BMF turn arty

BMF isn’t just some fitness classes in the park a few times a week. It’s a community; a friendship group, a ready set of like-minded people to do stuff with, mostly there’s always someone who’s up for anything. Like Enid Blyton’s famous five, BMF Cheltenham are collecting a list of adventures:

This time it’s BMF turn arty. Alex, our resident artist at BMF, offered to organise an evening of portrait drawing. No burpees or running in sight, just easels, paper, snacks and a little tipple or two.

I offered to be the portrait model to see what it’s like being a model for artists, mainly because I want to try life modelling but also because I am shit at drawing, and being on that side of the easel wouldn’t have worked out well. This meant I got to basically sit in a chair and drink wine and eat snacks.  Sounds pretty good to me.

The group had the hard stuff to do. Alex talked a bit about how to draw faces, and sizes and perspectives and stuff (in all honesty I was concentrating on taking a few photos and eating crisps at that point), and then went through a series of exercises to start with, such as time limited sketches and musical-easels, everyone moving around the easels drawing over each others drawings. The hardest part of that seemed to be people knowing which way clockwise was.


Nigel’s first attempt at drawing was excellent. I thought he’d captured my best side.


As the evening progressed, so did the banter behind the easels. I couldn’t see what they were drawing or referring to, so it was quite amusing. But at that point I was just concentrating on staying still and trying not to pass out due to the fact the room was about eleventy-million degrees due to the heatwave that week.

The artists moved onto charcoal and some kind of magic paper that they could rub out to make light bits and rub everything out if they went wrong. There’s probably a technical name for it but I have no idea what it is. I just thought of it like some kind of artistic manual etch a sketch.

After a while, a silence filled the room. The banter stopped and everyone got their concentrating faces on while creating their masterpieces, and after more snack/wine breaks the room was full of pictures of me, Sian and Maja (who also sat). Which was a bit weird.


I thought everyone did brilliantly, and yet again it was just a top evening with a cracking group of people. So many laughs, bit of bants and for a lot of people a chance to try something new.

And you thought BMF was just fitness.



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