News - Life Drawing Live!


Ever fancied trying a life drawing class without the embarrassment of being in a room full of people? Next month, BBC Four has a two hour art class with live models, guided by experts, that you can join in with at home...

Press Release

To coincide with the broadcast of Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude on BBC Two, Life Drawing Live! will bring a group of artists together for a show where they will be guided by some of the country’s leading life drawing experts whilst the audience watches in real-time as they create their work. The programme is also filmed in such a way that offers different artistic perspectives of the real life subjects in order to encourage the audience at home to draw along and experience a real-life drawing lesson alongside the artists in the room.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, said, “BBC Four has always been the home of bold and innovative new formats, and this year we want to help our devoted audience to fulfil their passions and creativity. What better way to start than with a national art class, with brilliant experts on hand, and the chance to get live feedback on your own work as you go!"

The human form is one of the most challenging subjects, with life drawing at the heart of art history, so award-winning artists Daphne Todd OBE and Lachlan Goudie will be on hand to guide the participants throughout the class, provide direction to those taking part at home and to deliver tips and advice. All artists, both on screen and at home, will be encouraged to embrace various styles and materials for their artwork.

Several life models will move between poses throughout the class as the exercises progress and the class will consist of a number of warm-up routines and opportunities to practice technique before everyone attempts to create their very own masterpiece.

Daphne Todd OBE said “I’m delighted to be part of Life Drawing Live as it will give me an opportunity to impart skills which are not always taught in art schools any longer. Drawing gives great joy and anybody can do it. Each person’s view is different and they create something which is important to them.”

Lachlan Goudie, added “The act of drawing the naked human form is as old as art itself. Every great painter from Michelangelo to Lucien Freud has tested themselves against this challenge, struggling to master how to depict the most familiar and extraordinary of all subjects - your own body. Without being able to interpret and understand the shapes and proportions of the human form, you can never really paint the world around you successfully. Life drawing is, in my opinion, the most important principle in the history of art and in the training of any visual artist, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to highlight this on Life Drawing Live.”

The two hour programme will be presented by Josie d’Arby, who commented “I’ve always enjoyed watching other artists at work, seeing people express and create something can be very inspiring.

"Here, we’re encouraging artists of all abilities to get involved, enjoy themselves and hopefully create something that they’ll enjoy and others too. Life drawing is as much about the process as the end result, which means you can be as experimental or as ambitious as you like, it’s completely up to you. The idea that the nation might join together in one huge shared drawing class and all learn from each other in a non-competitive way, is very exciting. So whether you’re joining in or just observing (like me), it promises to be a very worthwhile and fascinating watch.”

[hopefully the music in the programme will be a bit less 70s adult movie than the trailer though - Ed]



Image & info - BBC