How often do you feel you spend your whole day in front of a screen? Whether it’s at work in front of your computer, during your lunch break scrolling through your Instagram, or at home binging on Netflix? I was feeling I was spending way too much time starring at electronic devices. Although they make my life easier, I was craving some entertaining activity away from the blue light.

That was the main reason why I joined Art Class this past January. As a child I went to Oil painting lessons, and during the first year of uni, we sketched and draw all around the city. “As an architect, drawing will be your way of communicating with other professionals and clients”. After that year, AutoCad, Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe family replaced my notebooks and watercolours. Until now!

I looked into different options and found a one-evening-a-week course at the City College and I did it, I signed up! The first evening was…F U N. We were around 14 students, wide range of ages, nationalities and occupations. In the room, the seats were organised around 3 groups of desks, in a way that a number of random objects were placed in the centre so we, the students, could pick any and draw them. And so we did, we grabbed our pencils and started drawing. A safe and simple “line drawing” technique was followed by a “blind drawing” where we were not supposed to take our eyes away from the object to look at the paper at any point, or “felt drawing” where we just draw the texture and shape of the object by what we could feel in our hand, without looking at the object at any point! It was definitely a great way to get down to business and losing the fear of the blank page. (None of these drawings will be displayed on this post for obvious reasons).

Reductive Drawing in Charcoal
Tonal Drawing in Soft Pencil

Since then we have gone through different materials and techniques. My favourite so far is the subtraction technique with charcoal; messy and dusty, just like a building site!! I love the dialog between materials through the whole drawing process in this particular technique, the back and forward between charcoal and rubber, focusing on the brightest part of the object to then go to the darkest parts, going from the biggest areas to the details… I enjoyed every minute of that lesson!

The worst part? Finding the willpower to leave my sofa at 7pm after a long day in the office. The best part? Once I get there I forget about everything and for 2 hours it is just me and my drawings. I always leave the class with a spring in my step and looking forward to do my homework.

I would highly recommend you to find your away-from-screen hands-on activity, whether is baking, knitting, embroidery, brewing…I look forward to hear your experiences, in the meantime, I will be looking into my next drawing course!