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The Drawing Circus comes to Towersey


Duration: Half a day or more

Price: £40

Book with: James Ort
at The Phoenix Studio

The Phoenix Studio
Chinnor Rd
Towersey, Near Thame
Oxfordshire
OX9 3QZ

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About the Course

The Drawing Circus is returning to Towersey and it’s going to even better than last year!

We are delighted to announce that the Drawing Circus will be returning to Towersey! The troupe of Brighton-based artists, models, art tutors, musicians and performers will be putting on another wonderfully spectacular and innovative event that is not to be missed!

There will be myth themed costumes, Alice in Wonderland outfits and lots more!

We will be hosting at least 8 fabulous life models for you to capture on paper on canvas who will be posing in and around one stunning art studio, various marquees and a summer meadow. Morning, afternoon or full day bookings available. A family-friendly session on Sunday morning (with a separate life modelling section for adults) musicians to get you in the mood and Chanchal’s delicious curry will be being served on both days (all profits going to charity) or you could bring your own picnic to enjoy between the two sessions

The event is open to all artistic abilities. Jake Spicer, the group’s ‘Ring Master’ is an nationally recognised tutor (he’s also teaching two drawing weekends here in 2019 – life & portrait and life FYI) and will be giving a 20 minute crash course in life drawing at the start of each session. This will arm any beginners with a good foundation of knowledge for them to confidently go off and put pencil (or charcoal) to paper.

Towards the end of each session there will be also be a short masterclass focusing on a particular aspect of drawing. It could be on heads, hands & feet or figure proportions – Jake will make a decision in response to seeing how people get on during the session and what may help the majority progress.

Beyond the optional tuition sessions, artists will be free to wander around the studio and its grounds, drawing the models and poses that inspire them. There’s something for everyone – a range of:

- short poses
- long poses
- nude poses
- fabulous circus-themed clothed poses
- solo poses
- and group poses

Suitable for?

Anyone, regardless of your artistic experience!

The majority of the Sunday morning session will be a Family Friendly, i.e. no full nudity (we will have a more traditional ‘life modelling’ tucked away in the polytunnel where children can be let in under parent’s discretion. During the other three sessions the models will be in a variety of nude and clothed poses, so these sessions are for people aged 14+ only, unless accompanied by an adult.

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&B's, AirBnB's and hotels. There is a list on the Phoenix Studio website. If anyone has a campervan then you are more than welcome to 'camp' in our car park too!

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

A extended period of time to draw some fantastic models and performers in a variety of poses.
Set in and around the beautiful Phoenix Studio and its meadow.
Each session will include a 20 minute ‘crash course’ demonstration designed to arm even the least experienced of artists with the basic skills so you can draw and explore more confidently on your own
Later in each session there will be a Masterclass focusing on a particular aspect of drawing (e.g. faces, hands & feet, proportion, foreshortening…)
The use of basic drawing materials (i.e. paper, pencils and charcoal)
A selection of easels, chairs, drawing boards and stools (first come, first served!)

What to bring?
Basic drawing materials are provided, but we recommend you bring your own materials if you have them. Perhaps materials that you are used to working in if you draw already.
Models will be posing indoors and outdoors, so be prepared for the weather (e.g. sun lotion, sunglasses, hat, a parasol, jumper, scarf, gloves or raincoat may be needed depending on the weather!)
An easel, drawing board, chair or stool if you have one (we’ll provide a number of these on a first come, first served basis)
A picnic lunch to enjoy alongside your fellow artists between 1pm and 2pm if you do not want to dine on Chanchal’s delicious homemade curry!

This course is for you if:

You’ve always wanted to have a go at life drawing but never have until now
You want to explore your creativity but lack the confidence to do so on your own
You want to improve your existing artistic skills and abilities
You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a relaxed, creative environment
You want to have a fun, shared experience with fellow creatives
You love the human form, fashion and clothing



Want to review this course?

I am writing to thank you for putting on the ‘Drawing the Circus’ event at the Phonex Studios in Towersey this summer. It was a magical experience and a visual feast. Professional models in wonderful costumes and imaginative sets. The musicians, the Ring Master- teacher/model and the organisation in general was done with competence and friendliness. I was very impressed. It was really special and I found it so inspiring. The memory will be with me for a long time. Thank you so much. If you do decide to repeat the event I would love to be involved again.

- - #24098

What a fantastic day! Relaxing, inspiring and exciting. Thank you so much for a brilliant day.

- - #23716

Just a little note to say thanks for organising such a wonderful drawing day yesterday - I know how much work it is to organise these things so everything goes smoothly for everyone and you did a great job - the wonderful models, the sets, the live music and Jake's short tutorials all added up to a very inspiring day.

- - #23715

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising and hosting the drawing circus this weekend. It was absolutely fantastic and my daughter loved it. A very special experience.

- - #23714

I really enjoyed my Saturday at the Circus. What a fantastic set up with such lovely models in a beautiful setting. Thank you to the Drawing Circus team, and James for making it happen. I loved it!

- - #23713

What a wonderful summer’s day experience…quite out of this world. Excellent tuition and such professional and committed models who stoically melted in the heat for us! A very special art day.

- - #23681

My daughter and I took part in the drawing circus for the first time this year and despite the searing heat it was the most amazing day! The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, the other participants were friendly and there was an air of excitement and an artistic buzz. The models were professional and yet not intimidating.
This was my daughter's first attempt at life drawing and she is now hooked. The master classes with Jake Spicer were really helpful. We came home with a pocket full of drawings and a desire to find a regular spot to be able to develop our skills.
Looking forward to being able to participate in further workshops at the Phoenix studio.

- - #23336

The Drawing Circus at Towersey exceeded all expectations. As a newcomer to life drawing, it was a fabulous experience, very relaxed and friendly, with musical magic too. I am glad I stayed for the whole day, as I learned lots and definitely plan to go again next year. Thank you to all concerned.

- - #16571

This was an exciting and fabulous morning of drawing and in my case painting, wish I could have stayed for the day! The poses, costumes, ambience, setting were perfect, Magical! Would definitely do this again.

- - #16374

What a treat this was, an incredible day. Everything I hoped for and more. Full on but relaxed. They were all beautiful models to draw in fabulous costumes, amazing at holding the poses and making them interesting. The music made it magical. I would love a recording if you have one. I was glad to go on the second day with cooler weather. Although I bet it was fun in the sun too. Delicious cakes.
I can't wait to come again next year. Thank-you

- - #16344

What a fantastic day. Interesting settings both outdoor and indoors. Great poses and a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by Phoenix Studio and the Drawing Circus. Together with lovely music. What more could one want. Thank You

- - #16330

We had a lovely morning. The right amount of guidance and then lots of short opportunities to go and draw. We had never drawn before and the morning was fun and gave us confidence to keep drawing. It is a lovely environment and James and his family at the Phoenix Studio really make you feel comfortable and welcome.

- - #16327

It was a wonderful afternoon. The models and the tableaux were exciting to draw and the music added to the magical atmosphere and helped to sustain concentration.

- - #16310

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Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.


  • Child friendly
  • Disabled access
  • Romantic
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for events & groups
  • Suitable for stag and hen dos
  • Teen friendly

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