FAQ for online streaming

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about our online live streams.

The platforms we use

We use YouTube for our free online portrait drawing sessions, and Vimeo for our other live sessions.

The instructions below are for Vimeo since people are more familiar with YouTube. They are primarily for the desktop viewer since the mobile viewer is less configurable and raises fewer questions.

For the figure sessions we recommend you use a computer or iPad rather than a phone since the full figure comes out small on a small screen.

Please access the session 5 minutes before it’s due to start to make sure your video and audio are working correctly and that you’re comfortable with the Vimeo controls.


This one minute video covers most of the questions people have. It refers to the desktop player – the mobile player doesn’t let you change the quality of the video or use chat.

If the video doesn’t start

Our live streams start promptly. We will show a static image with music before the session starts, then a 2 minute countdown, and then we’ll start the session. If you cannot see anything then refresh your browser.

Can’t hear any sound?

Make sure your audio is on by click the volume bar next to the gear icon on Vimeo:

Issues with the audio / video

The Internet is creaking under the strain at the moment. All our live videos are streamed in high resolution from a high-powered server with a huge pipe to the Internet, but there might be delays and bottlenecks between our server and your computer. If you hit issues, here are some things to try:

If your screen freezes once, trying refreshing your web browser.

If the screen freezes continually, it stutters, or the audio doesn’t work, then if you are using a computer try reducing the quality of your stream. Click on the gear icon on the bottom right of the screen and then slide the selector to a lower resolution:

If this doesn’t work, make sure nobody else in your household is making heavy use of the Internet (eg watching Netflix or using Zoom).

In the worst case, you can try watching the videos again after the live stream. See below.

Viewing after the sessions

All of our live streams are available to watch after the session finishes too – if the live stream is unwatchable at the time then use the link you have been given to access them later on. You can also download the reference photos from our live streams after they have finished.

Putting the video into full-screen mode

Click on the maximise icon on the bottom right of the screen:

Taking the video out of full-screen mode

Press the Escape key on your keyboard.

Minimising the chat on Vimeo

If you want to get rid of the chat screen on Vimeo, first of all make sure you are not in full screen mode (see above). Then click on the three dots by the chat window and choose ‘minimise’. You can then put the video back in full screen mode if you like.

Watching Vimeo on your TV

You can find more information about this on Vimeo’s web site.

Any other questions?

Anything we haven’t covered? Just e-mail us at [email protected]