Inspired by the Masters: Drawing transparency & lustre in pastels

Subject: Drawing
Dates: 14 May 2018 - 18 May 2018
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: St Luke's Community Centre
Tutor: Radu Leon
Full price
£ 385
Student concession
£ 310
OAP concession
£ 310

How can lustre, transparency and depth be conveyed with a matte medium? How did practitioners in the 18th century, the height of the medium`s success, resolve this problem in creating sumptuous depictions of porcelain, marble, silk, velvet, silver, lace, fur, gold, glass, pearls and feathers? Were artists then translating traditional procedures from other media (especially oil painting) or indeed finding new ways to interpret tradition, relying on craft while aware of new optics theories on light and colour perception?

This practical workshop draws inspiration from artworks by Bernard Vaillant, Benedetto Luti, Rosalba Carriera, Jean Etienne Liotard, John Russell, and Francis Cotes among others. Students will learn how the reflective properties and visual appearance of chalks were used in rendering glossy, transparent, velvety or metallic surfaces.

Participants will be guided in convincingly depicting these eye-catching materials in the traditional technique of 18th century pastel painting, producing a finished work on a subject of their choice.

This course includes a visit to the V&A Museum's Prints and Drawings Study Room, to view examples of drawings in the museum's collection.

What should I bring?

Students will be asked to bring in an object with some personal significance which will be drawn during the workshop. All other materials will be provided on this course.

Who is this course for?

All levels of experience and ability welcome.

Where will this course take place?

This course will be held  in the City & Islington  meeting room at St Luke's Community Centre,  90 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ. Click here for a map.

What days do I attend?

Monday - Friday

Please read the timetable below.

On Tuesday, 15 May, meet your tutor at the Museum -enter the Sackler Centre from the Exhibition Road entrance to the Museum, where you can assemble in the Learning Centre Reception. From there, please take the lift to Level 4 to access the Prints and Drawings Study Room.

Please be sure to arrive on time, as you will not be permitted to enter the Study Room without your group, and you will be escorted to the room promptly at 10:30.

Course Timetable
Date Time Venue
14 May 10:30 - 17:30 St Luke's Community Centre
15 May 10:30 - 13:30 V&AMuseum, Prints and Drawings Study Room
16 May 10:30 - 17:30 St Luke's Community Centre
17 May 10:30 - 17:30 St Luke's Community Centre
18 May 10:30 - 17:30 St Luke's Community Centre

Tutor biography

Radu Leon

Radu Leon currently pursues a PhD in Art History in Venice. He is academically trained as a film director, holds a Master's Degree in Visual Arts and a BBC World Service Diploma in TV Journalism. In the late 90's, he started in-depth research into the craft of painting. His works were exhibited in London at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Private Views in favour of Marie Curie Cancer Care (2013-2017), at the Mall Galleries in the Pastel Society UK Annual Exhibition (2011), in the 'Venice in Peril' exhibitions at the W.H. Patterson Gallery (2012) and at The Osborne Studio Gallery (2015), and in the shows of the Société des Pastellistes de France (2013-2014).

Upcoming Courses with Radu Leon