Life drawing – form and gesture with Jake Spicer

Ref: SLW09497

Suitable for all

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About this course

Venture beyond observation to explore the corporeal aspects of life drawing, with a focus on representing the gesture and form of a dynamic figure.

Course Description

During this course you will explore ways of representing the human figure that focus on capturing the gesture and form of the figure. The course is heavily exercise-led, accompanied by practical input and demonstrations from the tutor.

We will start the course with a focus on representing the rythym and gesture of short, dynamic poses, learning to draw swiftly and intuitively from our life model's actions. The gestural component of the course will explore balance and weight in the figure and will touch upon drawing from moving figures. As the course develops we will look at weight and mass in the figure and establish a practical approach for achieving three dimensional form in your drawings without relying soley on light and shadow, using a language of marks that explore the surface of the body. The final portion of the course will focus on assimilating the exercises and techniques of the course into your own personal drawings, making a sustained drawing from the figure under the guidance of the tutor.


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


  • The cost of a life model; providing charcoal, a 3B pencil, masking tape and paper for the first evening, 50 sheets of A1 newsprint paper each.

What students need to bring

  • A folder or art tube for taking drawings home plus any items you have from the list below

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A3 Cartridge Pad, A2 Cartridge Pad
  • A range of soft sketching pencils (2B-6B)
  • An eraser
  • A sharpener
  • Willow charcoal, Charcoal pencil
  • Indian Ink and a selection of soft (syntehic or sable) brushes
  • Masking tape or board clips
  • Plastic folder for carrying work 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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