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The Complete Portrait: Drawing and Anatomy (In-Person)
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The Complete Portrait: Drawing and Anatomy (In-Person)


with Roberto Osti

Calendar Current session started May 16, 2023 at 9 am, runs for 6 weeks

Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Many artists consider the head and face to be the most challenging yet rewarding parts of the human form to draw or paint. Gain confidence in your ability to render the portrait by drawing from both PAFA’s historic casts and models with noted artist and author Roberto Osti. Learn the fundamental structural, anatomical, and proportional elements necessary to create structurally-correct, accurate, and life-like portraits. Practice a variety of time-honored drawing techniques, including graphite and charcoal on white paper, charcoal and chalk on toned paper, reduction techniques, and more. Topics will include the basic proportions and volumes of head and neck, the muscles, correct positioning of the facial features, the planes of the head, the skull structure, measuring techniques, line drawing, and tonal rendering. 

This intensive morning and afternoon course will start each session with a one-hour demonstration, covering the structure anatomy and physiognomic aspects of the head and neck. Students will then apply this anatomy knowledge toward drawing the portrait – first from renowned portrait busts in PAFA’s beautiful, natural-light-filled Historic Cast Hall, then from life, from a diverse array of models. Instruction will include homework exercises for further practice, using photographic references and Master drawings to study the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject and a variety of techniques. This course is perfect for artists of all levels interested in mastering this fascinating subject. Note: Course tuition includes a $50 models fee.

Optional: This course is available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $745 (including model fee). Select credit option when registering.

Image: Roberto Osti, Portrait of Megan, colored pencil on toned paper. 

Register by: May 9

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2023

Drawing in PAFA's Historic Cast Hall Intensive (In-Person)
Registration Unavailable

Drawing in PAFA's Historic Cast Hall Intensive (In-Person)


with Phyllis Laver

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

PAFA’s breathtaking Cast Hall is a unique resource for artists, containing copies of Greco-Roman and Renaissance sculpture, including the Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo, and the staggering life-size copy of Michelangelo’s David, among other notable works. Cast Drawing was one of the first courses established in the founding of the Academy and has remained a core part of PAFA’s fine arts curriculum for over 200 years. Become a part of this long and rich artistic tradition as you learn to draw accurately from observation, explore line and form, and gain an appreciation for some of history’s most beautiful sculptural artworks. This course is an excellent introduction to drawing techniques and materials and is appropriate to all levels.  Read a History of PAFA’s Cast Hall by Faculty Member Al Gury here.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn to articulate 3-dimensional form with active gestural line. 
  • Students will translate form into cross-contour models. 
  • Students will develop skill in drawing form with light. 
  • Students will manipulate composition to alter visual impact. 
  • Students will acquire knowledge of diverse artists and their ways of working. 

Optional: This course is available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $595. Select credit option when registering. 

Image: Daniel Garber, Reclining Male Figure [Cast drawing: Michelangelo's "Day"], 1904, Charcoal on buff laid paper, 18 5/8 x 24 3/8 in., Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Gift of the artist, 1945.14.5

Register by: June 2

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2023

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