The home of the Space(Aylesbury) Art Group

The Space (Aylesbury) Art Group is open to all. We hold a mixture of sessions, some online and some on-site. We aim for a fairly open format, allowing people to pursue their own ideas and share learning points along the way.

Latest work

PB 22-07-21

Next meetings

Art Group – March – June 2022
Art Group – March – June 2022June 30, 2022Art GroupA few pictures from the art group. We have moved away from painting and drawing sill life. Members of the group are begining to come up with their own subject matter such as colouring, self portraits, painting scenes from the imagination. [...]
aRT gROUP fEB 22
aRT gROUP fEB 22March 1, 2022Art Group
Art Group – Nov to Jan
Art Group – Nov to JanFebruary 13, 2022Art Group
Art Group – October 21
Art Group – October 21October 13, 2021Art Group / no display
Art Group – September 2021
Art Group – September 2021September 30, 2021Art GroupSome of the art work created by our members in September 2021 [...]
Art Group – August 2021
Art Group – August 2021September 30, 2021Art GroupSome of the work we created during August. [...]
Space Christmas Card Fundraiser
Space Christmas Card FundraiserSeptember 23, 2021Art GroupWe are going to make two types of card Handmade, ‘craft’ cardsPrinted cards, showing off members artwork. Craft Cards These are normally created by sticking items to a blank ‘base’ card or drawing/painting directly on to the card. We can also hand print onto blank cards. We can stick card, paper, glitter, ribbon & bows etc onto a blank card. If you are drawing or painting, please remember to use materials which will not smudge or wipe off. Water colours and Acrylics are both suitable, but you might want to keep the paint quite thin and not saturate the card with too much water. You can always paint onto a separate piece of card, which is then stuck to the base card. Printed Cards If we receive enough pictures, we will get some printed onto cards. It may take some time for cards to be printed and returned to us, so please submit your pictures soon! Christmas Card ideas Winter themed:- Snowman, sledge, snowy scene, Polar bears / RobinChristmas presents / trees / decorations / stocking / Holly / wreaths etc.Father Christmas / Elves / Reindeer etc.Traditional Christmas themes: – wise men, star, angels etc.Christmas words ‘Joy’ ‘Noel’ etc. [...]
Art Group now at St. Mary’s – Monday 2-3:30
Art Group now at St. Mary’s – Monday 2-3:30July 22, 2021Art Group / News Page / UncategorizedOur art group now runs at St. Mary’s Church on Monday afternoons, 2 – 3:30pm. We are charging £2 per session to help cover costs. This week we will be drawing still life objects with a Christmas theme (in preparation for our Space Christmas card fundraiser), but you are of course welcome to continue with your own work if you would prefer. Please observe guidelines given by staff. Art Group [...]
Art Group – July 2021
Art Group – July 2021July 16, 2021Art Group / no displayIn July we will complete our art sessions on Zoom and move to regular sessions at St. Mary’s Church. For our first full session at St. Mary’s we put together a still life image. The resulting drawings can be seen in the gallery [...]
June 2021
June 2021June 27, 2021Art Group / News PageThroughout June we have been continuing to work on still life images. Drawings of around 40-50 minutes duration, taken from a Zoom screen! Over the month we have picked up a few tips. Constructing the image. Making sure that everything is fitting on the page as we wish before working into greater detail.Looking across the image, trying to create a completed picture in the limited time frame.Looking carefully for light and dark areas, using some of the skills we have learnt previously. [...]
24th May – Still Life Composition Ideas & Tips
24th May – Still Life Composition Ideas & TipsMay 24, 2021Art Group / no displayConsider a colour scheme. Complementary: Placing objects with complementary colours next to each other (i.e. colours on opposite sides of a colour wheel).Analogous: Using colours which are adjacent on a colour wheel.Triad: Using three colours, equidistant to each other on a colour wheel. Eye Level. HIgh or Low ? Consider how this affects the viewers relationship with the objects. Object Arrangement The way objects are arrange implies an overall form or shape. Different shapes can be used to shift focus. Triangular shapes are common in still life compositions as the shape is strong and helps contain the viewers eye. [...]
