2. Painting Portraits

Paint like a master!


Learn to create stunning Realistic and Impressionistic portraits.


Have you always wanted to draw but don't know where to start? If you answered yes, this class is for you! 


What we see is most frequently determined by what we tell ourselves we are seeing. Our experience of the visual world, its diversity and its complexity, is often constrained by the names we have given the objects we encounter and the places we inhabit. This course will give you grounding in the basics so you can draw what you see with confidence.

The course starts with basics like learning to draw the head, eye, ear , mouth and nose as individual objects, before incorporating them into a full self portraitLearn where to begin and how to prepare for achieving a masterpiece, and to capture the likeness of a person’s facial structure and features with hard edges that bring attention to the most important areas of the painting.

Just like modern dancing, we first have to master ballet. Art is the same. In order to paint 'looser' or paint like the Impressionists or Expressionists, we first have to learn all the rules. The rules can only be broken if we know what they are!


Learning the techniques of the OLD MASTERS like Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Van Eyck brothers. 

The Venetian painting technique of artists like Titian and Giorgione during the Italian Renaissance was derived from the painting technique of Northern Renaissance artists. Strongly influencing Venetian artists were the oil painting techniques developed by the Van Eyck brothers, Flemish painters working around 1400. The Van Eyck's painting technique combined the use of egg tempera and oil painting. The under painting was done in a grisaille technique, with pure coloured oil glazes applied on top. This combination painting technique worked well for their small panel paintings, producing the luminous, jewel-like tones for which they are so famous.

Under painting gets its name because it is painting that is intended to be painted over in a system of working in layers. There is a popular misconception that under painting should be monochromatic, perhaps in Gray-scales. You will learn about the  three different techniques of underpainting:

Figure drawing...

is one of the finest methods to develop hand-eye coordination and thus the ability to draw accurately what you see. This course first focuses on the development of these skills, gradually introducing more experimental approaches to drawing according to the pace of each student.

This classic method of representational art is regarded as the best way for aspiring painters and sculptors to acquire the skill of drawing the human body and mastering its line, shape and depth.

Drawing remains the foundation for all types of fine art, and is still seen as one of the best way to advance your style, confidence and technique as an artist.

  • Learn how to use your pencil in various positions to change the method of drawing.
  • Learn about the different degree of representation may be from highly detailed, anatomically correct renderings to loose and expressive sketches.
  • Learn to draw in different mediums like pencil, charcoal and paints.

The following is an outline of a typical 6-stage figure drawing course. During the class, a variety of media can be used to represent the model's body, including: pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, crayon, pastels, chalk or mixed media, although pencil is the classical tool. 


Stage 1
Theory on the basic proportions of the human body and how all the parts relate to each other.


Stage 2
Drawing a live model in 3D form, grasping measurements and center line.


Stage 3
Creating a convincing silhouette and learning to draw the form and shape head, torso, legs and arms accurately, using pencil, charcoal and paint. The students are only allowed to use outline drawing and negative space. 


Stage 4
Continue practicing the human figure, also adding tones and shades for a more convincing modelling and shadow casting. At this stage the students are not allowed to use line work any more, but has to use the biggest brush possible. Using only the basic x4 basic shapes they have to shape the body using only 1 colour + white.


Stage 5
Practice drawing the head, hands and feet from different angles and work on your modelling and rendering skills.

The face, hands and feet is an integral part of of the 'expression' of the person. being able to draw and understand how it all works together is important.


Stage 6
Creating finished drawings using the whole body in different techniques using different implements:

  1. Painting in a limited palette

  2. Painting in full palette

  3. Painting with rollers

  4. Painting with impressionism

  5. Painting and abstracting

  6. Own choice

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