting). The first 300 of these tutorials are available for free on their website. So why not learn to draw some grass? Then cover it in slime monsters…

8. Isolation Art School

Another Instagram-based endeavour, Isolation Art School provides tutorials from some very famous faces (including Quentin Blake, Jonathan Yeo, David Bailey, and Polly Morgan) offering short, accessible lessons that anyone with an internet connection can join. Recent projects also include some ambitious crafts – like making pop-up books, cardboard zoetropes, and home-made night lights.

A 20 minute pose from Raw Umber Studio's portrait session

9. Online life-drawing and portraiture

If drawing people is your thing, there are many resources to help you level up your skills; from lovelifedrawing.com which features in-depth tutorials, to the BBC, which hosts a number of videos of tips and tricks (including advice on drawing the dreaded hands!) and who have been trailing a return of ‘Life Drawing Live’. For examples to watch and learn from, National Portrait Artist of the Year is available to stream on Sky and NowTV. And for portraiture, Raw Umber Studios in Stroud run a Sunday session 2-3pm with three poses, 10, 20 and 30 minutes. They suggest drawing on your own, with family, or in a zoom meetup with your regular drawing group who can’t meet physically at the moment. (Just before lockdown they hosted a physical workshop with Felicia Forte, who took second prize in the BP Portrait Awards 2018. She’s brilliant (and her workshop sold out in seconds) and these days she’s setting a weekly challenge on instagram. Week 2 was painting eggs; week 5 socks. She does great things with these everyday objects.) And finally, we recommend London Drawing with a mix of paid and free access classes, to keep you drawing all week. They also cover some artistic self-care – yoga, mindfulness, spotify playlists and self-massage.

10. Practical crafting guides

Prefer crafting to drawing? No problem! The BBC also host a number of how-to guides for crafting skills, such as mosaic tiling, hat-making, and origami. The BBC children’s shows Nine Minute Ninja and for younger viewers Mister Maker provide step by step projects (and some snippets of art history), as does the CBeebies website with a series of projects making more than just painted loo roll tubes. And while it doesn’t show you how, the handcrafted world of Bitz and Bob inspires our household. Closer to home, Oxford artists Jane Yates and her daughter Emily suggest projects with things you have at home in their new Crafts Against Corona blog.

Whatever you get up to, stay well, and keep creating. Remember, we'd love to see what you make!


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