Artist Brett McCurdy – Known as McCuco in certain circles – has kindly agreed to give his view on the life drawing class “Covent Garden Life Drawing”
How did you find out about Covent Garden Life Drawing?
One of the regulars at our shop came in holding a sketchbook the first time I met him. I’m always itching to talk shop with other artists, so i asked him what he had been working on, he simply replied.
I’m sure he was trying to catch me off guard. Afterwards though, I think he was more surprised at how unphased I was than I was at his candidness. Since then Steve has introduced me to several drawing classes across London. Eventually I found space in my week to pop over to Covent Garden, where he and most of ‘the main group’ meet. I’ve been a semi regular since.
Have you been to many sessions hosted by Covent Garden Life Drawing?
This has all been quite a recent hobby for me. I started life drawing back in October. I had only done it in Sixth Form prior to that (about 4-5 years ago). I was a weekly regular with Covent Garden from about late november to early april. It was one of the two classes I tried to commit to going to weekly.
I’d say I’ve done around 20 classes with them. 21 if you include the joint christmas session they did with North London Life Drawing.
I’m looking forward to attending more though now that the days are getting longer again. In their new Camden venue, the effect the setting sun had on the space and the model was incredible. I’d love to see what opportunities that might create.
What has your experience been at a Covent Garden Life Drawing session?
Silvena is a phenomenal host. She’s just one of those people who knows how to bring real energy to a class like this without making it into a novelty or overdoing it. I think everyone who attends the class naturally emulates her sense of community: Everyone there is super friendly and no one is out to put anyone else down. It’s a free space to go and be inspired by different people doing different things and to just explore your own approach to life drawing. Some people go there knowing their ‘thing’. They have a medium or a style or a way of visualising that you just can’t touch. But it’s not intimidating because it’s not a competition. Its a chance to say,
“That’s awesome! I want to give that a go.” and see how it aligns with your own style of interpretation.
Sometimes you learn something about the way you ‘see’ that you didn’t know or fully recognise before. (No one else can tell you how you interpret something, it’s just kind of something you learn to understand yourself.)
Other times you pick up something you have no clue how to use, go through weeks of frustration before somewhere along the way you learn how to make it your own; Make it work for you: I HATE chalk pastels for example. But when I broke out my chalk pencils and used them on black paper, something clicked for me. It was intuitive and natural despite never having done it before.
After the class we all stand around a table with drinks and share our work. That’s the real highlight of the evening for me. That when you get to hear someone else put that intuition you experienced into words. To explain to you what you had actually done in those 5-10 minutes of sketching. That’s when that notion of “i might be onto something cool here.” is affirmed and solidified into a replicable process of understanding and you learn something new about how your mind works to codify a form into an image.
Thank you so much for giving us your insight into Covent Life Drawing
If you want to find out more about Brett check out his Instagram or website.
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