While we stay home in order to help flatten the curve of the Coronavirus pandemic, many fantastic resources have appeared online, to help us keep engaged with our practice and feel connected to others. Below is a list of some of our favourites, which we hope we can add to as more activities appear. Please leave a comment if there are any links you would like to contribute, and remember to bookmark this page so you can check back and see what else you might like to tune in to.
1. Isolation Art School + Artist Support Pledge (Instagram)
The Isolation Art School is an initiative set up by Turner Prize winning artist Keith Tyson on Instagram. The page presents a whole compendium of tutorials and demonstrations from painters, sculptors and illustrators and is being added to daily. Highlights include artist Nigel Cooke demonstrating how to paint a landscape when you can’t go outside, Sir Quentin Blake drawing with Sennelier oil sticks, And Keith Tyson himself teaching oil painting for beginners.
Isolation Art School is run in collaboration with the Artist Support Pledge (@artistsupportpledge) – which was set up by artist Matthew Burrows. Artists internationally are now presenting works on Instagram for sale for £200 or less with the hashtag #artistsupportpledge; once they sell £1000-worth of art they pledge to buy someone else’s artwork for £200, to keep the art industry alive during these times of social distancing.
2. Lockdown Academy (Channel 4)
Channel 4 have commissioned a series of programmes to broadcast under the umbrella of ‘Lockdown Academy’. Leading the art section is another Turner prize winning artist, this time our favourite Transvestite Potter Grayson Perry.
From the Channel 4 Press release: “Grayson Perry is on a mission to help bring the nation together through art – and unleash the great British public’s creativity. Grayson, with the help of other leading artists, will try to teach us how to sculpt, draw and create. Not only will Grayson be speaking to famous artists, but he will also be speaking to you at home- are you an amateur water colourist? A satirical meme creator? Photographer? Still life drawer? Grayson wants to see what you have been creating in quarantine. To keep the nation’s spirits up, Grayson will encourage viewers are artists alike to use this time in isolation to produce visual representations of the unique time we are living through as a community, at the end of which Grayson will display the art created in an exhibition that will chronicle the changing moods of Britain in isolation.”
First Programme to air at 8pm on 27th April
3. Linocut Boy’s Video Tutorials (YouTube)
Margate-based printmaker Nick Morley is a highly experienced tutor and practitioner. He is known for his bold and colourful relief prints. Visit his Youtube channel to watch clear step-by-step instruction on how to make a linocut print, from drawing the design on the block, to carving, inking and printing, using a wooden spoon. All methods are demonstrated and easily carried out at your kitchen table.
4. Sally Hirst livestream tutorials (Facebook)
Sally Hirst is known for her multi-layered paintings, which combine alluring colour and texure to evoke romance and atmosphere. She has announced via her Facebook page that she will be broadcasting a series of tutorials – starting with an Introduction to Oil painting and Cold Wax techniques. Sign up to her mailing list via www.sallyhirst.co.uk to keep updated.
Recordings being published at 3pm on 3rd April and then the next 4 Tuesdays and Fridays following.
5. Better Together Online Studio (Facebook/Instagram/Meet-Up)
Bristol-based designer and artist Katja Huth has founded the Better Together Online Studio, following the temporary closure of her regular Carefree Collage club – which is used to meeting regularly in venues around Bristol. Rather than offer tuition, the aim of the online studio is to offer a virtual communal online space, so you can work alongside others and share ideas. Sessions in particular activities, such as illustration, linocut, collage, crochet and embroidery will meet weekly, as well as ‘open studio’, where you can check in whatever you are making. All sessions are completely free although donations are welcome.
6. Online Portrait Drawing at Raw Umber Studios (YouTube)
As long as the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our daily lives, Raw Umber Studios will be running regular, free online portrait drawing sessions. There will be a chance to draw or paint from high resolution photographs at the same time every week (Sunday from 2pm – 3pm (UK time).
There are several ways you can work:
- If you just want the enjoyment of drawing for an hour by yourself then just tune in, put on some music and draw.
- If you’re stuck inside with your family, sit down with them at the kitchen table and draw together.
- If you’re a part of a regular drawing group, or the organiser of a life drawing meet-up that is currently on-hold, all tune in at 2pm on Sundays and then use Skype or Zoom to chat in a private group and share drawings while you draw. It’s a chance to keep those interactions up virtually until you can physically meet up together.
Typically they will run three poses from the same model. The session will start with a 30 minute pose, then 20 minutes, then 10. You can download the photographs and work from them at leisure after the session has finished.
To join in and keep up to date, visit and subscribe to the Raw Umber Studios YouTube channel.
7. Soho Life Drawing (Instagram)
During Lockdown, Soho Life Drawing have called for life models to send through Instagram-friendly photos of poses that artists can view and draw from. If you’re pleased to share your results you can post to Instagram with the hashtag #soholifedrawing – and see how others have approached the same subject matter.
8. Drink and Draw with Life Art Stockwell (Zoom Cloud Meeting)
Dani Mariano is the founder of Life Art Stockwell – a regular untutored life drawing group. During our time of self isolation Dani is offering a Drink and Draw session via Zoom from her very own living room.
