Figure Drawing Courses
Term dates, short courses & prices here.
The Importance of Working from the Figure Model: A true understanding of the fundamental principles of figurative art: proportion, volume, gesture, values, edges and colour, can only really be taught and learnt by working from life, and especially from the life model.
In the history of art education it was often considered the highest form of art and the foundation for all other aspects of drawing and painting. Students were expected to understand and draw the figure before they could move onto other subjects. This is not because it is the easiest but, conversely, because it is the most challenging discipline. Once a student has mastered the figure, all other subjects are relatively easy – portraiture, landscape, still life, composition, colour etc.
Figure drawing and painting classes are held every day at the studios, including Saturday mornings. They are also held on a Monday and Tuesday evenings. Once students have completed the Foundation Course, they can choose to enrol on the Figure Course at any of the available times.
There are 4 workshops each year dedicated to figure drawing and painting: 3 days in mid-February; 5 days in mid-July. There is also an annual workshop with Henry Yan.
Term dates & prices here.
At London Fine Art Studios, students first work from the plaster cast as part of the Foundation Course. However, if signed up to more than 1 day a week, we compliment cast drawing with work from the life model. In this way you can balance what you are learning from with the plaster cast (Proportion, Gesture and Values) to the figure model. The difference is not subtle but, if balanced, is very clear. The model may move slightly, has flesh tones so that the value patterns are not as clear, the philosophy of the approach should remain the same; Proportion followed by Gesture followed by clear value patterns to Edges and modelling.
Students on the Figure Course begin by working in charcoal on packing paper, they move into massing-in and chiaroscuro on quality paper in week 3 & 4. By the end of their first term they may be working on toned paper with sanguine, chalk or pastels. Students can also move onto grisailles paintings and a limited palette in the second term.
At London Fine Art Studios, sketch club is held every Monday 4.45-6.25pm. Whatever course you have signed up to this is the perfect way of putting your weekly classes into practice, it is really nice to have a couple of hours to work out which methods and materials you prefer and which aspects you are finding the most challenging.
At the beginning of term students will need to buy a box of charcoal and chamois (fabric for erasing), available from Lavender Hill Colours. Paper is provided initially. In week 4 you will need to buy quality paper so as to more effectively work the chiaroscuro stage. In week 7 or 8 students start to work in oils, for this will you will need a Starter Painting Kit.
Recommended Further Studies:
We encourage students to compliment their studies by taking the time to visit exhibitions and practice sketching in museums. In addition, the Studios host a range of events throughout the term aimed at enhancing the artist’s understanding of their craft and the tradition that they are working within.
We recommend the following books available from Lavender Hill Colours.
Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing Techniques and Tips – Henry Yan
Drawing the Female Form – G.B. Bridgman & Ben Pinchot
Bridgman’s Life Drawing – G.B. Bridgman
The Human Machine – G.B. Bridgman
Life Class the Academic Male Nude – Stephen Boyd, Edward Lucie-Smith
The Human Figure – John H. Vanderpoel
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