Life drawing & portraiture

Life Drawing & Portraiture Courses - Online & London

Life drawing shows you how to see and interpret the structure and proportions of the human form through observation of the unclothed live model. It’s a fantastic discipline that can underpin all other drawing practices.

Whether you’re interested in the technical and analytical aspects of scale, volume and methods of measurement or a more intuitive, expressive approach, there are classes to suit all levels and approaches. Beginners are introduced to simple, user-friendly exercises to make the complexities of figure drawing fun and accessible to all.

If you’re a more experienced student, you can explore a more personal approach, experiment with materials and work with dynamic and challenging poses. A fascinating aspect of life drawing is the portrait, using the same skills to develop character and likeness of the individual face through focusing on structure, volume and expression.

For more information about courses available, please contact our Visual Arts team at visualarts@citylit.ac.uk

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Explore life drawing
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Apr 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Discover new ways of drawing the human body in a fun, fast paced day that combines practical exercises with basic theory and techniques.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £99.00
  2. Life drawing: a contemporary approach
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 25 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Annie Attridge
    This course introduces contemporary contexts for life painting using acrylic paints to explore different creative approaches using the imagination alongside observation of the model. Suitable for all levels but some previous life drawing experience an advantage.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  3. Life drawing for beginners
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This short course is a great introduction to drawing directly from the nude model. Using simple excercises, you will explore different ways to represent the human form in drawing, with encouraging, helpful guidance from an experienced tutor. Suitable for absolute beginners.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  4. Introduction to life drawing and painting
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 29 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tony Hull
    Learn or develop skills and approaches for painting the nude figure. Including use of tone and colour selection, composition and paint handling to develop solidity, atmosphere and expression. Some experience of drawing is recommended.
    Full fee £359.00 Senior fee £287.00 Concession £233.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. How to draw: step by step drawing portraits
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 8 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chris Gray
    This short step by step workshop will enable you to learn the time tested and proven approaches to successfully drawing portraits. You will be introduced through clear broken down stages a clear systematic approach along with detailed examples of how to simplify complex information like proportion, anatomy and construction of the head.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  6. Anatomical portrait drawing
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrea Voisey
    Enhance your portraits by uncovering what lies beneath the surface. Through demonstration and direct observation of the model you will examine proportion, rotation and the key anatomical structures of the head and neck that denote likeness.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
  7. Life drawing into life painting
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tony Hull
    Learn or develop skills and approaches for painting the nude figure. Including use of tone and colour selection, composition and paint handling to develop solidity, atmosphere and expression. Some experience of drawing is recommended.
    Full fee £359.00 Senior fee £287.00 Concession £233.00
  8. Anatomical life drawing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 16 Jul 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrea Voisey
    Discover the extraordinary construction of the human body. Through direct observation of the model you will examine the fundamental anatomical structures that underlie the human figure. For those with some drawing experience.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
  9. Portraits 2
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Brian Sayers
    Further develop your knowledge of the technical aspects of portraiture and your understanding of the relationship between artist and sitter. Undertake practical projects which enable you to develop a personal approach in the latter stages of the course. Basic materials provided.
    Full fee £439.00 Senior fee £351.00 Concession £285.00
  10. City Lit year of the figure and portrait
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rebecca Allen, Desmond Haughton, Luke Jones, Kim Scouller
    City Lit year of figure and portrait projects course explores the endlessly fascinating subject of the human form through various aspects of drawing and painting the figure and portrait. For those interested in building real progress confidence in practical skills associated with figure and portrait drawing and painting. Be informed and inspired by stimulating historical and contemporary artists' contexts that will support your creative work.
    Full fee £2,399.00 Senior fee £1,919.00 Concession £1,559.00

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