‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’ on BBC4 TV prompted me to post this…..

In light of the new BBC4 TV show entitled ‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’  which I viewed on player last night, I am re posting a blog on the subject.

In early December, I was invited by my good friend and fellow artist, Maria Do Rosario Tavares (Miza to me) to give a painting demonstration for a group she is working with in Chester.    The subject, ‘life painting’  – one of my favourites.      It was only a two hour session, but a very good one.    The group and the model were lovely.

To warm  up I made this rapid watercolour/gouache of David, the model.

20161207_142829Those who have followed my blog probably equate my work with hummingbird images, which of course is right:)   However I also love to paint the human form,

Twenty minute – full sheet watercolour and felt tip pen study – 


I love short poses – preferably three to 20 minutes max.     This enables me to capture the energy and movement of my subject….

five minute watercolour study – male dancerp1160967I was fortunate to go to art school at the beginning of the sixties.   For the first year, we made charcoal drawings of nudes, almost exclusively.      I quickly learned what an important foundation block the observation of the human form is.

Twenty minute watercolour study…(all the white is dry white paper)20-11-15-1-432In the late sixties, it was said that the ‘busts were thrown out of the studio windows’ and replaced with a less formal mode of study.      Personally, I feel that if you have a strong foundation block – it frees an artist to explore with more self confidence….much as I believe, that ‘self discipline equals freedom’   

Ten minute full sheet study of Scarlett, one of my favourite models  

p1160922Along with nude models we also worked with ‘costume models’ learning how to capture the human form beneath the drapes of fabric  – again honing observational skills.

This man modelled for me in Paris….a beautiful dancer.   I often do quick portraits of my subjects in a life painting session. 


It’s exciting to see that ‘life painting/drawing’ is back in vogue.    I  believe that many people who attend recognise how relaxing it is and that it is a form of meditation.

In this instance one of my favourite models arrived with her new born baby….It was a magical session.     In the warmth of the quiet studio both mother and baby completely relaxed…..20-11-15 - 1 (780)Focusing on the loving hands of the mother. P1160912Another model I really enjoy who wears blue stockings, 20200206_101535

I love grabbing the gesture and seeking out the abstraction of the shapes produced. 20-11-15 - 1 (50)

Beginning in 1982 I began a series of works integrating the human form with the rock formations of Isle au Haut Maine.        

If we wish we can use the sketches made in a life session and take them to new levels…..which can be where my last post  ‘How Does the Creative Process work’ comes I into play. 

large oil on canvas – ‘The moment people turn their backs on one another’Painting of human figures in shades of brownFor those who would like to try life drawing – I suggest that you tune into ‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’  BBC 4 TV—–a good way to get started. 

Happy painting20200114_135504A Bientôt





56 thoughts on “‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’ on BBC4 TV prompted me to post this…..

  1. Teagan Geneviene

    Dear Janet, as always I’m astounded by your gift. Thanks for sharing these amazing paintings. I appreciate the lovely little hummingbird always at the end. Have a terrific Tuesday. Hummingbird hugs.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Oh yes, and we had so much fun…..and if your ears were burning it’s because we talked about you:) All good. Dina is everything and more than I had imagined….a wonderful human being. Hope all is well with you…Janet

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much Timi, Yes, I have always believed this to be so. Often the word self-discipline is deemed as negative…but for me it means freedom:) Have a lovely day…Janet:)

  2. Jet Eliot

    Oh so lovely to have you back on the circuit here, Janet. Your painting is so uplifting, the methods described so incredibly inspiring, and your philosophies completely refreshing. I love these words especially: “self discipline equals freedom.” I studied every one of your glorious nudes here, and so appreciate the art and skills you have developed over a lifetime. BTW, for the next two wks I will be in the Caribbean on vacation and not blogging. We’re going to a bird lodge in the rainforest and guess who we will be surrounded by…your favorite birds. See you in Feb. ♥

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi dear Jet…..Oh I will be thinking about you surrounded by magical hummingbirds….how wonderful is that:) Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I will now look forward to seeing some beautiful images when you return. Janet:)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Miza, I have been thinking about you in France and I am sure now back in Liverpool. Oh it was so much fun….I can’t wait to do it again:) I wish you a wonderful new year filled with all sorts of amazing creative adventures. Janet. xxx

  3. davidjrogersftw

    Hi Janet, I like your idea of working fast, something I should try, and let happen whatever happens. Speed seems contrary to my nature. Now when you say, “Self-discipline equals freedom” you know my ears perk up. I think we’ve exchanged ideas about how the discipline of “the rules” of an art, which one might think constrains and limits the creative person, actually has the opposite effect.
    I love all your glorious work on this post very much, especially sad “Scarlet.” And the narration is just right.
    Best wishes,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, thank you so much for your comments. The key when painting nudes is to capture the ‘gesture’ of the model, and for me movement and energy, and that can only be achieved (by me anyway) if I work very quickly. With regards to ‘self-discipline equalling freedom’ – I can never emphasise that enough. As you have written, and I have observed, there are many very gifted and creative individuals who lack one thing, and that is self-discipline. Without it, I believe a creative is somewhat crippled. I hope your new year has begun well and that your days are filled with writing. Janet:)

  4. em4mighty

    these are so so so beautiful! i love short poses too. i love doing those quick sketches that capture passion more than detail. you did an excellent job of it!

  5. janetweightreed10 Post author

    These days my originals are either commissioned or sell from my studio . I am in between formal galleries. I do have a commercial site on Zazzle for my hummingbird/decorative art work at http://www.zazzle.com/janet+weight+reed+gifts – (however I don’t think this is what you are looking for. .I will be updating my website during this coming year….http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk Thank you so much for enquiring….I really appreciate. Janet

  6. olganm

    Absolutely beautiful, Janet. So full of energy and life. Amazing what you can do in such little time. You definitely capture the model’s personality. To many more inspiring meetings of hearts.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi David…how lovely to hear from you…Just returned from Portugal and getting ready for a new series of workshops in London starting tomorrow. I do hope that our paths cross again sometime. Janet 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.