Life Drawing Classes Chicago

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2 classes in-person in Chicago have spots left, and 3 classes live online are available.

Pen & Ink & Watercolor (Ages 16+)

Evanston Art Center @ 1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

Using still life and reference materials, create drawings and paintings using a variety of pens–dip pens, micron pens, brush pens; watercolors, Dr. Martin Watercolors, inks, and brushes, on various papers. Supply list.

Friday Oct 27th, 9:30am–12:30pm Central Time

 (6 sessions)


6 sessions

Methods for Successful Drawing

Evanston Art Center @ 1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

Work with a variety of drawing materials and techniques while learning the keys to successful composition and eye-catching value patterns. Learn foundational skills and creative approaches to drawing the still life. You’ll explore the use of charcoal, graphite, and micro pens. Supply List General’s Soft Charcoal General’s Charcoal Pencils Derwent Graphite Pencil set Variety of micro pens Pink Pearl eraser Kneaded eraser Strathmore...

Thursday Oct 26th, 6:30–8:30pm Central Time

 (6 sessions)


6 sessions

Quick Sketch Life Drawing

The Gallery Girls

Zoom Life Drawing *ONLINE* with a Model - Draw a live model in short poses & keep social with other artists while staying home. Draw a live model in Quick Sketch poses. (3s, 5, & 10s min poses) We will send you the link & passcode to the Zoom channel.

Thursday Sep 28th, 6–8pm Pacific Time

Colored Pencils for Beginners

92nd Street Y

Discover this medium that is surprisingly versatile and perfect for the home studio. You’ll learn how to use colored pencils to create vibrant drawings from life with nuance, depth, and expression. Learn basic techniques for blending, shading, and more in this beginner-friendly course. Supply List: set of colored pencils (prisma colors encouraged), handheld pencil sharpener vinyl eraser (Alvin) kneaded eraser Strathmore 400 series side-bound...

Monday Nov 6th, 1–3:30pm Eastern Time

 (6 sessions)


6 sessions

Online Drawing with Graphite 101

Pastimes for a Lifetime @ Live Online via Zoom

This fun and informative class is ideal for beginners as well as students returning to art classes after a long absence. Basic skills are learned or rekindled with this historic medium. Students will focus on developing measuring and drawing skills, as well as honing sensitivity in the hand. Unique projects in Linda’s curriculum improve hand-to-eye coordination while teaching how to measure for proportion. Best practices for sketching and shading...

Tuesday Sep 26th, 3–4pm Pacific Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

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Life Drawing

Magical Minds Studio @ 110 Madison St, Chicago, IL 60302

Discover how to draw forms. We'll explore gesture, anatomy, line, and tone using a variety of drawing tools. Each week will focus on a different aspect of drawing. The class will meet once per week, but students will be asked to keep a sketchbook with them during the week to practice the skills they're learning. Materials needed: Sketchbook for practice outside of class.

No upcoming schedules

5 sessions

Portrait and Figure Studio

The Art Center Highland Park @ 1957 Sheridan Road Highland Park, IL , Chicago, IL 60035

Draw or paint from live models. Study form through anatomy, values, color theory, and lighting. Explore a variety of techniques and work in the medium of your choice. All levels are welcome. Required Supplies Optional Supply List (work in the medium of your choice): Charcoal Paper Charcoal (medium vine) Sandpaper Pad Chami Kneaded Eraser Stump Oils Acrylics Pastels Watercolors Plastilina etc… There is an additional...

No upcoming schedules

5 sessions

Botanical Art: Butterflies and Blooms

Chicago Botanic Garden @ 1000 Lake Cook Road, Chicago, IL 60022

Immerse yourself in the Garden’s Butterflies & Blooms exhibition surrounded by colorful species from around Illinois and the world. Capturing the cycle of life, draw butterflies and the plants that support them by observing them in this specially designed butterfly habitat. You will have drawing time in the exhibition each morning before it opens to the public. Afterwards, you will move indoors to create completed artwork in the medium of...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

Introduction to Figure Drawing

Evanston Art Center @ 1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

This intermediate class welcomes students who are new to drawing the human figure as well as those with experience in life drawing. Each class meeting will feature a nude model as subject matter. Each week students will complete a series of short warm-up studies (gesture drawings) in preparation for longer poses that will allow for greater detail. Charcoal will be emphasized as the drawing medium but other media such as ink wash will be introduced....

