A work of art: Using life drawing classes to appreciate the human body

A Cardiff modelling agency uses life drawing classes to challenge media beauty standards and celebrate diversity in human bodies.

Artists of all levels are invited to attend a life drawing session held twice a week at the Little Man Coffee Company.

People of all shapes and sizes have been given an opportunity to develop their self-confidence through an innovative approach to life drawing classes in Cardiff.

Life drawing is a sketching activity where people draw living models, often posing nude.

Cardiff Life Models and Artists is the largest provider of life drawing services in the UK and represents models of different ages and body types.

Andrew Lamb founded the company seven years ago with the aim of challenging the media’s perception of beauty: “Not everyone is an airbrushed magazine cover type. In fact you realise no one is like that. Our sessions and our models normalise the perception of those attending and undermine the pernicious influence of the media.”

The organisation’s mission is to help everyone feel comfortable about their body.               © Cardiff Life Models website

The company’s ethos ties in well with the body positive movement which aims to promote acceptance of bodies of all shapes and sizes. It encourages people to prioritise their well-being and adopt a self-confident attitude.

Cardiff-based model Charlotte Partridge says: “I was drawn to it because it was a fresh challenge to put myself in a vulnerable position to allow others to appreciate my form as a piece of art. It’s great because it really gives you confidence.”

Andrew, who is a model himself, thinks that the events are empowering: “To stand naked in front of a group of strangers takes some doing the first few times but when done there is usually a feeling of euphoria and energy.”

Company Owner Andrew Lamb posing during a class where artists draw him.                © Danyang Shen for InterCardiff

The models are paid and can be hired for services such as for gallery exhibitions, photo shoots and video projects, hen parties and stag nights.

The life drawing sessions are hosted on Tuesdays and Sundays and art supplies are provided for guests. Entry is £7.50 to draw the models in a three-hour session.

The intimate atmosphere helps people who are new to life drawing classes feel at ease, says Sara, who started modelling in September: “I have gotten to meet some lovely people I get to work with. The people leading the classes and those attending have been very welcoming. It’s a great social atmosphere for artists of all abilities.”

Andrew’s mission is to allow people to feel comfortable with their bodies: “When you come to realise that we all have bodies, nipples…you understand that we are all different and you can then settle into the celebration of the human form.”


All images used sourced from Pixabay with full copyright clearance unless marked as otherwise.