The Principles of Life Drawing - Beginners to Intermediate

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. Included with this is a brief analysis of human anatomy, starting with the major masses of the skeleton and concluding with an analysis of each of the major muscle groups of the body. The course also lays a strong emphasis on learning from the drawings of the Old Masters. Students will be assigned a weekly drawing(s) to copy and analyse in relation to the figure in class.


  • Face-to-Face


  • The figure as basic line and structure.
  • The figure as line and structure.
  • Fundamental gesture and action
  • Gesture and action with basic anatomical masses, landmarks and limited convexed contours
  • Basic anatomy and the figure as line and contour
  • Basic modelling and shadow masses
  • The figure as convexed forms, basic shadow masses and modelling at the plane break.
  • Sustained pose


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

  1. Identify how the placement of the models weight coincides with the figures action.
  2. Learning how to treat the figure as a “mannequin” rather than a static object to mindlessly copy and reproduce.
  3. Begin to understand and grasp the processes of conceptualising, selecting and creatively inventing from the figure.
  4. Understand the basic principles of suggesting form with line alone.
  5. Making use of and/or inventing a light source to model form.


  • Oil-based hard sanguine red or black chalk pencil.
  • Kneadable eraser and Stanley knife
  • A3 sketch book
  • Two metal paper 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 .