Life Drawing Today

Life Drawing For Everyone

Life Drawing has experienced something of a rebirth attracting not only professional artists but complete newcomers to drawing looking for a new hobby and to meet people.  The notion of the life drawing class as the less seedy sister of the strip club is of course nonsense as is the once held view that life drawing is for the art elite.

No longer confined to the art school class of awkward students, some having never looked at a naked body but their own, life drawing classes are now held in a variety of spaces and attract an equally diverse crowd of men and women drawing men and women.  Eighteenth century Royal Academicians would be twitching.  Although it was the opening of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 that made life drawing an official part of studies female students were not accepted until 1860. They were finally given access to the Royal Academy life drawing classes in 1893 where their model had to be at least partially draped in fabric.




Yes there will be naked bodies but let’s put it into context.  A naked person on the tube would be uncomfortable as would a naked granny at the bus stop but this is a life drawing class and you are expecting to see a naked body. No surprises!  You are there to look, learn and draw. Just keep in mind that all life drawing classes welcome complete beginners and those who attend are not there to judge. Just have fun and flex that artistic muscle.

If your last venture with a pencil or crayon was way back in school do not fear there is a class for you. Some are pre book; some drop in; some offer more tuition than others and some offer drinks.  If nerves are a factor I would strongly suggest the lubricated variety!

Why Go To A Life Drawing Class?

To do precisely the above and flex your artistic muscle.  Many professional artists consider life drawing as on-going training.  Even Disney sends its animators to life drawing classes.  With new and younger animators becoming more reliant on computers the tutors feel that they need reminding of the importance of classical figure drawing.  Figure drawing helps the animator improve the anatomy, motion and gestures of their characters.  The Disney classes began in 1932 when the artist behind Goofy and the dancing mushrooms in Fantasia, Art Babbit, began offering life drawing session from his home.  When Disney heard about it he brought the classes to the studio possibly to avoid bad press about naked ladies at his animator’s house!

In short life drawing trains your eye and improves your drawing and painting whatever the subject matter.  The human body has always captured our imaginations and is the most difficult to draw. If you can grasp this you can do anything!

Take A Brain Nap

Life Drawing classes are quiet and peaceful.  While you are focusing on the model and drawing quickly and loosely you relax and the stresses of the day melt away.  Your busy analytical brain takes a nap and you feel free!  Now doesn’t that sound worth doing after a hard day at the office!  It’s not surprising that life drawing classes have become a popular after work wind down.

Conte Crayons are very popular in life and portrait drawing.

Just For The Fun Of It

Whether you are hoping to learn to draw or to improve you will have fun and meet new people.  Go on grab some charcoal and look at something other than the telly!

Use Charcoal for quick and loose gestural sketches.  Try Conte or pencil for detail and to add colour.  Water-soluble pens give an added dimension where you can blend colours together and create watercolour effects.  Artist Alison Orchard loves using Winsor & Newton’s Water Colour Sticks and Markers for quick life studies.

Stock up on drawing materials and other Art Supplies online with Pullingers.


Check out the following Life Drawing Sessions or look in your local area for classes.

London Life Drawing Society set up by French artist Tony Pianco.  This society offers an amazing number of events weekly in diverse venues including bars, comedy clubs and theatres.  Some classes are themed including Burlesque, Sci-Fi, Super Heroes and 18th Century making them ideal for fans of fashion or comics.

All The Young Nudes if you happen to be in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee.  This great drawing club has been offering informal friendly sessions for over six years.  These really popular sessions welcome everyone.  There is no tuition but someone always offers help if needed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *