Masako Hayashi, 75, from Tokyo, has chosen to study our fine art short courses for two consecutive years running. We chat to Masako about her experience of studying Fine Art Drawing here at Central Saint Martins and why studying here as an international short course student has boosted her confidence and broadened her horizons.

What courses have you studied at Central Saint Martins Short course?

The first year I attended, I studied a weekend course, Life Drawing Master Class – Head, Hands And Feet taught by David Price and the following year I came back for 5 weeks to study Total Drawing with Ilga Leimanis.

Tell us about your experience on Life Drawing Master Class – Head, Hands And Feet.

The course focused on the human body and used skeletons as an aid to drawing. The Tutor, David Price, showed us the anatomy and how it worked and taught us through a series of exercises that included focus on the anatomy and life drawing.

Masako Hayashi – Fine Art Drawing Short Course

Why did you choose Total Drawing as your follow up course?

Because I have enjoyed painting for over 10 years, on and off, however my painting style is close to realism and I am getting tired of this style. I wanted to study drawing to gain a new perspective.  The last short course I took, Life Drawing Master Class, was informative and I really enjoyed it, however it was one style only (anatomical drawing), so I wanted to expand with total drawing to try out many different styles and learn new techniques.

The different ways of drawing and exploring different technique, some of which were new for me was fascinating. The teacher, Ilga Leimanis, asked us to “feel like the object”, which at first was really hard because the first object was a cardboard box! And we were all thinking “how can we feel like a cardboard box?” But in time we came to understand what it meant and now I can draw with feeling. When I go back to Tokyo I cannot wait to paint in abstract now, which is totally different from my usual style (realism).

Total Drawing

Have these courses benefited your personal development?

Yes, I think so, in the sense that my style is already changing and expanding. Every time I post new work on Facebook, friends comment that my style is changing in a positive way – they look forward to seeing more.  Before, I used to only look at shape, but now I look at shape and content and what’s inside the shape.  I’ve also made many friends from all over the world whilst studying on these courses and it’s great to stay in touch via Instagram and share images of our work.

What is the best thing about studying in London?

Most of the museums and exhibitions are free and it’s fantastic that they allow you to sit and draw what is exhibited.

Do you have an artist or designer that inspires you?

I like Gustave Moreau, a French Symbolist painter, and the Japanese artist Gyoshū Hayami who is famed for his portraits of women from 150 years ago. I often draw women’s portraits too.  I like old fashioned Japanese style in watercolours. I usually enjoy painting with watercolour but recently I have started using pastels.

How would you summarise your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?

An eye-opening experience!

The next Total Drawing and Life Drawing Master Class: Heads, Hands And Feet, courses take place in June.  Please visit the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.