Cast Drawing | Workshop

This Cast Drawing Workshop will introduce the student to the practice of sight-size cast drawing and teach them the key principles of all representational drawing.

Date & Time

14th-18th September 2020 | Monday to Friday | 10:00-17:00


LARA London
371 Clapham Road
London SW9 9BT
Bring me there

Using a sight-size set up and methods taught on the full-time course, students will create a competent reproduction of a cast of their choice. Students will be guided through the process of drawing from the cast from start to finish including set up and lighting advice so that they may recreate a similar arrangement at a later date.

Since the Renaissance cast drawing has been fundamental to artistic training across Europe. Artists as diverse as Rembrandt, Ingres and David all championed cast drawing as an essential part of their education. At LARA we take cast drawing very seriously. We understand it to be a highly effective way to develop an artist’s draughtsmanship and for this reason our full and part-time students spend half of their drawing day in the cast room, working on projects of increasing complexity.

This Cast Drawing Workshop will be an intensive introduction to the practice of sight-size cast drawing. Students of all abilities are welcome to attend and each student will receive the attention and instruction they require to move their drawing skills to the next level.

This short course would be a perfect introduction to representational drawing (particularly for those unsure of the challenge of drawing the live model), a great refresher for the more experienced artist or a fantastic insight into life as a student at LARA.

10% discount for school art teachers

Calling all school art teachers! We’re offering you a 10% discount on this Cast Drawing Workshop. All you need to do is send us proof that you work full-time as an art teacher at a UK school. Please call or email us to make arrangements.

This course requires a minimum number of enrolments to run.

Aims of This Course

Students work on one cast drawing for the full five days. Each day is divided into two three hour sessions with a one hour lunch break halfway through. At the beginning of each session the tutor will explain and demonstrate a key concept of cast drawing before giving individual critiques as students progress their drawings.

On the first day the tutor will explain the different challenges of each of the simple feature casts available so that students may choose which project to work on. The tutor will also explain the particular strengths of pencil and charcoal so students can make an informed decision as to which they would prefer to use. There will be a clear demonstration of how to work in sight-size and of how to sharpen your pencil or charcoal to create the most communicative marks.

Keys concepts covered include: the block-in, contour line, shadow shape, the classical order of light, line versus mass drawing, values, edges (sharp and soft), simultaneous contract, the balance of variety and unity, modelling, reflected light, focus and design. Students will also be introduced to the use of plumb-lines, sticks, and clear and black mirrors.

The Facilities

Students will share, in pairs, a professional standard cast set up with unchanging lighting. This workshop is limited to ten students to ensure each student receives due attention. The workshop will take place in LARA London’s Workshop Room, located next door to both the Figure Room and Cast Room of the Foundation and Diploma courses.

Students are welcome to look around at the current full and part-time students’ work. Student, tutor and alumni works which hang on the walls throughout the studio will be used by the tutor as teaching aids.


Please bring the following materials with you. Items marked with an asterisk are stocked in the LARA shop. Please call ahead if you would like to reserve items to ensure availability.

  • Pencils – HB*, B*, 2B*
  • Putty rubber*
  • Nitram charcoal* – H, B and HB (if working in charcoal)
  • Roma paper* (if working in charcoal)
  • Sanding block* or sanding paper
  • A small white* and small black* mirror
  • Masking tape*
  • Plumbline* – or you can read about how to make your own plumbline here:
  • Fixative* (only for use outside of the building). Please note: ALL solvents must be taken home with you on the last day of the course. Unfortunately, paintings or drawings can’t be left at the studio for collection at a later date.
  • A portfolio (can be 2 sheets of cardboard) to carry your drawing home safely in on the last day
  • A mug for tea and coffee!

And these items are useful, although not necessary:

  • Mahl Stick*
  • Paper stubs
  • A sturdy portfolio for you to carry your work home

It is up to you whether you use charcoal or pencil for your cast drawing.

Pencil as a medium

Pencil is an ideal medium to use for those just starting out on cast drawing as its permits observation and correction of the drawing with more control for those unused to the sight size method. Pencil also allows for a sharpness of detail and an ease of correction allowing for concentration on the fundamentals involved in cast drawing.

Charcoal as a medium

Students more familiar with the sight size method will be encouraged to use charcoal while working from the cast. Charcoal, in its nature, is similar to painting in many respects in terms of value, the variety in tone generated using charcoal allowing for a convincing rendition of the cast. Fundamental to generating an effective cast drawing is learning how to handle charcoal as a medium, and handling, sharpening and keeping the drawing ‘clean’ are all covered in depth on this intensive week.


‘I thoroughly enjoyed the course, Alex was a great teacher, and the relaxed atmosphere in the school was brilliant. It’s one of the first courses I’ve done where I’ve actually been happy with the end result which was a bonus!’ – Abi Huxtable

Learn from the best tutors

Lucy Fyffe Parham

"Drawing is a constant play between variety and unity."

Cast Drawing Workshop


In stock