Figure Drawing Classes, Workshops,
and Open Studios in Virginia
See also Washington DCMarylandOther States and Provinces

Since 2009, this directory has listed art schools, ateliers, and studios where artists can paint, sculpt, or draw live art models. Life Drawing groups come and go, and schedules change, so it is wise to confirm with the organizer before attending. Please report any defunct groups or broken links to

See submission guidelines if you would like a free listing.

• Listings are sorted by Zip Code •

Horizons Art School
43490 Yukon Dr., Ste. 112
Ashburn, VA 20147
Figure drawing classes held Fall and Spring. See website for schedule. No classes in the Summer.

ArtSpace Herndon
750 Center street
Herndon VA 20170 Telephone: 703-956-6590
The ArtSpace Herndon offers masterclasses and workshops in figure and portrait painting with regional and nationally recognized artists.

Great Falls School of Art
1144 Walker Road, Suite D
Great Falls, VA 22066
contact Julie Casso
Art classes include Figure Drawing, Drawing from Life, and Oil Painting from Life.

Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Road
Lorton, VA 22079
Telephone: 703-584-2900
Open Life Drawing. Drop In And Draw! Poses range from 1 minute gestures to long poses. Nude and clothed art models. Models will vary from 1 week to 3 week increments. Bring your own drawing supplies (charcoal, drawing board, paper, etc.) Easels, stools, tables and rolling carts are provided. Open Life Drawing will meet every first and third Thursday of the month 7:00-10:00pm in building W-6. See website for exceptions. $10 for members and students with ID; $15 for non-members. Reservations are suggested. Most media welcome. For more information, please contact Anthony Bonacci at

McLean Project for the Arts
McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Avenue
McLean, VA 22101
Joe Wetzel at Telephone: 703-790-1953
Open Studio Figure Drawing three times a week:
Tuesdays 7:00-9:30pm; Thursdays 1:00-4:00pm; Saturdays 4:00-7:00pm.
Drop-in and draw sessions with discounts for enrolling in advance for a 'semester' of 8-12 sessions. Studio contains easels, tables, chairs and sinks. Saturdays are devoted to longer poses, with Tuesdays and Fridays more traditional gesture-to-moderate length. Drop-in is $10 per session payable at the session. No instruction, though traditional classes are often offered; see website for schedule and fees.

Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201 Telephone: 703-248-6800
Classes include Contemporary Expressions in Figure Drawing.

The Del Ray Artisans
2704 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301 Telephone: 703-836-1468
Open life drawing held on most Wednesdays. See website for schedule. These open life drawing (or painting) sessions operate on a drop-in basis so there is no need to register in advance. Grab your supplies and join us at the gallery to work from our live art models. The fee for each session is $10 for DRA members and $12 for non-members.

The Art League School
105 North Union Street (Located in the Torpedo Factory Art Center)
Alexandria, VA 22314 Telephone: 703-683-2323
Instructed and Uninstructed
• Instructed classes include Anatomical Drawing, Gesture, Classical Figure Drawing, Figure Drawing in Varied Media, Figure Painting, Figure Sculpture, Figure Drawing Long Pose, The Portrait & Figure Explored.
• Uninstructed: Open Life Drawing Sessions. This monitored open studio is for participants of all levels who like to work from the model using their own media. Sessions require a set enrollment, thus registration is encouraged over drop-in. Drop in is for enrolled students, Art League members, and Benefactors only.

Fredericksburg Figure Drawing
923 1/2 Caroline St.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Drop in and draw 2nd and 4th Mondays each month, 7:30-10:00pm in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. For unclothed sessions, 18+ years of age unless written permission by legal guardian. All skill levels are welcomed. Art models of all genders, races, and body types. The session starts with 5 3-minute poses, 2 5s, a 10, 2 15s, a 15-minute break, and then 2 30-minute poses. Chairs will be provided. Bring your own easel/support board and drawing supplies. No wet media, cameras or cell phone use. Cost is $15 per person.

Belmont Drawing Group
106-C Goodman Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
The Belmont Drawing Group meets Thursday evenings 7:00-9:00pm in Charlottesville for basic open figure drawing sessions. Sessions are relaxed, informal, positive and supportive. No instruction. Models vary in age, size, ethnicity, and gender. Format varies week to week, but starts with gestures followed by longer poses. All poses are nudes. Cost for the session is $10, chairs are provided, otherwise bring your own materials.

Visual Arts Center of Richmond
1812 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220 Telephone: 804-353-0094
Instructed and Uninstructed
• VisArts offers Central Virginia's largest variety of instructed classes and workshops devoted to drawing and painting the figure, which are taught by nationally recognized artists. Check our website or call for details.
• Open Figure Drawing - No instruction, just drop in and sketch every Friday 6:30-9:00pm in our beautiful historic studio space. All skill levels are welcomed from complete beginners to experienced artists. Model fee is $6 per session. Additional session times are listed online.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
2200 Parks Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Telephone: 757-425-0000
Classes include Drawing the Figure and Face. Working from a variety of live clothed and nude art models, students of all levels will work in any 2-D medium as they explore the human figure and face, with special attention to contour, gesture, anatomical structures, mass conceptions, planes, perspective and proportion. Develop better understanding of line quality, tone and value. Learn how to capture a likeness and employ creative expression. Basic drawing experience required.

Norfolk Drawing Group
The Hamm Fine Arts Building, Norfolk State University
Presidential Parkway
Norfolk, VA 23504
The Norfolk Drawing Group usually meets every Tuesday evening 7:00-9:30pm. We start off with 1 minute and 5 minute poses and work our way up to 20 minute or 40 minute poses. The first Tuesday of the month is Painting night — we meet at 7:00-10:00pm and work on one 3 hour pose. We welcome all artists and anyone interested in art modeling for the group. Age 18 and older. Sessions cost $7, or $20 for four consecutive sessions. Students with proper ID can pay $3. See Facebook page for more information.

The Jacksonville Center for the Arts
220 Parkway Lane South, Suite 1
Floyd, VA 24091 Telephone: 540-745-2784
Every Tuesday 1:30-3:30pm, our teaching space will be private for artists 18 and older to study and draw/paint from a live, nude model, as is the tradition going back hundreds of years. No individuals who are not intending to draw or paint the model will be admitted. Artists are urged to call The Jax and confirm the group is meeting on Tuesday mornings. Participants are expected to bring their own artistic materials and easels. A $15 fee is required of all participants.

Academy of Fine Arts
600 Main Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504 Telephone: 434-528-3256
Firgure Drawing. Artists will work independently to draw or paint in a media of their choice from live models. A monitor will be in charge of the sessions. Pre-registration is encouraged but not necessary. Join anytime! $10 for 1 Session. $35 for 4 Sessions. $70 for 8 Session. See website for schedule.

[E] = An email has been sent asking the organizer to verify or correct the information listed.
[date] = the listing has been submitted, updated, or verified by the workshop organizer.

The Art Model's Handbook: The Naked Truth about Posing for Art Classes and Fine Artists • by Andrew Cahner
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Painting on book cover: “Trois Couleurs Noir.” Oil on canvas. © 2004 Antoine de Villiers. Used with permission.