Learning Life Drawing with the Masters

This course seeks to systematically outline and guide you through some of the fundamental principles that lead to a comprehensive proficiency for drawing the human figure. Each week introduces the student to a new aspect of competent figure drawing, inclusive of an analysis of human anatomy, such as the bony landmarks of the skeleton and the major muscle groups of the human body. The course also lays a strong emphasis on learning from the drawings of the Old Masters. Students will be assigned a fortnightly drawing to copy and analyse in relation to the figure in class. This course is suitable for those with previous experience and for absolute beginners in life drawing.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Hale, Robert Beverley (2011, originally published in 1966) Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters, WATSON GUPTIL, ISBN ‎ 9780823014019


  • Examine the use of figurative action, contour, artistic anatomy and shading in Old Master life drawings of both female and male figures.
  • Apply the use of figurative action, contour, artistic anatomy and shading in Old Master life drawings to a study of the life model.
  • In the concluding weeks, we will study the employment of two figures in Old Master drawings and apply these compositional conventions to two models from the life.


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

  1. Begin to understand and grasp the processes of conceptualising, selecting and even creatively inventing from the human figure.
  2. Critically employ Old Masters drawings as an aid to drawing the human figure.
  3. Identify and draw anatomical forms in the figure.
  4. Make use of or inventing a light source to model form.


  • Oil based pastel hard sanguine red and black chalk pencil
  • Kneadable eraser and Stanley knife
  • A3 sketch book
  • Two metal bulldog clips

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.

Want to be notified when this course is open for enrolments? Please join the waiting list by clicking .