3 Best Life Drawing Classes in Paris

Life drawing

Life drawing – pxhere

If you are an artist, Paris needs to be on your list of places to go. It’s no coincidence that some of the most famous artists of all-time have called this city home at one time or another.

Even for me as a writer, Paris is so inspiring. I’ve always wished that I could draw or paint, and recently I’ve been considering starting an art class. What better way to enjoy one of the most artistic cities in the world?

I’ve been doing a lot of research, and I’d love to share it here with all of you. Keep reading for my choices of the best life drawing classes in Paris!

What is life drawing?

Some of you may be wondering what exactly life drawing means. I know when I started my research, even though I’ve taken art and art history classes in the past, I was a little confused.

To put things simply: life drawing is the act of drawing a living, breathing person. It can also be called figure drawing. Typically, life drawing is done with a nude model, and is essential for getting all of the beautiful details of the human body across through your work.

You may be asking yourself why the model needs to be nude, and I have another very straightforward answer for you: clothing is not a living, breathing person. Also, if you want to draw a nude drawing, you’ll need to observe a nude person!

Drawing, Figure of a Man- Study from Life, 1887

Drawing, Figure of a Man- Study from Life, 1887 by Agnes Blackwell – WikiCommons

No need to feel uncomfortable, the human body is beautiful and its nice to be able to appreciate it in a completely non-sexual way. Think about all of the masters: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, or French artists like sculptor Auguste Rodin and painter Henri Matisse. All of these artists painted nude models, and in my opinion if you are an artist you should try it at least once!

Of course, be sure you have the permission of the nude person in front of you before you get started. The easiest way to do this? Head to a life drawing class where you know the model is all for you observing their body in order to produce some amazing art!

Where to take a life drawing class in Paris

There are quite a few options for life drawing classes in Paris, as you may expect! Lucky for all of my English speakers out there, there are also options for classes in English as well. I’ve rounded up my 3 favorites below.

1. La Villa Bastille

Drawing with pencil

Drawing with pencil – pxhere

This studio is located just next door to the Place de la Bastille and the famous Aligre market, and offers 2 kinds of classes for adults aged 15 and up.

The first option is the life drawing class, which focuses on drawing, but there is also the option to paint! According to their website, the objective of the course is “is to learn how to see : the essential elements of the pose, the movement, the planes, the volumes, the space and foreshortening, the flow of light, composition.”

The second option, if you are interested is, a painting techniques course. Both of the classes offered are for all levels, so don’t be intimidated if you are a beginner.

Reviews of the school praise the patience and talent of owner Patrick. There will most likely be a mix of English and French speakers in the class, which is another bonus for those of you that want to practice your French language skills, and really feel like a local!

Address: 74 Rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris

Website for more information

2. Life Drawing Montmartre

Artists in Montmartre

Artists in Montmartre by bogitw – pixabay

Life Drawing Montmartre is an art school in Montmartre founded by a woman named Maria. Maria certainly has an interesting background: she has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and was once an Oxford researcher. Today, she is an artist that focuses on the human form.

The life drawing classes offered at Life Drawing Montmartre are very relaxed and informal. Their is no teacher there telling you what to do: you are encouraged to come with an open mind and ideas of your own.

The models are experienced and the artists are allowed to ask them to move around and pose as they like. The course is open to artists of all abilities, and you must come with your own supplies.

The school also offers an Intensive Life Drawing Course that spans over two days, or twelve hours. Their upcoming class will focus on light and shadows, but be sure to keep checking in on their website as the course will have different themes each time!

Address: 32 Rue Gabrielle, 75018 Paris

Website for more information

3. Studio Escalier

Study of the human body

Study of the human body by Elihu Vedder – picryl

This art school is a bit different than the others mentioned above. They offer 3 to 8 week long sessions as options, and you do have to submit a few pieces if your own work before you can be accepted into the course. Although, the school does insist that anyone can apply, with any level of ability.

Studio Escalier basically just wants to see what you can do before you show up to the course so that they can help you as much as possible! I find this to be a really individualized way of running an art school and I think it’s great.

The school offers courses all year round but you’ll need to check their website in order to apply and pay in advance. Studio Escalier is a bit more expensive than the other schools mentioned, but you can expect a more intensive course.

Website for more information

Conclusion

There you have it for all of you who are interested in taking a life drawing class in Paris! All of the schools I’ve mentioned offer their classes in English, so you won’t have to worry about brushing up on your French before you sign up.

Next step for me? Deciding what school I want to start going to so that I can see if I have what it takes to be an artist. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

If you’re interested in learning more about art, and the artists that lived and loved in Paris with us, click here to discover our walking tour options!

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