Course Code WC2302053
Tutor Ellen Christiansen MSPS
Course Dates Saturday & Sunday, 23rd - 24th March 2024
Days 2
Times 10.00am – 5.00pm
Experience Level Advanced
Fee £225
Location Art Academy London, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

This is the perfect 2-day course for students with experience of working directly from life who wish to push their technique further. You will be introduced to Ellen Christiansen’s unique method of working in clay using measurement, observation and directional light. You will be working on a seated, one third scale figure without an armature.

We will be measuring the model in a very precise way, up close, using callipers, plumb lines and scaling rulers. This is an opportunity for students with previous experience of working from life in clay to build on their clay modelling and observational skills. It’s also an opportunity to learn about surface anatomy and the skeleton.

There will be the option to leave your finished sculpture for hollowing and firing for an additional fee.

This course is for Advanced students and aims to build upon previous experience.

This course is suitable for students at our Advanced level.

  • Advanced

    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.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

Other course levels include:

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

  • 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, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

  • Intermediate

    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.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

Note:​ you will need to bring your own  bust-peg/armature if you wish to take away your work and are not leaving it to be hollowed out and fired.

Please bring the following:

■ Drawing implement (pencil, pen, or charcoal)

■ Sketchpad / loose leaf paper 

■ Apron or old clothing

■ Camera for documenting your progress 

The following materials and tools will be provided, however if you wish to bring your own, we will be using:

■ Wooden and/or metal modelling tools

■ Plumb line

■ Callipers for measuring (medium-sized)

■ Metal ruler and/or tape measure

■ Water spray bottle

■ Cocktail sticks

■ Barbecue sticks

■ Masking tape

■ Black bin liner

You will be offered the opportunity to have your clay pieces fired. Hollowing is necessary before a piece can be fired. This is optional and additional hollowing and firing costs will apply:

Hollowing fees:  £15 for a small figure; £20 for a portrait head; £20 for a large figure

Firing Fees: £15 for a small figure; £20 for a portrait head; £20 for a large figure


Ellen Christiansen is a formal figurative sculptor working exclusively from life. Trained at Camberwell Art School in the 1980’s, she is the natural successor to the long British tradition of figurative art via the Euston Road school, William Coldstream, the Slade school of Art through to Euan Uglow and Brian Taylor FRBS.

She is known for her unique precise method of measuring adapted from stone carving and has taught drawing and sculpture to students from all over the world.
She is a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors and has won multiple awards including the Founders Sculpture Prize and more recently The Society Prize selected by Nicola Hicks MBE. As well as showing annually with the SPS, she has also exibited at Messums Wiltshire and Bowman Sculpture,London.


Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

Students are welcome to use our Common Room/ The Barn during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

  • 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.
  • 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 purchased on our Materials Page or on the individual course page when you make your booking.
  • 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 MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of. Paintings that need to dry should be collected within a week. For clay sculptures that need hollowing and firing, you will receive a separate email when they can be collected.
  • 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 at the beginning of your class.
  • Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some images of our classes in progress. We will typically inform you beforehand if photography is taking place during your class; if you do not want to be photographed please let the photographer know!
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • If you would like more information or advice on courses at the Academy please contact
  • For further details please see our Short Courses: Regulations & Policies page.


Places Available!

Fee: £225.00