Mark Stephenson

Visual artist and designer

Mark Stephenson, February 9 2019

Where to go life drawing in Ottawa and Gatineau

Life drawing, also know as figure drawing is one of my passions. The act of drawing the human figure is my meditation, at the end of it I feel calm and centered. No longer do I get to hung up on the end product, it's about being around other artists, my tribe, and the joy the act of creation brings me.

I often get asked how can I get started, where can I go. Well here is a list, I do my best to keep it updated as things change and I discover more to share. If you organize a life drawing session and it's not listed or you have some updates let me know.

Atelier Denu

Atelier Denu is a workshop in Ottawa that trains artists in life drawing and other figurative art, develops professional competencies for models, and works with other progressive organisations to achieve social justice. Organized by artist Shawn Philip Hunsdale.

Workshop series cycles through five workshop formats: classic life drawing, focus on the gesture, long-pose compositions, special themes, and partially costumed poses. Check the schedule to know more.

When: Mondays until April 1 (organised semesterly)
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: $9
Where: uOttawa Laurier Building, room 320, at 600 Cumberland (at Laurier)
Accessible: The drawing studio LRR 320 is up three flights of stairs.

Where to go to find out more: 
Website: http://atelierdenu.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtelierDenu/

The Bottom Line Art Group

The Bottom Line Art Group (BLAG) is a not for profit group that meets for life drawing the unclothed model and is a workshop with no instruction given.

When:  9.30am to 1.00 pm on Tuesdays
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost:  The annual membership is $25 . The fees for each session are $5 for members and $8 for non members. Students can attend for $3.50 and models can draw for free
Where: Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset Street East
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more: 
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/188231301738081/

The Drawing Room Studio

Unstructured long pose drawing sessions (my fave) and classical figure drawing and painting classes. Hosted by artist Sarah Lacy. 

Tip: Space is limited and sessions fill quickly, I recommend you sign up to the mailing list.

When: Occasional weekends
Requires Registration: Yes
Cost: 
$60 for 2 days, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Where: Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave in Old Ottawa South
AccessibleYes, via the Galt St entrance

Where to go to find out more: 
Website http://www.thedrawingroomstudio.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrawingRoomStudioOttawa

Drawing At The Rooster

Draped models for your drawing pleasure, with multiple models in various length poses. Food/beverage specials and prizes. Organized by artist Peter Purdy

When: Second Tuesday of the month (I think)
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: Free but donation appreciated
Where: Atomic Rooster, 303 Bank Street, Ottawa
AccessibleYes

Where to go to find out more: Atomic Rooster Facebook page

Go Figure

Life drawing of all levels at Burritt's Rapids Community Center on the 3rd Sun of each month - 10am to 4pm. 

When: 3rd Sunday of each month 10am to 4pm
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: do you know, please tell me so I can update this
Where: Burritt's Rapids Community Center 
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Facebook Page

Greenboro Pavillion Life Drawing Workshop

The Greenboro Life Drawing Workshop is an uninstructed Life Drawing Workshop at the Greenboro Community Centre. The class format is a progression of short gestures, 20 minute poses, and time permitting a 30 - 40 minute pose to finish.

When: Saturdays 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: The model cost is shared among attendees, and is currently $10 per person. 
Where: Greenboro Pavillion, 14 Tapiola Crescent
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreenboroLifeDrawing/

Kanata Art Club

The Life Drawing Studio is a self directed program with undraped models.   Artists are free to work in the medium of their choice (oil-based paints excepted). This studio challenges the artist to explore a range of gestural poses (from 90 seconds to 10 minutes) followed by one long pose (90 minutes).

When: 1:00-3:30 p.m on Sundays
Requires Registration: Yes
Cost: Members: $96.00.  Non-Members: $116.00.  
Where: March Community Centre, 630 Cameron Harvey Drive, Kanata
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Kanata Art Club web site

Life Drawing at the Art House Cafe

The Art House Cafe presents a three-hour life drawing session. Our models pose for sets of one, two, five, ten, and 20 minutes!

$10, with tickets available for purchase ahead of time at The Art House Cafe and on a drop-in basis, depending on availability. Participants of all skill levels are welcome and loved! Bring your own supplies.For this session, we have a male model.Join our community at Life Drawing at The Art House Cafe for updates on future events!

