mike lamble

“Did the ‘Old Masters’ cheat?” written by Mike Lamble

“Did the ‘Old Masters’ cheat?” written by Mike Lamble


mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

3-6pm Sunday 24th July 2016 $70
At last I have chosen a date to talk, demonstrate and what I consider visual evidence by looking at paintings by Holbein, Vermeer, Velazquez Leonardo, Van Dyke, Raphael, to name a few including a number of drawings from the 19th century.
 I will illustrate how I believe the old masters used optics to achieve the results we admire today.
My journey started many years ago as I stood in front of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus  1601 in the National Gallery London.
There was something decidedly odd about the hands I will discuss this in the workshop. 
This took me on a journey of exploration that lasted a number of years, at this point I must thank David Hockney for making it easy to put all the pieces together.


I sent Most of Sunday experimenting with mirrors and lenses, instruments believed to have been used in the 15th and 16th century’s, you will also see in the picture a Camera Lucida a 19th Century drawing device next to a 21st Century Camera Lucida ,which is much easier to use than it’s 19th Century grandfather but still difficult to use as you will find out when invited to try to use it for your self.


This shows my attempts tracing the outline of the cast of Aphrodite, after an hour or so experimenting it was quite easy took about 30seconds.


Sarita taken from my ipad from Saturday’s portrait workshop much more difficult several attempts realised it is better to make a few quick notations of proportion then continue using traditional observation skills .
Thanks to Andrew lending me his 21st century Camera Lucida I have finally been able to put this workshop together.

Download the flyer/enrollment form >>

“Hope this encourages you all” written by Mike Lamble

“Hope this encourages you all” written by Mike Lamble

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike often goes out for sketching.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

As most of you know from my talks at the school I love to get out of Sydney and draw at the weekends and in the holidays when I can.
Thanks to Ako who has inspired me, watching her practice watercolour most of last year I decided to go back to watercolour painting out of doors, something I haven’t done since my student days, I had forgotten how wonderful this was.
This has generated interest from some of my students who will join me from time to time.
I hope the pictures tell the rest of the story with more to follow throughout the year.

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Lunch break.

Strong wind is the chief enemy of sketching ouside.

“Is using photography bad or good?”  – written by Mike Lamble

“Is using photography bad or good?” – written by Mike Lamble

Sketch by Mike Lamble

Mike often drives around to do some drawings.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

For years I spent many hours working from editors notes and photos supplied by which ever publisher I worked for at the time.
I always knew I had produced a successful illustration as FEDEX came to my studio to “ship” it to New York, based on phone conversations and faxed sketches of the previous few weeks.

Historical accuracy and realism to a high standard was the brief to a deadline. To my satisfaction clients began to contact me from many locations in North America and Canada.

Yes I had to use my creativity, imagination and particularly my knowledge of perspective accompanied by many photos supplied, so I knew exactly what my subject matter looked like…… or so I thought!

Eight years ago I turned down my last freelance illustration from a publisher in Dallas USA, to concentrate on full time teaching, and what a journey that has turned out for me in learning to see properly.

Now I had the time and a resurgent desire to get out of the studio and draw and paint from life, not to look at a flat two dimensional image, a frozen moment, a record.

I knew photo’s cannot tell us the full story either of an object ,a face, or a landscape, its what we don’t see when working from photos the camera cannot see like the eye in term of depth of field, colour warm or cool, how often have I pointed out the distortion to some of my students who just didn’t see it.

The camera is a poor substitute for experiencing emotion in a location we wish to draw or paint.Drawing or painting from life we feel the sensations of engagement with our surroundings. photos are great as reference, a memory jogger, a reminder of how we were feeling at the time if we have to work up our painting in the studio in other words go out and take your own photos! create your own ideas. If I’m short on time after sketching (usually running out of daylight) I take notes and as many photo’s as I can which gives me lots to work with.

The problem I most often see when my students paint from other peoples photo’s is they try to reproduce a painting exactly like the photo ( which is fine for beginners) so it becomes a document more than a painting with too many hard edges ,lacking in so much feeling, as my old Art Director often reminded me ” What you leave out is as important as as what you paint in”.

