Not that I’m counting the days, but in just over three months I start my first year at LARA (London Atelier of Representation Art). LARA is one of the UK’s leading schools teaching representational art and traditional painting and drawing techniques. I was lucky enough to be able to take their figure drawing workshop in October last year, tutored by Alex Heath, and got a lot out of it.
LARA is based in an old Marmite Factory in Vauxhall, London and has been running since 2008. Like many ateliers, the focus is on work from the life model. Single poses range from one week to a month under constant lighting conditions using the “sight- size” method. Along with daily drawing from the life model, I will spend my first year drawing from casts. In the second and third years, work from the life model continues but work in paint is introduced, using a limited palette of five colours.
I’m hoping also to have the opportunity to gain some experience in portraiture, still life and landscape. These are huge subjects in their own right so I am not sure at the moment whether there is the much opportunity for this at LARA. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some time to pursue those interests in my own time, perhaps with short courses outside term time.
It’s going to involve some exciting times for myself and my partner. The plan is that I’ll start the course in September, staying in South London temporarily while we house-hunt and get set up. After 10 years as a lawyer it feels like a shift of pretty monumental proportions. I’m incredibly eager to get started but it’s also slightly terrifying! I’ll be documenting my progress on this blog – so hopefully that’ll provide an interesting window on my experiences.
Ben Laughton Smith
Aspiring artist, training in the classical tradition.