Outset Families Drawing Workshop

In March 2014 we were invited to host a workshop for Outset Family, a programme that supports Outset’s work within the fields of art education and philanthropy. Paul Jackson (Visual Communication) devised a workshop that encouraged the young participants and their families to use a range of approaches and materials to explore how you might convey the essence of someone in their portrait. The workshop demonstrated that by drawing in multiple, experimental ways your work might be more interesting and surprising, and emphasised that there is not just one ‘right’ way to do things.

Paul began by introducing his work, and talking about how he likes to draw from life, from photos and from imagination. He explained that the workshop would explore each of these techniques. Beginning by drawing quick portraits of each other, the group tried a range of techniques, such as drawing a non-stop line-drawing, a silhouette, a profile, and ‘blind’ drawing. Next, they worked in pairs so that they could observe and draw a little longer. Then everyone drew a portrait of themselves from memory or touch. 

Paul introduced an archive of fantastic objects – real, photographed and imaginary, as well as some descriptions of other items that didn’t reveal what they were.  Everyone moved around the room drawing these objects with a range of materials (keeping in mind all the different techniques they’d just been using). Finally, the group cut out all the objects and constructed playful collaged additions to their self portraits.