A startling revelation so far of my last eight years working from life, is my illustration of a First World War battle scene hanging on the wall in the Art School, memory told me it was worth pulling out of the portfolio after ten years and having it framed ( one of the few I received back from America).

by Mike Lamble

The shock for me, I was looking at a document as per the brief which when appeared in a large format book was accompanied by text, but if i was to paint it now from what I have learned the scene would have much more feeling, brush strokes, texture, a more dominant focal point much more contrast , have look I hope you can see what I mean.

It makes me wonder if I continue on this journey what could I achieve in my painting in the next eight years thats if I don’t fall off the twig in the mean time.

Skech by Mike Lamble

Mike is sketching

mike's donated painting to rnsh

Happy Discovery – written by Mike Lamble

Mike and his Painting donated to Royal Northshore Hospital

The painting is hung on the ward wall on Level8, RNSH.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

As many of you know, last year I especially painted a sunset had it framed at Shore Style picture framers and donated it to the new Royal North Shore Hospital as an expression of appreciation for the wonderful care in saving my life after an emergency a few years ago.

The photo was taken by Erika (the gorgeous student I painted last year) after a meeting we had with a gentleman who had contacted me the previous week offering an exhibition for the art school as part of the RNS exhibition programme for the new multi million dollar building.

He took us to the ward where I asked the painting to be hung this was the first time I had seen it since it left the art school.

Art Talk at the NSW art gallery by mike lamble

[REVIEW] Art Talk at the Art Gallery of NSW – Written by Mike Lalmble


Art Talk at the Art Gallery of NSW

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

I wanted to thank all of you for giving me such a great time by allowing me to indulge my passion for standing in front of original paintings and talking about them at the Art Gallery of NSW, just by being there all of you inspire me. Thank you for all your comments to me during the following week. Many have asked if I will do another “Magical Mystery Tour” and “not leave it so long this time”.

As a suggestion, 2-4pm Saturday 29th March 2014.


” Mike’s Gallery Tour really showed me how to look at art through the social and political context, as well as through artist’s eyes. He told us about the history of when the piece was painted and the story behind each painting. It was an inspiring afternoon and makes me want to visit the gallery more often. Thank you Mike for a fabulous, educational and uplifting tour!”

– Judyth Wiley

“As an aspiring artist, 2 hours in the Art Gallery of NSW is heaven at the best of times, but when combined with Mike’s obvious excitement and passion in the artworks he chose to share with students during the tour I gained not only a brand new perspective on many pieces that I had seen previously, but hope that maybe producing my own fine piece of artwork was within reach.”

– Vicki Edler

“Mike’s tour enables you to see beyond the beautiful artwork that is on display. He provides an insight to the life and times of the artist, the story behind the picture as he shares his appreciation of the artists’ technique. Mike’s enthusiasm for the Art Gallery of NSW is infectious – making this a wonderful to unwind on a Saurday afternoon. I especially appreciated viewing the Australian artists and his comparisons with pieces contained in other galleries worldwide.”

– Julia Huxley

“I joined my fellow art students on the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of the NSW Art Gallery with Mike on a lovely Saturday afternoon in early December. We learnt about a variety of artists spanning different genres, a range of paintings techniques and the history behind the artwork. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it was inspiring to see Mike talk with such passion about each painting. I am looking forward to the next one!”

– Avneet Narula

“I attended Mike’s “A Magic Mystery Tour” during December 2013 and found it to be incredibly informative, thought-provoking and, most of all, fun! Not only is Mike an art history expert, he is also a genuinely nice person with a fantastic sense of humour. Attending one of Mike’s talks HAS to be on any art appreciator’s list of top things to do in Sydney!”

– Marna van Zyl

Art Talk at the NSW art gallery by mike lamble

Art talk at the Art Gallery of NSW by Mike Lamble


Art Talks at the NSW Art Gallery by Mike Lamble.

mike lamble henry

‘Art a la Cart’, a personal view by Mike Lamble.
Saturday 7th of December, 2pm.

