Class profile: Life Drawing

Jonathan Long holds a friendly, accessible Life Drawing class with us each Wednesday evening, for all levels, using a wide range of historical methods. We find out more.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the drawings of the Renaissance and how they represent an enquiry into the human form and the character of morals. Through the tradition of life-drawing, we can connect to the culture and values of the Renaissance.

To draw is a means to express our personality through art. In this way, drawing from life is deeply meaningful and a way of self-affirmation and discovery. This was my inspiration to start drawing and to set up my project: I want to promote historical drawing methods and revive the use of traditional materials, so that today we have a connection to the roots of our culture and civilisation.

Tell us about the class

The class takes place in the Drawing Room.

We draw directly from the nude model. I provide charcoal and paper, while people are more than welcome to bring the materials they prefer to draw with.

We always have the best professional models and their poses range from short five-minutes to hour-long poses for closer study and rendering.

My teaching is informed by my background as a student of History. My degree at King’s College centred on the history of philosophy and the history of art. I use primary sources from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to understand the approaches and modes of learning implemented during the Renaissance. I wish to share with people, and make accessible, the authentic methods of the Renaissance masters.

Why hold your classes here?

The opportunity we have to do life-drawing at the Mansion is phenomenal. The natural light, the neo-classical aesthetic, and the natural beauty of the grounds seen from the Drawing Room contributes to the timelessness and beauty of the craft.

Coming to the Mansion every Wednesday to teach and draw is like a panacea to any negativity. The combination of life-drawing and the historical approaches I inculcate, and the Mansion itself, is conducive to genuine, liberated creativity. It allows people to really express their true vision, and in doing so, come to a deeper self-understanding.

This is why life-Drawing at Beckenham Place Mansion is so rewarding for those who come to draw. I hope to populate the Drawing Room full of people who will benefit from it every Wednesday, as the Mansion is best suited as a place to learn, share, and champion the arts.

What are your hopes for the future?

The potential of the Mansion is enormous and I feel very lucky to be able to hold my class here. The accessibility for the public to enrich their time within the beauty and serenity here is extremely important - I hope the Mansion continues to promote the practice of the arts and becomes a place of tradition, culture and learning.

I bring to the Mansion my passion for the history of Western art and culture. I hope to teach at the Mansion long-term as I struggle to think of a more appropriate setting – it is suited to receiving the learning I bring from studying antiquity and from nature.

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