Learn to draw during COVID-19 lockdown with the National Gallery of Victoria

With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic taking over the world, we’re in this for the long haul.

So, why not learn to draw?

Chances are you haven’t since high school, so, with plenty of time ahead of you and nothing but still life objects to focus on right in front of you, join some leading Australian artists in relearning how, all in collaboration with Melbourne’s greatest gallery, the NGV.

They’re launching a new four-part virtual series for the Drop-by Drawing program, putting pencils back into the hands of many. At a safe distance.

This virtual iteration of the program invites audiences to watch a video tutorial of a Drop-by Drawing class, which features tips and tricks on how to draw from some of Victoria’s most engaging contemporary artists.

It features Victorian artists Minna Gilligan, Lily Mae Martin and Kenny Pittock giving a step-by-step guide on how to draw, whilst taking inspiration from some of their favourite artworks in the NGV Collection. 

It all comes in three parts, the first of which starts this weekend! Here’s a run-down…

PART ONE: PRESENTED BY LILY MAE MARTIN ON NGV CHANNEL SUNDAY 5 APRIL

The first virtual drawing class hosted by Lily Mae Martin, takes viewers into the NGV’s 19th Century European Paintings Gallerywhere she takes inspiration from the life-size marble sculpture Musidora, 1878 by Marshall Wood. Musidora was a mythological ancient Greek goddess, who inspired all forms of literature and the arts and is the striking centrepiece of the gallery.

Martin encourages at-home participants to focus on simple drawing exercises, including observational drawing and mark making, to begin their sketch of Musidora. These practical skills demonstrate to viewers how working on a drawing in stages builds consistency in their work.

“It is about getting comfortable with drawing and embracing the practice of mastering the technique. The key to drawing is practice! Take time to look at the object and study it. Be comfortable in your setup and your space, whether you are drawing a sculpture or the kettle in your kitchen. It’s something you can do at home with everyday objects,” she said.

PART TWO: PRESENTED BY MINNA GILLIGAN ON NGV CHANNEL SUNDAY 12 APRIL

In the second instalment of the series, Minna Gilligan explores hero works in NGV’s 20th century galleries, including Andy Warhol’s Self-portrait no. 9 (c.1986) and David Hockney’s The second marriage (1963).

“My idea for my drawing workshop was to introduce the idea of ‘mash ups’ – that is, referencing two works in the NGV collection in order to make a single drawing. I wanted the new work to be a personal translation inspired by these two works, by choosing elements of each that appealed to me,” Gilligan said. 

“Hockney’s brushwork is largely loose and Warhol’s screen print on the other hand is slick, flat and tight. Using coloured pencils, I made my own artwork combining elements of the two – Warhol’s fluorescent colour palette with Hockney’s muted tones,” she said.  

In this series viewers will gain more insight into the American Pop Art movement through an exploration of Warhol’s iconic work, and also the British pop art movement through Hockney’s complex work which explores both emotional and physical interiors.

PART THREE AND FOUR PRESENTED BY KENNY PITTOCK ON NGV CHANNEL SUNDAY 19 APRIL

On Sunday 19 April, viewers can joinartist Kenny Pittock in his explorations of the NGV’s 19th Century impressionist Gallery, where he focuses on Édouard Manet’s The melon (c. 1880) and August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck’s Anguish (Angoisse) (c. 1878).

“My workshop is intended to provide some fun and accessible drawing suggestions for people of all ages and skill levels, encouraging the viewer to playfully respond to both the NGV Collection as well as their own surroundings at home,” Pittock said.

“I chose the Manet painting The melon because it is the ultimate celebration of the mundane. I find a lot of humour in the sincerity of still life paintings from this time and enjoy creating playful responses to the mundane in my own practice. Schenck’s painting Anguish is full of drama and tells a rich visual story. Like every good story, this painting has a central conflict.” he said.

Join the classes at the NGV Channel

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