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Working from the Figure by Will Fleishell

August 19, 2013

I have been the “Working from the Figure” monitor at CHAW since 2010. This open format session allows anyone from the community to work on their drawings or paintings in front of a live model.  In the fall, we are offering two sessions a month on the first and third Fridays from 6:30-9:30pm. The cost is $20 for drop in or $60 for a four-class pass. Quite a good deal for a long drawing or painting session with a professional model. This is a non-instructional class, but the artists who participate informally discuss and critique each others work.

In addition to the traditional single session long pose, we have explored longer multiple figure setups—modular and multi-week sessions. We have also worked outdoors and with costumed models.

You never know what kind of new thing is going to happen at CHAW—a tree coming down in front of the building, a performance,  a wedding, a gallery opening,  bake sale, kids’ birthday parties, experimental theatre with shouts and bangs in the theater below us.  There is always talk of new things, museum exhibitions, events,  and other activities  to see or to do nearby. In this way open drawing is a real catalyst for information and inspiration for our artists.  We are totally unique and a real part of the city around us. Even the models say that we are their favorite place to  work—the energy is so infectious. Sometimes we get actors or dancers from the CHAW black box theatre to work for us, and they bring  another level of energy to what they do and what we create. Over the years we have attracted both hobbyist and professional artists to our sessions, and all exchange views and information.  Beginning artists are as welcome as old hands.

Will Fleishell

Will is not only the monitor for CHAW’s Working from the Figure, but a master engraver with the U.S. Mint. He is one of the artists featured in a September 2013 Esquire magazine article on the creation of the U.S. currency. In addition to creating a welcoming atmosphere at Working from the Figure, Will provides the perspective and example of a highly successful professional artist. To read the Esquire article, go to:

And for more information about Working from the Figure go to: