Working Evening - Drawing at arm's length

We are always being told we should 'loosen up' and 'paint from the shoulder. Using an approach often adopted in art schools and courses, this working evening, on January 8 2008, was aimed at forcing us to get away from detail and to focus on broad, gestural drawing.

There was an ample supply of long stick and large pieces of paper. We taped our drawing tools (brush, marker pen, charcoal stick etc) to the end of a long stick. Standing up and placing the paper on the floor we then had to do a drawing (there was a volunteer model and a still life to choose from) while keeping a good distance from the picture (large plastic dust sheets were a useful accessory for this session!)

People worked in a wide range of media and styles. Some people managed an extraordinary degree of detail and control, while others used a broad approach. There was general agreement at the end that this had been an interesting exercise