Atelier Fundamentals of Figure Drawing Short Poses with Dasa Pierce


Want to draw the figure well? Strengthen your Figure Fundamentals! In this Ongoing Class (open to all levels) working from a live model, we will stress short poses to give students a solid foundation in how to begin, plan and execute the “ideal” figure. Students will strengthen their ability to quickly capture the relationships of the pose, train the eye to simplify the information, and learn to build volume with basic shapes.  Additionally, students will solve problems and hone skills set through a special focus each week – such as foreshortening, anatomical landmarks, how overlap creates volume, how to study, and much more!

Class Price:   $300 for a bundle of 10 classes        $40 for a single class

(Plus $10 model fee)

Date: Every Saturday morning from 9:30-12:30

LEVEL:  Open to all levels

This is a class for beginners, but even the more advanced student will benefit from additional mileage of practice from a live model, and each week there will be a different informative focus.

DATES: Ongoing


  • Gesture: Students will be able to quickly and convincingly capture the nature of the gesture, specifically building on the general 3 basic motions – the S curve, C curve and line and have opportunity to practice how these forms change as the model’s pose rotates.
  • Secret Figure: Students will be able to draw the “secret (stick) figure” accurately showing the relationships of the 3 main body masses (head, torso, and pelvis) and the limbs.Students will gain mileage in this skill so that it becomes second nature.
  • Volume (shape articulation): Students will create the illusion of volume through the use of basic 3-D shapes of the sphere, egg, cylinder, cubes, wedges, cones and overlapping contour lines. Shading is not part of the beginner course, as this course focuses on relationships and the “ideal” of the model’s pose.
  • Alternating gesture drawings with methodical approacheswill enable the student to draw spontaneously, energetically and lay the foundation for longer poses.
  • Weekly focus examples:

More in-depth study of topics such as Overlap, how to see & draw the 3D shapes, drawing the rotating model, how the knee moves and how to locate the patella, how the neck fits on the torso, how to use creases and overlap to indicate twists, how to use fundamental anatomical landmarks to add 3-D structure to the drawing – even if you do not see them, foreshortening, how the shoulder girdle and shoulder blades move in relation to the arms, hands, feet, head orientations and much more.


  • Live Model short poses will strengthen the foundation of figure drawing. Mileage on the fundamentals of the relationships of the forms is key to drawing the figure with facility.
  • Demonstration– the instructor will demonstrate concepts on the live model, the skeleton as well as drawing, as appropriate.
  • One on One– Instructor will make rounds, working with each student, giving constructive criticism and individual demonstrations. The focus will always be on the “NEXT STEP” for each individual student, depending on their current skill level.
  • Handoutson key teaching points will be utilized as needed
  • Standing Homework Assignment:
  • Homeworkreview – students are encouraged to bring in homework for critiquing
    • use any source of model (live, internet (eg :Draw This on youtube), or book reference) to get at minimum 30 minutes a day practice (3 hours a week – it flies fast!)
    • The serious student, no matter the skill level, is also encouraged to attempt to draw from memory or imagination as part of routine homework.


  • Any drawing instrument such as charcoal, graphite pencil (2B through 6B)
  • Kneaded eraser or chamois
  • Sandpaper pad to sharpen pencil
  • Drawing board & Drawing Pad – eg: 18”X24” Strathmore 400 White or newsprint
  • Advanced Students may use monochromatic paint

Recommended support material:

Draw This – Youtube (online figure model sessions)
Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life, book by George Bridgman