What we're about

Friendly and welcoming group for people of all abilities who are interested in practicing drawing and painting from live models - we run both portrait and life drawing (nude model) sessions.

Our "home" location is just over a mile from J13 of the M1 at Husborne Crawley Reading room hall, which is easily accessed and convenient for Husborne Crawley, Aspley Guise, Woburn, Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Flitwick, Ampthill and the surrounding area.

Our venue can seat 20 artists, although we usually run with around 16 -18 of us. We always pose our models under studio quality lighting to create dramatic and sculptural shadows, which makes the job of drawing easier, and the resulting work more impactful.

This is a group for any ability, the only pre-qualification for entry is the desire to draw and create. Although it's generally an untutored group, help, support and advice are always freely shared. Most people will find working within a group of mixed style and ability something that helps them to find and develop their own practice. There are often specific events for skills development which will be displayed as "workshops".

If you're nervous about coming, ping us a message on here and we'll make sure we do what we can to alleviate your tension. Life drawing and portraiture is hard, but that doesn't mean it won't be fun!

We're here to help!

Upcoming events (2)

Croquis (quick sketch) portraits - Fast, Fun, Fulfilling - And we ALL model!

Husborne Crawley Reading Room


Welcome to the nearest thing you can get to portraiture bootcamp! If you fancy trying something which will improve your portraiture skills quickly, then look no further - this is it!

Croquis (quick sketch) portraiture uses the attending artists as the models, in the company of another 10 artists you'll make a portrait of each of them (and sit once yourself), so it's a very small and exclusive evening, but utterly brilliant!

The benefits are simple - starting more portraits is where most of the mistakes are made, and mistakes are the richest learning experience we have! More starts = more mistakes = faster learning.

I'm a huge fan of trying to make less work as more, and this format gives us all a chance to hone quicker portraiture skills in a supportive environment. It also makes it perfect for beginners to portraiture because there's less time to fill which is a big ask for the true newbie!

Usual life drawing materials will be available for those who want it, and tea/coffee at the break.

Sitting timings will be worked out on the night, but expect each sitting to be 10-11 mins. Each time we swap sitters we also move chairs one to the right, so by the end of the night you'll have drawn everyone and drawn from every chair too!

As usual all poses will be conducted under powerful studio lighting conditions and we'll stop for a decent break and a brew halfway through.

Portrait Night! 2 models - proceeds to wildlife charities

Location visible to members

Tonight we will have 2 models (usually a male and a female) who will sit in a single pose for 4 x 30 minute sessions (plus three breaks) under our professional studio lighting set up. Take this on as a single sitting painting (alla prima) or the first sitting for a painting or drawing you finish at home - your choice. To facilitate the latter option we'll allow pics of the model to be taken so the work you start can be completed later.

Our friendly little group has already raised over £4,000 doing these nights, and we love everything about them. The artists get to practice, sitters rarely go home without a portrait, and we make great donations to charity! Although the event is untutored, there are plenty of friendly and approachable artists who freely share their help to anyone that asks - this is a great place to start your art and grow in a supportive environment.

Currently the proceeds are going to Animals in Need in Wellingborough, where we sponsor the wildlife wing. As well as dealing with dozens of wildlife cases at a time, their sterling work extends to rescuing, sheltering and rehoming everything from ex-Battery hens to Ponies, with everything in between! If you need a new pet, be that a rabbit, hamster, dog, cat or just about anything else you could think of, please go and visit them first - they are truly excellent and have a brilliant rehoming programme! Find them online here> http://animals-in-need.org/

**We always need volunteer models for these evenings, so don't be shy if you (or someone you know) want the chance to sit for the group - although obviously as it's a charity gig there's no fee, it's a truly rare chance to be immortalised by artists**

There is a fully equipped kitchen at the venue and we'll take a decent break for tea, coffee and biscuits at half time.

If you've got a question about this (or anything) prior to the event, please message me via meetup (Paul - organiser)

****Important notes about materials - please read!*****

Due to the diverse nature of media our artists may choose, no art materials are supplied at this event, although the same basic drawing stuff we use in life drawing could be made available on request.

If you are planning on using oil paints, please only bring low odour thinners, and if you need to fix your pastel or charcoal drawings, please do it away from the hall area to keep the solvents away from inhalation.

Past events (365)

Portrait Night! 2 models - proceeds to wildlife charities

Husborne Crawley Reading Room


Photos (3,848)