Life Drawing: Human and Animal Anatomy (Drop-ins available)

Please note for Spring Term not all sessions will be available for Drop-in. For specific drop-in dates please see below.

This course explores the connection between the anatomy of animals and humans, alternating each week. The notion of “the common ancestor” underlies our study of animal form and the analysis of their structures. Establishing what something is, by recognising how it is both like and not like other things is a fundamental activity. Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings constantly referred to animals, for instance finding a strong likeness between the human foot and that of bear’s whilst also noting how the position of the human head is a marker of the strain encumbered by our adapted upright form. Crocodiles seem to have not just legs but fingers and toes; the wings of bird seem to relate to our own upper limbs; a tortoise has ribs, but what happened to our shell? Concentrating on the structure of the human body, we will develop the ability to see the figure more clearly through comparison with the anatomy of animals. Imagination will be key; with the introduction of animals into the life room, we will see ourselves from yet another perspective, occupying a part of a developmental branch that enables us to see the human body as not isolated but part of an evolving process. Drawing will be from observation of the life model, castes, skeletons and even a live animal, informed by a sense of inquiry and empathy.

This course includes Anatomy Lectures at 10 – 11am, on 30 Jan, 13, 27 Feb, 12, 26, March with surgeon Dr Colin Stolkin. Anatomy Lectures are open to the public at £5 (concessions do not apply to these lectures).

Drop-in Dates: 30 January, 13 February, 27 February, 5 March, 12 March, 19 March & 26 March

£40 for a full day or £20 for a half day from 10am - 1pm or 2pm - 5pm. If you are dropping in no pre-booking is required, places are offered on a a first come first serve basis. 


Full-time BA students studying for a degree in Fine Art receive up to a 75% discount. Those studying on design or applied arts degrees may also be eligible on a case-by-case basis. Student ID and proof of enrollment must be submitted.

Full-time practising fine artists under 40 years of age in need of financial help may apply for a 75% discount on a maximum of two courses; applicants must submit a portfolio of ten drawings and fill in an application form which can be downloaded from the website. Please find the submissions dates here. Please contact the office in advance of submitting your application to reserve a place on your chosen course and check the portfolio submission dates. 

Primary and secondary school teachers who teach art receive a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof in the form of a letter from their head teacher or the head of the art department.

Individuals on job seekers allowance receive a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently on the job seekers register.

Postgraduate alumni of the Royal Drawing School receive a 50% discount. 

Individuals who receive disability support are eligible for a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently receiving this allowance.

Tower Hamlet and Hackney residents are eligible for a 25% discount; to apply participants must show proof of living in these boroughs. 

Individuals over the age of 60 may apply for a 10% discount.

All of our course rates are subsidised and we also offer a comprehensive concessions scheme. View all course fees and concessions.