We will explore various paintings from the gallery’s permanent collection – ‘A Magical Mystery Tour’.
To gain access to the paintings of great artists is to go on a journey with infinite possibilities, sharing visions of another age. I will guide you through six centuries of western art.
We will examine what makes a great painting – the use of context, technique, narrative, symbolism, meaning and historical style. We will discuss context.
After an hour we will make our way downstairs to the cafe and enjoy excellent company while nibbling on something wicked resuming our tour approximately half an hour later.
The tour will conclude at approximately 4pm.


Click Here for advice on parking or public transport access to the gallery. Note our tour will exceed the time limit for the meter parking in Art Gallery Road so the Domain parking station is the best place to park.

drawing by Mike Lamble

“Talent? What talent?” – written by Mike Lamble

Scenary Sketch by Mike Lamble

The scenary sketch by Mike Lamble.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

It was great to see that some of my students practiced drawing in the recent holidays. You have no idea how that encourages me as a teacher, it is an essential discipline if you want to improve as artists.

I have mentioned to most of you that over the years I have endured anger, frustration, temper, and lack of progress from some students who then dump it on me because they don’t practice! But then expect to just walk into the studio and paint and draw ‘just like that’, then complain “It’s not working for me” as though it is something beyond their control! Or I hear “I don’t have the talent”. Well this may surprise some of you, nor do I!!

My old Art Director used to remind me “You are only as good as your last job”. So whatever I have painted in the past counts for nothing if I DON’T PRACTICE!!!! Which is what I did in the holidays. Here are a few examples:

Scenary Sketch by Mike Lamble

The scenary to draw

A statue drawing by Mike Lamble

A statue to draw

How many of you have heard it said by great sportsmen, musicians or anyone good at what they do – “Practice at least 10,000 hours”. In my case I knew in junior school when asked by my teacher what I wanted to do for a living, “Commercial Artist” was my reply. I have painted for some of the worlds biggest companies. I was once offered a job in Hollywood (yuk), nothing to do with talent, just sheer determination and single mindedness. So if there is hope for me what does that say for you girls and boys who have real talent?

Henry and Mike @Canberra

Mike Lamble taking a photo of a landscape.

” Will miss you all ! ” -written by Mike Lamble

Mike is taking a photo of the landscape.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

I pinch myself  to think I have you guys round me every day of the week I am probably one of the few people that loves what they do and looks forward to Mondays.
Love what you do and do what you love has been my approach to my working life since leaving college which hasn’t always been easy as I referred to in my earlier blog on starting out as an illustrator and leaving the security of working at Saatch and Saatchi behind.

 If I have any time I practice drawing more than painting between researching, writing, scanning pictures, archives and paintings for my next talk, but it isn’t always easy sometimes I feel like “bad cop” when students miss a few classes and state “they will make them up the following term” I have to say no even though the terms are on the website under Fees
then I find I am explaining the reasons to stop their irritation.

Many of my friends say I’m lucky luck has nothing to to with it, very often I have to work seven days a week running the school. When I first started the art school for over two years I slept on the floor in the room at the back sleeping on the models mattress with cockroaches for company before dashing off to work as a freelance illustrator until the art school started to support itself it was hard meeting those deadlines in the States as I started to spend more and more time here but at least I had a kitchen and bathroom(and there is another story) boy it was worth it then and worth it now, so whilst I am looking forward to driving god knows where with my sketchbook thats a hint to all of you! I will be hanging out by then to see you.

All I got was sun for lunch

Olivia Case Mosman Art Youth Prize Northshore School of Art

Mosman Youth Art Prize 2013: Congratulations Olivia! – written by Mike Lamble


NSA Teenage students visited Mosman Art Gallery to see Mosman Youth Art Prize

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

This Art school has supported the Mosman Youth Art Prize for more than ten years with prize money and Mike acting as judge in certain categories because I believe its my responsibility to nurture their creativity and encourage them to challenge their perceived limitations.

You can see the young Olivia on our Youtube video when she received a commendation in the Mosman Art Prize 2008 when she was 12 having joined the art school when she was 10.

