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Painting of two skulls on a black background. The base of one skull rests on top of another with the face side looking upwards.

Journey Through British Still Life with Adele Wagstaff - Session 3

6.30 - 9pm


[ Online Workshop )

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Embark on an engaging online evening course with Adele Wagstaff designed to unlock the secrets of still life drawing.

Led by artist Adele Wagstaff, this dynamic course offers a deep dive into key drawing techniques and concepts. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned artist, explore the rich history of still life painting and its relevance in contemporary art.

Delve into line, tone, and form as you create your own unique compositions inspired by themes from our exhibition, The Shape of Things: Still Life in Britain.

Choose between individual sessions or join us for the full three-part series. Get ready to unleash your creativity and master the art of still life drawing like never before!

This is the third session in the series (find the first two sessions in the suggested events below). Receive 20% off when you book all three sessions. Simply add all three to your basket and the discount will be applied automatically.


Existentialism (1940s onwards)
During this session we will look at how the philosophical theory of existentialism manifested in the choice of objects as this movement reached post-war Britain.

Subjects which were traditionally explored in still life as memento mori as a reminder that all living things eventually die, began to express life, death and the trauma of the years of war in artworks. Still life works including skulls were commonly portrayed, dead and decaying animals and wilting flowers and rotting fruits expressed the unsettling years of war.

Participants during this session will select subjects to make their own personal memento mori, working from objects which may include animal or bird skulls, flowers which are wilting or dried, or old family photographs to make a drawing to express the passing of time.

We will look at works by Michael Ayrton, Lucian Freud, Maggi Hambling, William Roberts and Keith Vaughan.

Book your ticket

All you need is paper, drawing materials a laptop or tablet, a Zoom account and internet connection.

Suggested materials:
Pencils HB/B/2B
Ink pen/ fine liner – black or sepia
A set of coloured pencils
Graphite stick 4B or 6B
A pad of A2 cartridge paper (or preferred surface), if you are able to work at an easel or have a tabletop easel. (Working in an A3/A4 sketchbook is fine if you prefer).
Drawing board.
Any other materials you may like to use, eg pastels

Greyscale photograph of a woman painting at an easel

Artist educator bio - Adele Wagstaff

Adele Wagstaff trained at Newcastle University and the Slade School of Fine Art where she focused on working from the nude in sustained poses. Her practice continues to explore the human figure, anatomy and portraiture through drawing and painting.

She has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the BP Portrait Award, and her work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, Royal West of England Academy, Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Canadian Portrait Academy.

Adele teaches drawing courses at the Art Academy London, West Dean College and the Royal Academy of Arts, and has written two books: Still Life Painting in Oils, 2012, and Painting the Nude, 2015, both published by the Crowood Press.