Advanced portrait drawing with Jake Spicer

Ref: S3D10197


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About this course

An indepth exploration of the portrait, suitable for students with experience drawing from the head and face who would like to take their drawings further.

Course Description

Over the duration of the course, you will explore approaches for making more engaging portraits, moving your drawings beyond simple studies of the head and shoulders into characterful studies of an individual. You will explore the relationship of the hands and face in portraiture, composition and methods for achieving a likeness. The course will be practical and hands-on with a focus on individual input and support from the tutor tailored to your own personal style and intention. This is supplemented with advice on how to get the most out of a portait sitting and how to develop a complex portait composition that represents the character of your sitter.

Alongside practical instruction, you will be looking at historical and contemporary portait drawings, and paintings to put your own work into context. There will be an emphasis placed on mutual support and feedback with group discussion on what makes an effective portrait.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Materials for the first evening's drawings
  • The cost of a portrait model

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A3 and A2 cartridge pads
  • Your preferred drawing materials
  • A sketchbook for note taking
  • Masking tape or board clips
  • A folder or art tube for taking drawings home


Jake Spicer

Jake Spicer is a painter, Head Tutor of Brighton drawing school 'Draw' and co-director of the award-winning Drawing Circus. He has written a series of popular instructional drawing books and has a monthly column in Artists & Illustrators Magazine. Jake also teaches periodically at The National Portrait Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Brighton University and studied at UCA Farnham, learning to draw under John T. Freeman.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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