You're twisting my melon man.


Life drawing, or drawing the human form, either clothed or not, is an important part of an art education. It helps students understand proportion, shape, line and form, whilst experimenting with different mediums. Artists, old and new, have indulged in this activity for years, carefully studying their muses, to capture the light and contours of the human body. 

 As an ex-art student, I have also undertaken a bit of  life drawing, at art college and university, both of which were an "interesting" experience. 

My first encounter was in 1990, when I was 19, when I was studying a one-year foundation art & design course at an art college before toddling off to university. (I won't mention which art college to protect the identity of those involved). Anyway, as well as dabbling in painting, textiles, enamelling, ceramics, graphic etc, we also had a weekly life drawing class. We had a woman to study, and she would position herself on an old, battered blue mattress (not the most inviting of set ups) but we cracked on with the drawing, with assistance from our male tutor. Anyway, one day, we were coming back a little early from our tea break but entered into the room to carry on with our sketches. You can imagine our surprise walking through the door to find the model and the tutor in a "compromising intimate" position so to speak. I can't remember much else.... I think I've blocked the whole situation out of my memory if I'm completely honest. #scarredforlife

Then, my university life drawing experience was not free from entertainment either. I was at Manchester Polytechnic, (which became Manchester Metropolitan University in my second year of study). The lessons were held in the Righton building and that would always make me smile, as in my head it, was the "Right On" building, like the Happy Monday "Step On" song. (You're twisting my melon man). With ornate terracotta tiling, it was originally used for Willian Righton Drapers in 1905, a fabulous building which is still there today.  This time our tutor was a woman, Cath, and for some reason I have it in my head that she was the wife of the lead singer of the Manchester band 'James'. I don't know why I think that, I've even spent countless hours Googling it, but with no concrete evidence to back up this theory. Anyway, I do remember our model, he was called Charlie and always wore a Trilby hat. This I do distinctly recall because in my head I would always sing "You can leave your hat on", silently to myself, which I found amusing. (As you can see, I often have ear-worms whirling around in my head). Anyway, Charlie was quite the athletic man, getting into all sorts of poses and Cath, with her cropped bleach blond hair and her floaty black skirts, would flounce around the room encouraging us to "feel" the pose, be "at one" with it, "embrace" it, giving us permission to do a cartwheel ourselves if it helped us understand the movement of Charlie's body even more. We never took her up on this offer. We all thought she was a bit barmy to be honest.  

 So there you have it, my two, possibly less than conventional, experiences of life drawing. I haven't done it for over 30 years and am really looking forward to having a dabble at it again. And, if you would like to join me in the studio and try your hand at it, please don't let my previous experiences put you off .... I'm pretty sure they were unique to me. Under the watchful eyes of Grace, assisted by Jennie, you will have a wonderful time learning to draw from life. And, I can promise you, you won't need to do cartwheels, just enjoy a warm, welcoming and friendly environment to help you unleash your inner-Michelangelo.  

Sessions start on 4th April at 6pm. Get in touch with Grace to book your place at


Join the gang!

Sign up to our fortnightly round-up and find out about special offers and what's been going on at Inspiring Creativity HQ.

* indicates required