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Work of art . . . Instructor Amanda Dennis shows off some of the props her students sketch in her drawing classes. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Artist and sculptor Amanda Dennis is encouraging people from around North Otago to have a go at her Drawbridge drawing programme.

The programme aims to help people learn how to develop drawing skills and gain confidence in expressing their own ideas.

People wanting to join do not need to have any experience in drawing.

Drawbridge was about getting people to “draw bridges” into their learning, Mrs Dennis said.

Techniques used in the programme included using copy, observational drawing and composition.

The idea for the programme came when Mrs Dennis was attending a conference on neuroplasticity – the reorganisation of the brain – in Dunedin a few years ago.

It was not until she was temporarily immobile from an arthritic hip that she had time to write the programme, which took about a year to fully develop.

A lot of the principles and techniques learned from sculpting also applied to drawing, she said.

“When you draw something, you don’t look at the object – you look at the spaces around the object.”

It was a good feeling for her to know that her programme was helping others, even if it was only a small number of people.

“I’m quite passionate about it,” Mrs Dennis said.

A lack of her own drawing skills also made it easier for Mrs Dennis to relate to students that had trouble with drawing.

“I’m learning along with the students.”

The programme is held every Wednesday at Literacy North Otago in Oamaru.

So far, about eight students have been attending the class.

Mrs Dennis said the Drawbridge class was just one part of a larger education programme that was also in the works.