Merrill Academy Learners Learn Portrait Skills

GCSE Art & Design learners joined a workshop by London-based artist Edward Sutcliffe as part of a programme organised by NEMCON (North East Midlands Collaborative Outreach Network) which was hosted by the University of Derby.

Mr Sutcliffe specialises in portrait painting and has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. After talking about the fundamentals of portrait painting, he coached the pupils during a workshop session.

Among those taking part was 15-year-old Merrill Academy pupil Navdeep Gill.  She said: “I love Art & Design and it has been brilliant to learn more about how to tackle a portrait using a grid.  I have really enjoyed the workshop.”

Fellow pupil Neve Hawden continued: “I have never really grasped how to do portraits but this workshop has really given me the confidence to have a go and I am very pleased with the results.”

Merrill Academy Head of Enrichment Yasmine Lamoudi accompanied the pupils to the workshop. She said: “This has been a fantastic inspiration for the young people – learning from a top portrait artist and hopefully inspiring them to progress onto university – whether that is to do Art & Design or other subjects.”

Edward Sutcliffe concluded: “The pupils have been very engaged in the subject and I hope that they will have more confidence to develop their portrait work in the future and for their GCSE coursework. “A key aspect of the workshop has been to talk about how studying university has helped me in my career and I hope this has inspired more of the young people to consider Higher Education as an option after sixth form.”

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