Portrait drawing with Jake Spicer

Ref: SWE10085


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About this course

Learn to draw the head and shoulders, deal with the head in a range of orientations and tackle the features of the face in detail.

Course Description

This course provides a sound foundation to drawing the head, shoulders and features of the face, with a focus on making practical 15-20 minute long studies of the head in different orientations to establish a consistent, constructed approach to drawing the portrait from life.

The course will begin with an introduction to drawing the head and shoulders, with accompanying demonstrations from the tutor and practical exercises to aid observation and construction of the portrait. Throughout the course, you will explore focused approaches to drawing individual features of the face as well as hair, clothing and accessories. At the end of the course, you will be encouraged to put all lessons learnt over the weekend into practice, drawing a series of guided portraits from the model with a focus on capturing likeness and expression.


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 providing a model for the weekend, charcoal, 3B pencil, some masking tape and some cartridge paper for the first evening drawing session

What students need to bring

  • A folder or art tube for taking drawings home
  • Any items you may have from the available to buy list

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A3 Cartridge Pad and A2 Cartridge Pad
  • A range of soft sketching pencils (2B-6B)
  • An eraser and a sharpener
  • Willow charcoal and a charcoal pencil
  • Masking tape or board clips
  • Plastic folder for taking 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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