Figurative Sculpture


COURSE DATES: Thursdays, 18th April – 6th June 2024

TUTOR: Laura Postle


TIMES: 10:45am - 4:45pm


FEE: £500 + £10 materials fee

LOCATION: Art Academy London, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

Studying directly from a life model, you’ll sculpt the full figure on a third-life scale in clay. You’ll learn the essentials of construction, including various techniques in observation, measurement and use of a plumb line, and will combine these modelling skills with fundamental anatomical knowledge. You’ll also gain an understanding of the importance of capturing gesture and proportion.

Your tutor will support you fully throughout the course in both group sessions and one-to-one support, providing very regular feedback, critique and constructive advice. Although the course has a general theme and approach there is no fixed or prescriptive methodology and individuals are encouraged to blend their own experience with all aspects of this course.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Make armatures on a third life scale
  • Develop and apply anatomical knowledge in the creation of figurative sculpture
  • Understand and apply measurement and scaling techniques, including ‘sight size’ and ‘comparative measurements’
  • Practise observational skills through the creation of figurative sculpture
  • Develop and apply clay modelling techniques using a variety of tools
  • Apply skills in the creation of proportionally accurate figurative sculpture that captures likeness and gesture

This course is part of our Elective Skills Workshop series. You will be studying alongside students from our pre-degree and degree programmes.

All Levels

All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish. This means an student from the following experience levels can join this course:


Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience.

Beginner +

Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium.


Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.


Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.


A clay modelling kit is provided for the duration of the class to each student. Each kit contains the following: B10 Tiranti wooden tool
B8 Tiranti wooden tool
B7 Tiranti wooden tool
B6 Tiranti wooden tool
BM11 Tiranti metal tool
Aluminium Calipers 30cm
Plumb line

Each student must bring the following tools to every class:

Tiranti’s H modelling tool – Available to purchase from the office shop.
Mirror – handheld, rectangular, no frame
Drawing equipment – pencils, charcoal, rubber, board clips and sketchbook.
Untextured rags for wrapping – bedsheets are really good or pillowcases can be the perfect size

Additional Costs

There will be a cost of £10 towards the materials throughout the course, this will need to be paid to the office on the first day of the course.

Please note: Generally wire armatures will be used inside the sculptures; therefore pieces cannot be fired. If students wish to keep their work, it generally needs to be moulded and cast. Please see details relating to moulding/casting options in the appendix of this document. If pieces are made in clay and do not have armatures in them, it is possible to fire them. This is optional and additional firing costs will apply.

Firing Fees are:
£15 for a small figure
£20 for a portrait head £40 for a large figure/torso

Laura Postle is a classically trained figurative sculptor who is a graduate of the Florence academy of art, Italy. Based on observation of the human figure her work pushes to explore the true character of her model whilst accentuating gesture and capturing the emotion of her subject.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.

Materials & Equipment

  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.


Laura Postle, Sculpture