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  • Education and Young People

    The Royal Drawing School

The Drawing Year - Clare Davidson

The Prince's Drawing School

A student and tutor critiquing work at a Drawing Year forum

I joined the Drawing Year after nearly ten years as a reporter and fourteen years after leaving art college.

I had always kept a sketchbook and regularly did life classes, but drawing was something I tended to do on my own.

One of the main joys of The Drawing Year was discovering a community of people who were engaged with the act of drawing and felt it was important to draw as a way to understand and respond to the world around them.

This was in sharp contrast to my experience doing a foundation in London, where I was repeatedly asked “what is your concept?”

The year affirmed my belief that drawing was a valid activity in its own right not simply a precursor to painting or any other form of fine art.

I learned that drawing was about more than making a drawing; it was also about seeing more and having a richer vision.

The course underlined the importance of looking hard and rigorously at different subject matter be it a fleeting street scene or a painting in the National Gallery. But no tutor expected a particular style of drawing.

The emphasis on each individual’s way of depicting their experience ensured that we were able to learn as much from each other’s work as from the teachers. Learning that there is no right way to draw has been an invaluable lesson, though not always easy to accept.

One of the greatest challenges has been realising that drawing is a seemingly impossible task: creating a multi dimensional world on a flat surface.

The thrill now comes in accepting that I will never do the definitive drawing. It is an ongoing journey of seeing and responding.

While using my studio to paint I am also etching regularly. I’ve been helping teach one of the Drawing Clubs and will soon be in India on a teaching and art residency.

In the future I hope to gain a teaching qualification and to show my work in spaces other than galleries.