To be a successful artist you need three things in my opinion, in order they are;

  1. Drive
  2. Practice
  3. Talent

ever since I have had the pleasure in teaching Olivia from the age of ten allowing for all of life’s other distractions she has displayed those qualities in spades her work speaks for itself so a few words about Olivia herself.

I think it’s fair to say I love teaching my two classes of teenagers and for many those can be turbulent years as my many conversations with mums and dads testify Olivia has been a delight steady and pretty ‘cool’ over the years so much so she has worked as a teachers assistant on a number of occasions for this school.

I am constantly receiving requests from other teachers looking for work in my art school to no avail but If I had a permanent position I would jump at the chance to ask her to join us.

Sadly she will be leaving me this year to go on to University so its like loosing a younger sister, but I know in whatever career she chooses to follow she will be successful.

Mosman Youth Art Prize 2013

Mosman Youth Art Prize 2013

Mosman Youth Art Prize 2013

Olivia Case Teenage Art Student of Northshore School of ArtOlivia said: “I have been taking painting and drawing classes with Mike Lamble, on Friday afternoons for the past eight years. This year I entered the Mosman Youth Art Prize with a portrait of my close friends Ailsa, and was chosen for two prizes in my category. I painted the work late last year during my classes at NSA. I enjoyed creating this piece because portraiture was something I had been looking to explore for a long time, and it was good to acquire some experience in this area, prior to the commencement of my HSC year. Mike’s classes on proportions in portraiture were an excellent starting point for understanding the facial form, and Mike’s continued guidance and advice throughout the art making process was invaluable. It was great to see all I have learned about portraiture and working with oils during my time as Mikes’ student at NSA, culminated in a single piece, which could be appreciated by a wider audience at the Mosman Art Prize. I would encourage anyone with a passion for creating art to enter this competition, as it provides a wonderful opportunity for the exhibition of young artists work.”

Drawing from direct observation – written by Mike Lamble

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike LambleWhy some are afraid of life drawing?

We all inhabit bodies of different shapes and sizes, sit at any street cafe and observe how we watch or even perv at people walking by. In so many ways we are fascinated by are own species. Why then are some so afraid of life drawing?

I often ask my students “Do we really observe what we are seeing we have an idea of how the human body looks but only an idea?” We have more awareness of the human body than say a flower or a simple every day object like a cup so it’s more obvious, that’s the difference between what we draw and what we see, thus our mistakes can be obvious and we feel it’s too difficult, so our tendency is to avoid the challenge of drawing the human body.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

The class

However, from the ancient times till now the best artists and illustrators I know have endevoured to do as much life drawing as possible. What we are doing is discovering the essential appearance of a body by close study. The training of how to see the body comes first the result, you will draw it better.

I introduce a variety of ways or drawing in class, for example, the students will draw on but not looking at their paper the focus is to study carefully the body’s shape. At first students feel insecure especially the control freeks but this exercise frees them up to look and face there fear of “making a mistake” For the same reason, I let them draw with their non dominant hand as well as quick poses where students have to work quickly with not too much time to think this breaks down old established patterns of thinking .

The beauty of life drawing is it trains us to see by drawing from direct observation to represent what is seen in front of us the gap between what is observed and what we know is there in stark reality on the paper before us, this can be disconcerting at first especially for beginners but also for those of us who are more experienced.
Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop


I use a number of exercises to help (beginners in particular) draw what they see (objectively) with persistence and enthusiasm even my rocket scientists have learned to draw with understanding,clarity, and realistically.


To my students who have reveled in my life drawing classes for a number of years, it still helps them to resolve ideas and focus the mind on enquiry. In theory to draw the figure, knowledge of what lies beneath the surface is not an essential, if the planes and valleys of the body are closely represented the underlying structure will be evident, although some knowledge of anatomy will be useful.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

A little history of life drawing

It wasn’t until the Renaissance do we see a flourishing of figure drawing,detailed studies from life particularly Michelangelo and Leonardo. Leonardo had to flee Italy to escape the wrath of Pope Leo X he was accused of witchcraft for cutting up bodies and studying them at night but what artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo and many others who were to follow was to extract from their models information required for their paintings, this has become standard practice in all art schools since then, in a similar way students who do life drawing notice the rapid improvement in their ability to express their ideas in paint.

