Life Drawing in Penzance Cornwall 2024

This is a weekly life drawing session open to all, which has been going for about thirty years now. The art class takes place in the centre of Penzance, at the Promenade, just a short walk from the bus and train stations and nearby Newlyn as shown on the map below, so this really is life drawing near me. The Penzance Life group do meet year-round except for about a month over the Xmas holiday time, and we meet on most bank holiday weekends, but not on the Saturday of the Mazey Day holiday parade in Penzance in late June each year. Please note that you do need to put your phone on silent while we are drawing here, we draw in silence, and of course photography is not allowed.

In 2024 we do run small pre-booked, pre-paid sessions on a week- by-week basis each Saturday morning from 10-12 with limited numbers - please contact us if interested or to ask about a particular date or arrange a group session. You can email direct on bookings@lifedrawing.me

No class on Saturday 25 May 2024 (Late May bank holiday), and no class on Saturday 29 June 2024, the day of the annual Mazey Day parade as part of Penzance's Golowan Festival. These are untutored sessions, and no experience or training is needed! (The class was suspended from March 2020 during lockdown until 2021.)


No instruction is given as this is not a tutored life class, though some people like to talk about their work and techniques during the break. Drawing boards are available, and a very limited number of easels on a first-come first-served basis, but you do need to bring your own sketchbook and other materials. Models change weekly and are of all types and ages, some of them working widely in life classes and courses in Penwith. After a few minutes of very short, quick poses at the start of a session, we go on to gradually longer ones, and normally there will be a pose of at least half an hour after the brief teabreak which we have at 11am. There is also an excellent art shop nearby, just five minutes walk away in Penzance's fascinating and historic Chapel Street. Our new hired venue is at the Penzance Promenade, and it's a very pleasant walk along the seafront from the historic fishing port and art colony of Newlyn, whose classic Newlyn School figure paintings of Cornwall fisherfolk are still well known and valued.

If you would like to try monoprinting, you are welcome to do that here. Some have found this an interesting way to try drawing differently and have gone on to use coloured inks and do large monoprints. For more info and inspiration have a look at our illustrated monoprint tutorial here on this site.

From August 2013 we were drawing a pregnant model on the last Saturday of each month until xmas, and in October and November we held an exhibition including some of that pregnancy drawing work done in the group.

From time to time Penzance Life Group have had an all-day session on a Saturday which maintains the same pose morning and afternoon, giving you time to do a more complete painting or drawing. Please do contact us if interested in future all-day sessions - everyone is welcome, and we only arrange them when there are enough participants to run it.

The cost of the all-day session is usually just double the cost of a single morning session. The time is 10am-4ish.

The Saturday life drawing group originally started out in the Victoria Studios set up by Cornwall artist and teacher Colin Scott, which was located in Victoria Passage in the 1990s opposite the then offices of the Cornishman newspaper. When Victoria Studios closed in 1999, some of the regulars decided to continue the Saturday drawing sessions in new venues and so life goes on, offering life drawing near me to many.

This class formerly took place, until November 2023, nearby at the Penzance Orchestra practice room, also known as the Band Room, in Lower Queen Street Penzance, Cornwall. This building has now been sold off by the Penzance Orchestral Society, and is the same building once used for the weekly Quaker Meeting, and practice sessions of the Penzance Orchestra, who acquired it in the 1933 from a local businessman after it had been the Conservative Club Room and then the Sunrise Cafe. The building was commissioned by Elizabeth Carne (1817-1873) after the death of her mining engineer and banker father in 1862, and its original purpose and use was to display his collection of minerals. Elisabeth Carne later became the first female member of The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, and funded other good works in the area such as St.Mary's Church and St.Paul's School.

Please contact us for any further info.