Celebrities set to get arty on ‘Life Drawing Live’

Life Drawing Live is set to become Australia’s first live life drawing class, all under the guidance of two of Australia’s leading art experts. Host Rove McManus, not only a triple Gold Logie winner but an illustrator in his own right, will be joined by other famous faces who also happen to be amateur artists.

Participating in the class will be cook, TV presenter and author Adam Liaw, Australian acting royalty Claudia Karvan, actor Hunter Page-Lochard,  and comedian, actor and writer Susie Youssef.

Remembering the joy of drawing as a kid, Adam Liaw recalls that he “loved art and was always doodling or drawing comics”. Guided by his mum, he drew a lot, even winning an art prize when he was in Year 9. After a 20-year hiatus, Adam’s drawing more these days.

“Now as a father I end up drawing a little with my kids, just little sketches with them and birthday invitations.” However, the invitation to participate in Life Drawing Live was a bit confusing at first. “I didn’t really know what life drawing was! I actually laughed out loud when I found out it was nudes. I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it, but it sounds like a lot of fun!”



Claudia Karvan cites having children as rekindling her love of drawing, too. “I did 3 Unit Art at school and did drawing classes (using the left-hand side of my brain, no less!) I love nothing more than to sit still and draw, regardless of whether the outcome is good or bad, but unfortunately life pressures usually take priority and you find yourself neglecting these really important pleasures. So, thank you COVID-19 and Life Drawing Live for nailing me to the floor for two hours this Saturday so I can indulge in doing something I love.”

Growing up drawing superheroes and spend much of his time at art school “mastering mise en scène paintings”, Hunter Page-Lochard (Cleverman) rightly asks, “who doesn’t love a little bit of Bob Ross in the morning?” Hunter admits, “I’ve always loved imagining that I’m the next Picasso, but I know I’m probably just the next Van Gogh as I continue to live my life existentially. I may be rusty, but I’m ready to pull out my pencils and dive head-first into this mystery we call art.”


Comedian and writer Susie Youssef is“absolutely fascinated by great artists and their ability to move people with their work.” But Susie confesses to SBS that she is not a great artist. “I have sketched a sad tree in every notebook I’ve ever owned, and instead of crossing out mistakes in handwriting exercises, I used to draw a flower pot over the top of the error.” Happily, she is not letting this dampen her enthusiasm. “Even though I will be undoubtedly rubbish, I am very excited for Life Drawing Live. I promise to arrive sober, unlike my first and only other life drawing experience at my sister’s Hens Party. Sorry Tess.”


Our group of artists will be guided by Maryanne Coutts, Head of Drawing at the National Art School and award-winning artist Wendy Sharpe. After completing a series of life drawing exercises, the artists will attempt to capture a challenging final scene.


Why not join them? Dust off your pencils and charcoals, and draw along in real time. On a second screen, go to, where our Pose Cam will provide an uninterrupted stream of the life models. For the chance to see your artwork televised and analysed by the experts, share your drawings on social media using #SBSLifeDrawingLive or email them to


To continue the fun, tune into SBS the following two Saturday nights, 11 and 18 July at 8.30pm, for Life Drawing UK from the BBC. Presenter and artist Josie d’Arby will be joined by some of the UK’s leading art experts and special guests.

Life Drawing Live premieres Saturday 4 July, 8.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand. It streams live across Australia on SBS On Demand and live on SBS at 8.30pm AEST with a delay in WA, NT and SA.

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