Shoal of Art

Or­gan­iser and tu­tor Mark Lovelace tells us about his art school, which makes the most of cen­tral Lon­don lo­ca­tions to nur­ture and guide artis­tic in­di­vid­u­al­ity

ImagineFX - - Contents - In ad­di­tion to run­ning Shoal of Art, Mark also lec­tures in an art so­ci­ety and of­fers life­draw­ing classes. Find out more at­fart.

Two years af­ter at­tend­ing a meetup group called Art Breaks in 2009, Mark Lovelace took over as or­gan­iser. This in­spired him and his friend John Pi­pal to or­gan­ise gath­er­ings for peo­ple to draw each oth­ers’ por­traits at a lo­cal pub, Royal Inn on the Park.

“We had been go­ing to life-draw­ing classes for a while and John had the idea of get­ting some ex­tra prac­tice at por­trait draw­ing,” he says. Last year, Mark re­named the group Shoal of Art, us­ing shoal rather than school be­cause, “In a shoal the fish swim some­what in­de­pen­dently, but in a school they all swim in the same di­rec­tion.”

Mark’s aim was to be­gin run­ning taught draw­ing and por­trait ses­sions with a model. “I’d started teach­ing for an­other art club, re­ally en­joyed it and wanted to do more.” He runs sev­eral weekly events, in­clud­ing Art in the Park, a draw­ing class in a cafe, along with ca­sual, so­cial draw­ing dot­ted all over Lon­don.

“Draw­ing mee­tups are a great way for peo­ple to draw to­gether rather than al­ways work­ing in iso­la­tion,” says Mark. “Many who at­tend like the dis­ci­pline of agree­ing to draw for a set amount of time and shar­ing re­sults.” Mark en­cour­ages stu­dents to look to con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal art to in­form their work, us­ing the prime Lon­don lo­ca­tion, with stel­lar mu­se­ums, gal­leries and parks in walk­ing dis­tance, to in­spire dif­fer­ent ap­proaches.

Mark plans to do even more classes. He also in­tends to give his mod­els roles to play in his ses­sions at an­other meetup at Topol­ski Bar, and per­haps in­clude some long-pose por­trait paint­ing classes, along with ses­sions on paint­ing from draw­ings.

Mark aims to in­cor­po­rate ses­sions on paint­ing from

draw­ing at Shoal of Art.

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