Whenever you go to a place like the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery or Tate Britain, you'll always find an artist sitting in the gallery with an easel on his/her knees, copying down a work of art on the wall. I've always thought you needed to be quite brave to do that, because you know full well that every tourist will be walking past having a nosey look at what you're doing.
Well... how about doing it in a group instead? With an actual artist walking around, giving you some helpful tips and pointers?
The National Portrait Gallery puts on regular drawing sessions every Friday night, open to all skill-levels, from complete beginners to accomplished artists. They even provide a few basic materials to get you started. You will find that a lot of people bring their own sketchbooks and materials, though, because they prefer to use their own equipment -- some of them even draw their pictures on an iPad, a la David Hockney.
The session is usually held in a different room every week, so you need to check the sign in the main entrance to find out where it is. It will begin with a short introduction at 6.30 PM, but you are free to drop-in (or out) whenever you like. You don't have to attend the whole event -- you can stay for ten minutes or two hours. Of course, you might like to get there nice and early so you can have a walk around the entire gallery first (which is free).
Craig has never attended this actual event (he's totally useless at drawing), but he has written a review of the National Portrait Gallery which you might like to read before you go. You can also ask a question about Drop-In Drawing on the forum.
Guest – “I'd love to drop in and try to draw one of the famous portraits in exhibition. Please I need more information Thank you, Sylvia”
Admin – “What information do you need? If all you want to do is go in with a sketchbook and sit and draw a particular painting, then you can do that anyway -- you dont need to go to this event”
> Craig’s review of National Portrait Gallery – “If you're coming to London for a week then you have to find time for at least one art gallery. You can't just do fun stuff for seven days, that's not allowed. Art gallery first, then fun. Do your homework first, then you can watch some telly later. This is the art gallery that I always recommend if you aren't particularly into art, because it's half-art and half-hist… continued”
BP Portrait Award 2019 – 13 Jun to 20 Oct 2019 – The National Portrait Gallery's annual BP Portrait Award is one of the most prestigious portrait painting competitions in the world.
Cindy Sherman — National Portrait Gallery – 27 Jun to 15 Sep 2019 – A forty-year retrospective of Cindy Sherman's entire career, including her ground-breaking series Untitled Film Stills
Elizabeth Peyton — National Portrait Gallery – 3 Oct 2019 to 5 Jan 2020 – An exhibition of paintings by Elizabeth Peyton, exploring her development from the 1990s to the present day.
Pre-Raphaelite Sisters – 17 Oct 2019 to 26 Jan 2020 – The National Portrait Gallery will be exploring the untold story and contributions of twelve women from the Pre-Raphaelite Movement.
Magic Realism — Art In Weimar Germany – 30 Jul 2018 to 14 Jul 2019 – Magic Realism is an exhibition of paintings created during the Weimar Republic years, between World Wars I and II.
Feliks Topolski — Drawing Debden – 1 Oct 2018 to 28 Jun 2019 – The Bank of England Museum will be putting on an exhibition of work by Feliks Topolski about the Debden printing works.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition – 19 Oct 2018 to 30 Jun 2019 – Wildlife Photographer of the Year returns to the Natural History Museum with this exhibition of the top 100 photos.
Find more exhibitions during May
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
If you enjoy National Portrait Gallery then you might like to visit Courtauld Gallery (you can walk it 10 mins), National Gallery (you can walk there in less than 1 min), Royal Academy of Arts (walk it in 12 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Piccadilly Circus), Tate Britain (walk it in 26 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Pimlico) and Wallace Collection (walk it in 26 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Bond Street)
|Art exhibitions in May|
|Art exhibitions in June|
|Art exhibitions in July|