The Best Life Drawing Classes in London
Find out about the best life-drawing classes across the whole of London with our guide to sketching the city’s humans. With some very interesting classes on offer, our favourite has to be the ELSC, who are a bunch of feisty, articulate, fiercely independent women, who also happen to be strippers.
London Drawing Group
The three contemporary artists who run LDG events started the series to get more people drawing. Tours at the National Gallery teach drawing by observation of works on display, and drop-in classes pick unusual topics such as internet porn. Teaching is hands-on and helpful.
Best for: Imaginative exercises
Holborn Life Drawing
Two-, 20- and 45-minute poses with models of both sexes make this untutored class a good place to pack a lot of practice in. The venue’s big enough for up to 50 artists, and the big crowd means the classes are usually rounded off with a trip to the pub.
Best for: Variation
Expert day and evening courses with one-to-one attention from an experienced and practising art tutor justify the prices on these courses, held in a studio inside the Academy. They usually sell out in a flash, though, so hop on the mailing list to get a heads-up before they drop.
Best for: Improvers
Royal Drawing School
Beginner-friendly Friday night drink-and-draw classes are the best way to discover this London drawing institution. There are different approaches to life drawing considered, with a different model each week, with a variety of poses both long and short. Tickets include a beer or a glass of wine.
Best for: Beginners
Adrian’s been running life-drawing classes in London for 12 years and prides himself on running sociable and friendly drop-ins. There are regular classes in Clerkenwell, Bethnal Green, Hoxton and De Beauvoir, as well as cheese and wine nights, and special drop-ins on Fridays for long poses. The collegiate atmosphere usually migrates to a local drinkery afterwards.
Best for: advice
Cost: £8.50 (£6 concs.)
Dulwich Art Group
In an age when life-drawing has become synonymous with tittering hen groups, Duwlich Art Group retains a lot of integrity as a slick, decades-old set-up offering long poses which allow you to craft your masterpiece over a period of weeks. There’s tea on offer throughout, plus a modest lunch menu in the break.
Best for: Giggles
Notting Hill artist Gill teaches Tuesday classes and drop-ins on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, each class focusing on skills like perspective, line, tone, movement, context and media. Drawing materials are available but bring your own paper.
Best for: New skills
Candid Arts Drop-In Life Drawing Classes
This hands-on untutored class is small, beautiful and affordable and happens four times a week in the evenings. Two tutors mill around, offering advice (if you want it), before taking the class to the pub. Materials available to buy on the day.
Best for: Value
Life Drawing with ELSC
ELSC are a bunch of feisty, articulate, fiercely independent women, who also happen to be strippers. They aim to shatter stereotypes and challenge stigma, whilst improving their own working conditions. They are bored of working in badly run strip clubs, being financially exploited and having very little say in how the venues are actually operated. To counter this they have begun organising their own pop-up events, to create their own working conditions. Interesting eh?
Best for: Naughtiness
Croydon Life Drawing
Croydon life drawing is for those craving the ultimate weekend destressifyer: paint-splashing in a peaceful setting. Proprietor Francis Wardale lets you just get on with it, but prides himself on the quality and variety of models.
Best for: A relaxed atmosphere
Cost: £10 (£5 concs.)