She says, ‘I have the best housemate ever, Monica! Monica had her debut on our stage and she is going to be our Life Model for the online session. Yes, she’s back with her strong poses and classic character.
Once we are going to be online, Monica feels more comfortable on her gym clothes, and we are preparing two beautiful dresses for her to be used towards to the end of the session. Our living room is so charming, has great light and if we need more I have some extra lighting equipment available. We are going live on Zoom this Monday 30th March from 2 to 3:30pm’.
The fee for participation is £10; once Dani receives your payment she will share a code with you that will allow you to join the Zoom session. Contact details to register are below.
Facebook: LifeArt Stockwell
9. Royal Drawing School Exercises (RDS blog)
Visit the Royal Drawing School blog to read excerpts from their recent publication Ways of Drawing presented as separate drawing exercises that can easily be followed at home. Exercises so far have included The Impact of Intimacy by Ishbel Myerscough, Night Drawing – Letting Go by Mark Cazalet and Drawing from Home: Image & Text by Sophie Herxheimer
10. Lucy Kalian and Antrese Wood – Talk Values (Big Marker)
A live webinar to be broadcast today (27th March) at 6pm GMT – you must register your place in advance. Artists Lucy Kalian and Antrese Wood from the Savvy Painter Podcast in a live demonstration of painting values. After the webinar is broadcast it will be available to view for $35 to help support the artists.
11. Mall Galleries Drawing Session – Newlyn Harbour online (Facebook/ Twitter / Instagram)
Following on from the success of the recent online event Drawing the Trevi Fountain, The Mall Galleries are hitting Skyline Webcams again in the 30th April for another collective drawing event. This time the subject is Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall.
From the Mall Galleries Facebook page: “Being no longer restricted to what we can fit inside the gallery space, we will be drawing Newlyn Harbour in Cornwall, from the comfort of our own homes.
Tune in to the live webcam view of Newlyn thanks to Skyline Webcams between 10am and 12noon on Thursday 30 April, and settle down with your sketchbook, pencil and paints (or whatever medium you have access to).
Share your drawings with us all through @mallgalleries on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #MallGalleriesDrawsNewlyn or email them to email@example.com. You can see the drawings from our last webcam drawing session in Rome by searching #MallGalleriesTreviNocture on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When these Drawing Sessions take place in the gallery, admission is usually £5 (but free for Friends) If you have enjoyed taking part in this Drawing Session online, and could consider making a donation to help us through this period of closure, any amount would be greatly appreciated. https://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/join-support/donate-today”
12. In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting
Want to know how some of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists made abstract paintings? This course from MOMA offers an in-depth, hands-on look at the materials, techniques, and thinking of seven New York School artists, including Willem de Kooning, Yayoi Kusama, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko. Through studio demonstrations and gallery walk-throughs, you’ll form a deeper understanding of what a studio practice means and how ideas develop from close looking, and you’ll gain a sensitivity to the physical qualities of paint. Readings and other resources will round out your understanding, providing broader cultural, intellectual, and historical context about the decades after World War II, when these artists were active.
The works of art you will explore in this course may also serve as points of departure to make your own abstract paintings. You may choose to participate in the studio exercises, for which you are invited to post images of your own paintings to the discussion boards, or you may choose to complete the course through its quizzes and written assessments only. Learners who wish to participate in the optional studio exercises may need to purchase art supplies. A list of suggested materials is included in the first module.
The course is available for free, or for $37 if you wish to receive a certificate on completion.
Each Wednesday at 1pm Norfolk Painting School will be broadcasting a live art-club style demonstration on their website and their Facebook page. The demos will be free to view, and you will be invited to paint along or try out exercises after the broadcast. There is also opportunity to share the work you make in response to the demo to an online gallery on the Norfolk Painting School Facebook Page. A factsheet is available for anyone who needs guidance on what materials they might need – although if you paint already you should already have everything. Previous demonstrations, including painting a bouquet of flowers, and painting a beach scene, are available to view after live broadcast on the Facebook page.
14. Portrait Artist of the Week
Fans of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year will be delighted to learn that Portrait Artist of the Week is starting on Sunday 26th April on Facebook! Tune in at 10am and spend 4 hours painting, drawing or printing your interpretation of a celebrity sitter, just like a participant on the real show. Each week a different celebrity sitter will be beamed to your home and you will have the chance to paint along with previous finalists from the TV series. The first session on Sunday 26th April will have 2020 winner Christabel Blackburn joining in.
An initiative set up by the portrait painter Tom Croft, #portraitsfornhsheroes is an Instagram based venture that links up artists with NHS workers – the idea being that we celebrate those who are working on the frontline by painting their portrait for free. To get involved simply screenshot the green square above and post it in your instagram with the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes in your post text, and as soon as you make a match with a NHS worker post the following red square image to your Instagram. So far the project has resulted in excess of 600 commissioned portraits, with similar initiatives starting up all over the world.