Drawing and Painting the Classical Figure: an Academic Method


  • Level: Beginner, Intermediate

  • Total Learning Hours: Over 13.5 hours in 6 lessons

  • Cost: 6-lesson drawing course is €270

  • Language: English and Italian

  • Instructor: Denise Melvin


For Drawing Only

(The registration page will indicate if it is drawing only or drawing and painting.)

In this course, we will mainly use the “sight size “ drawing technique to draw the nude. We will also learn some anatomy to better understand how to draw the figure. We will have the same pose for the entire course so that you can develop an accurate and beautiful highly finished drawing.

Basic steps will include the blocking in the drawing, understanding light and shadow, and creating a 3D effect. We will also study some 19th century academic nude drawings.

This course is divided into 2 modules : drawing and painting. We will have the same pose for the entire course to enable you  to develop a good drawing which will serve as the basis for the painting.

For Drawing and then Painting

Part 1: Drawing the Classical Figure (4 weeks, 2 hours a lesson)

By the end of this module you will have a fully finished drawing which can then also serve as the basis for the painting module. The “sight-size” technique will be introduced. We will look at master drawings to understand better what elements can be used for our own drawings and basic elements of constructive drawing and anatomy will be introduced.

Part 2: Painting the Classical Figure (5 weeks, 2 hours, 30 minutes a lesson)

In this course, you will learn the classical painting method used in the 19th century and in contemporary ateliers.  For beginners, step by step instructions will be given. More advanced painters will get advice on how to improve their paintings. To have enough time to fully finish your painting, we highly recommend taking part 1 of this course.


For Drawing

  • Nitram charcoal (B – green package)
  • White chalk pencil ( Carbothello)
  • Large mid grey sheet of paper ( Fabriano Cromia)
  • Medium grain sandpaper or sanding block
  • kneaded eraser (All of these are available at Poggi)

For Painting

  • Linen canvas – stretched or mounted (taped) on board at last 80 x 50 cm, lightly toned with raw umber (color should be like that of raw linen)
  • Brushes – Hogs hair filbert brushes in various sizes: 3-4 around 1.5 to 2cm wide, thin brush for fine lines, 2 brushes around 0.5 cm wide, large brush for background
  • Oil Paints**– Ivory black, Raw Umber, Transparent red oxide or Burnt Sienna, Venetian red or Indian red (optional), Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre, Michael Harding warm white (recommended) or any Titanium/Zinc white. Recommended brands are Michael Harding, Old Holland, Rembrandt, or any artist quality paint.
  • Palette, mixing cup (2 containers), palette knife, hand mirror, Scottex, refined linseed oil, Tintorsetto Eco solvent (optional)

The instructor will supply a black mirror and plumb line.

** In order to provide an affordable alternative to those not wanting to buy all of the paint, you can, instead, choose to pay me on the first day of the course an additional, one-time fee of €30 and I will provide you with all of the oil paints you need.


Registration is managed through our Course Registration portal.  If you have any difficulties registering, please let us know via email or call/text via WhatsApp: +39 347 263 1033.

Meet Your Instructor:
Denise Melvin

Denise Melvin is a classically trained figurative painter having completed an intensive three year programme at the Florence Academy of Art and further training in advanced portraiture at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence. She is committed to keeping the traditions of painting alive and passing them on to the next generation. She paints entirely from life – both in the studio and plein air using only the highest quality traditional materials and techniques.

© A.P.S. PADASOR - The Painting and Drawing Art Studio of Rome - C.F. 96526090582 - Courses in Painting and Drawing in Rome / Corsi di Pittura e Disegno a Roma