Drawing the Nude in Chalk Pencil

Before the invention of the graphite pencil, the most common dry medium employed by artists to draw with was chalk. A material used by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt. In addition to learning about the proportions of the human figure and some elementary anatomy, discover the sensual qualities of colour, texture and line made by this beautiful medium. Employ coloured chalks in unison, to describe so-called “warm” and “cool” values of the human figure. All aspects of the lesson will include one on one tuition and regular group demonstrations. Suitable for beginners to more experienced.

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.


  • Morning Session: Aims to establish a close to finished contour drawing of the pose. The teacher will assist students in understanding the major masses of the figure, where the weight of the body rests in relation to the pose and signifying important anatomical landmarks. (Note: students should not feel rushed and may choose to spend most of the day on this stage of the drawing).
  • Afternoon Session: Begin the process of modelling in red sanguine chalk, with the light source on the model as a partial guide. With the teacher’s guidance, a greater emphasis will be placed on conceptualising and inventing a light source that manages to describe the front and side planes of the human form. White chalk will be introduced to convey the higher values. Black chalk will be introduced to emphasise the point at which the form turns from a front to a side plane, or/and into shadow.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain a more in depth understanding of drawing the human figure via a sustained pose. The sustained pose will ground the student in an understanding of the figure’s structure which may further complement and enhance the students' skill in conveying more immediate impressions that can be gained from the drawing of shorter poses.
  2. Further conceptualise the overarching masses of the figure, as well as its subsidiary parts in relation to these masses.
  3. Conceive of the modelling of gradations of light and dark as contingent to an understanding and conceptualisation of structure and form.
  4. Utilise different coloured chalks in relation to varying paper grounds.
  5. Learn to employ stumps to assist in softening and suggesting the subtle gradations of form.


  • Oil based red sanguine chalk pencil (hard)
  • Oil based black chalk pencil (hard)
  • White chalk pencil
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Stanley knife (chalk cannot be sharpened with a pencil sharpener)
  • Blue-grey and/or buff (pale yellow-brown) sheet of coloured paper
  • 2 paper stumps
  • Two metal clips for support

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


  • The Art Scene, UNSW Art & Design Campus, Greens Rd Paddington NSW. Ph: 8815 1569
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 223-225 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Ph: 02 9331 2166.
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746. (Closed Fridays and Sundays)
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

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