The week that made me decide to study Fine Art

What made me – a Business Management graduate who had worked for over 3 years in marketing – finally decide to study Fine Art? A triggering factor was a 5-day Portraiture course at Central St Martins I took last summer under the tutorship of Roger Gill.

Two 15-minute sketches from life, charcoal on paper

I have always been fascinated by the human figure, and how much life one can recreate on a two-dimensional surface when making a portrait. This is the reason why I chose this summer course and then enrolled in September 2019 in the Portraiture diploma at the Heatherley School of Fine Art.

I felt much more alive and in cohesion with myself during those five days than I had felt for the last three years

Two longer pose sketches from life, charcoal and chalk on paper

I have loved drawing and painting ever since my early childhood, but it was the first time I painted so intensively (five days in a row), and it was an eye-opening experience. The week went by so fast, I couldn’t count the hours while drawing and painting all day long. I started imagining a different, more fullfilling life, where Art was at the centre and not just a side hobby.

First wash and final 2-hour study of Hugh, oil on paper 

This short course came at a time when I was pondering over my career. By the end of the course, I realised I had felt much more alive and in cohesion with myself during those five days than I had in the last three years in my various marketing roles. That’s when I decided to study art full time.

Step-by-step palette knife study using three primary colours and white, oil on board

The whole course consisted in drawing and painting portraits of sitters from life/direct observation. The two last days of the course at St Martins were dedicated to a long pose portrait in oils on canvas.

Step-by-step of Micky, oil on canvas,
Micky, oil on canvas, 60x80cm

Following this course, I  did some research on art schools in London and found out about Heatherley’s. Their focus on painting from life strongly appealed to me so I applied straight away, got an interview, and was offered a place a few weeks later!

I am very grateful to Roger Gill who taught me a lot during the St Martins short course and who encouraged me to follow my passion.

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