Lucinda Stephen’s Drawing Skills Workshop 23 February 2018

Even with her badly injured foot, Lucinda was able to bring her usual energy and enthusiasm to our first workshop of 2018.


Lucinda discussing our cone drawings              Concentration!

She introduced the session by asking ‘What is drawing?’. It is the skeleton of everything we do as artists. The most important thing is observation = looking = seeing; if you can’t see, you can’t understand. As our tutor, Lucinda wants to give us the tools we need to know how to deal with the set-up in front of us, whether a still life, architecture, plein air landscape etc. The way we see the scene is what matters, along with the expression.
Drawing is mark making. One mark next to another and the intention of that mark and what you do with that mark is what matters, as well as where you place that mark on the paper. As with all skills, one should constantly practice drawing. Lucinda pinned up a selection of drawings from artists throughout the centuries to illustrate the range of marks made in their production.

She then led us through a series of exercises:
Exercise 1 – scribble. Just use scrap paper to run a pencil over doing circles, clockwise and then the opposite, jagged shapes, light pressure, hard pressure, and take all the stress out of your mind before you start work.
Exercise 2 – draw your non-dominant hand with a quick outline
Exercise 3 – draw your dominant hand with the non-dominant one in outline
Exercise 4 – draw your non-dominant hand but take time over it, showing every crease, vein and blemish
Exercise 5 – draw your non-dominant hand WITHOUT LOOKING!
Exercise 6 – draw your non-dominant hand from memory, having spent 5 minutes studying it.
As you go along with these exercises, you are gathering more information

  Ann Colson

Line = skeleton; tone = muscle
Exercise 7 – in a grid of 4 x 6, work a series of tones from the lightest you can do to the heaviest/darkest and use for reference in next exercise
Exercise 8 – draw an oblong and then gradually go from lightest to darkest in a smooth manner
Exercise 9 – draw the hand in tone only, no lines
Remember distance is lighter and softer tone whilst closer is darker and harder tone







Izzy Hutchison

Exercise 10 – draw a 4 x 4 grid and fill each square with different marks eg hatching, squiggles, dots, circles etc.
These exercises are all to get your eye in.
Exercise 11 – Pine cone. Using the techniques from earlier, we drew a pine cone, utilising line, tone and mark making


Silvie Joly                              Selection of cones

Exercise 12 – Pine cone but this time starting with the rough shape of the pine cone in tone and using an eraser to lift out the hi-lites and drawing with it prior to working back into it.
Exercise 13 – after lunch, Lucinda put a chair on a table for us to concentrate on negative space. This is your friend – if you get this correct then the main structure is correct. We spent some time on this, battling to get an accurate drawing and those who had time, added tone to the image.


Patricia Burbidge                                   Anthony Lowsley-Williams

Exercise 14 – flowers in jug. Lucinda asked us to use all the things we had learnt during the day with this final exercise. We started drawing it with our non-dominant hand to allow us not to get a tight drawing to start. This is a useful device on any work that one feels is not going quite right – swap hands and just allow things to happen. Then work into it with your dominant hand. Swap hands as soon as there are problems.

Miranda Phillimore

So next time you are wondering what to do, think of these exercises and have a go. It is amazing what we achieved and whilst it was hard work, it was also very enjoyable and we look forward to a follow-up session with Lucinda – and wish her a full and speedy recovery.

Briony Watson

PS I have just seen a sign saying ‘When things aren’t right, go left’ which is today’s workshop in a nutshell!

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