When: every Tuesday
Requires Registration: No, but preregistration is available
Cost: $10, with tickets available for purchase ahead of time at The Art House Cafe and on a drop-in basis, depending on availability. 
Where: 555 Somerset St. W
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/LifeDrawingOttawa/

Life Drawing Initiative at Algonquin College

The Life Drawing Initiative is an uninstructed life drawing session from 5PM to 8PM Fridays in room A145H at Algonquin College. Proceeds go to pay for the models (often in costume) and for equipment.

When: 5:15pm to 8:15pm Fridays
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: Free for Algonquin GAS Arts Cluster students, $5 for current Algonquin College Students and $10 for non- Algonquin Students 
Where: Room A145H at Algonquin College
Accessible: do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/540356179474714/

Nepean Visual Arts Center - Life Drawing Combo

Open, creative life-drawing space that encourages practice with like-minded artists who want to learn from each other. All media welcome. No guided instruction provided. Studio members share the cost of a model. 

When: 9:30am to noon on Thursdays
Requires Registration: Yes, must register with City of Ottawa
Cost: Registration fee plus members share the cost of a model. 
Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
Accessible: Yes

Where to go to find out more:
City of Ottawa website: https://ottawa.ca/en/residents/recreation-and-parks/recreation-programs#browse-recreation-guide

Nepean Visual Arts Center - Life Drawing Short Gestural Poses

Open, creative life-drawing space that encourages practice with like-minded artists who want to learn from each other. All media welcome. No guided instruction provided. Studio members share the cost of a model. 

When: 9:30am to noon on Tuesdays
Requires Registration: Yes, must register with City of Ottawa
Cost: Registration fee plus members share the cost of a model. 
Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
Accessible: Yes

Where to go to find out more:
City of Ottawa website: https://ottawa.ca/en/residents/recreation-and-parks/recreation-programs#browse-recreation-guide

Nepean Visual Arts Center - Portraiture

This supportive studio group is dedicated to portraiture in its many forms. No instruction is involved. All levels of skill are welcome. Studio members share the cost of the model.

When: 9:30am to noon on Mondays
Requires Registration: Yes, must register with City of Ottawa
Cost: Registration fee plus members share the cost of a model. 
Where: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
Accessible: Yes

Where to go to find out more:
City of Ottawa website: https://ottawa.ca/en/residents/recreation-and-parks/recreation-programs#browse-recreation-guide

Melrose Avenue Art Club

A non profit, non instructional figure drawing club located in a centre of Hintonburg, at Takahashi Martial Arts Dojo (5 Melrose Ave., Ottawa). The club offers long pose, one pose for 6 weeks. You can use dry medium, water colour, acrylic and oil paints. Also, if there space, you can move around to work form different angle! Organized by artist Miki Chart

Tip: Things to bring: portable easel(*1), drop cloth(*2), and materials(*3,4).

There are holdable chairs and tables available. Also there maybe a French easel to borrow. Please contact for availability.No outdoor shoes on the floor, so if you would like, please bring slippers.No drain of oil and mineral spirit to the bathroom sink. Please clean up brushes at home.No use of Turpentine or strong smell products in the room.

When: Fridays from 9:30 am to 12:30
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: $90/6 session, $90/5 session (pay in advance) or $20/drop-in
Where: Takahashi Martial Arts Dojo (5 Melrose Ave., Ottawa)
Accessible:  do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more: 
Website: https://ottawafiguredrawing.wordpress.com

Sandy Hill Life Drawing Workshop

Our workshop has been running for over 30 years. The class is co-operative and non profit.  Everyone helps with the room set-up before the session and then helps in the clean-up afterwards as much as they are able. 

 Everyone is welcome, there are members drawing at every level from beginners to professionals. You will fit in somewhere. There is no instruction but one can watch others work and ask for pointers during the breaks. 

 A Typical Evening: The usual turnout is between 20 and 50 people and the inner circle around the model is filled up quickly with most people seated. However, the model is usually on a platform and an outer ring is then formed with people using standup easels. People can move around to some extent. Incidentally, easels are not provided by the workshop; you bring your own.

We start off with five 90 second gestures. This is followed by a 20 minute standing pose, then a 5 minute break. Next a 30 minute pose followed by a 10 minute break. Next a 30 minute pose followed by a 5 minute break. One last 30 minute pose usually reclining followed by the clean-up.

When: Every Wednesday from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Requires Registration: No, drop in
Cost: $5
Where: Hill Community Centre Basement, 250 Somerset Street, East
Accessible:  do you know, please tell me so I can update this

Where to go to find out more:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandyHillLifeDrawingWorkshop/
Website: https://sandyhilllifedrawing.tumblr.com/

Written by

Mark Stephenson

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