Anatomical studies of the shoulder by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1510-1511

Anatomical studies of the shoulder by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1510-1511

Untitled (2013-05-22 05:22:37)

Study for a Nude by Michelangelo Buonarroti 1504

Review of “Saturday Morning Anatomy Life Drawing Class”

The anatomy /life drawing class was quite unusual in respect of the model I used thought it was a good idea to show some of the underlying structure of the skeleton and muscles so we arranged a special Life drawing class for a Saturday morning. It took me almost two hours of drawing on Amber before the class started and even then I ran out of time before I completed the job, as you can see the class was full half of my students were doctors. There is no limitation when it comes to life drawing.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Some observations of my students

“It was great to have a sense of what’s underneath it certainly helped with my drawing.”
“It makes a change being able to draw the bones and muscles on a real live human instead of a cadaver!”

Life Drawing Class for All Levels

7 – 9pm Mondays
$275 per Term (10wks)
$35 per Casual Class

Why don’t you join our Monday evening life drawing class? If you are not sure, try it out as casual first. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the life drawing class. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au / Phone: +61 (0)2 9968 1233 / Download Enrolment form

Hunter the model

“I need to draw” – written by Mike Lamble

Drawing by Mike Lamble

Saturday 11th May

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

With increasing desperation I had to get away for the day and draw, I had started a drawing in the holidays so after spending most of the day driving, breakfast at Pie in the Sky on the old Pacific Highway found myself late afternoon at exactly the same spot drawing in Lambs Valley with the setting sun behind me in blissful silence, for many a true artist drawing isn’t a chore it’s a need something I understand.

Drawing by Mike Lamble

Saturday 4th May

Something I encourage all my students to do, draw draw draw as much as you can this will develop your powers of observation. Some of the drawings I have done in the last few weeks.

Drawing by Mike Lamble

Drawing by Mike Lamble

Drawing by Mike Lamble

Henry said "I prefer to be a doormat instead of moving out of the way"

Sometimes Henry has to stay home
while his master having a fun sketching in the country side.

The inspiration behind my painting of Global Warming – written by Mike Lamble

Sydney Harbour by Mike Lamble

“Icebergs in the Harbour” by Mike Lamble, Oil

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

Here I am sat almost half a days drive from Sydney roof down in my thirty odd year old MG, enjoying the peace and solitude of another spectacular day listening to the birds calling, cows mooing in the field next to me it looks and feels like paradise. Adam listened to the wrong voices and lost his paradise through greed and selfishness. In a moment I lost mine as the serenity was broken with the roar and whirl of helicopter blades as it dashed across the sky I thought how well this illustrates mankind’s greed and folly.

As I looked up I remembered a quote from German astronaut Ernst Messerschmid as he looked down upon the earth.
“When the Russian cosmonaut tells me that the atmosphere over Lake Baikal is as polluted as it is over Europe, and when the Americans astronaut tells me fifteen years ago he could take much clearer pictures of the industrial centres than today, then I am getting concerned.”

The shock is those words were spoken in 1988 twenty four years ago, global warming wasn’t even an issue then, one wonders how the same scene would look today as China and India continue to industrialise at a rapid and increasing rate, and yet only a few years ago the politician that represents the electorate I live in called global warming “a load of crap”.

My painting of Sydney Harbour with icebergs floating in it was my outraged response to such stupid short sighted and self serving comments.

Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway by J. M. W. Turner

Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway by J. M. W. Turner

When Turner painted Rain Steam and speed in 1844 Britain’s rapidly industrialising railways were very much the new wonder of the age, from a largely rural society at the beginning of the 19th century to an industrial one at the end, Turner depicts the changes contrasting an idyllic rural landscape fading in the background with the train racing towards us showing the incoming age of invention and science.

