Life & Style
Newcastle

Raw Celebrations

My first life drawing class. Yes, the kind with the nude model!

Ok, so I have limited experience with art and even less experience with life drawing... When I think of life drawing, I either picture that scene from the Titanic where Jack draws Rose “like one of his French girls” or that Kit Kat ad where the guy is in a life drawing class and the nude model is his Mum? Either way, it's not something I had at the top of my bucket list!

I mean, I love the idea of being able to draw with charcoal, but I don’t know how I would go with a naked guy in front of me... Where do I even look?

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

I had mixed emotions when I received a hen's invite to a life drawing class. We were going to be drawing the naked guy, right before dinner and cocktails! I don’t know why, but immediately I’m thinking sleazy stripper vibes and some dingy back alley venue.

Fast forward to the hens day, we arrive at the studio, I brace myself to walk into a naked guy with sleazy music blaring, but instead, I am greeted by an artist (fully clothed) and pleasantly surprised by how cute the studio is! It's open, airy, and light. Not a sleazy vibe in sight!

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

The artist welcomes us and gets us settled in. We sit down at our easel and pour ourselves a drink (the venue is BYO so I’ve brought some bubbles to calm my nerves). There’s a cruisey playlist in the background with a mix of 80’s tunes and iconic girl's night bangas.

After getting settled in, the model makes his way out, and I don’t know why, but as a 32-year-old fully grown woman I am feeling so nervous about seeing a naked guy! He walks out wearing an apron and introduces himself, I don’t know why I was expecting him not to speak for some reason? The artist tells us we will be doing some warm-up exercises and the model de-robes.

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

We are all like giggling school girls, none of us knew where to look! After a moment to compose ourselves, we start drawing. Something about drawing with charcoal makes me feel especially arty, not that it makes my drawings look any more artistic!

After around 20 minutes, the vibe seems to have settled, I feel way less awkward and a lot more relaxed, the model is chatting now and we’re almost forgotten he’s naked. Almost. The vibe is in full swing, the artist has come around to give us some pointers, I have realised I like my drawings much more when I smudge the charcoal. And we have learned the artist is full-time plumber throughout the week!

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

We’re nearing the end of the two-hour class and I’ve got to say I am actually really enjoying myself! We’ve had a few drink breaks, where we refill our glasses and our model puts the apron back on and has come around to let us know his thoughts on our renditions of him!

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

The whole class has a really relaxed vibe and some of the girls, myself included, have been really surprised with how impressed we are with our drawings. I expected I would be throwing out my stick figures but instead, I am proudly planning on taking my drawings home with me!

Overall I really enjoyed the class. There were definitely no awkward vibes beyond those first few minutes, and it was a good mix of laughs and learning. I am definitely planning on attending again so I can keep working on my charcoal smudging technique! 

life drawing raw celebrations king st newcastle

Raw hosts life drawing classes for all occasions. Join Raw for their first public life drawing classes on the 20th and 27th of June. Limited tickets are available. Raw accepts NSW dine and discover vouchers, use the code DiscoverNSW upon booking.