Atelier Art: Full-Time Course

Salford Artists’ Workshops (SAW) in Greater Manchester welcomes Lavender Hill Studios’ Jon Leyer

We are excited to announce that Jon of Lavender Hill Studios will be coming to Salford Artists’ Workshops (SAW) in Greater Manchester to run a full weekend, life drawing workshop.

SAW is an artists’ community that facilitates workshops to focus on specific practical skills. It was founded in 2011 and takes much of its inspiration from the atelier tradition.

Encajar at Salford Artists' Workshops (SAW) in Greater Manchester

Encajar at Salford Artists’ Workshops (SAW) in Greater Manchester

The workshop will be split into two parts:

1. Saturday and Sunday:  Students will draw from a life model and receive tuition in classical/traditional drawing using the ‘Encajar’ (‘envelope’) methodology.

2. Friday evening: Introduction to gesture drawing. Learn how to get the essentials of the subject on paper in a short session. This is a bonus class and optional for those attending the Encajar workshop.

For dates, prices and to book visit

Foundation Course Diary – Entry 3

Follow a beginner on their journey through the foundation course.

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” Anaïs Nin

Water Carrier Entry 3

As I return to the studio for my third lesson, I run through the principles I have learnt so far: stand back, draw from the shoulder, light markings on the paper and, most importantly, see the box and then the lines of flight. Not forgetting my mantra of course: rub out and start again.

It all seems very simple, but I am prepared for a step back – perhaps one figure instead of three; frequent and slight rotations of the cast so that I can focus on the technique rather than the end product. I centre my attention on the slender, milk white nude to my left. She gives the impression of having gently nudged her contours into space. I love her tranquil gaze and the brazen nudity of her form.

Unfortunately my translation does not do her justice and my frustration rises in equal measure to her quiet. On the page she is wider, her features blunt and her proportions, disproportionate. How I can get it so wrong! Softly but with perfect timing and incredible insight a teacher’s voice shifts my focus back to the lines and the fundamentals of process vs product. A change of pose and pace; a fresh pair of eyes and few, sharp questions set me on course once more.

This is the first time that the subject I am drawing is necessarily smaller on the paper than in reality. I define the top horizontal, trace the bottom horizontal, mark my left vertical, then the right. Finally, but critically, I score in the major dividing lines – shoulders, hips, knees. Once the distribution is there, then I can think about chiselling the outlines of her limbs, but always in straight lines and sparingly.

I stand back and reflect. I compare the drawing and the cast. In a world dominated by product it is easy to forget that the process is as important. I am reminded of something I read recently: when you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur… don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.

With the same stroke I realise that for as long as a language, whether spoken, visual or other, has a grammar then whoever the teacher is, is secondary. I had been disconcerted by the presence of a new facilitator but the beauty of Lavender Hill Studios is that all the teachers are artists, sharing in that grammar. I understand suddenly that change stimulates learning, it keeps the student agile and focussed on the process.

Finally, a demonstration by one of the founders confirms my theory and raises my spirits. Demonstrations are invaluable in showing how the grammar comes together. They are spontaneous but determined, at once rigorous and relaxed. Ultimately they show that mastery comes in practice, not in a flash of lightening.

It has been a frustrating week, but also an illuminating one. I have come away empowered to work through the challenges and remain alive to them. I know I can gain nothing if I stop. I must push through.

Encajar: Lavender Hill Studios’ Atelier Art Method

I verbo transitivo
1 (algo dentro de algo) to insert: you have to fit the pieces of the puzzle together
II verbo intransitivo
1 (ajustarse) to fit

Lavender Hill Studios’ method is a blend of the Spanish and the Italian.  We break down any subject into four stages, Proportion, Line & Volume, Chiaroscuro, and Colour, each naturally leading into the next.  On their canvas or paper every student starts with a fixed top and bottom line.  Next the student draws the left and right hand lines representing the outer edge of the composition.  These are not fixed and can be fluidly adjusted back and forth, left and right.  After these four crucial lines are established we…………    Want to find out more?  Come visit us.

We have been sharing our method since the summer of 2004.  Lavender Hill Studios was born when Ann, Scott, and Nick set up the first full-time Atelier in England with a fresh outlook on it’s traditions and methods.  And since the very inception we have always taught encajar; to fit, to envelope.


