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Plein-aire portability: a quick tip

If you have tried your hand at landscape painting, you may have found, as I did, that taking your wet paintings home at the end of the day without damaging them can be quite a challenge. It is very disappointing to find your carefully painted passages marked and smeared all over the rest of your… Read more »

Velasquez at the Grand Palais, Paris

Velázquez exhibition at the Grand Palais from Wednesday 25 March 2015 to Monday 13 July 2015 I have been entranced by the work of Velasquez since I first saw his portrait of Phillip IV in brown and silver in the National Gallery in London. It was one of those moments. Even many years later I… Read more »

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Paris en plein-air

Recently I’ve made a few excursions painting in Paris. Although it’s been steep learning curve in both painting and logistics, I’ve concluded that it is a painter’s paradise; balmy weather, beautiful subjects, well-shaded streets, squares and gardens as well as plenty of public toilets. In case you’re planning something similar, whether you are or in… Read more »

Portraits of the Golden Age

This exhibition, ‘Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age’ is on until the end of 2016 at The Hermitage in Amsterdam. It’s a collaboration between The Hermitage, The Rijks Museum and Amsterdam Museum.

What struck me most was how it connected 17th century Holland to the present day Amsterdam, not just in terms of historical fact but in emotional resonance.

Last Year’s Louvre

These are my drawings from last year’s Studio Escalier classes at the Louvre. If you’d like a quick flick through you can also look at the video of this sketchbook. Noticing a Narrative I noticed as I was drawing these sculptures that they each have a particular set of emotional resonances; some are immediately apparent from… Read more »

Poster Processes

This is a collection of studies from my last few painting classes with Studio Escalier. They are mostly unfinished but for the purposes of reflection and analysis that’s useful, as it allows me to notice particular sticking points and identify where I am consistently making errors. Colour poster studies I found the colour poster study to be an endlessly fascinating and… Read more »

After LARA: a year later

I found this in my drafts folder, long overdue for posting now but somehow appropriate to the present, reflecting on my time at LARA: Stop Motion It felt really strange to go back to the real world, like I have somehow returned to my life from a brief sojourn in another world. In some ways… Read more »

Drawings from the sculptures in the Louvre

A video of my sketchbook from drawing in the Louvre this winter. Many of these drawings were done during Studio Escalier’s Winter at the Louvre programme: Louvre Sculpture Drawings from Helen Frost on Vimeo. This makes for an interesting comparison with my Paris drawings from the previous trip and I’ll be posting more of the drawings from this trip as… Read more »

City of Light: Indelible drawing

City of light: I’m in Paris at the moment. It’s wonderful. Sometimes I walk around, smiling at each increment of wonder. I wish there were a better way to burn all this to my memory. I try to take pictures when I see something amazing. I probably have thousands, yet even more that I didn’t manage… Read more »

  • LARA: Term 1 Drawings and reflections

    I  finished my first term at LARA a while ago but I’ve decided to do a term by term review, of my drawings, thoughts and progress. I found this first term to be a steep learning curve but my over-riding feeling was that I was just not ‘getting it’.  I understood (or thought I understood)… Read more »

  • A small pile of sketchbooks

    Sketchbook drawings

    I’m really pleased with how much more drawing I am doing in my sketchbooks lately, so I thought I’d share a few drawings. Keeping several sketchbooks for different things is really working for me. At the moment I have about four, I say about because the fourth one is kind of secret; the only rule… Read more »

  • Painting persistence

    Last term I spent 6 weeks doing a cast painting of a hand: Persistence It was something that I found incredibly difficult and frustrating, and initially it was not a very enjoyable experience. Don’t misunderstand me though, I’m really glad I did it because I learnt an enormous amount in the process. For most of… Read more »

  • Just draw: in silence and slow time

    l’m so lucky to be attending the atelier; so, so lucky to be drawing from a model every day with amazing teachers but it is suprisingly easy to get caught up in the process, to get stuck in the analysis and the structure and the process and forget what it’s really all about. Atelier training… Read more »

  • Gesture drawing

    Good gesture is crucial to life drawing; without it even the best constructed, most beautifully rendered drawing is stiff and soulless. So, what is gesture in drawing? Generally: A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages…. Gestures allow individuals to communicate a variety of feelings and thoughts,… Read more »

  • Anatomy overlay

    Learning Anatomy

    At first when I tried to learn anatomy I had no idea where to start. I had the books, but each time I looked at them I was lost. What was I supposed to do with all this information? How was I supposed to learn it all, let alone use it? How, exactly, was any… Read more »

  • Anatomy – Strategy

    Anatomy strategy I’ve been studying anatomy for a little while now; I’ve been to workshops with Alan McGowan, and attended the anatomy sessions at LARA. I feel like I’ve made progress in my anatomy studies but it’s hard to tell, so I’ve decided to set some goals, track my progress and hope that you will… Read more »

  • Fast Drawing

    I love the energy of fast drawing and the amazing poses but I’m not a expert on how to draw fast. So what follows is is a collection of tips and tricks that I have found helpful in diverse circumstances from drawing horses, circus performers in action and capeoira. Below are a couple from the… Read more »

  • Drawing Breath: What to do when it’s not working

    When I was first considering atelier study I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the necessary self-discipline. I did an introductory summer course at the atelier and discovered that the process was far more involving and more powerful as a learning tool than I ever could have imagined. Now I’m back there full time, the… Read more »

  • LARA: The Atelier – Why I’m going

    I’m going to the London Atelier – LARA: The London Atelier of Representation Arts. I spent 5 weeks there at LARA summer school which was totally amazing.  I did just 5 drawings: 3 cast drawings and 2 figure drawings. Yes, 5 drawings in as many weeks. I’ve found it hard to explain what the atelier… Read more »

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