50 drawings in a day – at my first in-person class in two years!

It was so exciting to be attending an in-person art class for the first time in two years – I made 50 drawings in a day at the City Lit class, here’s what I learned.

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me.

00:00 Introduction
00:38 The Art Class Details
00:44 About the Class
01:08 Why I Attended the Art Class
01:28 What We Drew in the Class
03:21 My Overall Review of the Class
03:33 Other Students in the Class
03:58 Conclusion

I am not sponsored by any brands and nothing has been gifted by brands either (just some presents from friends and family).

Just ask any questions you might have in the comments! I’ll do my best to help you out.

Transcript:

Hi everyone, I’m Arati. Welcome to my studio. I’ve recently done my first in-person class since before the pandemic so that’s two-plus years of not doing any classes in person. Just doing online classes and zoom and things like that, and it was an absolute revelation.

The class I attended was 50 Drawings in a Day at City Lit, which is in Covent Garden in London. It was a full day class from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I will put all the details in the description down below. They are doing it again I think in October-November-December, something like that, and if you’d like to go and then you’re in London, why not? I would highly recommend it.

The whole premise of the class was playfulness – to enjoy drawing and perhaps to find new ways of mark-making. You can see from the work behind me and the work that I’m showing you in this video as well that it wasn’t a class for drawing, specifically, it was a class for experimenting. As I said for mark-making and for just playful joyousness, I think.

The reason I took the class was to loosen up. I wanted to actually find a zone in which I could play in, which I could do something other than my rather tight illustrations. If you’ve watched some of the other videos on my channel, you know that I like to work neatly in gouache with plenty of layers and I feel like sometimes that is a handicap.

In this class we were asked to do several tasks, one after the other. The class title was 50 Drawings in a Day. I think some of us did less and some of us did more. It depended entirely on the speed with which we were drawing and what we chose to do with the sheets of paper that we were given. Some drew really big so they got one drawing to page; others drew small so they got multiple drawings on a single page.

The media that we used in this course was primarily graphite pencil, charcoal, some pastels and ink. Now, we were encouraged to use our hands and kind of fiddle around with it during our mark-making process. But the most exciting thing for me was working with the charcoal. I haven’t worked with charcoal since university which was way back in the late ’90s and it was quite interesting. It was a lot messier than I remember it being, so when I got home I did actually have to add fixative to my drawings because the charcoal was coming off literally everywhere. That said, it was really fun to play with. It has a really soft feel and texture so we were able to move it around and make marks and it with just our fingers, use the charcoal sticks to create more detailed textures, use erasers to take off details. One of the pictures that we were asked to do was a leaf. I mean, we were given each a leaf and we were asked to draw it in various different ways. Then there were sketches of drawing the.. our surroundings, our observations. Then we were given some models and told to draw those, but the ways in which the tutor asked us to draw them were super interesting.

Now, I’ll put the details of the tutor down in the description box below as well, (Elena – I’m just finding out her last name and website and will post when I have it!) but I think you’ll find that different classes are taught by different tutors, so they… that may change in the future as well. Overall, I thought it was a really interesting class and I’m really looking forward to taking more classes. In fact, if this class was taught by a different tutor, I would take it again just to have a different experience of the entire process.

The people attending the class were quite varied. There were 14 of us. Some were absolute amateurs, some just wanted to start drawing from scratch. There was an art teacher and a couple of illustrators like me. I do feel that this isn’t a class for somebody who doesn’t know how to draw at all because there was no instruction on how to draw. We were just told to “draw this” so I think that’s something to keep in mind, perhaps.

Overall, I had such a great time. It was so playful. It was so joyous. I came back with a stack of drawings, which I’m probably not going to keep, let’s be honest, because they are quite sketchy, but I will go through them one more time. I’ve got them for the record in this video so we’ll see how it goes and I will refer back to this possibly in my work in the future and see where I can loosen up and where I need to retain my slightly tighter style.

I hope you found this video useful and that you too will play with your work. Thank you so much for watching. I’ll see you next time. Bye!

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