Academy of Realist Art

Drawing the Figure from Life

20 Jan, 2023
22 Jan, 2023

Duration: 3 days
Location: ARA Toronto
Instructor: Miriam Rosenthal
Full Price: $450
Deposit Required: $150

Drawing the Figure from Life


An intensive three day figure workshop where students will be working from the live model in a renaissance inspired method of drawing. You will be given step-by-step guidance on how to accurately block in the gesture and anatomy of the figure as well as the “finishing” of the drawing.

13 in stock


This workshop will explore an efficient and naturalistic way of drawing the figure while still understanding the structure and anatomy of the human body. Instructor Miriam Rosenthal will explore the quality and weight of line work in the block-in stage as well as showing the fine rendering of form that can be integrated with the underlying linear aspects of the drawing.

Participants will be working from the live model for one sustained pose for the duration of the workshop, this will give them time to design and complete their drawings. The students will begin with blocking in the figure on the good paper, starting with establishing an envelope followed by identifying the large rythms, tilts, alignments and proportions. From the looser larger movement they will start to map out anatomical landmarks with clusters of shorter marks and lines focusing on shaping the structures of the smaller proportions. With this linear description or (block-in) of the figure completed, they will work on sculpting forms in a very careful way with white chalk and charcoal all the while using the value of the toned paper as mid tones. This will give the drawing a fresh appearance as well as being a quick but controlled way of drawing.

The style in which Miriam will be teaching is inspired by the sketches and drawings from the renaissance period and will leave participants with a greater understanding of how they can design and finish a drawing using the live model as reference.

This workshop will meet for instruction and critiques at our studio from 10 am – 4 pm ET each day.

Full workshop price is $450 (model fee included), and a $150 deposit is required to save your spot. The balance will be due on the first day of the workshop.


Drawing Instruments

  • Generals Charcoal, Wolf’s Carbon or Graphite*
  • White Chalk

Drawing Board

  • 1 – 18X24 inches


  • Mid value toned piece of paper, St Armand or Canson (if drawing on Canson student may use Graphite if desired)*


  • Sanding block
  • Knitting needle 2.5 to 3.5 mm thickness
  • Masking tape
  • Eraser - one white, one kneadable
  • Pencil extender
  • Mahl stick (a ½ inch diameter dowel approximately 30 inches)


About ARA Workshops

Each participant gets lots of one-on-one attention from our superb instructors. ARA instructors teach year round so, unlike many artists who offer summer/holiday workshops our instructors are professional teachers as well as accomplished artists. Whether you are an award-winning experienced artist or have never painted before, our instructors will tailor to your skill level. If you have any questions or are having trouble with online registration, please contact us. All participants will be required to follow our studio policies in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Proof of vaccination

All visitors to our Columbus Centre campus must be fully vaccinated to access the building. Please email proof of vaccination to for verification before your class or workshop begins.

Masks and hand hygiene on arrival

On entering the Columbus Centre, all visitors are expected to wear masks at all times. We will now be requiring students to wear a minimum of a 3-ply medical (surgical) mask. Please sign in at the front to assist with records for contact tracing, and use the hand sanitization stations in the lobby and elevator.

Daily symptom screening

We ask that any students who are feeling unwell or who have had recent close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please stay home until you aren’t exhibiting any symptoms. As always, you can make up any missed classes at a later date.