Hot on the heels of what seems to have been a popular giveaway, judging by the scant number of copies in local newsagents, The Guardian is following up its week-long comics promotion with two guides for budding artists being given away in the Guardian and sister Sunday newspaper the Observer this weekend.
The Guides to Drawing and Painting - free with the Guardian on Saturday (19 September) and The Observer on Sunday, are produced in collaboration with the Slade School of Art and the University of Gloucestershire. The guides will prove to be a useful starting point for anyone interested in learning how to draw (including the comic artists of the future!) or wanting to 'brush-up' (groan) on their existing skills.
Three art tutors at the University of Gloucestershire have drawn upon their years of experience to produce a the 66-page Guardian Guide to Drawing circulated free with the newspaper on Saturday, penning a series of exercises to inspire even complete beginners to pick up a pencil and start to sketch.
Mick Maslem, who recently retired after teaching drawing and painting to foundation students at the University for more than 30 years has teamed up with fine art tutor Jack Southern, senior lecturer in illustration and drawing, Jennifer Whiskerd and London-based Atul Vohora to produce the guide.
Jack Southern was approached by the guide’s editorial advisor, Dale Berning, a friend from his days at the Slade art school. Jack recommended Mick as ‘the best drawing tutor I’d ever met.’
“Mick sent in a rough draft of a book that he'd had on the shelf for years," explains Nell Card, of Guardian News and Media, "a selection of teaching notes and exercises that he'd found had produced exciting, unusual results amongst his students over the years.
“We were really keen for the guide to be unlike the any guides we'd seen in the shops: we wanted the exercises to be encouraging, innovative and non-prescriptive and Mick's lessons were exactly that.
“Knowing that Mick had worked alongside both Jack and Jen, we asked all three if they'd be willing to work together on the exercises for our guide. The result is a set of fantastic exercises that will encourage our readers to learn to look, to broaden their visual language, and to value the uniqueness of their own mark-making.”
"Working on the guide with Mick and Jen has been a fascinating experience," says Jack. "Coming up with ideas and writing new exercises was an extremely exciting creative process.
“I think it's wonderful that the drawing knowledge, experience and expertise which has been the backbone of the foundation course at Pittville for so many years, will now be disseminated both nationally and internationally, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to develop their understanding of the possibilities of drawing.”
The Guide also features contributions from Grayson Perry and Louise Bourgeois.
• More details at: www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/competition/2009/sep/11/art