Anatomy Online

"Anatomy Lessons of the Great Masters"
Ten Week Course in Human Anatomy for Figure Drawing.
Tuesday evenings 7-9pm (GMT).
Beginning 27 October 2020. £250

To book or make an enquiry drop me an e-mail at
Understanding human anatomy for figure drawing needn't be as difficult as it might seem - it just takes familiarity and practice. Over the ten weeks of this online course we will study human anatomy for figure drawing through explanations and demonstration as well as the examination of great figure drawings by artists such as Raphael, Egon Schiele, Michelangelo, Toulouse Lautrec, Leonardo da Vinci and others.

Anatomy Online 1

The course will be taught by me, Alan McGowan and will see me talking through the anatomy, doing demonstration drawings, answering questions and discussing artworks - and hopefully helping to explain and clarify what can seem daunting and complex. We will be focusing on the interaction between anatomical knowledge and ways of drawing/representing it in the figure. I have been a teacher of figure drawing and painting for over twenty years, a figure artist for even longer, and have been teaching anatomy in one way or another for over ten years.

Anatomy Online 2

The underlying forms of anatomy inevitably influence the shapes that we see on the surface of the figure. I believe understanding these forms can be an aid to successful, sympathetic and expressive renderings of the figure. The aim is to increase the understanding of anatomy and of the (mostly drawn) works of the great artists we will look at. Each week will see us focus on a particular region of the anatomy and one or two artworks which display evidence of these underlying forms. Studying the works of other artists can be a help in thinking about ways to represent things - the use of drawn language, thing like shading and the use of materials.

Course Outline

10 weeks. Each class 2 hours, 7-9pm (UK time). Tuesday evenings (Beginning Tuesday 20th October 2020 with a 4 week break over Christmas).

Typically each week will begin with me revisiting the anatomy from the previous week and talking through some of the student work produced through the week. Then there will be a presentation on the particular region of anatomy we are focusing on (about 30 mins). This will be followed by a look at some drawings from art history which we will analyse in terms of their anatomy.

Students will be encouraged to make their own transcriptions of these works as ways of analysing and understanding the anatomy.

Course Dates - The ten weeks will be broken by a break over Christmas. First 7 weeks, 27th October - 8th December (3 weeks off over Christmas) Recommencing in new year for 3 weeks 5th - 19th January.


1. General Introduction. Anatomy Landmarks
2. Torso Front
3. Torso Rear
4. Upper Legs
5. Pelvis & Gender Differences
6. Lower Leg and foot
7. Arm
8. Hand
9. Head
10. Whole Figure

The classes will be conducted online (using Zoom) and by video, and drawing demonstrations. Students will have access to all the videos and to video recordings of the zoom tutorials to view in their own time or catch up should they miss a class. Should anyone have time-zone issues with attendance at the UK time then please co-ordinate with me and I'm sure we can work something out.

Course fee is £250 for 10 weeks.
If you're interested drop me an e-mail at
Unstill Life book
UNSTILL LIFE: Paintings, Drawings and Writing
Unstill Life
by Alan McGowan


Published by SATURATION 2017
Available on Amazon UK
Language of the Body
The Language of the Body; Figure Drawings in Four Chapters
The Language of the Body
by Alan McGowan


Published by SATURATION, 2012
Available on Amazon UK