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Drawing Workshop by Barraba’s Hugh McKid

Last weekend the Barraba Potters and Craft Guild conducted its long awaited drawing workshop, which had been postponed during Covid. It was held at the Claypan’s Fuller Gallery over Saturday and Sunday, and was fully booked with 10 participants.  Each person received a full list of the required drawing materials.  It was run by Hugh McKid, a long time Guild member. 

Saturday was a very full program combining technical aspects of drawing such as: the vase/profile exercise (left Vs right brain), line drawing (upside down), pure contour (blind), contour line drawing of the hand, utilising the picture plane and view finder, and negative space drawing. After lunch, the group did two hours of rapid gesture drawing using butcher’s paper and easels – at 10 seconds to 5 minutes each.  It certainly had everyone working hard (including our model Michael). Next was a session using black paper and chalk, drawing the very expressive face of model – Peter. Late afternoon saw the group drawing natural, man-made and “difficult” subjects using the full range of materials and techniques. By 5.30pm it was an exhausted group, but one who had made impressive progress.

Sunday was about solving the perspective, proportional and composition aspects of drawing, starting with the inside of the Claypan (doors, windows and walls), the sheds outside and finally on the street drawing the old Barraba library building.  

Hugh is a firm believer that drawing underpins all creative endeavours and is applicable to all the activities conducted by the Barraba Pottery and Craft Guild. He has drawn all his life (on and off, as he admitted!), attended the Paddington Art School and has entered the Wynne (landscape) and Sulman competitions at the Art Gallery of NSW for the past decade (unsuccessfully he would also add). He is a member of Splinter Workshop in Kingsgrove, Sydney (a cabinetmaking cooperative) where he daydreams, draws, paints, makes hand tools, sculpture and, occasionally, a piece of furniture.

Feedback after the workshop was very positive and with most participants agreeing that they were exhausted, challenged but keen to keep on drawing. The students varied from those who had prior experience right through to a few who had no experience at all. Hugh’s instruction catered for this so that everyone gained maximum reward from the workshop.

Hugh’s parting advice was that the budding artists should all continue to practice the art of drawing.  Satisfaction and improvement would be gained by persisting. The idea of a regular drawing group has been suggested if any other budding artists in the community are interested.  At this stage there is thought of joining with Annie Clough’s “Painting for Fun” Group which meets next on Saturday 25th June at The Claypan.  Follow Barraba Potters and Craft Guild  Inc. on Facebook to learn of further planned drawing activities. 

By Jane Harris