Coming from the mill 1930 by L. S. Lowry

Coming from the mill 1930 by L. S. Lowry

This was a romantics view. Turner loved to portray in his paintings of “progress” in British society at the time, never the consequences of such rapid industrialisation as poverty, disease, overcrowding, vast inequality, black soot covered dark Northern English cities.

That’s the short list, he never saw the implications of what he was portraying in this picture. To be fair how could he especially in the light of another 170 years of global industrialisation and yet our politicians talk about expanding the “global economy”, full employment, higher standard of living, while paying lip service to the ever increasing cry from scientists and visionaries we choose to ignore at our peril.

In an earth that has finite resources, at the rate we are going now we need another earth to satisfy our demands for “stuff”. Like Turner we are looking in the other direction in our greed selfishness and the pursuit of money. The train (Turners train) we are all riding is out of control with only disaster ahead.

Image of Earth

Suddenly from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-orion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery.
It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth…home.

Edgar Mitchell
USA Astronaut

“ON HOLIDAY WOOPEE!” – written by Mike Lamble

Mike and Henry on their holiday

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble
Our dear students,

After the usual busy term ” I wish to be alone”
By Tuesday i’m missing you all, I know for most of you it’s work as usual, seeing as I am not here to nag, plead, cajole you all to practice drawing while I am away you don’t get off that easy I can do it by email.
What I think all of you don’t realise is when some of you bring your drawings to the school or email me them how happy that makes me to see your progress and tells me I must be doing something right, in my opinion a good teacher inspires others and if it hadn’t occurred to you how much that encourages me to practice, so send me some of your drawings……please.
So by the weekend I will be driving somewhere out there sketchbook, ipad and dog in hand plonking myself in a quiet spot God knows where drawing I will post them on the next blog.

Mike and Henry having Siesta

Ask Our Students – Lorraine Mackenzie (Wednesday 12-3pm)

“he convinced me that he could teach anybody to draw & paint”

Lorraine Mackenzie

Name: Lorraine Mackenzie
Occupation: Retired
Joined NSA: soon after Mike Started the art school (1999)

NSA: What doodle / drawing / painting did you do in your early life that you were the most proud of? How old were you?

LORRAINE: My early life was pretty much devoid of anything artistic- cant even remember even being in an art class at school.

NSA: Have you been always artistic / creative? if so, in what way?

LORRAINE: Not really- though I did take up pottery classes and enjoyed it for some years-until I went back to work full time- I still have some of the things I made. During that time I helped to run a terrific art & craft Show for the 4th West Pymble Sea Scouts. So I met many talented artists & craftspeople.

NSA: What made you join NSA? Where did you hear/find about NSA?

LORRAINE: I joined the NSA because I met Mike Lamble- as simple as that- I was working as the Course Co ordinator the Chatswood Evening College. Mike came to do a course in Illustration- I interviewed him and he was so enthusiastic about his art & wish to teach – he convinced me that he could teach anybody to draw & paint – my first class was a Life Drawing class – why I went back I will never know.

NSA: If you are allowed to have any famous painting in the world on your wall, what would it be and Why?

LORRAINE: Tom Roberts ” Sherbrooke Forest”- it is a wonderful australian landscape.

"Sherbrooke Forest" by Tom Roberts“Sherbrooke Forest” by Tom Roberts

NSA: What are you working on in the class right now and what would you like to achieve with your art within a year?

LORRAINE: Right now I am working on a view of Curl Beach where I live . I plan to give to my lovely neighbours who are soon to move away & will no longer have access to this lovely view.

NSA: why do you take the class, or what do you get out of it?

LORRAINE: Lots of fun, companionship—plus a great feeling of having made something Beautiful.

NSA: Finally, would you design a T-shirt for Mike to wear in the class?


mike_face Mike said “Why Lorrain went back and continues to this day is every word I spoke was true !
A retired ecconomic and geography teacher ,you would never know looking at her paintings she is too modest to mention she has been published in Australian Artist Magazine that speaks for itsself.”

