The first year of study at LARA focuses the fundamentals of drawing, this is the most important element of any artistic development and the back bone of LARA’s process. Without a throrough foundation in drawing most problems in your artistic development are all too often difficult to resolve. Invariably they derive from fundamental drawing issues such as, proportion, value and shape. We can’t emphasis enough how important it is to truly master drawing before you decide on painting.
Each day students spend three hour sessions drawing and eventually painting from the nude model. Typically these poses are sustained long poses spanning a number of weeks, providing the student with ample time to study the figure in depth.
The remaining three hours are devoted to a series of studio assignments, which begin with the initial cast drawing exercises, and lead to developing an accomplished finished painting by the end of the curriculum.
Figure drawing is the basis of all good draughtsmanship, and for this reason drawing from life is the foundation of LARA’s curriculum. The course focuses on various distinct elements of drawing the figure from life, initially through the simple use of outline to focus the student’s mind towards achieving accuracy and excellent construction. The emphasis then shifts to working with mass and outline, followed by full value drawings in which every aspect of drawing the figure is tackled.
Pencil Figure Drawing
Students initially focus on developing a competent outline drawing, to understand the foundations of a good figure drawing, such as sound proportions, lively gesture, and strong construction. The skills learned at this level are carried forward to every part of the curriculum.
Charcoal Figure Drawing
Charcoal introduces the student to working in masses with a broad range of values, allowing them to make a highly naturalistc impression of the figure. It also provides a naturalistic progression into painting: here edges, shapes and accurately translated values play just as important a role as they do in figure drawing.
The white surface of a cast allows the the student to study and translate forms without the complexities of local value and texture. This is the point in the programme at which the eye is most intensively conditioned and trained to see and translate nature with convincing accuracy, as well as instilling a deep understanding of the mechanics of light and value. Great emphasis is placed on the design of shapes and edges. Students make an initial two value block-in drawing of a simple cast to familiarise themselves with working in sight-size, before moving into full value charcoal drawings, in which capturing a convincing impression of light plays a major role.