Digital Streaming Studio - Evening | Finding a Portrait

A live online portrait drawing session that will enourage students to bring character, curiosity and empathy to their drawings.

Experience a drawing class like no other. These evening drawing sessions, broadcast live from the Royal Drawing School studios, are an opportunity for students to experience the dynamic and dramatic possibilities of the life room from home. Join students online from across the globe to draw from the model, theatrical sets, dancers, musicians and more, with something new each week. Using a range of drawing practices, our expert tutors will guide you through a series of exercises over the course of each session.

In this two-hour life drawing session we will draw inspiration from Cézanne’s uncanny and spellbinding series of paintings of peasants playing cards. Whilst these paintings to do not fit neatly into the genre of Portraiture (with a capital P), we will use the paintings to consider creating presence and monumentally in contemporary depictions of the head.

Drawing from a model, tutor Rachel Mercer will introduce ways to sustain observation through layering and mark-making; considering the quality and texture of surfaces to construct an atmosphere of curiosity and empathy.

Suggested Materials for participants:

  • 6 pieces of paper (A4 or A3) – ( 2 pieces 100g or greater for more sustained drawing)
  • willow charcoal or graphite stick ( or a soft chalk pastel in one colour)
  • rubber
  • Paper tissue
  • Optional: a brush for washes and waterpot.

Please note: The Royal Drawing School online models will not pose nude. Models in this series will be semi clothed.


  • You can book these sessions individually, or you can book the event series giving you access to all 6 sessions with 10% off. Book the whole series here.
  • All students will need a device that supports the latest version of Zoom
  • Chat support available during the session

Share your work on social media with the hashtag #RDSLivestreamStudio

Contact with any queries.

Featured image by Kate Walton