May 2021 – Still Life
May 2021 – Still LifeMay 3, 2021Art GroupThis month we will continue creating still life drawings. [...]
26th April – Still Life
26th April – Still LifeApril 26, 2021Art GroupWe will continue with another still life this week, lasting around 45 minutes. [...]
19th April – Still Life
19th April – Still LifeApril 19, 2021Art GroupThis week we will do a half hour still life drawing, focusing on some basic ways to tackle a life drawing. We will continue with still life drawings over the next few weeks, culminating in a longer piece of work which will run over several sessions. A few ideas to start off… You might want to start with a harder (lighter) pencil. Begin by drawing dots on the page to mark the location and height of each object. Look for the centre line of each object. Consider drawing a grid. As you are drawing, make sure you keep looking at the objects in front of you rather than overly focusing on the page. Look at the areas where objects meet and the shapes formed. Compare lines and angles across the page and between objects. Unlike the gesture drawings we have been working on in recent weeks, you might want to use an eraser and work more slowly. [...]
12th April – More Gesture Drawing
12th April – More Gesture DrawingApril 19, 2021Art GroupWe will review what we have learnt about gesture drawing over the last few weeks. After this session we will continue with some quick sketches at the start of each session but then move on to a different topic. [...]
8th March – Figure Drawing & recap
8th March – Figure Drawing & recapMarch 8, 2021Art Group / no displayWe will be doing more figure drawing today, using We can try out some of the following techniques for our quicker sketches. Starting with the head first and drawing reference lines for the spine and centre of face.Stick men. Draw the joints and eliptical shapes for the torso, pelvis and head. You can also draw a marker line for the angle of the shoulders and pelvis.Drawing without removing the pencil from the pageDrawing without looking at the pageBreaking down the figure into 2d or 3d geometric shapesDrawing an evenlope which encompases the entire figure, to help with proportions and placing on page.Gesture drawing. The searching line, organic line.Thinking about shading techniques such as blended, circulism, hatching, cross-hatching, contour hatching. Maybe stippling for longer drawings.Open Drawing and Negative Spaces. For longer drawings, you could try to capture the figure by shading in the negative space or just draw the shaded parts of the body.Perspective and foreshortening. [...]
1st March – Open Drawing and Negative Space
1st March – Open Drawing and Negative SpaceMarch 1, 2021Art Group / no displayWe are continuing with figure drawing this week, but we will look at a couple of additional exercises. Drawing the Negative Space We have previously looked at drawing objects by focusing on the space around them. This can be applied to figure drawing as well. Open Drawing Previously we have focused mainly on drawing figures by creating line drawings. This produces ‘closed’ drawings whereby outlines are clearly defined. We will now try a more open drawing style, using blocks of tone and shading to create the form of the figure. We can apply a looser style, perhaps leaving lit areas of the body completely open rather than drawing edge lines. [...]
Week Starting 22nd Feb – Drawing the Head and Face
Week Starting 22nd Feb – Drawing the Head and FaceFebruary 22, 2021Art Group / no displayWe tend to pay a lot of attention to peoples faces. This can make it harder to draw a face which looks realistic as the viewer picks up on tiny details. Some ‘rule of thumb’ measurements With this approach, we draw general guidelines and use these as a starting point to work from. In practice, peoples proportions will alter but we can use the guidelines as a reference point. Viewed from the front, the head is a rectangle, approximately 3 units wide and 3.5 units tall. These units are created as follows:- As a convention, the head is roughly 3.5 times the length of the forehead. The division lines are at: The top of the head, the natural hairline, eyebrows / top of the ears, base of nose, bottom of the chin. The intersection point of the centre and brow line is useful to determine, as this indicates the pose. [...]
