Figure sculpture in clay with Arabella Brooke

Ref: S3D33525

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About this course

Perfect for beginners, and those with some experience scuplting from a life model. You will develop key skills, including observation, basic anatomy and mark- m aking to make a clay figure.

Course Description

Throughout the course, you should expect to set up, model and finish a clay study of a nude figure. You can expect to see your personal style developing, with the tutor encouraging your response to the model, but, even more importantly, the aim of the course is to develop key sculpting skills, especially:

- Improved observational skills of the life model

- An increased understanding of basic human anatomy

- Some confidence about how to handle clay, and to plan and make a structurally-sound sculpture

- Increased confidence to make decisions so as to make interesting forms in clay

- The ability to stand back and assess your work, and move forward towards a conclusion

The tutor will move around the class throughout the day, teaching mostly one-to-one, but with some group demonstrations of technique, for example:

- How to use tools to create different effects

- Some aspects of figure modelling

- Hollowing out the figure in preparation for firing

There will also be a short session of quick sketching exercises to help stimulate your observational skills. The ability to draw is not a pre-requisite.

By the end of the course, you will have learned to set up, model and finish a clay study of a nude figure from observation.

Course Materials


  • The College will provide a life model for the duration of the course, all clay and firing costs - large work in size and quantity may be charged extra.

What students need to bring

  • An apron, charcoal, eraser, pencil and sketchbook
  • Any sculpture tools you may have (there will be tools available to borrow)
  • You might find it helpful to look at illustrations of work by any sculptors, e.g. Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, Jacob Epstein, Elisabeth Frink, etc., and examples of any sculpted human figures that interest you before the course starts.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including sketchbooks, paper and drawing media

Additional information

Firing options: 1. Fill in the form supplied and leave any raw, finished pieces that you wish to keep, for biscuit firing by the College, for collection within six months. 2. Take away your unfired sculpture for firing elsewhere. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no open toes or sandals).


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 until 9pm, 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)

General Information


Arabella Brooke

Arabella Brooke trained at The Art Academy in London from 2001-2004, and now lives and works in West London. She is a member of the Chelsea Art Society, and exhibits regularly at a range of galleries and art shows across the UK, including the Discerning Eye and the Society of Portrait Sculptors. Her work is held in private collections in Europe, Hong Kong, the USA and the UK.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.