The Human Figure:

Structure, Expression, and Gesture

session 1

June 5, 2021 – June 16, 2023



Over the course of this ten-day drawing workshop, participating artists will observe a variety of live models in both short and long poses, gaining confidence in the fundamentals of figure draftsmanship with an emphasis on gesture, proportion, energy, and economy. With each new model, our process begins with dynamic short poses using various media including graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, and pen and ink. These shorter poses will range from two to thirty minutes, with artists focusing on the swift translation of expressive gesture, energetic mark-making, and effective abbreviation. The latter half of our studio sessions will be devoted to exploring longer poses in graphite or charcoal, ranging from one to three hours. These more sustained poses will offer an opportunity to discover the model’s unique character with greater fidelity, anatomical structure, and a convincing sense of dimensional form via light and shadow.

Patrick Byrnes

Patrick Byrnes


Patrick will guide artists with daily demonstrations and in-depth personal critiques through each stage of the process – from describing gesture with broad, energetic linework, capturing accurate proportions using both optical and conceptual tools, and rendering light and shadow confidently to achieve a variety of aesthetic outcomes. A selection of museum visits and walking tours will offer a special opportunity to gain insight and inspiration from Rome’s rich trove of artworks— including a stellar array of dynamic figure sculptures— connecting our contemporary drawing practice to the great masters of the Italian Renaissance.


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about this workshop. If you have a question that isn’t addressed in the workshop description or these faqs, use the “Ask a Question”  button and we will be happy to get you the information!