The Expressive Nude

The Renaissance Masters' Approach to Drawing the Figure


Learn how the Renaissance Masters Drew The Human Figure Across These Six Live, Online Drawing Classes. 

Six Wednesdays from 9 Oct 2024 – 13 Nov 2024, 11:00 AM – 13:00 PM UK / 06:00 – 08:00 AM NY


The human form is the central expressive medium of Western Art. From the naturalism of Greek Antiquity to the formalism of the Middle Ages, and from the revived naturalism of the Renaissance to now, the evocative power of the nude retains its primacy as a tool to communicate sentiments and ideas. This course teaches you the methods, techniques and process of drawing the human form used by the masters of the Renaissance so that you are enabled to draw the nude with discipline and confidence. You will learn how to delineate the structure and form of the human body in way that both reflects your own inner vision and convincingly represents the figure to others through a firm basis in the principles of drawing used by the Renaissance Masters.

You Will Learn:

  • How Renaissance artists like Leonardo, Verrocchio and Michelangelo started their drawings of the figure
  • How to build up a drawing of the figure in layers
  • How to confidently delineate the structure and dynamic of the human form
  • How to apply layers of tone to model your drawing effectively with hatching
  • The cannon of human proportions as understood in the Renaissance
  • To apply authentic historical Renaissance methods and principles to drawing the figure

Course Structure

Class 1 – Laying Foundations: Leonardo on conceiving the structure of the body

Class 2 – Measurement and Proportion: understanding the relations between parts

Class 3 – Working from the Core: Michelangelo on building and understanding the form

Class 4 – Tone and Volume: enhancing naturalism with hatching

Class 5 – Outline: Pontormo on tension and movement

Class 6 – The Action of the Pose: meaning, intent and invention


This course will decode and explain how the artists of Renaissance Italy drew the figure in stages. The course is suitable for those with experience drawing and for those looking for a place to start out.

You Will Need:

Pencils (or silverpoint), paper, Red/Black Chalk (or crayons/chalk pencils)

Start Date

Wednesdays 9 Oct 2024 – 13 Nov 2024, 11:00 AM – 13:00 PM UK / 06:00 – 08:00 AM NY

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