Before taking classes with Sarah, I was worried about the atmosphere: whether there would be good vs bad students and pressure to get better. I worried that Sarah wouldn’t be in control of the room.
I found none of that. I can go at my own pace. I can ask the same question over and over again, interact with others or not. If I don’t understand, Sarah doesn’t take it personally.
I would recommend Sarah and the Drawing Room Studio because she presents art as a passion that is within everyone’s ability and she can talk on all levels of artistic knowledge.
I had some reservations about taking art classes with Sarah Lacy at the Drawing Room as I knew very little about her other than she taught art privately and offered courses in my area of interest i.e., portraiture and life drawing. (I might add that I had been looking for some time but there did not appear to be much available.)
I found Sarah’s answers to my queries online to be very organized, efficient and satisfying. She instilled a sense of professionalism and trust right from the beginning of my association with her [via computer].
Any reservation I had were quickly dispelled after taking a weekend workshop with her at the Drawing Room. Ms Lacy’s competence as a teacher was immediately apparent. She showed a tremendous capacity demonstrate and convey new ideas, while encouraging students to move forward at a comfortable pace. She also manages to field questions from students with great ease and comfort due to her vast knowledge of Art.
Ms Lacy is very personable, has excellent communication skills and maintains a level of friendly professionalism at all times. I consider myself very lucky indeed to have found such a wonderful teacher.
I was skeptical about Sarah’s ability to transfer and communicate her knowledge because of her relative youth. Very early into the first class, my skepticism was dispelled. Sarah is an exceptional verbal communicator. Not only does she clearly express the objectives and ideas and instructions she presents, but she communicates her passion and enthusiasm for the subject just as clearly. I would happily recommend Sarah to anyone who has an interest in drawing and painting or learning about the principles within the tradition of art Sarah works in. Sarah’s generous and open teaching style makes her studio environment pleasant, accepting, and respectful of each person’s ability.
I’d seen Sarah’s drawings so I knew she knew what she was doing and she did it very well. I needed to do something different to improve my drawing. I wasn’t sure what was going to be taught, that my visual field was basically going to be upended and retrained. Sarah’s teaching something not available anywhere else, for a reasonable price, and she’s a very enthusiastic and positive teacher. The vibe is very relaxed and friendly and it’s always fun to be in her classes.
I was skeptical about my ability to take and study portrait drawing in a class taught by an accomplished Master trained artist like Sarah and reroute poor drawing habits at my advanced age of 74.
After taking the first class with Sarah, her step by step instruction in theory and her demonstrations excited me and the results of my own process and drawing encouraged me that my drawing skills can indeed improve!!
I would recommend Sarah as an instructor to anyone. Her knowledge base, skill and experience and excellent lessons accompanied with intuitive observations and advice in her feedback, has inspired and strengthened my own observation skills in my art.
Also, Sarah is very sensitive to the feelings of her students. She isn’t critical and demeaning when she gives feedback. She is able to give instruction and change students poor drawing habits in a very encouraging way!
In the past, I have attended three other venues for life drawing sessions. Regrettably, they were all focused on very short poses from 2 to 30 minutes maximum. While short poses are excellent for skill development on human movement and proportion, it is clearly not sufficient for more sustained study and the creation of more complete work. The short poses venues tend to attract amateurs at the beginner level where there is a high number of drop outs and little progress is possible.
When I attended the Drawing Room for the first time I was concerned that the venue would be similar and attract a similar calibre of amateur artists.
What I found at the Drawing Room is a professional environment that is properly managed and which attracts serious amateur and professional artists. The sessions are managed on time and with appropriate discipline; the atmosphere is serious but relaxed; the models are very professional. The Studio culture that is fostered is very much like the studio environments that I experience at the university School of Architecture. Studio culture is important because you learn with your peers both during instruction sessions and, more importantly, even when there is no formal instruction. I believe that this is a key driver and indicator of the calibre of the studio environment which leads to the reputational success that has already been experienced at the Drawing Room.
I would recommend the Drawing Room to prospective artists of all levels that are committed and serious about their work, that can concentrate and be focused during the sessions. The opportunities of a larger studio location for the Drawing Room would accommodate larger groups and more frequent sessions.
First of all I’m not great at routine so I was partly worried that I would get bored and find it annoying having to go once a week. I also just wasn’t sure if I would like it. I knew I would only be interested in continuing to go if I really respected Sarah’s ability to draw. I liked what I saw on her studio walls so I was hopeful but was still worried that I would hate it.
After the first class I could really tell that she knew what she was talking about because she wasn’t teaching the standard stuff that you could find online or in books. She was teaching interesting concepts that I knew nothing about so I was for sure learning. Also it was quite clear that she was very talented so she earned my respect immediately. I no interest in being taught by someone that I didn’t feel I could learn from because I didn’t respect their ability.
I would recommend Sarah to anyone who is truly interested in improving their drawing and who wants to be challenged. She will make you look at everything you see differently and get you to step out of your comfort zone, which is really the only way to improve. I trust what I am learning from Sarah and I respect her talent so it makes it is possible form me to set my ego aside and get everything I can from her.
After starting classes, I realized that although there is a definite method to the lessons, there is still a lot of room for individual artistic approaches. Sarah is willing to work with people to help them become the artists they want to be.
I have been attending Sarah’s workshops and drawing courses for nearly a year. Before I found her studio, I tried taking classes with a number of teachers in the Ottawa area, but none of them met my high expectations. I was looking for someone with both technical and teaching abilities in the classical study of the figure. I even went as far as a school in New York City before I learned about The Drawing Room Studio through a Google search. I was impressed by Sarah’s artwork on her website, however, I was skeptical that she would be able to communicate the knowledge, understanding and skills that she clearly excels in. Some talented artists are poor teachers and vice versa. Throughout my time at Sarah’s studio, I have found that Sarah is not only a gifted draftswoman, but she is also an effective communicator who is passionate about teaching others. Her courses are very well planned and she is able to adapt her teaching style to the needs of each individual, whether that person is a beginner or an advanced student. Her critiques are always constructive, informative and demonstrate her deep understanding of classical figure drawing. In addition, her studio fills a need in the Ottawa community for an atelier-style method of teaching that includes learning to draw from life with experienced models for long poses. Beyond her abilities as a teacher and an artist, Sarah is positive, warm and friendly. She is fostering a growing artistic community at The Drawing Room Studio. For these reasons, I would most highly recommend Sarah’s studio to anyone who is interested in learning figure drawing and painting.