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Tue, Oct 10


TAP Centre for Creativity

Drawing technique in the Classical Method

A three week intensive workshop on drawing the figure from life using classical and academic techniques.

Drawing technique in the Classical Method
Drawing technique in the Classical Method

Time & Location

Oct 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT

TAP Centre for Creativity, 203 Dundas St, London, ON N6A 1G4, Canada

About The Event

Drawing technique in the Classical Method (Charcoal and White Chalk)

This workshop offers students an introduction to the fundamental bases of academic drawing using its main tools, charcoal and chalk. This style, method and tradition has a deep history; rediscovered in the renaissance and institutionalized in the French academic scene of the 19th century. It became one of the most influential classical drawing courses in the history of art education.

The final aim of this course will be to acquire the classical academic method of drawing used by the old Masters and to create with the pencil / charcoal on paper a whole human figure, draped in fabric. Moreover, you will learn to select and prepare materials for drawing, measurements and proportions, the artistic effect of chiaroscuro and improve observation skills and draw realistically.

Our Program is divided into sessions, each session is three hours, students will be developing the same drawing over three weeks. Students will also be shown examples of methods used by the old masters, they will be encouraged to research and share examples of figurative art they connect with.

Tuesday and Wednesday Evenings 6pm-9pm

Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25, 2023

Instructor: Eric J. Drummond

Location: Cocker Fulton Studio (Third Floor)

$275 + Materials*

About the instructor Eric Drummond

After studying Art History at the University of Guelph, Eric was accepted and enrolled at The Florence Academy of Art in 2016. There he was taught to draw and paint the figure from life and compose portraits and still lifes, using the traditional methods and practices developed by the old masters. Eric works only from life. Staying true to the sight size method developed by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France in the 1800s, he largely crafts his own materials, and hand preps his own canvases. Working from life allows Eric total creative control and interpretation of his subjects.


First introductory and explanation; this session helps to coordinate with the teacher about the appropriate materials, supports and equipment for the exercise. The instructor will explain the goal of the workshop: to have a structured charcoal Figure drawing done in the classical method.


During the session the instructor will do a live demo of a block in, demonstrating measurement techniques, use of materials and handling of simple and broad lines to establish structure.


The student will study the breaking down broad lines into more geometric angle breaks to be more specific with the contour and likeness of the figure underneath the clothing; it will explain the major boning points and structural landmarks to work from and the anatomical proportions. The instructor will help the students to establish the shadow line and a light value within it and to establish a light value for the background to isolate the lights, to bring the student to what is the impression of the light on both the figure and the clothing. The instructor will explain the understanding of the basic form of the drapery over the figure and how it will develop within the next few days.


In this session the instructor will prepare a demo to show a value sketch; the students will use half the time to create a quick value sketch to reference to understand form and light in its simplest way. The boning areas versus fleshy areas in contrast to the softness and transitions in the fabric, will be treated using the line and the shadow line will be introduced.  White Chalk will be used on the value sketch to show the true range of values needed to model light and form. The instructor will focus on how to use the shadow line to reinforce structure and create volume. The session ends with understanding how the shadow line works in tandem with the major forms of the portrait and understanding compression of light and dark. Slowly the entire figure becomes more specific.


In this session the student can slowly build the key of the drawing and reach the maximum value range of the figure. Charcoal providing the darkest dark, white chalk providing the brightest bright and the natural tone of the paper as a transitional mid tone value. The work session continues with understanding how the shadow line works not only in the figure but in tandem with the major forms of the drapery and understanding compression of light and dark. These points are important to establish by the end of the day the full range of values within the drawing. The context for how drapery falls over the body and around major forms will lend itself to the final rendering of the drawing.


This lesson of the workshop will focus on understanding half-tones; the instructor will show to the students the hatching techniques, understanding the topography of form in tandem with articulation of lines. The students will discuss reevaluating some proportions and try to establish the specific folds of the drapery along with the likeness of the model, keeping lights compressed and rendering transitions from the shadow line slightly into the lights. The soft merging of transitions will take place, with the use of pencil and white chalk to blend softer tones into each other ever so slightly.


The final session. Students will be empowered to see their drawing for what it is as a work of art. Conversations about pathos, expression of the elements of design and pushing the render to its fullest will be had. Finally, the student can understand the drop-off of light from top to bottom and side to side to unify the image. The understanding of psychology will be talked about throughout the workshop, but these final moments will help to understand expression and a true connection with the subject; not solely about copying nature but expressing it through the model and the movement of the fabric.

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