Visual Arts Centre

Figure drawing, otherwise known as nude life drawing, is defined as the drawing of thehuman form in various shapes and postures, in different drawing media.

Frauengruppe (1904) by Lovis Corinth

Figure drawing can represented expressively, loosely, or in a highly detailed manner. Artists are able to take awide variety of approaches to human figure drawing, from creating works from photographic references, to creating works from life models, and even from imagination.


Claudia by Robert Zeller

Nude Figure References

When creating works from life models, one would be able to create works that are less “flat”, more accurate and more true to reality. The visual reference of having a life model can allow one to produce works that are more anatomically accurate, with proportions more easily rendered as opposed to that photographic and imaginary references.

Types of Media

The preferred form of media when it comes to nude life drawing for most artists is the pencil, graphite or charcoal. Pencils and charcoals are most preferred as they adhere more loosely to the paper, allowing one to manipulate by erasing mistakes with ease. Furthermore, they can be easily preserved on paper, simply by spraying fixative on top of the drawing.

Watercolour nude life paintings have also gained much traction in recent years, with more people being interested in capturing the beauty of the nude with subtle colours. Usually, artists like to begin with a sketch using graphite pencil, and with the line work, watercolour ink washes are applied to the sketch.

Appreciating Nude Life Drawing and Painting

Male Nude (between 1854-1857), Auguste Rodin

When referencing to a nude life model, every pose offers a new composition – shadows, skin textures, movement and gestures. With the life model, we are expected to draw and paint at a faster rate compared to referencing to a still photograph. This allows us to train our eyes to understand and capture proportion quickly.

Nude Life Drawing and Painting Classes

Figure drawing and painting in a studio setting typically involves a group of students sitting around a model in a semi or full circle. Every student will be offered a different angle, with no 2 students having the same angle as another. Thus, each student’s drawing will reflect the artist’s unique perspective and location relative to the model.

In some classes, the nude model would also be interacting with props such as tables and chairs. In most nude life classes, a couple of periodic poses are expected, since it requires lots of energy for the model to pose and remain perfectly still for extended periods of time.

Learning never exhausts the mind.

–  Leonardo Da Vinci

At Visual Arts Centre, our nude life drawing and painting sessions are run by a professionally trained artist in a fun and relaxing environment. These sessions are run in our Studio, the perfect atmosphere with an accurate selection of music, to help you relax and get into the state of drawing.

If you are interested in learning how to do some watercolour nude life painting, please feel free to join us! Otherwise, traditional medium such as pencils and charcoal would still be provided as usual.

Click here to find out more or register for our nude life drawing and painting lessons!

Visual Arts Centre is also running a special promotion – 4 sessions of Nude or Portrait Life Drawing class pass for only $280nett/pax.

Click here to register for this special promotion!

If you are ready to pick up a pencil or brush to start your artistic journey in nude figure drawing or painting, feel free to click here to find out more, or drop us an email at [email protected] or a call at 6733 2155 / 6255 0711 and we will be more than ready to assist you!

To read more about nude life drawing, please check out these sites: