Illustration Exercise: Circular Life Drawing

Illustration Exercise: Circular Life Drawing


This standard exercise is ideal to get a group of delegates practice drawing from life without using a specific model.


Draw the person next to you.

What You Need

  • A chair for each person.
  • An empty area to place the chairs. If you have many delegates, form a number of circles of chairs with 6 chairs each.
  • Align the chairs in a way that each one points to the next.
  • Drawing pad and drawing pencils or pens.


  • Ask the delegates to sit on the chairs provided.
  • Ask each person to draw the person on their left.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • Now, ask the delegates to place their drawings on a table so everyone can see. Encourage them to comment on each other’s drawings and consider copying a style that they like.
  • Ask them to get back to a different seat.
  • Repeat the exercise again for another 10 minutes and get them to draw the person on their left. Encourage them to use a new technique based on the drawings of others.
  • In the end, bring back everyone to the table and as before get them to review the drawings and finish with a quick discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes (including setup of chairs)

Activity: 10 * 2 = 20 minutes

Group Feedback: 2 minutes


How easy was the drawing task? Were you inspired by the drawings of others? Did you try a new style or technique? How did it go? 



Brigitte Nazroo

By Brigitte Nazroo @ Thursday, July 4, 2013 2:36 AM

I'm a coach myself and though I mainly use my own exercises created over the years, I like to have some of yours along. Very often, it seems we've tapped into the same creativity sources existing out there in the invisible. Sometimes though, I do find new inspiration on your web and I'm really grateful to you for it.
I'd like to comment on this exercise called Circular Life Drawing. All of us know the importance of being praised and seen in our better lights. I would use this exercise with a variant to make it more fun and creative. What I do is I ask each one to draw the other one under a specific light, enhancing a quality we perceive in them whether through the use of contexts, sceneries, additional characters or props.
What do you think ?

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