Costumed Life Drawing with J’Adore La Vie & Jake Spicer, 2021

With all their show-girl glamour and style, we are delighted to welcome J’Adore La Vie to the Phoenix Studio!

In this very special two-day, frills and feather filled workshop we invite the show-girl duo J’Adore La Vie to the studio for a weekend of fully tutored, costumed life drawing. So come and be inspired by not one, but two exquisitely dressed life models!

The first day will be made up of shorter poses and a longer, sustained pose on the second day. Throughout the weekend tutor and artist Jake Spicer will lead exercises to help you capture the energy of our models performative poses, the structure and expression of their costumes and will give demonstration on composing figure drawings that capture the narrative tableaus and interactions of our performative pair.

This course will be helpful for artists of all disciplines and levels of experience, so whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced professional in need of a refresher, we guarantee that you will not only leave feeling inspired but also with the confidence to take your newfound skills further.



Morning: An introduction to drawing fabric, exploring historical examples and contemporary fashion drawing. Followed by expressive approaches to drawing the clothed figure.
Afternoon: An introduction to drawing interacting figures with a focus on drawingshands, heads and the negative spaces that define the relationships between bodies.


Morning: Guided compositional studies to support a long piece of work from costumed and semi-clothed figures followed by a sustained drawing from a long pose
Afternoon: Continuation of the mornings long pose, with ongoing input and 1:1 advice from Jake

This weekend course includes:

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

Suitable for?

Anyone, regardless of experience – we generally advise 14 years old+ though.

What is included in the price?

  • Two full days’ teaching (10am-4pm)
  • Two professional life models
  • 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

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
  • You want to be more confident drawing clothed figures
  • You love fabulous costumes!

Beyond the course

After the weekend 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 The Drawing Circus weekend, 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.

£205 for the whole weekend, including tuition, life models, materials, tea, coffee, cake and biscuits


Complete the booking form (top right of your screen, or scroll down if you’re on a mobile).


Jake Spicer

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.

You can have a look at his website here.

Not only is life drawing an opportunity to hone your observational drawing skills, it is an chance to respond creatively to another person. Taking time to truly look at your model and make a personal, drawn response to their presence is a profoundly engaging and creatively stimulating act. Drawing together in a life class provides us with an opportunity to share ideas, borrow approaches from one another and to appreciate the breadth of different approaches that that we all take to the subject of the human figure.

Jake Spicer – Course Tutor

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.

Pam Esseen

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.

Steph Hudson

£205 for the whole weekend, including tuition, life models, materials, tea, coffee, cake and biscuits


Complete the booking form (top right of your screen, or scroll down if you’re on a mobile).

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