Raising the Bar.

Mary Passmore is a Swansea based Artist and full-time lecturer at Gower College Swansea.

The group position their easels correctly – with an open body to the model. Mary instructs ‘don’t cross your drawing to look, you must be able to see the model at all times’.

Mary would like the students to draw the whole figure and emphasises the importance that to get the best results you must stand up to use the whole arm/body when drawing. This creates a beautiful line, considered mark making and will make filling the paper easier. She doesn’t want tone, just lines, contouring and positioning.

The task is to produce 3 drawings in 3 minutes to warm up. Eye contact should be maintained with the subject at all times. Mary encourages the students to over lap the drawings if needed. This is a confidence building exercise and not to focus too much on the outcome. ‘Nice and big – don’t be afraid’.

Mary walks around each student – she comments ‘Keep looking at the model’ ‘Good work’ ‘This is really good’.

The next task is ‘up and under’ – drawing 2 sheets of paper, one on top of the other. Draw on the bottom sheet and use the top to cover so you can’t see what your drawing. This exercise is to get the students to look more and to stop generalizing as they draw. Since birth the brain is bombarded with imagery of what the body looks like and so when drawing your brain can take over and make it up rather than drawing what you see. The paper blocks the eye and so relinquishes the desire to worry about what the drawing looks like, concentrates on getting truer lines and makes the hand and eye work hard. Constant eye contact is forced. This is a challenging task. It goes against all natural instincts to look at what your drawing as you are applying the marks.

Mary grants the group short break after an intense exercise.

Mary guides the students through a 10 minute continuous line drawing exercise on A1 paper. The charcoal is not allowed to leave the paper.

The group then do a 20 minute session of drawing, measuring, plotting out lightly and concentrating on getting the proportion correct. These are to be used as a source for digital printing.

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Mission Gallery is one of Wales’ most dynamic visual art spaces; with exhibition space, craft space, learning resources, events, residency opportunities and more. If you want to immerse yourself in exhibitions that push the boundaries of visual art, buy cutting edge design and contemporary craft, or want to engage in friendly conversation with art led individuals, just visit Mission Gallery; it’s free and there’s always something new to experience. The exhibition space has a continuously changing programme, which is both ambitious and distinctive. Mission Gallery consistently supports young, emerging artists across the Visual and Applied Arts in Wales and the UK. Based on this ethos Mission Gallery has a national reputation for nurturing development, taking risks and giving unknown artists their first exhibition. Allowing talent to flourish and instigating the successful careers of individuals working within the contemporary arts. Based in Swansea’s vibrant maritime quarter, surrounded by other cultural destinations, Mission Gallery is easy to access and in a great location for a good day out. The gallery seamlessly provides raw creative energy, an exceptional place to shop for every price range, and a commitment to learning, ensuring every age group is welcome. It’s a successful venue; growing international reputation. With a dedicated following of artists and individuals getting involved through volunteering, there is so much more to Mission Gallery than meets the eye. For more information visit the website or follow the blog for fresh ideas on why everyone seems to love Mission Gallery.

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