Drawing people

starts here

JUNE 6 - 9, 2019 • Crowne Plaza hotel, WHITE PLAINS, NY


($549 after that)


Why study life drawing

As art educators, the single most asked question we receive is: How do you draw people?

There’s not a single answer, nor does it take a single lesson. In this symposium we will take you through a series of exercises designed to shake old habits and open your mind to a new possibility of what drawing the figure can bring. Whether you are a total beginner, a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, this intensive, exciting weekend will deliver you a way to connect with drawing the figure that will leave you wanting more.

Our Life Drawing Symposium is a totally immersive drawing experience that will have you drawing people far better than you ever could have imagined in just two days.

Drawing People Starts Here.

What to expect

Come prepared to work hard, study, and immerse yourself in the world of drawing the figure. This is not your average life drawing session-get ready for a ride!

What does that mean?

 Well, we love to work with models who can move, who have great, exaggerated gesture and who need no guidance in designing the most interesting poses you will ever see. And, we like to keep moving, too-the poses tend to be short. We love to challenge ourselves and our students to capture the essence of that model in 30 seconds to five minutes to 10 minutes. We work with you- we talk to you, we cajole you, guide you, and most importantly, teach you how to understand the figure and make your drawings look three dimensional on that two-dimensional surface.

 Our years of practice and experience tell us that THIS WORKS!

Are you ready?

QUESTIONS ABOUT SUPPLIES? Here’s what you’ll need:


• Two 18 x 24 pads of newsprint or cheap drawing paper

• 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 mixed media sketchbook for evening sessions.


6- 10 sticks of compressed (not vine) charcoal, water soluble ink and brush/calligraphy pen, a few soft graphite pencils, a few colored pencils, and a small watercolor set with brush. If you are taking the color workshop, add a small box of Nupastels (or similar) as well as a small tube of white gouache. Don’t forget to bring a small jar for water and some paper towels!

There will be tables set up to draw on, but if you like to draw on the floor you might consider bringing a small cushion with you to sit on.

You can order your supplies in advance at Thomson’s Art Supplies in White Plains, and pick them up when you arrive on June 6th. Thomson’s is offering a 10% discount to all symposium attendees, so be sure to let them know that you are part of the group!

Thomson’s is about a 7 minute walk from the hotel, at 184 Mamaroneck Ave.

Drawing by Michelangelo, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Drawing by Michelangelo, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Our philosophy

Drawing is thinking. Drawing is design. Drawing the figure is the key to understanding how things work together. Drawing reveals the artist. These are our maxims. We live this.
The symposium co-founders are proud to continue the drawing philosophy instilled in them by their mentor, the late David J. Passalacqua.

Drawing the figure – and understanding how the figure works – is the best way that we know of, to truly discover the individuality within the artist and elicit an empowerment, confidence and originality in drawing.  It’s about an expression of life and freedom through line, mark, shape, and color; through experimentation, successes, and yes, sometimes, failures. Drawing the figure is life-long study; at least, it has been for us. Everyone has to start somewhere - and continue somewhere. Every day is a new day in drawing, even for us, after 30 years.

We’re serious about study. Oh, and fun, too!

Please Note: For the comfort of the models and participants, we ask that you refrain from all videotaping during this conference. You may photograph your own drawings during model breaks, as well as the drawings of others, with their permission. We want to foster a collaborative community; thank you for your co-operation.

All art and text copyright the individual artists.

our team

Between us, we have have over 80 years of studying and teaching life drawing.





Veronica is a New Yorker, a freelance illustrator, and the president of Studio 1482. Her award-winning reportage illustrations have led her around the world, completing assignments for a diverse group of clients. Her on-site drawings of 9/11 are part of the collection of the Newseum in Washington DC.

Ronnie also teaches drawing and illustration at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and is a co-founder and instructor of the Dalvero Academy.

She is the author of several books, including One Drawing A Day: A Six-Week Course Exploring Creativity With Illustration and Mixed Media and the Urban Sketching Handbook: Reportage and Documentary Drawing (Quarry Books.)





Melanie is an award-winning illustrator with a sketchbook never far from her side. Her career spans forty years, with a diverse client list.

Melanie is the Associate Dean and a full Professor for the School of Art and Design at FIT in NYC and loves teaching life drawing and illustration in the U.S. and abroad. She is the recipient of a SUNY Chancellors Award, a Fulbright Scholar and the 2018 Distinguished Educator in the Arts from the Society of Illustrators in NY.

Her work as a reportage illustrator has been featured in numerous articles and books about illustration and drawing. Her documentary work is part of the Air Force Art Collection in the Pentagon, Washington, DC.




Margaret Hurst creates illustrations and reportage works that are intelligent, cultural, and uniquely personal. Her illustration work can be found in many markets, done in many mediums, and always in good design.

A professor at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design; and a cofounder/instructor of the Dalvero Academy, Margaret has been teaching drawing and illustration for over 20 years.

Born and raised in the Virgin Islands, Marg is the author/illustrator of the Caribbean inspired tale, Grannie and the Jumbie (HarperCollins) which was included in the juried Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators.

Schedule of events

  • All events occur in the Briarcliff Room, unless otherwise notified


Thursday, June 6

6:45 pm: Welcome

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Panel Discussion: Inspiration - Motivation


Friday, June 7

10 am - 12:30 pm Observation and Structure of the Figure with Melanie Reim and Veronica Lawlor (full assembly)

We’re all in this together, and what better way than to start from the foundation - all of us! Whether you’ve drawn forever - or never - these premises will show you the way to understand how the figure works and how you can work it!

12:30 - 2:00 pm Lunch Break on your own

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Workshops* (choose one)

  • Gesture with Melanie Reim (all levels)

  • The Figure in Motion with Veronica Lawlor (all levels)

  • Picture Making: Beyond the Figure with Margaret Hurst (advanced)

*See Friday Workshop page for descriptions.

3:15 - 3:45 pm Coffee Break

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner Break on your own

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Portrait Party with Melanie Reim and Veronica Lawlor (full assembly)

Bring your sketchbook and drawing materials for a lively and fun portrait party. Melanie and Veronica will present demos on the structure and expression involved in drawing a portrait. Practice your skill at drawing faces, try some new approaches, and maybe meet a few people, too.


Saturday, June 8

10 am - 12:30 pm Gesture, Body Language and Pacing with Melanie Reim and Veronica Lawlor (full assembly)

Wake up! Time to put back into practice what you learned yesterday. Let’s kick this day off together with poses that vary in time and focus, putting you in perfect position to work your way through the rest of the day - and night. The ideas of gesture and body language give you a platform to show your opinion and individuality through your drawings.

12:30 - 2:00 pm Lunch Break on your own

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Workshops* (choose one)

  • The Calligraphic Line with Melanie Reim (all levels)

  • Mark-Making with Margaret Hurst (all levels)

  • Color and Form with Veronica Lawlor (intermediate/advanced)

*See Saturday Workshop page for descriptions.

3:15 - 3:45 pm Coffee Break

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner Break on your own

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Light and Shadow, Theme Evening with Melanie Reim and Veronica Lawlor (full assembly)

Bring your drawing pads, sketchbooks and drawing materials for a session of theatrics! Work with light and shadow to draw the model in costumes designed to both challenge your skills and inspire your creativity.

9:00 pm - midnight Drink and Draw social event at the Hotel Bar (optional, cash bar)


Sunday, June 9

9:00 am - 11:oo am Closing Remarks and Certificates (full assembly)