The Principles of Life Drawing | WEA Sydney

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Available Classes

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


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.


  • Hard sanguine red chalk pencil – oil based
  • Hard Black chalk pencil – oil based
  • Soft white chalk pencil
  • Stanley knife
  • Kneadable eraser
  • A3 sketch book
  • A3 sheet of dark buff paper

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 following stockists below are examples of places you can buy art materials from:

  • Art on King: 199-201 King Street, Newtown. Ph: 9516 2342
  • Eckersley's Art and Craft Store: 93 York Street, Sydney. Ph: 9299 4151. Also located in various locations throughout Greater Sydney.
  • Parkers Art Supplies: 3 Cambridge Street, The Rocks. Ph: 9247 9979
  • The Art Scene: 914 Victoria Road, West Ryde. Ph: 9807 6900
  • The Sydney Art Store: 11 Salisbury Street, Botany. Ph: 9699 2162

You can also purchase materials from places such as Dymocks, Officeworks, Spotlight, Lincraft or online art suppliers such as Art Shed Online.

Interested in this course? JOIN OUR WAITLIST to be notified when vacancies or future classes are available.