23.06.22 | Key Steps to Advanced Figure Drawing with Karl Gnass


It is our great pleasure to welcome Karl Gnass back to Ireland for this in person workshop at Ballyfermot College of Further Education on Thursday June 23rd from 9am to 12.

Master figure artist Karl Gnass is one of the most sought-after teachers in Los Angeles and his students include luminaries of the animation and CGI industries. In addition to his first books, Spirit of the Pose and Spirit & Force, his third book Head Shots dives deeply into Karl’s unique approach to head drawing, while steeping his students in the classical skills, like form, tone, and volume.

Simply described, these imperative visual concepts and tools help even the most skilled artists find improvement in their work. “It’s one thing to learn how to draw,” says Karl. “It’s another to learn how to see and interpret what you see using useful 2D and 3D conceptual tools.”

About the Tutor

Karl has been teaching drawing, painting, and storyboarding for over 40 years and at Disney for 20, as well as Dreamworks, Sony ImageWorks, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros. Features Animation, among others. He also storyboarded for Disney Television Animation for DarkWing Duck, Gargoyles, and Aladdin Prince of Thieves. In film, he developed the character expressions and anatomical breakdowns for Stuart in Stuart Little, and character breakdowns in Harry Potter. He worked with Glen Keane to develop a class to help CGI animators working on Tangled to understand the dynamics of movement. He continues at Disney on such films as Moana as an Anatomical Dynamics Consultant.

“Karl Gnass is a master in drawing the human figure. His work is confident and eloquent. After just a few moments of observing him describe the human form in deftly executed strokes of charcoal it becomes obvious that he draws from the strength of knowledge.” Harry Carmean Master Figure Painter, Draftsman and Compositionalist

“One of the great benefits of sitting in on Karl’s figure drawing classes is to be able to witness someone who has mastered an understanding of the human form. Watching Karl we can say, “Oh, that’s what it looks like when you know what you are doing!”Glen Keane Director/Walt Disney Feature Animation

Course Content

We’ll start with essential drawing mechanics, both fundamental and advanced. This will include a clear conception of the relationship between gesture, formulation and anatomy, as well as, the ‘figure’ as story. We’ll discuss observing and organizing form, the description of difficult poses, as well as, modeling form v. designing form. Our aim will be to improve our drawing skills from whichever level we start. All are welcome.

Emphasis on:

  • Description of form
  • Gesture
  • Structure
  • Anatomy dynamics
  • And the figure as story

We will cover:

Procedures and approaches

  • The 3 stages
  • Lines of action
  • Story and gesture
  • The 3 Conditions
  • The 3 Ways to Draw
  • The 2 Rhythms
  • Key drawing concept
  • Observing form, organizing form
  • Figure construction
  • Structure, mass, and weight
  • Dynamics of action
  • Directional Lines
  • Anatomy
  • The understanding and description of difficult poses
  • The basic theories of modeling form: light and tone
  • Analysis of old master drawings
  • Composition and design (Story and Statement)

Participant profile

The course is designed for recent graduates or professionals who want to develop their 2d drawings skills.

Please note that applicants must have a current, valid address in the Republic of Ireland in order to take part in this course.

Places are limited to 20 participants and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Basic materials: paper, pencils, charcoal. Participants will be notified of any other materials needed before the workshop.


Members €50. Non-members €60.

Location, Dates & Times

  • Thursday June 23rd from 9am to 12.
  • Ballyfermot College of Further Education, 269 Ballyfermot Rd, Kylemore, Ballyfermot, Co. Dublin, D10 TX46

Non-Members Ticket


Members Ticket