When I was a struggling student, I got my kit off from time to time in the name of art. It was totally liberating experience and one that only the bolshie confidence of youth allowed me to do without vomiting from shame.
Nowadays I couldn’t think of anything worse, although, I did like the look on my parents’ faces when I told them I took my clothes off for money.
As I have grown into adulthood, I feel a downright more comfortable with my clothes securely on. But now I thought, it was time for me to sit behind the easel and try it out from the other side. Luckily for me, Manchester has some fantastic classes dotted around, and there is something for every level of artistic talent.
Chorlton Alternative Arts
A class that is solely dedicated to life figure drawing. They meet every Wednesday from 7:30 pm at Edge Theatre and Arts Centre in Chorlton. The group and models are regular, and they are quite a social bunch, often popping off to the local for a few after the class. Basic materials are provided, along with expert guidance and friendly atmosphere. An excellent place to start.
The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9JG
Meetup Life Drawing
Hidden In the heart of the Northern Quarter, this relaxed class is one for beginners and professionals alike. It is untutored, but you can ask for advice from the people around you. What’s more, is that you can enjoy a glass of wine or two as you go and strike up some conversation with some like-minded people.
Studio Bee, 14-16 Faraday Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1BE
Independent Art School
If you are after something a little more permanent, then the Independent Art School provides regular classes that you can attend for a monthly fee. Life Drawing for Artistic Development helps you fine tune your skills. The shapes found in the human figure echo shapes in all areas of nature and learning to draw from a human form can benefit all areas of your artistic practice, and this school aims to make you a better artist one class at a time.
From £59 per month
Central Buildings, Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JQ
Nexus Art Café
Twice monthly life drawing classes held in the cosy Northern Quarter café. It is not tutored, and materials are not provided, so it gives you the space to draw in your style or medium. They start off with 30-second poses, moving on to two minutes and finally a couple of twenty minutes to get a wide variety of speeds to put you to the test.
Nexus Art Café, 2 Dale St, Manchester M1 1JW
Louis Smith Art two day course
If you fancy yourself a bit of a Da Vinci, but you just need a little boost, then this two-day weekend course will have you on your way in no time. This workshop aims to work with longer poses, to avoid erratic, quick sketches. This course is refined, heavily tutored and suited more to the experienced artist. The teacher, Louis Smith, studied Classical Art in Florence and has exhibited his work in the BP Portrait Award and Royal Society of Portrait Painters- so he knows his stuff.
Realist Academy Manchester, Phoenix house, 17 Ellesmere St, Manchester, M15 4JY.