Sir Quentin Blake leads a drawing workshop for The Prince’s Drawing Clubs

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Sir Quentin discusses his work

Just before Christmas, 25 of our Drawing Clubs students joined Sir Quentin Blake for a drawing workshop at his at his recent exhibition ‘Quentin Blake: drawings, etchings and lithographs’, at Marlborough Fine Art. Sir Quentin Blake first showed his support and belief in the importance and work of The Prince’s Drawing Clubs when he opened their annual exhibition in 2009 at The Prince’s Drawing School in Shoreditch. We were very excited to see him again when he invited us along to draw with him at his exhibition!

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The young artists made drawings based on ‘A Christmas Carol’ from models and props in the gallery

The exhibition was transformed into a festive drawing space as our models posed as characters from A Christmas Carol, and the children’s drawings gradually built up an illustration of the whole story from beginning to end. Tutors Anna Ilsley and Richard Burton, both of whom are alumni of The Drawing Year, were on-hand to guide the students throughout the workshop. Sir Quentin Blake drew alongside the students and at the end of the session he looked at each student’s work and generously offered lots of very un-Scrooge-like words of encouragement to all of our young artists. After the drawing part of the workshop everyone settled down for a question and answer session, probing Sir Quentin on all sorts of drawing related matters. He was happy to oblige, telling us about some of the different techniques he used to create the drawings in the exhibition, and which were drawn from life and which from imagination. He also explained how he got into illustration, what his favourite books were to illustrate, and how he found his own ‘drawing language’.

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Sir Quentin inspects the drawings made by the young artists

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An angry Scrooge by one of our Prince’s Drawing Clubs students

His exhibition in December 2012 marked his 80th birthday. However, in an interview with The Telegraph  he was quick to point out that ‘I’m not having a retrospective to mark my birthday – I’m actually having an exhibition of new work.’ That should serve as an inspiration to Prince’s Drawing School students of all ages! So thank you very much to Sir Quentin for his inspirational advice to our young artists, and to the Marlborough Gallery for welcoming us…

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