Two Day Life Drawing Workshop

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th April 2017
at St Margaret's House, Edinburgh.
In this workshop I will be teaching the methods which I use and think are most effective for drawing the figure.

There are many different ways of approaching drawing the figure; these approaches influence things like where we start a drawing, what we think about measuring, our choice of materials, when we think about things like shading, what order we do things in, what we consider important and when. I believe these different ways are intimately tied to the way we think about our subject and ultimately to the kind of communication we make in our artworks. A drawing by Giacometti is certainly not expressing the same thing as a drawing by Ingres, though the subject may be the same.

What I am getting at is that there is not one correct way of getting drawing “right”. There are a number of different methods. These methods have there own implications for the kind of art that we make. There may be many ways up the mountain but they don’t all lead to the same summit.

In this workshop I will explain my particular approaches to drawing which form the basis for my artworks. These methods are simple, logical and effective, and also expressive. These do not constitute a "style" but a series of principles which I believe can be developed in a number of ways by the individual artist. I will put these in the context of the other methods which are commonly used. Subjects I will look at are choice of materials; mistakes; measuring; tone; mark making; beginning; composition; edges; gesture; contour.

It is my experience that no matter what particular aspect of figure art I am teaching (figure painting, portrait, anatomy, colour etc) the majority of problems that people have are in the drawing. If we can get on top of this then everything else becomes liberated. This subject is very large and is the basis of much else that we do, therefore over 2 days I will be focusing on monochrome work with limited materials. On day two we will use oil paint but only limited colour palette.

The workshop will take place as part of the exhibition and events coinciding with the launch of my new book "Unstill Life" at St Margaret's House on 22nd April 2017.

If you are interested please drop me a line at
Language of the Body
The Language of the Body; Figure Drawings in Four Chapters
By Alan McGowan

On sale price £20 from Alibris
ISBN 9780957242807

Published by SATURATION, 2012