Sketching Portraits (Tuesday 18:00)

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Spend six weeks with one of the UK’s leading drawing teachers, Jake Spicer, as we cover the fundamentals of portrait drawing, combining practical observational skills with a focused examination of the elements that make up a face. Each week Jake will break down a different aspect of the face, teaching you step-by-step how to capture a likeness, building your skills and confidence as we go.

From tackling technical challenges such as angles and tilts and turns of the head, to capturing personality and feeling through the eyes and mouth, Jake will share his knowledge and skill with you in this interactive portrait drawing course. Using pencil, charcoal, and pens, you’ll build a portfolio showcasing your developing drawing practice, with clearer observations and confident mark-making.

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course photo

Workshop Leader
Jake Spicer

Jake is a visual artist, author and educator. He is head tutor of 'Draw' in Brighton, which he founded in 2009, and a co-director of 'The Drawing Circus'. Jake has written a series of best-selling instructional books, and is a regular tutor with, among other, the V&A and Cass Art as well as Derwent Pencils, for whom he is an ambassador.

Jake's friendly, encouraging teaching and how to videos have reawakened my abilities and joy of drawing portraits. Previous V&A Academy Online Student

Course overview

Each week you will build on developing your skills during live tutorials with Jake. These sessions are complemented by over 20 specially commissioned videos, detailing the techniques covered in class.
Live classes are supplemented by our insightful weekly Spotlight Sessions, where you'll delve into the background of the topic. Each week you'll hear from specialists, from art historians to practicing artists and illustrators including Alison Lambert, Curtis Holder and Sue Tilley, sharing a unique insight into the power of the portrait. Using the Teams classroom environment you will have the opportunity to share your work for individual tutor feedback and with the rest of the class. In our 'open studio' you can ask for guidance or get to know your classmates better. Each session is recorded so you can catch up or re-watch whenever you have the time. Note: There are two weekly tutorial slots available. Click ‘Book Now’ to book onto the Tuesday evening session. Alternatively, you can book onto the Tuesday afternoon session via the Online Courses page.

Materials are not included.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Sketching Portraits (Tuesday 18:00)

4 June 2024 - 9 July 2024


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

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Header image: Jake Spicer