Level Best in Lockdown: July Round Up IV

Level Best in Lockdown: July Round Up IV


23rd to 31st July 2020



There have been many discussions among staff and trainees during lock-down and much feedback has been gathered about the changes to our service. We have found that some aspects of remote and external sessions are worth keeping on and possibly expanding in future, so we will be doing a mix of sessions back at our base, as well as continuing 1 to 1 sessions (and hopefully the skype group chats).







Week of Weddings: self catering al fresco with Jamie Croft






Sarah & Dean






drawing portraits ABBA Dean Smith






Feta & Cous Cous Salad & pea carrot corn & bean salad
by Rebecca Clinch


      Peanut, red cabbage,
                    curly kale and pepper salad Rebecca Clinch







digital colouring Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory
marrying Amy Farrar Fowler by Jessica Allum Brown






wild flower and grass bouquets




"So the highlights of wedding week for me

has been the enthusiasm you have all had and shared and the stories I have heard.

Our group chat yesterday saw photos of Alex at his mum’s wedding to pal and Angus in a shirt and tie that he wore to a wedding. We discussed favourite shirt and tie colours.

The food has been exceptional from Simon Waller with his Prawn Cocktails, Dean Smith with a vegetarian tart, Angus and Margaret Wilkinson with Coronation Chicken, Jamie Croft with salmon and homemade mayonnaise.

Yesterday Rebecca Clinch made 3 salads to accompany the feast an Israeli Cous Cous, Thai salad and Russian salad.

Dean Smith made an exotic fruit salad served in melon baskets. accompanied by Dales shortbread biscuits.

The cake was made by Rebecca Clinch and decorated with sweet peas. The evening buffet was Britney with her beef burgers on the bbq Daniel Thomas Lewis made pizza and Tony had some sausage rolls with a twist.

The photo below was taken very quickly but how often do you see chefs wearing fascinators in the kitchen"

- Sarah Herbert 24/7/20 Daconbakers Facebook page










"War droids" by Josh Wilsher

The above drawing was inspired by a Skype discussion Josh had with Colin about different forms a robot can take, referring specifically to Droidekas from Star Wars episode 1 The Phantom Menace.

Josh continues to draw characters and share his work with us remotely.
When at Level Best he enjoys telling the stories of his characters to staff and trainees.

Josh also scans his drawings and uploads them to his deviant art account.

As we can't presently help Josh to tell the stories of his newest chaacters, an idea evolved to use the characters we already have on file to produce a set of Top Trumps playing cards.


The google slide below shows the design for each card.


If you are new to the game of Top Trumps, it is a card game where each card contains a list of numerical data, and the aim of the game is to compare these values to try to 'trump' and win an opponent's card.

Josh helped decide which characters to use and what the criteria should be.

We settled on a Horror theme and have made a set of 50 playable cards with 20 'collectibles'.







drawing a Matryoshka doll step by step by Jamie Croft




drawing the Ghost Busters logo step by step Jamie Croft





Woody Wood Pecker by Dean Smith





We now feature step by step tutorials

for all sorts of things from trees, birds, bees and buildings to favourite game and animation characters at

These tutorials are sourced from YouTube and are used to help guide trainees to make complicated and recognisable objects and characters, through simple form drawing step by step.


An example is shown below and more can be viewed at the page created for them
under the 'Home' button on the links bar at the top of this page.


How to draw Baby Groot


See original video for this step by step here


apple pie & cinnamon biscuit Daniel Lewis








shepherds pie Tony Hale







Merlin & Magic themed drawing with Jane & Dale Northcott







crustless quiche Jamie Croft









cheese scones with green tops of spring onions Simon Waller









chicken & mushroom pie by Kyriaki Skambalis








lemon meringue pie by Angus Wilkinson








strawberry and cream victoria sponge Britney Warren







stuffed peppers Dean Smith







Deadpool lego figure Ryan Balkwill







sticky toffee pudding and sauce Simon Waller








"day at the Beach" by Dean Smith







RDB Reviews: episode 20 artwork by Ryan Balkwill

to mark the 20th "episode" of RDB reviews, Ryan has produced a drawing featuring the characters from programs to be discused that week.

The drawing is based on cover art from the US series Entourage and features characters from the program as well as count Dracula, played by people Ryan knows.

Ryan proposes to create a new piece of artwork each week for subsequent episodes of RDB reviews, related to the media he chooses to review.



RDB Reviews: Dracula (2020), Celebrity Death Match for PS2 & Entourage

Ryan discusses Dracula (2020), Celebrity Death Match for the PS2 & Entourage seasons 1 - 8

To read Ryan's reviews on his wordpress blog, click the different titles above.









Robert Green: Tom the powered wheelchair
Castle Park, allotment & Middlewick Colchester

Tom and his boss journey through Colchester's Castle Park to the Level Best Art Cafe's allotment, grown wild under lock-down conditions. Later they visit Middlewick for the second time but explore a much wider area and by chance find the same field they had discovered from the other direction back in early April.

The animation at the beginning and end of this video was completed by Robert with help from Level Best staff.



Mersea Road to Middlewick part 2 with Robert Green



Exploring more of the Middlewick grasslands, Tom was interested to find himself back in the same field which he had explored with his boss from Friday Woods back in April, having approached it from the other direction this time.





Adventures of Tom The powered Wheelchair: animatic.

Robert has been writing stories about his adventures with his powered wheelchair Tom and we have been working on a storyboard for the first of these stories.

The 'animatic' above is a step towards making an animation and Robert has now completed his part of the drawing for this project.

We'll see what progress we make with this by next months blog.


Level Best Art Cafe's kitchen is up and running again!


Thanks for reading


we'll be back with more from the Level Best Art Cafe next time.


Missed the beginning
of our report?

Check out what we did in week 1 here



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Level Best Art Cafe,
D'arcy House, 3 Culver Street East
Colchester, Essex C01 1LD

01206 366 059


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