Drawing and painting the modern nude

Weekend-long practical course

Courses and Classes

  • 14 July 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 15 July 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

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Drawing in the Life Room, 2017

Join artist Adele Wagstaff for an intensive practical course focusing on drawing and painting the nude; through an exploration of pose and gesture, using the simplification of form and changing viewpoint to examine how the modern nude can be portrayed.

“Make copies, young man, make copies. You can only become a good artist by copying the masters.“
Ambrose Vollard, 1937

During this practical drawing and painting course, participants will focus on the work of French artist Edgar Degas (1834–1917), widely regarded as the founder of the Impressionist movement, exploring how he used continual reflection, reassessment, continuity and repetition of both themes and poses.

Degas’ art was built, primarily, on the study of the Old Masters, and then on a constant exploration of themes and media throughout his long career, from the academic ideal to creating his later un-idealised and more unconventional images of the nude. He maintained throughout his career that he continually thought about his work in terms of the great Masters, and his belief in drawing remained fundamental throughout, as well as an insistence on the importance of studying and copying from past art. Degas’ art was built on reflection, reassessment, continuity and repetition, borne out of observation and his concern to articulate this consciousness to the spectator. He recognised early in his career that looking does not just involve what one sees, but from where one sees.

Participants will, through drawing, explore the human figure, working from both short and long poses, experimenting with different materials and considering composition and how the figure is positioned within the rectangle. The fundamentals of drawing, measuring, proportion and anatomy will be covered alongside referencing key works from the RA Archives and from Degas’ extensive library of life drawings and copies. Working from models, themes will include pose and gesture, colour combinations, repetition and revision, the use of cropping, composition and viewpoint.

Materials used during this course will include oil and chalk pastels and watercolour, gouache and acrylic paint. Oil paint is not permitted in the historic Life Room.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 14 July 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 15 July 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools

£420. Includes all materials, lunch, and wine reception at the end of the second day.

Book now