The Drawing Circus Towersey


We are hoping to have the Drawing Circus back – Dates TBC

The Drawing Circus will hopefully be returning to Towersey and it’s going to even better than ever!

We are looking forward to announce new dates for the Drawing Circus’s return to Towersey! The troupe of Brighton-based artists, models, art tutors, musicians and performers will hopefully be putting on another wonderfully spectacular and innovative event that is not to be missed!

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

You can come for the full weekend, a full day or just a morning or afternoon. The choice is yours!

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

A couple of people have booked an extra tickets by mistake. Please double check what you have clicked on when booking! Do email James if you are having any problems with booking and he will sort it!


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 if unaccompanied by an adult.

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!)

Additional costs

  • Louise will be selling her fabulous homemade cakes again.
  • A nominal price will be charged for tea, coffee and soft drinks. You will be served this by members of the Phoenix team.
  • You could opt in to buy Chanchal’s fabulous veggi curry for £10. All proceeds go to charity.

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

Why do life drawing?

I truly believe that life drawing is to artists what training is to an athlete.

Creativity is like a muscle; you need to flex it regularly. It boosts your observational skills, hand-eye co-ordination, and confidence. After just a few sessions, you’ll start to see all kinds of benefits in your artwork, whether it’s two-dimensional or three-dimensional.

Quick poses help you loosen up; they’re are a great exercise in letting things go and not seeking perfection. Longer poses let you refine your technique and truly study the human form.

It’s about enjoying the process, losing yourself in the moment and not worrying about the results.

I really believe life drawing is something we should all be doing more of… it might just be the new ‘mindfulness’!

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!

Planning for the weather

You can never anticipate what the weather is going to be like, even at the height of summer (as we know from last year)! We’re hoping the weather will be rain-free but also not too sunny. We’ll be planning for every eventuality including providing more shelter from the rain and shade from the sun. If you could come prepared too, that would be great!

Beyond the course

Whether you’re a complete beginner or more experienced artist, we hope this session will ignite a creative spark in you and that you’ll continue to explore your artistic side beyond your time at the Studio.

Other local art schools and tutors will be invited to come to the event to promote their courses. We’ll provide everyone with a list of other nearby art classes and life drawing sessions so that you can continue on in your creative journey!


This is a celebration of creativity and community! We expect everyone to conduct themselves like they would in any life drawing class – with respect for the models, your fellow artists and the organisers. The event is meant to be fun and provides a space for calm concentration in creative pursuits!

The Family Friendly Session:

We want to encourage a new generation to discover their creativity. Sadly, this is something that’s often sidelined in schools today.

Therefore we are making large parts of the Sunday morning session suitable for children, and we have a concession price for artists under 14 years old.

There will be no nudity on this session (bar in the poly-tunnel); instead there will be just fabulous circus outfits so this session is perfect for the smaller budding artist! Parent’s are welcome to bring older children to any of the other sessions if they are comfortable with their youngsters seeing figures in the nude.

We kindly ask parents and guardians to use their own judgement about whether their youngsters will enjoy and be able to engage in the session relatively calmly so as not to disturb other artists.


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

Part of what makes our events so successful is the location. We’re really excited by the prospect of coming to the Phoenix Studio – there’s such a magical atmosphere within the studio and the meadow. It’s the perfect stage for our troupe. We hope you can come join us!

Jake Spicer – Ringmaster and tutor at the Drawing Circus

Here are just a couple of testimonials from other Drawing Circus events:

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.

Nic Hayward

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.

Julie Wetenhall

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