Week Starting 15th Feb – Figure Drawing Part 3
Week Starting 15th Feb – Figure Drawing Part 3February 15, 2021Art GroupWe will continue drawing some timed figure poses from It may be useful to remember some of the exercises we have covered previously. You could apply some of these ideas to your timed figure drawing sketches. Quick Drawing Exercises: Drawing with a single line. Drawing without looking at the page. Warm-up Exercises for Drawings: Drawing lines, swirls, square, circles, ‘s’ shapes, ellipses, boxes, cylinders. Testing the materials you are working with e.g. pressure and the marks left on the page. More Drawing Exercises: Drawing an image which is upside-down, Drawing negative spaces, drawing with your non-dominant hand. Timed drawings and hand drawings. Breaking objects down into 2D and 3D shapes. 3D shapes and perspective. Shading and Shading Techniques. [...]
Week Starting 8th Feb – Figure Drawing part 2
Week Starting 8th Feb – Figure Drawing part 2February 8, 2021Art GroupPainting Tube has some Figure Drawing poses . These videos give a series of timed poses, ending in a slightly longer pose. As a follow on from last week, we will be continuing with gesture drawing. Remember that you can create a basic structure in order to help you form the shape and proportions of the body. This also helps you place the figure on the page. The initial structure can be drawn quite lightly and you might find it useful to use a harder, lighter pencil. The structure does not need to just be geometrical. You might want to use ‘harder’ and softer more organic shapes to form the structure. You can also focus on parts of the body if you would prefer, maybe the torso and legs. You don’t necessarily have to draw the whole body in every sketch. The purpose of these quick drawings is to help you improve rather than creating finished pieces. [...]
Week Starting 1st Feb – Figure Drawing Part 1
Week Starting 1st Feb – Figure Drawing Part 1February 1, 2021Art GroupLast week we looked at some tools to help us begin figure drawing at home. This week we will look at figure drawing in more depth and consider how we approach it. Why figure drawing? There is no correct way to approach figure drawing. For the moment we will look at some warm up exercises to help when drawing the human figure and getting body proportions right, but your ultimate aim will probably not be just to create an anatomically convincing drawing. If you are drawing a portrait for example, you might be looking to capture something of the character of that person. This requires more than just technical skills and observing measurements. It is clearly useful to understand the human anatomy, but that is a larger subject that we can tackle now. In previous sessions we have looked at some basic drawing exercises. Now is a good time to review several of these, particularly gesture drawing. Creating quick sketches of a figure allows us to practise putting down on paper the general proportions of the figure and capture the pose. Not only is it a good warmup exercise, but it can also give us a framework to begin a more detailed drawing. It is preferable that we have captured the general proportions to start with, rather than jumping into a detailed drawing which falls apart later on as proportions begin to go awry. Depending upon the time of the pose, you could try the following exercises. 15 – 30 Second pose. Stick figure. 30 – 60 Second pose. Silhouette. 30 – 60 Second. Searching line. 1 – 2 Minute. Organic line. 3 Minute. Contour line with tone. 5 – 10 Minute. For longer studies, suggested exercises include: Anatomical gesture. Manikin. Toned paper. To help get proportions correct you can use the pencil or brush as a measuring tool (or some other straight object). You can also use it as a plumb line. It is quite common to start by drawing the basic shape of the head and then filling in the other proportions. Maybe checking the angle of the collar bone. It may help to draw a centre line following the curve of the body. It is a good idea to build up the various parts of the body simultaneously. Some different approaches to starting a figure drawing can be found here. [...]
Week Starting 25th January – Life Drawing Resources
Week Starting 25th January – Life Drawing ResourcesJanuary 25, 2021Art GroupThis week we are going to look at a few resources available to help us start drawing human figures. 3D Mannequin Software There are numerous solutions software solutions available when it comes to poseable mannequins. They do vary in how fiddly they are to work with and with some being much easier than others. As with all software, please make sure you are downloading from trusted sources. Here are a examples of apps you can use: Online Online posable mannequin. Free for basic use (female mannequin only). For Windows PC/Laptop Drawing Mannequin: Available from Windows App store – preview version available, costs £1.69 is on sale at time of writing – £0.79 Design Doll: I have not tried this software. There is a free version which can be downloaded and installed on PC. Android Here is a link to a list of Android apps which have posable virtual mannequins. Again I have not used any of these and it is worth noting that many of them seem aimed more at people creating Manga or cartoon style art. They are therefore not necessarily based on realistic human anatomy proportions. Mac/IOS You will need to check the Apple App Store. Here are a couple of example apps, although I cannot vouch for how useful they are: Magic Poser – Art Pose Tool: This is also available for Android. It appears to be aimed more for people looking to create cartoon-like figures, but it is popular. Manikin : Again, well reviewed – but I don’t have much more to go on. Photo References There are numerous resources online for downloading photo references of the human figure, taken specifically for artists. These tend to be of partially clothed people, but it is not possible to guarantee the extent to which people will be clothed. A list of sources for free artist images can be found here at Use an artists Mannequin. As an alternative, you could buy an artists mannequin. They do start at reasonable prices, e.g. this model from The Works currently retails at £4. A smaller model costs £2. There is additional postage to pay if you are buying online. [...]
