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In-person course

Drawing from life with Jake Spicer


About the Course

Immense satisfaction, joy and fulfilment can come from drawing. Even if it isn’t your artistic medium of choice, the act of regularly putting pencil to paper can enhance many aspects of your creative pursuits. And yet, many people don’t draw because self-doubt tells them they can’t. This is such a waste!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Jake Spicer to the studio for a courses that are dedicated to drawing the human form. So come, be taken under the wing of one of the UK’s most accomplished drawing tutors.

Whether you’re complete novice or an experienced artist, we guarantee that you will not only leave feeling inspired but also with the confidence to take your newfound skills further.

With an emphasis on enhancing your observational skills, Jake will guide you in capturing the human form on paper. Through studying a life model you will explore depicting contours, shapes, tones and form through a series of demonstrations and exercises, plus one-to-one tuition from Jake.
As you progress through one of his courses, your efforts will focus on drawing specific parts of the body, as well as getting them proportionally correct.

Each of the workshops will follow one of the following themes:

- Life Drawing: Shape & Structure
- Portait Drawing: Shape & Structure
- Costumed Life Drawing with J’Adore La Vie & Jake Spicer
Please see our website (link above) for more details:

So whether you’re complete novice or an experienced artist, we guarantee that you will not only leave feeling inspired but also with the confidence to take your newfound skills further!

Suitable for?

Anyone, regardless of experience – we generally advise 14 years old+ though. Please note that the life model will be undressed throughout the class.

This course is for you if:

You want to draw with more confidence and learn new skills
You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a fun, creative environment
You love creativity

About the Tutor

The leader of the Drawing Circus, Jake is passionate about drawing and is equally passionate about teaching.

He’s a busy man – teaching multiple classes around the country – in Brighton, at West Dean College, touring with the Circus, The Camden Arts Centre and The National Portrait Gallery.

He write books about drawing, has a monthly column for Artist & Illustrators magazine and gives lectures and classes on the applications of drawing as a tool for understanding, communication, artmaking and as a vehicle for social good. He is also undertaking a long term study into the fundamental processes of drawing and also paints when he can.

In the past he has worked with the BBC, ITV, Brighton University, The Big Draw, The Old Market Theatre, Creative Futures, Playgroup Festival, Brighton and Hove Museums & RAM, among others.

Beyond the course

After the course you will be armed with many new skills to incorporate into your own art.

There are opportunities for you to continue to explore these at the Phoenix Studio (at our monthly life drawing classes and our other courses). We can also point you in the direction of other classes and venues local to you.

Jake has also written a number of excellent, accessible books about drawing if you wish to study his teachings further, signed copies will be available to buy from Jake during the weekend.

Need accommodation?

If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommended list of local B&Bs and hotels.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

A series of structured demonstrations and exercises
Working from a life model who will pose for varying lengths of time
Relaxed & attentive one-to-one guidance for every student

What is included in the price?

Tea, coffee, biscuits/cake
Drawing materials: A2 & A3 cartridge paper, Charcoal, Pencils, Graphite sticks & Erasers
Use of a beautiful purpose-built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
Beautiful countryside setting
Course notes and handouts


James Ort at The Phoenix Studio
The Phoenix Studio
Chinnor Rd
Towersey, Near Thame
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Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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2 days

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #28768

First time at Phoenix Studio and first time on one of Jake's classes. Had a great day as Jake is an excellent and inspiring teacher and Katie was a great model. Couldn't believe how much work we produced in the day but learned a lot and looking forward very much to the 2 day portrait course in May. The studio and facilities are perfect too. Thanks to all!

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Ahhh thanks for such a lovely review Jo! Much appreciated. We are delighted that you enjoyed your time here. Do come back soon x

In-person course
- - #28568

The Phoenix Studio is a super, well equipped, light and very friendly location and Jake Spicer was absolutely excellent, a relaxed, knowledgeable and outstanding teacher. I cannot recommend both highly enough. Model Katie was very professional and friendly, the best model I have observed. She struck really interesting poses. This course was a Christmas present to me and it exceeded my expectations. I will be back and don't hesitate to give it 5* and highly recommended.

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Ahhh thanks for the glowing review Avril! It was lovely to have you come join us and we hope to see you again soon. Keep on drawing too! James x

In-person course
- - #24818

Unbelievable that my first Portrait workshop was at this amazingly creative and peaceful centre. And more impressive, I was able to draw many portraits in a relaxed and comfortable way. Jake, the artist, was able to develop and extend my skill with much ease. Manko, the model, was superb with her striking poses which were held still as we drew with the most apt background music. The whole centre operated with much ease, love and creativity. Thank you.

In-person course
- - #24740

Had a really fun and informative day. Towersay is a great venue and always friendly and welcoming. Jake is an excellent teacher and explains every step well, his personality enthuses his students and l think we all looked at drawing from a new angle and Mike is a great model.

In-person course
- - #24731

I've been to many portrait courses and this one superseded them all :)
Jake was an excellent tutor. The course was well constructed and I picked up lots of useful tips. Our model - Manko - was the best I have worked from. Not only was she beautiful and very interesting to draw - she held poses and returned to poses with great accuracy. I would recommend this course to beginners or more practised artists.

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