Ako Lamble Ako said “Lorraine was there a long time before I came on the scene at the art school. She came to our wedding that was held here in the studio, she has been our close friend ever since, and a great example of how anyone can be an artist in their own right, she keeps learning and developing her skills. By her example, she is giving other students a hope of that ‘anybody can be taught to be an artist’. Here are her paintings that prove this to be true in our annual exhibition last year at Mosman Art Gallery. ”






Would you like to improve your drawing skills hugely? As you read Lorraine started with the Life Drawing and still does, we highly recommend you join the Life Drawing class adding to your painting  class like Lorraine.  Life Drawing (Mon 7-9pm) is almost a MUST for every artist.

Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about taking more than one class a week. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au / Phone: +61 (0)2 9968 1233 / Download Enrolment form

Henry, Mike, Lorraine and Pepe in 2006

Response to “Practice, practice, practice” – written by Mike Lamble

Sketch 1 Lautrec - Woman washing herself - the toilette by Janelle Wallace

Sketch 2 Lautrec Woman curling her hairs by Janelle Wallace

Sketch 3 Lautrec Caudieux poster by Janelle Wallace

Sketch 4 Lautrec Tete a tete supper by Janelle Wallace

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble
I’ve received a very nice email from one of our students Janelle Wallace (Tuesday 6.30 – 9pm) she attached the image of her drawings.
Janelle kindly agreed to share her drawings with you to inspire and encourage all of you to do much more when you are away from class.

Thank you Janelle, your hard work made my heart rejoice as a teacher!

Hi Mike,

Took your advice while sitting in the hospital with Mum in Canberra, after
visiting the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition. Two and four above need a lot more
work but I’m not too unhappy with 1 and 3.

Might redo 2 and 4 next week.


Mike Lamble was in the North Shore Times – community

News Local - North Shore Times - 20 Mar 2013 - Page #18 A3-300

The article about Mike was in the local newspaper the North Shore Times (page18 20th March 2013).


Rowan Cowley
NORTH Shore School of Art principal teacher Michael Lamble has donated a special work of art to thank Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) from the bottom of his heart.
Mr Lamble had surgery and spent 16 days at the hospital in early 2011 after being diagnosed with peritonitis and has donated a spectacular sunset painting to express his gratitude.
“They (hospital staff) were marvellous. I’d say they saved my life, so the least I could do was do a painting, have it framed and say thank you,” Mr Lamble said.
He ended up in the hospital after experiencing further discomfort shortly after being diagnosed with appendicitis while in Wodonga.
He said he had been experiencing severe pain In his side for several days and, after becoming convinced he was seriously ill, he ended up in Wodonga Hospital where he spent nine days.
He had surgery and antibiotics before being released but just two days after returning to Sydney he was ill again and suffering from a “raging’ fever.
After being admitted to RNSH he had surgery to insert a tube to drain poison from his small intestine and was treated with “five full bags of antibiotics a day”.
“I was so well looked after and there was a lovely surgeon who came and checked on me every day,” he said.
“I had first class treatment. I’d imagine they saved my life.”
In addition to running the local art school, Mr Lamble is a well known lecturer, and commercial and fine artist.
He was equally impressed with the treatment and care he received at Wodonga Hospital, which also received a painting.

mike_face Mike said “I would like to thank the many people including Mosman Art Gallery for all the kind words you expressed about the newspaper article I featured in, without you all I would not known when it appeared if at all, as I was interviewed quite a few weeks ago and had completely forgotten all about it.”

Scraping the Iceberg, My Portrait of Erika – written by Mike Lamble


mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble
In my last blog I stated ” no problems so far” but there was always the possibility of encountering something hidden I hadn’t noticed, this was the week I saw it for the first time.

I started to paint the shadow cast by the hair over the eyebrow and down the side of the face then I noticed the distance from the corner of the eye to the edge of the face was slightly too wide, it was looking at the space between the eye and the shadow it became evident there was too much space.


Probably no one would notice but I knew I had to change it which meant the whole length of the face on the right hand side as we look at it had to be narrowed then re-painted and blended into the existing paint, took a couple of hours to fix.


Not a disaster just a hassle which means I have to wait to let the paint dry for a few more weeks before I can start glazing the skin colour over the tone. Scrapping the Iceberg as it were.

