Wild Life Drawing
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This series of life-drawing classes is a right hoot. Instead of humans acting as models, participants are tasked with sketching a live animal each time.
Review of micro pig drawing class: At any normal life-drawing class, you’d be thrown out for calling the model ‘porky’, but this is no such class. Here the observation would be pretty astute. After all, today’s muse is pale pink, rotund and has a penchant for slobbering all over her posing pillow. Also, she’s an actual pig.
While mud-muddling mammals might usually be kept away from fancy Kensington art galleries, there’s good reason for our visitor today. I’m taking part in Wild Life Drawing, an animal-lovers’ initiative which serves the dual purpose of allowing city dwellers to improve their sketching skills and learn a little bit more about animals and the hardships they face.
The classes host everything from baby owls and penguins to wolf cubs and bearded dragons, but our model today is Lily – a fully grown micropig with a stoned demeanour and a tendency to roll over for belly scratches (if you tickle her under her left armpit). Armed with a fine-liner and an array of pink and purple pencils, I get to work on drawing her likeness while she gets to work on an array of apples and digestive biscuits provided by her owner Mark.
Mark is a patron of the Farms Not Factories charity, and while today’s class is an excellent opportunity to try our trotter at drawing a pig, it’s also a chance to learn about their quirks and the often brutal way these intelligent animals are farmed. Our mid-lesson chat ranges from the riveting (did you know the tallest pig was 5'1"? Or that an adult pig can run a seven-minute mile?) to the grotesque (if you knew what went on at Britain’s immense pig factories, you’d regret the pork loins you had for dinner last night too).
My post-class lunch is a vegan noodle bowl, which I have Lily to thank for. And while I won’t be hanging up her portrait any time soon, that’s more reflective of my lack of talent than her good looks.
Classes sell out well in advance so keep an eye on their website for new dates.