Student Drawing

"Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache." - David Hockney

At a glance

  • Evening Class
  • Mondays 18:00 to 20:00
  • 10 weeks: April to June
  • 2 hours taught time per week
  • Tutor: Richard Barnes (STC) and Sarah Davis (STC)
  • Fee: £200
  • Location: Imperial College, South Kensington Campus
  • Official Course Title: 'Art and Craft Practice'
  • BOOKING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED
Booking link

For centuries life drawing (drawing from the nude living model) has been an essential skill for artists. Not only does life drawing improve an artist's technique in reproducing human anatomy, it is also a skill that teaches patience and concentration in observational skills.

On this seated life drawing class we invite you to join us to explore life drawing through 10 practical classes. Guided by our team of tutors for the class, you will be given practical guidance to help you develop your life drawing skills, including special techniques developed in art schools over many years, designed to encourage you to experiment with different ways of drawing. Some of these might seem extraordinary, but they are all tried and tested methods to encourage you to think creatively.

No previous experience of drawing or any other form of art is necessary, and complete beginners are welcome.

By the end of the course you will have an increasingly good grounding in the knowledge of how to approach and make realistic and experimental drawings, as well as the breadth of each of the drawing materials qualities and application.

Please note the course does involve drawing from a live model, including drawing from the nude model.

The class is a seated drawing class, meaning participants will be seated at tables with A2 table-top easels for the duration of the class. The class lasts 2 hours, which includes a 15 minute rest break in the middle. Participants must supply their own paper, pencils and drawing charcoal and a putty-rubber eraser.

Course Information

Course Programme

Programme is subject to possible change. As a creative arts class you will be expected to work on your own initiative with periodic tutor input for at least part of this class.

Week 1: An Introduction to Life Drawing

In this session we will begin by looking at some slides of figure drawings by historic and contemporary artists to discover that there is no absolute right or wrong in life drawing, and that artists often draw from the living model in different ways and to produce very different images. We will then begin by setting up a pose with the life model for you to draw, looking at plotting the proportions of the human body using horizonal and vertical axes. This session will involve a slide lecture and discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 2: The Standing Figure

In this session we will begin by looking at some slides of standing figure drawings by historic and contemporary artists to discover how the standing figure has been represented through drawing. We will then begin by setting a series of standing poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will set a series of longer poses, using our experience of using using horizonal and vertical axes learned in week one to attempt naturalistic representations of the model. This session will involve a slide lecture and discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 3: The Reclining Figure

In this session we will begin by looking at some slides of standing figure drawings by historic and contemporary artists to discover how the reclining figure has been represented through drawing. We will then begin by setting a series of reclining poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will set a series of longer poses, using our experience of using using horizonal and vertical axes learned in week one to attempt naturalistic representations of the model. This session will involve a slide lecture and discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 4: Discovering Materials

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will set a series of longer poses, using charcoal, crayon and coloured chalk and other materials as our drawing media. In the second half we will set a series of longer poses with the model in which you can use the drawing medium or media of your choice. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 5: Experimentation

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will set a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which we will swap seats randomly with each other, each time to continue working on other students' drawing. In the second half, returning to our own seats, we will set a series of longer poses with the model in which you can use the drawing medium or media of your choice. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 6: Focus on Drawing I

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will set a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which you will be encouraged and advised to develop your own interests in life drawing. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 7: Focus on Drawing II

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will build on the experience of week 6 by setting a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which you will again be encouraged and advised to develop your own interests in life drawing. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 8: Figure in a Setting

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will build on the experience from previous weeks by setting a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which you will be asked to draw a figure in relation to the props or setting around the model. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 9: Life Drawing I

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will build on the experience from previous weeks by setting a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which you will be asked to draw a figure using the experience you have developed, and ongoing tutorial advice from the tutor, as your guide. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Week 10: Life Drawing II

In this session we will begin by setting a series of poses, each no more than three minutes long, as a loosening up exercise. From this we will follow on from week 9 by again building on the experience from previous weeks by setting a series of longer poses, using the drawing medium or media of your choice, in which you will be asked to draw a figure using the experience you have developed, and ongoing tutorial advice from the tutor, as your guide. This session will involve discussion led by the tutor and individual drawing activity with the tutor giving group and individual advice.

Due to restrictions on the numbers able to enrol on this course there are no discounts on the course fees available for this course.

Course Materials and Credit Information

For this course you will also need to purchase some materials yourself. For the first session please buy and bring with you:

  • A set of pencils: sizes HB/ 4B/ 8B/ H/ 5H/ 9H
  • An A2 size drawing pad (this should be cartridge paper, 120gsm. with at least 25 sheets)
  • A putty rubber and a solid eraser (any type)

Depending on how quickly you use your materials, you might have to replace them at a later date.

These items are available from most good art shops, and can be bought at Cass Arts and Cowling and Wilcox shops in London, and by mail order from Greatart.co.uk as well as from other art suppliers.

No academic credits are available for this course.

About Your Tutors

Photograph of Richard Barnes and Sarah DavisYour tutors for this course will be Richard Barnes (STC) and Sarah Davis (STC).

Richard and Sarah are practising artists and use drawing in their own sculptural practice. Together they have a wide range of teaching experience including in life drawing and other arts, and they will be valuable source of advice and guidance for new and more experienced practitioners in life drawing.

Richard Barnes: "Having been a self-employed sculptor for a number of years I discovered that I get the most joy and satisfaction from working with stone. Interested in the more classical forms of sculpture and lamenting the decline in craft skills within the current art world, I wanted to get some professional training which would enable me to work within the industry of stone carving, both in the fields of architectural and restoration carving and in the production of new works of art. I was lucky enough to get a place at the City & Guilds of London Art School on their Historic Stone Carving course, since which I have won numerous commissions, including to work on a new carving for St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle."

Sarah Davis: "Following school I completed a BA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2012, achieving First Class Honours. My family has been very supportive throughout my education and I have always been encouraged to pursue my creative side.My interest in wood sculpture started to develop after my first year at Chelsea. Looking back at my sketchbook from that time I was drawing a lot of inspiration from abstract figurative sculpture."

Course Fees and Rate Categories

Due to restrictions on the numbers able to enrol on this course there are no discounts on the course fees available for this course.

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
20  10  £200
£200 (standard rate only) £200 (standard rate only)
Fee rate quoted is for the whole course.
Term dates 1

Fee Category

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to this course

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started, subject entirely to agreement by the tutor delivering the course. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read these before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 20  10 n/a n/a 27 Apr - 2 Jul 2020 (10 weeks)

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 March

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details before your course choice and applicant details are queried on an in-built questionnnaire which completes the process
  • The following email notifications are sent
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • Confirms payment, payment date, order number and course title
  • Should not be treated as a course-enrolment confirmation which is only sent later
2. Enrolment confirmation Sent in due course but likely not before the end of March. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-onfirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms your course' day of the week & time
3. Programme information Usually sent Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains further course details incl. classroom location and teacher contact information
  • Provides further general programme details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Certificate of Attendance

Our adult education evening and daytime classes do not offer academic credits, but we do offer an attendance certificate to those learners who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions. Eligible learners receive their certificate by email after the end of the course.

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to Manager for Evening Class programmes, Dr Michael Paraskos at  m.paraskos@imperial.ac.uk