Art Macabre – Reviving the Dead Art of Drawing

Stimulate your inner artist at London’s coolest evening life class.


The practice of drawing nude bodies from life has always been an elitist pursuit. From the earliest artist academies in the late Renaissance, life studies were a central part of technical training. Certainly not open to the public, and above all, not open to women, the standard procedure was to draw a male model who resembled a saint or religious figure over the course of an intensely focused few hours with the pose potentially being repeated for weeks. This practice reached a peak in 19th century France, with muscular male models being the ideal figures to replicate in methodical studies. Life drawing classes have found a revival in London over the last few decades and especially with the rise of social media and the internet. The ability to easily communicate and publicise small, self-organised classes has opened them up to the public. For both more serious artists, hobbyists or friends being dragged along to the basement of a pub with promises of wine between sketching sessions, life drawing sessions are a brilliant and inspiring way to spend a few hours after work. Out of all the new generation of London life drawing meetups, Art Macabre has defined itself as the most interesting and innovative.

Art Macabre

Best described as ‘Death Drawing’, the darkly fantastic team has taken it upon themselves to push the limits of academic drawing classes outwards to into the realm of events that are open to everyone. The more ‘standard’ evening events include vibrantly tattooed burlesque models draped amongst skeletons, flowers spilling from tables, excellent beverages and enigmatically exquisite music. The models and props are undoubtedly defining highlights of the experience. Past models have included mime artists, roller derby athletes, circus clowns, yoga practitioners and morris dancers. All of these are compared and contrasted with the most eccentric of props: pigs’ hearts, chocolate banquets, leopard skulls and taxidermy are amongst the regular attendees. Locations provide a fittingly mysterious backdrop to their monthly salons, circulating between chic pubs, the Tower of London, Bart’s Museum of Pathology and the Sir John Soane Museum. Aside from these night-time adult-only events, they also have a family friendly streak. Their family workshops are some of the best in London, introducing children to a love of art with charmingly odd characters and themes. The little ones will adore their mechanised strongmen, heart-felt superheroes, whimsical mermaids and stunning butterfly ladies, all under the encouraging tutorage of their organising artists. Regardless of experience or background, Art Macabre manages to bring a love of art back to life in everyone lucky enough to attend.


Details of all upcoming events may be found on their website here.
Basic art supplies are provided.

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