No upcoming schedules

12 sessions

Beginning Drawing with Duffy O'Connor

Evanston Art Center @ Interactive Online Classroom via Zoom, Chicago, IL 00000

Welcome to the world of drawing! Get an introduction to the fundamentals of observational drawing using the simplest of tools - the pencil. Students will learn to use line, light and shadow to make still-life drawings that offer a realistic yet artistic image. Perfect for students without drawing experience and a good refresher if it's been a little while since you've drawn.  This interactive online class is presented via Zoom. You will...

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

Online Beginning Drawing with Duffy O'Connor (Ages 16+)

Evanston Art Center @ Interactive Online Classroom via Zoom, Chicago, IL 00000

Welcome to the world of drawing! Get an introduction to the fundamentals of observational drawing using the simplest of tools - the pencil.  Students will learn to use line, light and shadow to make still life drawings that offer a realistic yet artistic image. Perfect for students without drawing experience and a good refresher if it's been a little while since you've drawn. Skill Level: Beginner This interactive online ...

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

Figure Drawing for Beginners

Vaudezilla Studios @ 3330 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618

An introduction to drawing from life. We will spend an hour and a half drawing a variety of different positions provided by our model, and talking about the human form, anatomy, and how to teach yourself techniques to draw what you see instead of what you think you're looking at. This is something anyone can learn!  All experience levels welcome!

No upcoming schedules

Colored Pencil: Exotic Plants

Chicago Botanic Garden @ 1000 Lake Cook Road, Chicago, IL 60022

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Greenhouses contain many exotic plants, displayed in facsimiles of their native habitats, which students will use as subjects. Draw from life in the Greenhouses, making studies of the intricate plant structures and colors, then return to the studio to translate studies into compositions. Work in graphite leading to finished work in colored pencil, using all the techniques introduced in earlier colored pencil courses....

No upcoming schedules

5 sessions

Beginning Drawing with Vivian Zapata

Evanston Art Center @ 1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

This introductory drawing class emphasizes representational drawing of still life arrangements and other subjects. Students will learn about fundamental drawing concepts: line, shape, form, value, proportion, and perspective. Students will also utilize graphite and charcoal. Short presentations and demonstrations will introduce students to concepts, application techniques, and drawing examples. In-person class (with reduced capacity) closely following...

No upcoming schedules

12 sessions

Color Rendering with Markers

Chicago Botanic Garden @ 1000 Lake Cook Road, Chicago, IL 60022

Studies have shown that there is a fresh incentive to hone in on manual architectural skills and bring the use of hand rendering and hand drawing back to life.  There are conceptual and aesthetic qualities that software can neither equal nor replace. This course will offer an introduction, guidance, and techniques for hand-rendering on three different types of media: sketch paper, bond, and mylar. Each media presents a different outcome.

No upcoming schedules

3 sessions

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Discover the Best Life Drawing Classes in Chicago

Life drawing is a fundamental skill for artists who work in any genre. It provides a solid foundation for understanding the human form, developing technical skills, and expressing your unique artistic vision. Also known as figure drawing or nude drawing, it involves drawing the human form from live observation. Life drawing helps you learn to simplify your subject to the essential details and become more strategic about how you depict your subject. 

In life drawing sessions, artists draw a live model who poses in various positions. Renderings can range from highly detailed studies to loose and expressive sketches. They may even be gesture drawings, which quickly capture form, action, and pose with minimal strokes. From the richly detailed depictions of classical Greek and Roman art to the new styles and interpretations of modern artists, life drawing has helped artists refine their skills and express their ideas.

Why You Should Learn Life Drawing in Chicago

Chicago has a thriving art scene with renowned art institutions, galleries, public art, festivals, and artists. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest museums in the country and houses masterworks from various periods and cultures. The architecturally distinct Chicago Cultural Center, with its striking Tiffany stained-glass dome, is a hub for arts in the city and offers exhibits, performances, films, and artist lectures. Chicago gallery districts like West Loop Gallery District and River North Gallery District attract art enthusiasts, collectors, and the city’s estimated 63,000 artists. There is a wealth of public art in Chicago; the downtown core alone features more than 100 sculptures, mosaics, and paintings. Chicago ranks among the top 20 large communities on the Arts Vibrancy Index developed by Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research. 

