Visual Arts Planning: Drawing from a Live Model

You can see all current topics in our visual arts planning series here.


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We have collected together a selection of fun resources on drawing the figure that we hope will inspire students to tackle this challenging subject.  The activities encourage pupils to draw from live poses by their classmates (and a dog!) and to consider how they would draw both a still and moving figure.  They also have an opportunity to express what it feels like to be inside their own bodies, through wire drawings/sculptures.  Finally, we include a link to a series of projects by artist Hester Berry that discuss ways to approach life drawing from the model.

First Steps

life drawing for children

A playful and active session suitable for all ages. Children select their own props and take it in turns to model and draw.

Drawing cartoon characters

An exciting resource using life drawings to create cartoon characters, that can be adapted for all ages. Young children choose dressing up clothes and then model for each other in brief, energetic poses.

Where The Wild Things Are

This resource forms part of a series which enable primary-aged children to explore drawing and making inspired by Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”

Drawing inspired by Quentin Blake

Taking Quentin Blake’s drawings as a starting point for three simple exercises, children draw from life and explore how they might use exaggeration as a tool to help them convey the intention of their drawing

Introducing drawing from life

A relaxed session to introduce students to the first steps of drawing from life in a series of short exercises or ‘studies’.

Life Drawing- getting it right

A resource to help students practice their life drawing skills: one quick, five line drawing to get students looking and filling the whole sheet and a longer life study, where students are encouraged to add and cover ‘wrong’ lines with white paper and let their drawings ‘grow’

Developing Life Drawing Skills

How to measure proportions

A workshop that explains the ‘Sighting Method’ to enable students to draw in proportion from a live model.

Teenagers Draw A Dog

Teenagers are challenged to draw a live subject that keeps moving! They are encouraged to make large drawings using a variety of variety of media and to experiment with mark making and gesture.

Drawing someone drawing something

This exciting project explores the idea that sketchbooks can be used as a tool to generate sketches and gather visual ideas for later use.

Drawing with wire

A creative session that encourages students not to concentrate on how their bodies look, but to visualise how they feel and to try and find a way of expressing that experience with wire drawings/sculptures.

Repetative Life drawing exercise

Inspired by Henri Matisse, this workshop encourages students to challenge pre-conceived ideas of what a drawing should be or what finished drawings should look like

drawing from a life model

Artist Hester Berry, an experienced life drawing tutor and artist, has created a set of inspirational resources to help students get to grips with this very rewarding activity.
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