Interacting with the creative legacy of Western art and culture empowers individuals and brings meaning and value into modern life. My heartfelt belief that connecting to traditional Western heritage illuminates creative paths leading to autonomy and meaning is the beating heart of The Renaissance Workshop. The purpose of this initiative is to widen participation in the traditional Western arts and culture in order to channel the wonder and magic of its legacy into modern society so that we have an authentic, ongoing connection to our past.

The Renaissance Workshop is an arts and humanities initiative founded by Jon Long in 2017 in order to make the history of Western art and culture accessible and interactive. It began with weekly life drawing classes in the tradition of the workshop practice of the artists of Renaissance Florence. Inspired by history and with the belief that revisiting historical modes of practice can be empowering and transformative, the life drawing classes accompanied creative workshops in London Galleries and Museums with the first taking place at the National Gallery. My classes, online courses, and workshops bring together the history and development of Western art and philosophy to promote an authentic connection to our cultural DNA. The Renaissance workshop is here to open to doors of the past for anyone, to channel the insight and creativity of the great artists of the past into modern life and society.

One-year Renaissance Drawing Apprenticeship Online

“You have honed a great teaching style that is transformational as witnessed by the phenomenal progress everyone makes – strong academic content balanced by relevant practical activities presented in ways that empathetically engage an incredibly wide range of learners from across the globe, logically scaffolded to ensure we build skill, knowledge, understanding and confidence as well and pure enjoyment, with positive and supportive individualisation and feedback. How you manage to do that for such as vast number of students I don’t know, but you have a handle on each and every one. Whatever you do, don’t stop!”

Briony Brammer, former National Leader of Education

  • Historically authentic training
  • Renaissance approach to drawing the figure and portrait
  • Instill intuitive use and understanding of proportion
  • Understand the rules of perspective
  • Undergo the same training as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
  • Interact creatively with the legacy of the Old Masters
  • Live demonstrations
  • Learn about structure, form and composition
  • Develop your own unique project

Six-Week Drawing Courses Online

A revelation. Something magical happens in the class, we come away inspired and uplifted. The Renaissance Workshop classes have opened up an extraordinary journey of creativity and adventure for me. They have opened my eyes to seeing and enjoying art in a way I could not have imagined. The classes are an intellectual and emotional voyage of insight into our potential – for all of us, no matter what talent we have, or if we feel we have none – everyone in the class experiences the excitement of encountering and expressing our inner worlds and exploring great art.

The commitment to Renaissance methods of drawing underpins the classes, and Jon is hugely erudite, but it is his insight into the creative process and what inspires us – our personal inner journey to art – that makes the classes wonderful and meaningful.

Sal Anderson, Reader, University of the Arts London

Upcoming life drawing classes on Zoom