As we all find ways of adapting to a more socially distant existence, some groups have evolved and enriched their activities by using the internet to their advantage. This is definitely true for Life Drawing Manchester. Previously, this group of professionals and amateurs, would meet up on a weekly basis at Bee Studio in the Northern Quarter to socialise, draw and enjoy a few glasses of wine. Having moved from their physical home, the community has grown exponentially, allowing artists of all shapes and sizes to gather and share the same energy.
Whilst moving online, the group has joined up with other life drawers across the globe in an effort to broaden the community and create a more diverse pool of models. So far, they have had models from India, Japan, Barcelona and Italy as well as being in the process of trying to link up with a group from Ethiopia.
it’s a moving experience, to see how much genuine warm energy can be created from this online collective
Every Thursday at 7 pm they host a Draw the Figure session, these consists of a mixture of short and long poses. With some quick sketches, to warm you up, followed by longer twenty minute positions. As you’re drawing, a well curated playlist is broadcast from the zoom meeting. It really helps to place you in a certain headspace as it reflects and responds to the poses. For example, one model chose a set of positions based on Italian cinema, so the playlist followed suit, bringing tracks in from specific films and cinematic eras.
At the end of each session everyone is put into a smaller chat with one or two other people. This is the time where you get to know some of the other life drawers, as well as creating portraits of each other. For a more focused Portrait class, join the group every Sunday at 6pm, where there is a dedicated portrait session.
It’s a lighthearted and easy way to meet a fellow artist whether they’re an amateur based in Manchester, a professional tuning in from another continent or an undiscovered talent based in the UK. One of the idiomatic features of the group is the diversity in its members. Although video calling technologies have their frustrations, it’s a moving experience, to see how much genuine warm energy can be created from this online collective.
Places on either the Thursday or Sunday classes can be booked via the paypal link on their instagram.
(Additional Photography by Andrea Terzuoli)