Week starting 18th January – Shading part 2
Week starting 18th January – Shading part 2January 16, 2021Art Group / no displayOptical Illusions – Tonal Contrast and the ‘Checker Shadow’ illusion. Last week we discussed whether we really needed to know any of the ‘rules’ of drawing, or whether we could achieve results by just ‘drawing what we see’. I would argue that the ‘rules’ of drawing are there to aid us, but we should not necessarily feel bound by them. But that’s just my opinion. From our discussion the question was raised, “how well are we able to see what is in front of us”. While it’s a topic that deserves much more attention, for now I thought we should consider the “Checker Shadow Illusion“. Tonal contrast My reason for including this in todays session is that it is useful to understand that the things we see are effected by what is around them. This applies to colour as well as tonal values… An example of a colour illusion An explanation of the strawberry colour illusion and some further examples. Tone Tone is created by light falling on an object and describes how light or dark the object looks. It gives an object form and can help create an illusion of depth. The darker areas give the illusion of shadow while the lightest areas represent the highlights. You can organise your tonal values something like this: If you are drawing with a graphite pencil, it can be difficult to get really dark tones. Using the softest pencil possible, with a sharp point, will help. Shading There are a variety of techniques that we can use to create tones when we are drawing. These include: Blended Shading. Graphite drawn onto paper and smudged with your finger or a tissue Circulism. Drawing in a circular motion, overlapping to build up darker tones. Blended Circulism. Mixture of techniques above. Graphite drawn onto paper, then smudged with a circular motion using a blending stump. Hatching. Drawing straight, parallel lines. Crosshatching. Drawing straight lines across each other, first in one direction, then another. These can be loose or tighter together. Contour Hatching. Drawing lines which follow the contour of the objects form. Stippling. Using dots to build up tone. When drawing with a graphite pencil, darker areas are created by adding more dots which are closer together. [...]
Week Starting 11th January – Shading: Part 1
Week Starting 11th January – Shading: Part 1January 10, 2021Art Group / no displayOver the last few weeks we have looked at techniques to make our drawings look three dimensional. We created perspective drawings and made objects from basic 3D shapes. Now we will start looking at the role that light plays in forming the illusion of three dimensions. How to Hold A Pencil First off, it might be worth taking a step back and thinking how best to hold a pencil when drawing. The way we normally hold a pencil is taught to us at school. This method is good for writing, but it isn’t necessarily the best method to use when drawing. Both of the video’s below describe an alternative way to hold a pencil, controlling movement from the shoulder rather than the wrist, with the wrist being used to alter the angle of the pencil for making different marks. You may find these video useful, as one of the benefits of this technique is increased control over your shading. But it does take practice… Light and Shade – A Basic Example Shadows occur when light is blocked. In the following diagram, a single spot-light is shining on a sphere. The shadow line on the sphere runs perpendicular to the angle of the incoming light. In the first image we see two areas on the sphere, the light and the shade. This is of course a simplified example of what we see, but identifying the shadow edge, sometimes referred to as the ‘shadow line’ or ‘terminator’ is still useful. Above the shadow edge we see reflected light.Below the shadow edge the light is deflected. In practice we are likely to see a number of gradual variations in tone. The highlight is caused by direct light (known as the ‘incident light’) hitting the surface of the object. It is the shortest path from the light source to the object surface and therefore the brightest part of the object. The appearance of the highlight will be effected by the objects surface (e.g. a hard, shiny surface is likely to produce a brighter highlight). There are numerous ways to define the breakdown of light/shade on an object, and how this is described in terms of tones. The following diagram provides a very simple overview. It is clear from looking at this picture that the outlined areas could easily be broken down into smaller sections. As a rule of thumb, even the brightest areas below the shadow edge will not normally be as bright as the areas above the shadow edge, although in real life there are times when this is not the case (e.g. a metallic object standing on a bright surface). A more detailed breakdown can be found in the diagram on This page Another breakdown can be found here, while this page takes the subject further by discussing light, form and tone. Some Other Resources on Shading As usual, there are tons of resources available online. Some cover the basics while others go into more specific areas. We will look at shading techniques in more detail next week, but in the meantime, here are a few short videos which are worth watching. [...]
