Art Enthusiast London is based in London. The artist who has tutored on the classes we attended so far, Anastasia, has a studio in London. Before lockdown, these would only ever have taken place in London. From their bio, they do tours and classes for adults and children aged six plus.
We discovered these classes through someone joining an event on Facebook. It had a picture of Frida Kahlo and I thought why not, it might be good. I went to register but I think I left it too late and so didn’t get to go on that particular webinar. However, there was a list of other webinars and so I booked a few different ones instead and eventually, Frida Kahlo came up again. And so we were hooked.
I received an email the day before listing the things that we would need, a link to the picture we would be painting and a zoom link. Luckily we had everything that was needed – lots of paints, lots of paintbrushes, paper and pencils.
The first artist’s webinar we did was of the artist Pablo Picasso. She gave a ten-minute presentation in which I diligently took notes while the girls messed around with the paints and pencils. And then she showed us how to start painting.
We drew the picture in pencil and then she taught us how to block paint everything first and then add shading. She tried to show us techniques that the artist would have used – suggesting using bright colours and random shapes like triangles all over the paintings. Before you realise it, one and a half hours is over and our paintings are left drying on the side.
Our next webinar was on Paul Gauguin. We drew his painting Tahitian Pastorale with the main features. Not all the details were included because this webinar is aimed at 6-9-year-olds. This session too flew past.
Frida Kahlo was the next webinar. In this one, we learnt how to draw a sideways self-portrait. The girls’ pictures of themselves were quite good. I ended up drawing Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait.
Vincent Van Gogh
The latest webinar I went to was Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. This time the girls got a bit bored and went rushing ahead not really paying attention to the details. But once they had dried out, the pictures were quite good.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Finally, the last one we have done so far is Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. He was amongst many, many things very interested in the human body as well as structure and geometry which how we started drawing this painting. First, we had to divide our paper into four and then once we drew the oval for face, we then had to divide the face into four parts and add other geometrical lines to place all the facial features. It felt very technical drawing it this way. The girls made two attempts at it before they were happy with their picture!
Apparently, there are many secrets hidden in this picture as well as her mysterious smile. Our attempts at Mona Lisa and her very mysterious smile are shown here. I have a feeling the girls are getting tired of these art classes and following instructions as they just steam ahead doing their own thing and justifying it. The one in red is apparently wearing a sari and the one next to it has beautiful pouffy hair because it suits her better.
In this latest webinar, there were almost 820 people logged on. Each page on zoom has about 20 people and there were 21 pages. I didn’t check the last page but even if there was only one person, there would be over 800 6-9-year-olds watching and painting. In the first webinar, there were about two pages so maybe only about 40 people watching.
Conceptually, this whole thing is quite amazing. In pre lockdown life, I wouldn’t have done anything like this – firstly, I wouldn’t have had the time; secondly, I wouldn’t have even thought of doing anything like this; and finally, it would have all taken place in London.
I wouldn’t have ever considered going to London for a class, there are so many other bigger and more important things to do, sights to see and people to visit. Also, in normal school hours, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to paint like this in the middle of the day. Being in lockdown has some benefits!
There are still some courses going and you can find out more here:
and here for now: