Module 4 - Drawing & Painting Humans


Learn how to draw humans accurately by using anatomic figure and portrait drawing techniques and recreate a painted portrait study of an Old Master.

Drawing or painting humans can be very difficult and intimidating, but we want to make this part of your artistic toolbox by breaking this difficult subject matter down into doable and easier steps. In this course, we will explore both drawing and painting humans. We may or may not draw from real subjects, depending on practical considerations, but we will certainly paint and draw from references. We do not teach our students to trace because tracing does not teach any real skill, but artists who are proficient in figurative work often use tracing as a tool to save time in achieving accuracy. It is critical, however, to learn proper skills before resorting to tracing.

Figure drawing is the foundation for drawing and painting all subject matter involving humans or human anatomy. The ultimate barometer for true artistic skill is if an artist is competent in drawing and painting humans without tracing or duplicating a subject from reference, but to draw or paint a subject from real life. It is considered the most difficult subject an artist will commonly encounter, and lengthy, complex courses are often dedicated, specifically to this genre. The human figure is one of the most well-studied and documented themes in Fine Art History, and the human figure can be the basis of many different types of human-themed art like portraiture, illustration, sculpture, medical illustration, and more.

There are many different ways and styles in which to draw and paint humans. It can be done from reference, from real subjects or from imagination. It can be done in a variety of ways, from a semi-abstract style like Picasso was known for to a very realistic style like that of Michelangelo to a very stylized version deployed by artists like Tamara De Lempicka. It is important to note that most artists, even the brilliant Michelangelo, could not and cannot successfully achieve their potential in drawing complex subjects from imagination or derived styles unless they first learn to do it from real life and references in a representational way. Our aim is to teach you enough basics so you will be able to achieve successful renderings of the human form. This is why at our Academy, we deploy proven techniques, similar to those that were deployed by well-esteemed artists throughout Art History.

There are certain specific elements we pay attention to when drawing and painting the human form. These same elements apply to portrait studies and full figurative work, even drawing or painting comic book, fantasy or action figures, and characters. These include proportions of individual body parts like the face, hands, and legs. Placement of the figure or portrait within the composition and the relationship, angles, and proportions between different body parts like the feet, torso, and back. If you know how to accurately draw proportion, your figurative art will be more convincing and it will be much easier for you to deliberately distort proportions like in Fashion Design drawings or Animation.

Gesture is very important in portraying humans as it conveys emotion and realistic poses. The use of light and shadow is important because it conveys dimensional qualities. You have to know basic drawing skills to become proficient in drawing and painting humans. Most artists study the human form and different styles of portraying it for years before becoming really great at it. Art takes time. This is just a basic course that you can build from.

Fees and Registration

Module Fee: $ 140
Supply Fee: $ 30 (all supplies provided)
Total : $ 170

Fee payable upon registration.


Registration currently closed


Class Availability

Please note that  Modules are not offered concurrently, but offered on a sequential basis.
Consequently, registration will not be available unless there is an upcoming class. Refer to our Timetable for details of class and modules dates.

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