Instructor – Ron Severson

Know what to look for. Field Guide to the Figure is ideal for those artists who feel they have some trouble seeing and comprehending the very complex terrain of the human form. They know that seeing is fundamental to soundly structured and expressive figure drawing but may feel a bit intimidated and overwhelmed by the visual complexity that makes the human figure such a compelling subject. To know what to look for is essential. This is where I can help you. I serve as the guide as we, region-by region, traverse the marvelous and mysterious “landscape”of the Figure. Along the way we will come to appreciate the Figure in terms of its underlying, skeletal influences-so important for establishing volumes and providing a constellation of key visual landmarks. Then we become sensitive to the flow of muscular forms that have distinct beginnings and endings, changing shapes and relationships, as they potentially energize your drawing. To help get a handle on all of this visual input you will come to see the importance of geometric abstraction that serves as an essential component for structuring and proportioning your drawing. Finally, we will consider the expressive gestural nature of each region which will help you “flesh out” its meaning.

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“The Skeleton is the Key.”

Sessions include:

• Lecture-Demos
• Guided drawing time
• Exemplary slideshows of masterworks
• Summary handouts

Sunday Workshops, 1:30-5:30pm

Cost: $45/ workshop, or 6/$240
Registration required: email or call 503-358-0898
Or send a check, payable to Jeff Burke, to the address below.

October 15th – The Influence of the Skull
For a developing portrait artist, nothing could be more important to get to know then the skull and it’s fundamental influence on the structure and forms of the Human Face.
October 22nd – The Features of the Face
After the foundation of the skull comes the integration of the detailed complexities of the Eyes, Nose, Mouth and Ears. How to place them where they need to be and are they the right size?
October 29th – Facial Expression
The most marvelous and expressive potential on the face of the Earth is found on the face of a human being. Where else can the most subtle and the most explosive be revealed, side-by-side, in such fluid display? See the constantly changing forms of the face as they signal are deepest thoughts and feelings.

Chosen best figure drawing class in Portland by Portland Monthly magazine (July ‘ 05)

Prepaid registration is required. Please make checks payable to Jeff Burke. Full refund with at least 1 week notice, no refund otherwiseunless, of course, you are not satisfied! The last two workshops were overflow so register early!

To Register or for More Information Call 503-358-0898,

or email

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About Instructor Jeff Burke


 Jeff Burke has taught Field Guide to the Figure for 29 years at Hipbone Studio. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at Portland Community College at Sylvania and Rock Creek campuses, and at Portland State. He has conducted all-day weekend workshops at the Puget Sound Art League in Bellevue, WA. and at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
Jeff’s unique experience and understanding of the human figure was gleaned from years (1980-86) working as a full-time model and demonstrator of anatomy at New York City’s best art schools. Most notably, he was an assistant to Professors Salvatore Montano and Alfonse Solimene at Pratt Institute and Eliot Goldfinger at the New York Academy of Art. Mr. Goldfinger published his definitive volume, Human Anatomy for Artists-the Elements of Form, in 1991.
Burke’s theatrical presentations enliven and enrich the otherwise cold, hard facts that typify the usual Anatomy for Artist class. Founder of Hipbone Studio in 1987, his mission is to “bare witness” to the human figure as a potent symbol of our spirited being.

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“Jeff Burke’s figure drawing classes have been such a boost to my work through the years. Whenever I’m ready to learn more about the figure, I sign up for another anatomy class at Hipbone Studio. I learn more, and my work progresses to a deeper level every time I go. Many times I’ve driven 3 hours each way to go to a 3 hour class – and I’m NEVER disappointed. Jeff presents anatomy in a unique, clear way that I can understand, and digest as an artist. I’m always urging him to make a video of the classes…. so I can learn from them over and over. If you’re an artist interested in anatomy classes you absolutely can’t go wrong by taking Jeff Burke’s workshops.”– Pam Ingalls, Painter, Vashon Island, WA

“My understanding and appreciation of the complexities, rhythm and beauty of the human form have grown immeasurably thanks to Jeff’s classes.”– James Torson, Freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator.

“Jeff brings enthusiasm and complete knowledge to this complex subject. His unique methods for conveying this information have enabled me to see more clearly when drawing the figure and helped me in making my personal expression.” – William Park, Painter-Printmaker

“Mr. Burke understands, being a sculptor himself, the ways in which the artist uses anatomy and he discusses it in a relaxed, non-threatening, yet thorough and accurate way.” – Craig Cheshire, Former Professor of Painting and Drawing, Portland State University.

“Jeff, Thanks so much for another very helpful field guide course.  I learned so much, and my drawing has definitely improved!  You helped me look for and see relationships I hadn’t noticed.  And your articulate instruction gave me a language with which to think about what I am seeing and drawing.” – Maria Galati

“Jeff’s approach to structuring one’s drawing with anatomy provides insights one might struggle with for years to find on one’s own.  He also has a rare ability to look at one’s vaguely troubling drawing, and hone in on what’s wrong, and show you how to fix it. Highly recommended!” – Doug

Gift Certificates Available for Hipbone’s Art-related offerings!