My art workshop with Adebanji Alade

Adebanji Alade is an artist with his own studio in Lots Road, Chelsea, London and has been the resident artist  on the One Show, BBC 1 - 2016 to date.

My art workshop with Adebanji Alade

8ceba70e3f08af2cd4c119e686eae5e4e3a71977.pngAdebanji came to my school to teach art scholars  how we could improve our art skills. We had a one day workshop with him and then at an evening workshop with him which our parents were invited to.
Adebanji considers himself to be an “addictive sketcher” and he focuses mainly on people and places in his artworks.
I liked that Adebanji had many sketchbooks that he shared with us and he let us review his sketches on the tube in London. In this way you could see how he practiced his art skills and how these developed over time.

He showed us some of the work that had been  Commissioned by the BBC. These were  portraits of famous celebrities like Chris Eubanks, Gail Portrer, Leslie Ash, Sam Fox and Adele Bellis.
I included photographs of him at work so that in reviewing this you could feel like you were at the workshop.

eeacc2e3d9165367d9f6c16b39fcc9fa9b07d2a4.pngThe photographs were taken in the Art Scholar’s studio – this is where the workshop was held and put on our school website. Adebanji  has a particular palette he uses and explained why this was important to him.He  then demonstrated his DML  method of portrait painting and demonstrated how to add tone.
I really felt inspired by his focus on people because he loves the play of light, moods, emotions, beauty and the variety that each face brings. Some of his work showed a contrast in moods for example he had a homeless man living in poverty  he painted but his face showed such a rich character.

I learnt that working directly from life or from photo references is a way of capturing a moment. I  was able to practice painting  shape by shape, a technique called inside-out, in which the painting is embarked upon from a spot inside the workspace and then spreads out, still working shape by shape until the whole piece is complete.
This is the only part of the workshop that I felt could have been better organized as Adebanji could only attend to one person at a time and this meant we spent a long time in the workshop waiting for his input and feedback.

120139a12747d977a8c1cd07f09749ce9f696d80.pngI enjoyed this event because he was really upbeat and explained everything clearly. I would recommend this event to others because I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.I learnt that there is a big difference between what I know and assume about what I am drawing versus what I see. Adebanji encouraged us to focus on what we see and use our observation skills.I learnt  as an artist  you can mix  materials like oils, acrylics, watercolour, pastels, coloured pencils, charcoal and graphite.

In the evening workshop Adebanji told about his life and some of the hard things that had happened in his life – he lost his parents and he moved from London to Nigeria.

Despite all these things his passion for art never died – I found this inspiring.
He also has a great sense of humour and made us all laugh – he has a positive mind and believes if you are positive you can achieve anything – this is a good message for young people.
The event was well organized and I liked that the workshop was with a small group of students as it felt very personal and I got to know him. The workshop in the evening was for a larger group of people and it was nice that my parents could share my experience from the day and get a better idea of what I had learnt.
I would recommend any workshop with Adebanji – it would be fun and you will learn a lot as an artist!

Header Image Credit: Adebanji Alade


Caian Stevens

Caian Stevens

My name is Caian & I attend school in Wokingham. I'm an Art Scholar at my school, I love art , English and horse riding.

Visiting Art exhibitions and workshops inspires me in my art work and I love mixing art medias such as pottery, photography, watercolours and charcoal.


  • Bee Snellen

    On 30 December 2018, 11:53 Bee Snellen Voice Team commented:

    Great review, Caian! Would you mind adding an image and short biography to your profile? We would love to know more about you!

    It sounds like it was a great opportunity to learn from an artist. You mention lots of useful tips to help you with your art. Do you think you will use these in your own projects?

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