Whether you are an aspiring professional artist or a dedicated hobbyist, practicing life drawing will improve your artistic skills and creative expression. It provides a new and novel activity for the creative side of your brain and refreshes your ability to truly see your subject. Plus, you’ll enjoy time spent with people who share your love for art. 

If you want to pursue a career in art, create a portfolio to show off your work and network with people in your classes, professionals in the field, social media, and industry shows and events. Many artists pursue their work as a side hustle, selling artwork online or at festivals and galleries. The median annual wage for fine artists is $50,000. 

In-Person Life Drawing Classes & Schools in Chicago

Introduction to Figure Drawing at Evanston Art Center in Evanston, Illinois is an intermediate-level class for both people who are new to figure drawing and those with experience. Each week you’ll complete a series of quick gesture drawings to prepare for longer poses that incorporate more detail. This class covers many ways to work with charcoal as your primary drawing medium and experiment with ink wash as well. You’ll gain an understanding of composition, contrast, and line quality in your drawings. 

In Methods for Successful Drawing at Evanston Art Center in Evanston, Illinois, you’ll learn the keys to composition and eye-catching value patterns. Using a variety of drawing materials and techniques, this class covers foundational skills and creative approaches to drawing the still life. You’ll practice drawing in charcoal, graphite, and micro pens. 

Pen & Ink & Watercolor uses still life exhibits and reference materials to create drawings and paintings. You’ll work in a variety of pens, watercolors, and inks, using a range of brushes and papers. Evanston Art Center is a non-profit visual arts organization that offers education, outreach, and exhibitions. 

Virtual Life Drawing Classes & Schools

In-person life drawing classes build your drawing skills quickly, with real-time instruction from a professional artist and access to live models. You’ll get to know other aspiring artists and build connections in your local art community. 

If there are no life drawing classes in your area, hone your skills in virtual classes with personalized instruction from expert teachers. You can choose courses with professional artists no matter where you live, without leaving your home. You may need to provide your own materials from a supply list provided by your teacher. Take a look at some of the online life drawing classes you can choose from at CourseHorse.

Figure and Nature Drawing/Painting by Evanston Art Center will improve your drawing techniques through lectures, warm-up drawings, and longer finished poses. You’ll master techniques like gesture and organizational line, contour line, shape-plane-volume-modeling, value, foreshortening, and anatomical studies. You’ll have the opportunity to work from a clothes model and receive critiques on your work. You can work in either drawing or painting mediums.

Figure and Portrait Drawing Combined at 92nd Street Y dives into the study of anatomy and will teach you how to render realistic figures and portraits. Using graphite, charcoal, or your other favorite drawing medium, you’ll create lively drawings that hone your skills in the proportions of the human body. 

In Portrait Drawing: Black and White to Color with 92nd Street Y you’ll work with live models to develop expressive and dimensional drawings. Begin in graphite and move to colored pencils while you practice creating expressive drawings and honing your skills in depicting the proportions of the human face. 

Private Group Life Drawing Classes in Chicago

Do you want to schedule a fun life drawing class as a team-building event for your business or organization? How about a drawing night for a group of friends? Coursehorse has life drawing classes for private groups in Chicago that they can deliver to you, wherever you are.

In Virtual Group Drawing & Sketching Class you’ll complete a graphite still life drawing. Your group will learn how to use hatching and cross-hatching techniques to build value and create depth in your drawing. You’ll practice using basic shapes to build objects and learn the tricks of using dynamic composition to make a beautiful drawing. Customize your artistic experience by choosing from still life, landscapes, botanicals, faces, or another drawing style you like. All you need for this class is a graphite pencil and your preferred drawing paper. For a $150 fee, you can customize your course by adding a game or a second event with all materials included. This class can accommodate up to 255 people.

If Coursehorse doesn’t have the drawing class you are looking for right now, they can create one just for you. It’s simple to book a class with CourseHorse. Click on the “Contact Us” button on the website to start your booking. Estimate the number of people in your group and submit the minimum deposit amount. There are no booking fees or extra charges, and you’ll receive a confirmation within 24 hours.

CourseHorse recommends joining your class on Zoom, but they can accommodate Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx. If you’d like an in-person activity, some courses can even come right to your office or home.