Week Starting 21st December – 3D Shapes and sketching
Week Starting 21st December – 3D Shapes and sketchingDecember 20, 2020Art GroupThis week we will be looking at drawing basic 3D shapes, using the skills we gained last week in perspective drawing. We will then consider how we can use 3D shapes to help us with our sketching. Simple ways to draw basic 3D Shapes Here is a list of basic 3D shapes. A simple way to construct a 3d shape is to duplicate a shape in 2d and then connect between these two shapes with parallel lines e.g. : To create a cuboid we can draw 2 squares and join the corners with parallel lines. To create a cylinder we can draw 2 ellipses and then connect them with 2 parallel lines. To create cones and pyramids we can draw an elipse or trangle and then draw additional lines which converge on a single point This works OK for shapes with hard lines. Cubes and CuboidsCylindersPyramids (4 and 5 side)Cones Contour Lines To draw more organic shapes you can draw the outline of the shape and then create contour lines to show the depth of the object. We are trying to draw lines which appear to wrap around the surface of our object. Contours Why do these shapes look Three Dimensional? By adding additional faces, or ‘planes’ which point in different directions, we are creating the appearance of a solid shape which has depth. In a future session we will look at the effect of light on our objects and how this enhances the illusion of three dimensions. But for now we will focus on constructing the basic shapes because we want to use them as a framework for our sketches. Perspective We can apply the lessons we learnt about perspective to create shapes which obey the rules of perspective. Here is an example of a cuboid in 1 point perspective. 3D Shape using 1 point perspective Sketching using 3D shapes to build our images Several weeks ago we created drawings using simple 2D shapes. This works well when images are ‘flat on’ (facing forwards or sideways) and helps us create outlines for our drawing. It isn’t so useful for giving an illusion of depth to our drawings. We can now use the skills we have learnt in this lesson to help us create three dimensional drawings. External Resources As with other topics in this series, there are tons of articles and videos online addressing 3d shapes and using them in your artwork to give it a three dimensional quality. Here are a few to get you started.. RapidFire Art Useful article on 2D to 3D Lesson 3: Going From 2D to 3D [...]
