Plaster Cast Drawing: The Russian Approach

In this part of the Russian Academic Drawing program, follow instructor Iliya Mirochnik as he walks you through the centuries-old tradition of plaster cast drawing. In this course, you will refine your understanding of form and proportion and develop a sensitivity to rendering light and shadow.  Each lesson will build on the last, providing you with a structured approach for analyzing the forms and anatomy of the features of the face and head.

6 Lessons 15h 19m 36s of videos

Level 1

Level 2

Common Questions

What's the best way to take this course?

Take notes in your sketchbook as you watch the lecture. Follow along with the instructor demo stroke-by-stroke, then practice on your own with the provided references.

Do I need to buy a plaster cast for this course?

This course includes both photos of plaster casts as well as 3d models of the casts used in the lectures in the resources tab of the lesson. You are welcome to use your own cast, but we’ve ensured that each cast is available for the assignments.

What materials do I need for this lecture?

The recommended materials are:

Graphite pencils

Kneaded and Hard Erasers

Roll of Paper or Smooth Sketchbook paper

Drawing table

Easle or desk


However, you are welcome to use what you have available.

Do I have to do this traditionally?

Although each lesson lists traditional materials, you are welcome to use digital media.

Do I have to do the fundamentals of the Russian course first?

We highly recommend that each student starting the plaster cast series first complete the fundamentals of observational drawing section of the Russian course or have a strong understanding of light and form.

How does the coaching program work?

The NMA Coaching program provides professional art mentors to students. The coaches develop a personalized curriculum and guide students in their artistic development. The Russian Academic Drawing Course and related courses such as Drapery: The Russian Approach and Plaster Cast Drawing: The Russian Approach, integrate with this program in a special way in that Iliya Mirochnik himself is available as a coach to provide guidance to students taking this course. Availability is limited. Learn more here. 

If I am not enrolled in coaching, what other ways can I get feedback?

If you're not in the coaching program you can still share your progress with other subscribers in the NMA Community Forums. We highly encourage students to work together on projects and help each other progress.