So you're thinking of life drawing... Ken maharajah

Hello I'm Ken Maharajah a people painter

As a people painter, life drawing is something I've done throughout my life. Even to this day I still attend figure drawing classes. One thing I have discovered is that my art improves dramatically when I attend but dimishes when I don't. The excitement I feel when grappling with the human form is very special and sharing this experience with others is so rewarding.

Passing this experience on to first timers, sensitively helping to overcome barriers and fears to drawing the human body is what I do. Whether a person is new or advanced at life drawing, I want to share this passion.

Do you want to do it but still not sure? Here are two magnificent reasons to help you decide.

Improves visual instinct

Doing quick three minute sketches improves drawing intuition. These help 'grasp' the scene in a way that slow technical drawing often loses. lt trains you to 'see' better, so you can feel the flow of the movement and can detect flaws without measuring. It forces you to improve your line quality. There seems to be an emotional honesty in such drawings by emphasising the 'whole' and avoiding detail. And aside from that, it's a great warm-up for the drawer. I did this following example in two minutes with brush, watercolour and charcoal.

2 minute life drawing

Develops 'seeing'

I think I know the things around me but how often do we really look and study them? Drawing the human figure forces you to see relationships of form, measurement and proportions. It is this one thing for me that stops any guesswork and makes for an accurate representation.

The next example of a hand study I did whilst studying Flamenco dancers in Spain uses all these qualities. This kind of 'seeing' underpins all other areas of art no matter what the subject.

Measuring proportions using negative space

Realising that Visual Instinct and Seeing are two qualities needed by artists, it's easy to understand how a life drawing class can excitingly develop these skills. Therefore I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to join the Oak Room Arts Centre's life drawing class. It's my privilege to be a tutor so it would be nice to meet you. Here are the details.

Book NOW


Since I will be a life drawing class tutor at the Oak Room Arts Centre here are a few things you might like to know. Although I'm art school trained the atmosphere will be informal, dignified and respectful of all levels of drawing skills. Tuition is happily given if required. A model is provided for two hours providing a series of three minute poses increasing to longer sessions. The poses will be structured to create interesting and challenging viewpoints.


Drawings taken from my drawing journal during projects in the UK, Spain and Cuba, may give you some idea of my approach to life drawing.

This is how visual instinct and seeing, worked in these people paintings of mine.

About the artist

Ken Maharajah, the 'people painter', was born in London's East End. His early love of drawing was noticeable due to enthusiastic illustrations accompanying school work. An art teacher, seeing his potential, enrolled Ken in life drawing classes at the age of 13. He attributes this one act of vision as igniting the spark for his love of human form.

Although continually developing life drawing skills, it is his ability to capture people and their emotional connection with activities that became his recognised signature. Despite, at the age of 62, becoming involed with a BA Hons in Illustration, it is his desire for capturing the human form that continues to drive him

When Ken is not in some dance studio in Spain, Cuba or the UK studying and drawing movement, you will almost certainly find him developing painting projects at his studio in Devon, UK. However, whatever Ken is doing, wherever he is doing it, you can be certain passion for the human form will be motivating him.

Contacting Ken

Let life drawing inspire your art at the Oak Room Arts Centre in Tiverton. Places are limited, it's easy to book, email me using the button below. I look forward to getting to know you.

Ken Maharajah is a practicing artist receiving regular commissions, selling his paintings, giving art tuition and demonstrations.

T: 01884 821500. W: E:

All images Copyright © 2017 Ken Maharajah.

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Ken Maharajah

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