Week Starting 14th December – Basic Perspective
Week Starting 14th December – Basic PerspectiveDecember 13, 2020Art Group / UncategorizedThis week we will be looking at several types of linear perspective. The basic requirements for creating a perspective drawing are: A horizon lineVanishing PointsLines that go to the vanishing pointsOther lines that connect between the lines mentioned above. One Point Perspective Here is a basic example of 1 point perspective, drawing a simple street scene and some fairly boxy houses… First draw a horizon line. This is a horizontal line across the page. If you want to draw from a higher perspective, e.g. as if you were up in the sky looking down, draw the horizon line higher up the page. For a lower perspective e.g. from the point of view of a person standing on the ground (such as this example) you should draw horizon line further down. Next, draw a dot on your horizon, this will be your vanishing point. Draw lines that radiate out from the vanishing point. Here we have drawn lines to represent a road, and the tops and bottoms of walls, doors and windows. Now draw vertical lines that represent the sides of objects, walls, doors and windows. To find the centre of a wall, draw and x from corner to corner of the wall. Drawing a vertical line through the centre of the ‘x’ will help provide a useful guideline for drawing the top of the roof. Rub out the guidelines when you no longer need them. Two Point Perspective As the name suggests, this requires 2 vanishing points on the horizon. The process is otherwise fairly similar to drawing in 1 point perspective, but it does require a little more work, so hopefully the diagrams below make the process clear. The following example again uses a low-down point of view, such as that of a person standing on the ground. This time I have drawn the guide-lines in red, which hopefully makes the process easier to see. I drew the roof gables a bit too tall in the following pictures and moving the vanishing points further out would give a wider, more natural image. But hopefully you get the point. Three Point Perspective Adding a third vanishing point allows us to make extremely exaggerated images. If we were drawing from a ground level, we would first place our left and right vanishing points on the horizon line, as with our 2 point perspective drawings. We would then place the 3rd vanishing point high up on the page, between the left and right vanishing points. If we were drawing from a high up level, looking down, the 3rd vanishing point would go down below the horizon line. We will come back to three point perspective at a later date, but having an understanding of 1 and 2 point perspective can be very useful. Why learn about linear perspective? We all know that, as an object travels further away from us it will appear to become smaller. Understanding the basics of linear perspective can help us create more realistic images that give a real sense of the three dimensional world. It helps us represent scale and depth. It is useful to understand when we consider figure drawing and foreshortening. It gives us an approximation of how the world is seen by the human eye. [...]
Week Starting 7th December – Breaking down a drawing into shapes – Part 1
Week Starting 7th December – Breaking down a drawing into shapes – Part 1December 6, 2020Art GroupThis week we will look at breaking objects down into basic shapes. We can construct a drawing by using these basic shapes to create a structure. Creating a structure for your drawing from basic shapes will help you concentrate on the scale and proportions of the object. It helps ensure that your object fits on the page nicely. Once the object has been drawn with basic shapes, you can then start working on the details. It may help you to draw the construction lines fairly lightly, as you will probably choose to rub them out at some point. As usual there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube which cover this subject (in slightly different ways). This is a good one to get you started: [...]
Week Starting 30th November – More drawing exercises
Week Starting 30th November – More drawing exercisesNovember 29, 2020Art Group / blog / News PageThis week we will be looking at some more drawing exercises. The aim is to give you further ideas which can practice in your own time. Drawing an upside-down image. Find a picture of a person or object and turn it upside down. Now draw the object. It may help you concentrate on what is in front of you, rather than making assumptions about what you can see. When you are done, turn the pictures the right way around. Drawing negative spaces. Look at an object and then look at the space around it. Try to create a picture by just drawing the shapes of the space around the object, rather than the object itself. Drawing with your non-dominant hand. This is yet another commonly recommended exercise. Drawing with your less dominant hand may help you get out of some ingrained drawing habits. Making a drawing of your hands or feet. Timed Drawing. Try to draw as much of whatever is in front of you in a set amount of time – maybe just 5 minutes. Theme of the Week – Your Environment Last week we looked at drawing individual household objects. This week why not try making quick sketches of the space directly in front of you. You could do some quick timed drawings, or try to create a more detailed drawing. Art Group Home Page [...]
Week Starting 23rd November 2020
Week Starting 23rd November 2020November 21, 2020Art Group / blog / News PageThis week we will be looking at sketchbooks and some basic ideas for drawing exercises. Sketchbooks An introduction to using a sketchbook can be found here We will be handing out some basic sketchbooks and drawing materials to people over the next few weeks. If you are not sure where to start with using your sketchbook, you could look at our drawing exercises and weekly theme. Drawing Exercises Here are some ideas for drawing exercises. They are useful for warming up and practicing your skills. Warmup exercises Quick Drawing Exercises Theme of the week – Household Objects Given that we are probably spending more time in our homes at the moment than we normally would, the theme of ‘household objects’ feels like a good place to start. Drawing objects around you is a convenient way to practice your drawing skills and a great way to start filling your sketchbooks. You could focus on quick sketches of individual objects, or maybe try something more ambitious such as a still life composition. Art Group Home Page [...]