Annual workshop still drawing a crowd
The annual pencil drawing class in New Plymouth is planning to continue despite the retirement of instructor Gillian Rankin.
The Brisbane-based artist returned to New Plymouth this week to run a six-day colour pencil workshop that attracts artists of all levels from around the country.
‘‘I think I enjoy the company so much. I enjoy seeing the progress of the work, not only over the years but for the six days I’m here,’’ she said.
‘‘People want to improve their artwork.’’
The classes first started in 2006 after Rankin and organiser Shuna Giles met at a drawing class in Waikanae, and again in Australia not long after.
They draw not only from life but from photos or on outlines. Even those new to the class could walk away with a result, Rankin said.
‘‘As a medium, it’s the end result’s so achievable. The people can achieve because we can correct it.
‘‘It’s a very forgiving medium.’’ Giles said they had never advertised and people kept coming every year just through word of mouth.
‘‘It’s not just the artwork but the friendships we’ve made,’’ she said. ‘‘Some people like to sit in the same place so they can sit next to their friend. One’s from Auckland, one’s from Blenheim.’’
She said they planned to carry on despite Rankin’s retirement. ’’We’re looking at different
‘‘It's not just the artwork but the friendships we've made,’’
avenues at the moment but people are very keen to continue.’’
Karen McWha came all the way from Koromiko, between Blenheim and Picton, after being invited by a friend last year.
‘‘I thoroughly enjoyed it so I’ve come again this year,’’ she said.
‘‘It really de-stresses you. You just lose yourself in it and away you go.’’
She takes photos with a macro lens to capture the fine details of her subject, and uses more than a dozen colours to draw a tui. ’’It’s getting the iridescent colour that takes time.’’
Penny Hendry came down from Auckland.
‘‘I’m actually really interested in layering all the colours,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s different from water colours; you only use a few tubes in paint while in colour pencil you’ve got 250 colours.’’
The event ran from September 30 to October 5 at the New Plymouth Girls High School.
Pencil drawing tutor Gillian Rankin, left, with student and organiser Shuna Giles who is hoping to continue the class.