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The Old Dairy, London, 12 November 2014

16 December 2014

Recent life painting courses in Islington and Tottenham afforded me a rare glimpse of myself reproduced in oils; it goes with the territory. Equally rare, however, was the chance to see multiple works done in vivid colour. This doesn’t happen very often.

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At the life groups where I most frequently pose, the artists overwhelmingly opt for the monochromes of pencil, charcoal and chalk. I’ve seen art of marvellously high quality produced with these media, but colour works are always harder to come by.

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It was a nice surprise, therefore, to find two newcomers to the Life Draw N4 group in The Old Dairy pub, Crouch End, producing outstanding art in both monochrome and colour. Indeed, the overall standard remained high among all present.

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Poses followed an established sequence of 5 minutes, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute, then 10, 15, 20 minutes to a break, and finally a single 25-minute pose through to the end. I enjoy the countdown at the start as it fills a quarter of an hour with poses that can escalate in dynamism. The longer pieces allow more time for imaginative use of colour.

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This would be my last model work in 2014 for the group’s organisers, Aless and Julia. They had given me my first taste of being a group facilitator, and there would have been a second were it not for prior commitments. As their groups go from strength to strength in the coming year, I hope I can reprise my service in both capacities.

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