Portrait Workshops
for Beginners

10am – 4pm Saturday
11th & 18th May 2013

Would you like to discover the art of portrait?

BOOK NOW! Download the flyer.

Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the workshops. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au

What has the Titanic got to do with Mike’s Portrait? – written by Mike Lamble

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble
In painting this portrait of Erika in the the way the Renaissance Masters would have approached it more or less so far without a hitch, this reminded me of the Titanic’s disastrous encounter with an iceberg, what I can hear you say! obscure it may be, stay with me dear readers you will get it in the end.
From the crows nest in the distance the iceberg didn’t look that big avoiding action was taken it appeared the ship had just scrapped by, Erika so far is progressing to my satisfaction, does she represent the Titanic in my little story you may ask? I hope not but the potential is certainly there, its all to do with the iceberg what’s hidden from view and time, any clearer? We often only see what’s on the surface of peoples lives the public face as humans we often do draw conclusions which are erroneous and judgemental the tip of an iceberg as it were.
What on earth has this got to do with my portrait of Erika? My students see me paint or draw from week to week often comment I make it look so easy, that’s the surface, it what’s hidden beneath that surface that counts, the years of struggle to survive in the early days as an illustrator trying to earn a living, after giving up the security and income of being studio manager at Saatchi and Saatchi in the UK, but I just had to draw and paint, the all night struggle to meet a deadline only to be told it’s not good enough we will have to find someone else who’s better and more experienced, the weekends practicing when your mates are going out having a good time, must keep studying this technique “how did he do it? now go away and practice it until you get it, that’s what the market wants.”
The times my guts were ripped out just like the (Titanic) out at the fear of having my work rejected when a kindly art director was prepared to give this new kid on the block a go “but you can’t charge us what Ken Fowler charges he’s so good”
I would take on any kind of work to keep me going as a freelance, pasting ads up with glue in any art studio that would have me because I was cheap, then go home and practice a technique the art director wanted for his latest ad campaign, Ken could do that picture in a day meet the deadline and have a life, Mike said ” I can do that” take three days and nights with hardly any sleep meet the deadline and have no life! I had to grow a hide as thick as an Elephant but had to keep going my work was my life it’s about the job I would tell myself not you, slowly at first I noticed clients would come back to me with the easy jobs, Ken got the glamorous ones with fantastic money, I didn’t care I was in, if I kept on doing the right thing I didn’t care about the money the art directors would lend me originals of Kens work I would take them home study how he did it then copy them, as I got better so the quality of work got better that’s all that mattered to me my whole motivation was to be the best, as time went on I superseded Ken and developed my own styles from what I had learned from other artists/ illustrators that many art directors admired and commissioned.


I still remember as though it was yesterday as one Titanic survivor lamented bits of ice scrapping through the open porthole window and gabbing at a few shards as it spilled onto the carpet. For me the shards of ice was the British Rail (as it was then)  painting/illustration starting Friday morning delivering Saturday lunchtime to meet the deadline without a break not eating just drinking cups of tea to keep me going, I had to do if i wanted the job, they loved it many more commissions followed, was it worth it “you bet ya it was”………………. now do you get it?


Portrait Workshops

for Beginners

10am – 4pm Saturday
11th & 18th May 2013

Would you like to discover the art of portrait?

BOOK NOW! Download the flyer.

Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the workshops. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au

Cartooning – written by Mike Lamble



mike_henry_100heightsWritten by Mike Lamble
I spent last Saturday working on a cartooning job as you can see the final draught before proceeding to finished drawing.



Quite a few of you have enquired about my advertised CARTOON WORKSHOPS so what I have advised is fill in the enrolment form drop it in to the appropriate holder next to the monitor on the notice board when I have enough students I will talk to you all about a date that suits. I have included a few cartoons from a book I illustrated a little while ago (below).





Sunday continued to work on Erika re-shaped the dress to create a sense of her breasts fitting underneath, or as I texted her that night “tweaked your boobs again to fit in the dress” much hilarity by return text, I do love this woman!

ERIKA 20130302 #1

ERIKA 20130302 #2