Life drawing with my friend Lucas Thomas Thompson

Life drawing with my friend Lucas Thomas Thompson – words – words Hande Gungor

Drawing is a passion for me so when my best friend Lucas asked me if I wanted to join him for some life drawing classes, I didn’t even hesitate.

I immediately said yes. I have never done life drawing before but the idea of it always appealed to me. There is something exciting and sensual about the human body and capturing this sensuality on paper, raw and unedited, sounded just brilliant.


I’ve known Lucas Thomas Thompson for almost 6 years and during this time we became best friends. The first time I found out that he did life drawing, I was ever so intrigued. But before everything else I wanted to see my best friend’s work.

So on the Saturday before the life drawing class, armed with a bottle of the finest wine and delicious nibbles, I made my way to his house where I had been so many times before for dinners, parties, movie nights. As always we started to chat, endlessly; there is never a dull moment with Lucas, he’s never shy of a conversation. The conversation turned to me, as he always wants to know how I’m doing, what I’m doing. It’s so easy to talk to him, one of the main reasons why he’s such a close friend to me; although he sometimes tells me off (and I do need telling off sometimes), he never judges. I guess when you are an artist, you are so open minded that it allows you to be critical but never judgemental. And that’s exactly why he’s one of my best friends.

When I asked him how he would describe himself he told me that he preferred to be called a fine artist. When he uses his Wacom pad to do his drawings I can understand why he said that. It’s such a detailed procedure but the way he does it somehow makes it look effortless. It’s all about the aesthetics, he said; the beauty and meaningfulness of the subject. The end results are pure; raw and real in the true sense. I don’t know how he does it, how he captures that rawness and beauty on print. I was in awe.

“Who are your biggest influences?” I asked him.

“Francis Bacon and Henri Matisse,” he said, showing me Matisse’s prints in the book. “These are truly awesome,” he continued. I understand. I love Matisse and Lucas is all about the sensory experience not bound by tradition. “Matisse,” he said, “is great and he’s more concerned with the body and form and he is able to create images using shapes.”

David Hockney is another inspiration for Lucas. He agrees with Hockney that the iPad is now seen as another medium in which artists can express themselves. The British artist known for his bold colours and landscapes is an early adaptor of this method. Like him, Lucas also is interested in technology and using this medium to create art. And yes, there are some critical views about using technology to create art; some people say that the results are quite bland, but I do disagree. Who decides how to create art anyway? Is there such a thing as the right way to create art? Shouldn’t a creative mind be innovative and adventurous, ready to explore anything that’s new? And what about the end results? I mean, just look at those drawings.

Also if we disregard technology, shouldn’t writers stop using their laptops; shouldn’t musicians stop recording in a studio?

Art is subjective for sure but it should be open to explore anything that’s new. Technology doesn’t create art on your behalf; it’s just another mean for the artist to explore their creativeness even more. Wouldn’t you agree that if someone wasn’t talented, no matter how much technology they used, they couldn’t create something that’s beautiful?

“How would you prefer the models to pose?” I wanted to know.

“Just however they would feel comfortable,” was his answer. “I don’t like constructed poses; I don’t like long lines,” he continued. That’s why I understand what he meant when he told me that the drawings don’t look exactly like the models themselves. “For me, it’s all about the shape and curves of the female form,” he said, “I went to a lot of life drawing classes. Although a real good experience, I do not prefer to work on the same pose for a few hours; I like to move quickly onto the next one. That’s why I’m excited about this class. It’ll be several short poses over two hours.”

After talking about it so much, I truly couldn’t wait to draw again, where I could lose myself within forms and shapes; it felt truly inspirational.

Lucas was going to Studio Bee at Aatma, formerly known as The Kraak Gallery, in Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester. When we met up I was really excited and also incredibly prepared, with sketch pads and every type of drawing equipment. We didn’t know beforehand if the model was female or male, but the surprise element of it made it so much more interesting. It was really busy inside with every chair taken; anyone from inexperienced beginners to art students and artists themselves were there.

I didn’t even realize how quickly the two hours passed by. By the end of it I felt so happy that I did this; that I started drawing and sketching again, it felt really liberating and inspiring. I couldn’t wait for the next one. Life drawing has been an amazing experience for me and since then I have started drawing again. If like me you too are truly interested in life drawing but have never done it, why wait anymore? I can’t recommend it enough. Just make the decision now and book yourself a place in next week’s class. Believe me, it’s truly worth it.

Life drawing with my friend Lucas Thomas Thompson – words – words Hande Gungor


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