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Back 10.10.17

Portraiture workshop with Olivia Kemp


On Wednesday morning the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Fine Art students were lucky enough to take part in a portraiture workshop with Artist Olivia Kemp.

Olivia Kemp studied painting at Winchester School of Art and went on to study MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art where she was awarded The Jealous Prize. She also completed a Postgraduate program at the Royal Drawing School.

Her drawings are concerned with notions of wilderness and tensions between the natural and man-made. She has exhibited at various galleries including The Saatchi Gallery, The National Gallery, Christies New York and also Hyde Park Corner Tube Station as part of “The Art Below” project. She has artworks in the collections of both the V&A Museum and the University of the Arts London, and many privately held by British and International fine art collectors. Her exhibition through Art for Guernsey was in Market Square, St Peter Port from 27 September until the 7th of October 2017.


"We were lucky enough on Wednesday morning to have the opportunity of a charcoal portrait workshop with Artist Olivia Kemp. Olivia showed us a different application of using charcoal and a rubber to produce portraits focusing on firstly the dark and light areas of the face and then gradually added the more detailed elements. We all gained confidence working in this different technique and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and the advice and support given by Olivia. Some of developed this technique later in our life drawing evening class."  Olivia, Lower Sixth


"Olivia Kemp was Guernsey artist in residence during summer 2017 and her final exhibition caused a lot of excitement. I think most people were amazed by the patience it requires to draw such detailed work, but for me it was the delicate unusual pen techniques and her compositions that were the most outstanding aspect of her work.

In our Wednesday art lesson, we got the incredible opportunity to meet Oliva Kemp for a drawing workshop. Despite her love for pen and ink drawing, she demonstrated how to do life drawings using charcoal; giving us several tips and techniques along the way. One of the most fascinating techniques she taught us involved only drawing the lightest and darkest areas of the model and focusing on light rather than drawing in lines. This will result in a more accurate result and not what we think a face 'should' look like. I found this quite difficult as I am used to sketching in precise and tight lines, but as the session went on, I could see how this technique can result in a much better drawing. 

Olivia Kemp has greatly inspired my artwork and I plan to study her work in more detail in my art coursework, which has the theme of 'Remnants'. I plan to use the techniques that she uses in my drawings of old abandoned houses and dollhouses, as I think Olivia accurately captures the wildness and emptiness of nature taking over memories from the past."  Bronnie, Upper Sixth