Expressing Your Primal Instinct

The objective of this workshop is to introduce the student to the fundaments of drawing the human figure. A working understanding of these principals will allow the student to use their natural inclination to draw to clearly articulate their individual and unique vision of their world.
The workshop will stress how to begin a drawing with it’s most essential element, gesture and develop it into a more refined, “finished” drawing complete with value, form, proportions and relative details. Gesture is the action line—a line that shows the shape, force, and direction of the figure’s movement. One and two minute gestures trains the hand and eye to respond to the immediacy of our impulse. The student will learn how to simplify the complexity of this most complex and challenging of all forms, the human body. The student will practice gestures in he morning and long poser in the afternoon.
I will demonstrate and explained each step. I use samples from Old Master drawings to illustrate how they employed gesture as their first step in clarifying their vision.
Measuring tools such as plumb lines are used to determine accurate proportions and perspectives. The samples include the gesture that lead to the “finished” drawing. The gesture is the starting point.

Register for a class with Joseph

Joseph Pearson

Joseph Pearson

Workshop Instructor

Since he was 4 or 5 years old, Joseph has been fascinated by the human figure. Life drawing is widely accepted as the foundation for fine art training. Since the human body represents the most complex of creations, learning to draw it is seen as one of the most difficult artistic challenges that can be faced.
“Gesture is everything”, states Glen Vilppu, artist, teacher, and animator. Gesture is the first step in the drawing process.
Joseph loves the immediacy of drawing as drawing is our first instinct to express our response to our environment. Since college, Joseph’s interest in the figure has been employed to address subjects that unite our humanity. He is interested in telling the story of the “Everyman”, painting people as portraits and figures in oil, charcoal and pastel pencil. His work embraces the concept of social realism by drawing attention to everyday conditions and his interest in the transformative energy of art to heal social ills.
Joseph holds a B.S. degree in art education from Jackson State University in Mississippi, the Master of Education and he has five years of professional training at the Art Students League of New York under full scholarship.
He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including two Pollock-Krasner Foundation of NY grants, an Artist Fellowship of NY grant and many more. He has shown in many museum exhibitions and he has also curated numerous exhibitions.
Learn more about Joseph at his site:
I have had the great honor of being a student of Joseph Pearson, with the subject being figure drawing. Joseph is an extremely gifted teacher, with a lot to offer. His instruction is clear and precise, as well as generous
and inspirational. Joseph seemed to always say just what I needed to hear
to understand the step he was instructing. I also learned a lot from
Joseph about how to think like an artist, art philosophy, and finding my
own way of expressing myself. I look forward to more classes with

Joseph is a kind and talented instructor. He understands the fundamentals of all aspects of drawing and is able to explain them to artists of all levels. After going to just one art session with him, I felt that I –a complete beginner with no drawing background whatsoever– was able to go off on my own and start drawing. I highly recommend this instructor.


I found his class to be filled with information and hands on practice. Mr. Pearson class has me now looking at the world of shapes differently. I value that experience and look forward to more instruction and practice with him. I would recommend this experience to others.


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