All The Young Nudes

It’s eight o’clock on a Monday night.
Glasgow City Centre is buzzing with atmosphere on what would usually be a rather dull afternoon. The Town is filled with people, bright lights and lively buskers who are playing jazz and a medley of other loud tunes.

As we, myself and my friend Pamela, walk through the town we quickly find ourselves at Sloans. Here, you’ll find a very niche club: All The Young Nudes, a class which helps you get up close and personal with life drawing.

 

 

Asking Pamela how she feels, she replies “Kind of nervous, kind of excited” which was an understandable way to feel. After all, this was a new experience for the both of us; it’s not every Monday night you find yourself sitting in a room with about sixty people, gawking at a naked person and sketching on a pad of paper.

“Have you ever done anything like this before, Pamela?”

“No, that’s why I’m nervous, but, I’m also excited because it’s something new”

“What do you think about people who go to these kind of classes?”

“Honestly, do what you want to do. For me, its more about the artistic side. I really want to see what its all about; its about the experience”

“What do you think the outcome of your work will be like?”

“I think it will be quite sh*t”

The class takes place in a ballroom upstairs above Sloans Bar and Restaurant. The most noticeable thing when we both enter the room is the warmth and the amount of eager art enthusiasts.

 

The people attending this weeks class are not what you may expect…there are people of all ages, styles and backgrounds.

From the young model-like boy in the Adidas trainers, to the balding man in glasses, to the arty girls with quirky haircuts and the multiple lanky boys in short trousers exposing ugly socks.

The ballroom itself is dimly lit and cosy; the ceiling is adorned with gold features and a total of five chandeliers hang from it.

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Image Credit and sketches: All The Young Nudes 

Music plays in the background and, at times, is rather ominous which only adds to my nervousness. The music dramatically changes from sinister opera to what can only be described as 80’s inspired synth beats, or alien gospel.

A bell rings, the class has begun and a woman in a robe enters the room. The woman’s name is Ruth and we have been instructed that she will do four fifteen minute poses.

She quickly takes off her robe and its almost frightening to witness how nonchalantly she rests her bare butt-cheeks onto the little wooden stool, her breasts flopping over her stomach.

 

I soon learn something: drawing naked people is not easy. From trying to draw the way Ruth’s arm naturally curves to how she positions her shoulder, I realise that I am definitely in need of some major practice.

In the other half of the ballroom another man is being drawn as he poses extravagantly for his audience.

Whilst the room continues to draw and Ruth does an excellent job of sticking to her poses, we finally get a break. During this time I can’t help but notice that the man sitting next to my friend has drew some incredible sketches which make mine look laughable, as if that wasn’t already the case. His name is Graham and he was happy to show me his work and have a quick chat:

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“When did you start coming to these classes?”

“Over a year ago, so, last July”

What made you start attending  in the first place?”

“Mainly the social aspect of it, but, also the fact that I had never done life drawing before. I also tended to never draw people so I saw it as a new challenge”

“What was it like on your first class?”

“It was surprisingly more than I expected. I was expecting a bunch of retired old people, but, it’s very young and youthful”

“What would you say to  people to encourage them to come to the class?”

“Just give it a go. Don’t even think about whether you think you can draw or not. As long as you can put a mark on a piece of paper then you can draw. So, come along and give it a go”

 

As myself and Pamela prepared to leave, happy with our work, the people around the room were heavily concentrated and in their own artistic worlds.

Looking back, it was nice to be in an environment were people didn’t care that you’ve got a bit of a tummy or a wonky boob. It’s refreshing, and, in today’s society, it should be applauded. The class was full with overwhelmingly friendly characters who were more than pleased to talk about their experiences with the class. The thought of going to an art class might seem daunting, especially when faced with the idea of nudity, but, your initial fears will be quickly dispelled. The overall experience felt very relaxed and we all shared our work with one another to which we complimented the good parts and had a laugh at all the not-so-good parts.

The organisers provide everything you need from boards, paper, pencils and charcoal, so, all you have to do is get yourself there. And for six pounds a ticket it isn’t an expensive outing.

And, as Graham quite rightly said, you don’t have to be the best drawer in the world to give it a go.

Take a look at my previous post on AYTN here 

 

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