Go Figure! 3 Day Figure Short Course

Go figure…..!

February 18th-20th   9.30-3.30   £225 for 3 Days

            A 3-day figure course in the grammar of drawing and painting the model from life



Morning – proportion and line (charcoal)

Afternoon – gesture drawing  (charcoal)


       Morning – figure drawing -chiaroscuro (charcoal)

       Afternoon – figure in grisaille (oil paint)


Morning – figure painting, limited palette (oil paint)

Afternoon – figure painting, extended palette

(oil paint)

 Basic materials (charcoal, paper, canvases) will be included in the fees but do bring any paints and brushes you already have. We have a fully stocked shop for art materials and can fill any gaps as we go…

 Cost £225

Go Figure! 3 Day Short Course

Go Figure! 3 Day Short Course

Please contact Daisy for further information/booking the course tel:0207 2232360 email:

Gesture & Anatomy Course

Gesture & Anatomy

Tutor – Jon

Monday evening will focus on dynamic gesture and anatomical structures. The core of the class will be short drawings from a model supplemented by an optional take home project.

Through a variety of models, themes and poses, students will develop an instinctive understanding of the human form and the mechanics of movement.

Mondays January 7th-March 18th, 4.30-6.15pm

£75 – Full Time LHS Students/ £100 Part-Time LHS Students/  £150 – Outside Students

Gesture & Anatomy Class

Gesture & Anatomy Class

Paris Here We Come!

The Map below shows where the Lavender Hill Mob will be going during our February Folly!  For the 25 of us going it may be useful to have this at hand in Paris.

View Paris museum trip in a larger map

View Paris museum trip in a larger map

Paris museum trip
Public · 2 Collaborators · 1,170 views
Created on Jan 24 · By Daisy · Updated 7 minutes ago
Musée d’Orsay
1. 9.30-6 last admission 5
Le petit palais
2. 10 – 6 (last admissiom 5)
Musee du Louvre
3. 9 – 945 Fri til 6 sat and sun
Musee Rodin
3. 10 – 5.45
Musée National Eugène Delacroix
Musée de l’Orangerie
5. 9-6 last admission 5.30
Centre National d’Art et de Culture George Pompidou
6. 11 – 10pm last admission 8pm
Musée national Gustave Moreau
7. 10 – 5
Gare du Nord
Le Village Hostel
Hôtel La Louisiane
Magasin Sennelier
La Maison du Pastel
Willi’s Wine Bar
Chez Janou
Jardin du Luxembourg
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur
Musée de Montmartre

Wandsworth Artists’ Open House at Lavender Hill Studios

Artists’ Open House 2012

 artists' open house logo

  • Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October

  • Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October

11am to 6pm each day


artists' open house poster

More than 100 artists will invite members of the public into their homes and studios as part of a borough-wide celebration of art.

The Wandsworth Artists’ Open House event sees local artists showcase and sell their work in their own environment.

From crafts to design, sculpture, painting, jewellery, photography, drawing, film and installations, visitors will have a great variety of works to view.

Read the event brochure and get a map of the open houses from where you can also create your own local trail, or pick up a map from a borough library.

More information

Contact: Lavender Hill Studios at 020 7223 2360 or

Visit or contact the arts team: 020 8871 8711 or

London Drawing Courses at Lavender Hill Studios with Henry Yan

Henry Yan is coming to London to share his gift of direct drawing to a willing European audience at the established Lavender Hill Studios, the first Atelier set up in England offering full-time drawing and painting courses dedicated to Representational Art.

Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing

  Techniques and Tips
The author has many years of experience in teaching drawing and painting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. This book is focused on various techniques and styles in drawing human figures and portraits. It also provides useful tips and thoughts based on the author’s years’ experience. The book has 192 pages, each page includes one or more figure/head drawings done from live models. There are about 20 step-by-step demonstrations from detailed and traditional approaches to fast and painterly styles. It’s a book that wil benefit both begining and advanced learners. It’s also a nice book just for enjoying the beautiful images with various artistic approaches.

August 28 – 31, 2012, London, England, Figure drawing, Contact: or visit their website

Henry Yan Art at Lavender Hill Studios
Henry Yan Art at Lavender Hill Studios
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