Workshop on How to paint a portrait using a basic 4 colour Palette on 6 to 7 February 2018

Workshop on How to paint a portrait using a basic 4 colour Palette on 6 to 7 February 2018

Learn how to make use of Leonie's simple palette to create amazing variety. Develop value sensitivity, skills, and perfecting technical skills in order to create portraits that are deeply in tune with the human spirit. Leonie works individually with each participant to guide this process.

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Designed to introduce students to oil and acrylic painting methods, this comprehensive workshop will provide a framework in structural drawing, compositional strategies, color theory, and paint application. Through demonstrations, Leonie will illustrate her very easy and unique technique. You can expect to create at least one finished painting. This workshop is open to novices in oil or acrylic paint.

For the sake of time, we will only be working with acrylics.

All materials are available at a 5% discount from  Creative Arts Shop:

  • 5% discount for LifeART students
  • 44 Oxford Street, Durbanville
  • Phone:021 975 5373

Materials Needed:

  • Zelcryl White
  • Zelcryl Yellow Ochre
  • Zelcryl Burnt Sienna
  • Zelcryl Cadmium Medium Red
  • Zelcryl Paynes Grey
  • Palette Knifes
  • Mixing A3 Paper Palette
  • Hog Hair Flat and Round Brushes no: 2+4+6
  • Nylon Angle Brushes no: small + medium + large
  • Soft Cloth
  • Pencil / charcoal
  • Putty Rubber
  • 1 A4 size large head photograph in 1 x colour and 1 x black and white
    • Make sure that the photograph has good light and dark contracts (see video below for example)
  • 1 x A3 size boxed canvass
  • [powr-price-table id=00562004_1505910885]

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Commonly asked Questions for beginner Artists

Commonly asked Questions for beginner Artists

Do I really need to know how to draw?

If you were to attend a university, you would spend a year or two learning to draw before you touched paint. Learning to draw correctly is part of teaching your eye and your hand to work together. How often have you wanted to draw something and then it looks totally different.

Learning to simplify every image in basic shapes and drawing using ‘negative space’, teaches you to really look. Students make the mistake of thinking that painting is all about the colour and the paint. That is incorrect. To paint is to use tonal values, the dark and the light to create shape.

Every painting should be divided into values of 2/3, 1/3 and a little bit. Leonie.e.Brown Artist at

What Brand of Paint Should I Buy?

It depends on your budget is. Try various brands and see which you like using.

I recommend to my students to rather use a cheaper, but good blend like Zelcryl, which has a good reputation, and is a good quality local (South African) paint. Rather start with cheaper paint until you are more confident, and don’t waste as much paint.  Leonie.e.Brown Artist at

There are two basic types of paint: student-quality and artist-quality. Student-quality paints are cheaper and they may not be as rich in hue as more expensive paints. This is because there is less pigment in such paints and more extender or filler.

Can I Mix Different Brands of Paint?

Yes of course, and so you should. Some brands might have a specific colour based on their pigments buys, that another brand might not have.

What Colors Should I Get?

Get the primary colours in hot and cold:


  • Cadmium Yelow
  • Cadmium Red
  • Ultramarine Blue


  • Lemon Yellow
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Phthalo Blue


  • White
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnst Sienna
  • Paynes Grey

Why Do I Have to Learn Color Theory?

Color theory is the like learning how to spell for the first time. It is a guide to how colors interact, complement, or contrast with one another.

Knowing how to mix your own colours and how to make them lighter, brighter, duller and darker, will influence the quality of your final work. Good artists should understand how colours mix and influence each other, so that they can repeat the process. Leonie.e.Brown Artist at

How do I clean a Paint Brush?

  • Wipe excess paint off on newspaper
  • Wash off the left over most pigment in the water (acrylics) / turpentine (oils)
  • Wipe off brush with soft cloth
  • Wipe brush up to ferule on bar of soap
  • Rub brush vigorously on the palm of your hand
  • Wash of excess soap with water
  • Push hairs together with fingertips
  • If the brush is still caked with paint, leave it in overnight in Dettol (Chloroxylenol)

Examples of LifeArt Students work using the above principles.

Glossary of painting descriptions (like chiaroscuro) and their meanings

Glossary of painting descriptions (like chiaroscuro) and their meanings


alabaster – A fine-grained, slightly translucent stone with a smooth milk-white surface.
buon fresco – Sometimes called “true fresco.” A painting technique in which pigment suspended in water is applied to wet plaster. This method is very durable.
cartoon – ;A full-size preparatory drawing, sometimes coloured, from which an original work such as a fresco or tapestry is copied.
chiaroscuro – The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modelling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This comes from the Italian words meaning light (chiaro) and dark (scuro), a technique which came into wide use in the Baroque Period. Sfumato is the opposite of chiaroscuro.
condottiere – Until the mid-fifteenth century, condottieri were mercenary leaders in the employ of Italian city-states.
contrapposto – The principle of weight shift in the visual arts. It is commonly used to depict a figure in a relaxed stance, one leg weight-bearing, the other bent, the torso slightly shifted off axis.
foreshortening – The term foreshortening refers to the artistic effect of shortening lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth.
fresco (pl. frescoes) – Simply defined, painting on plaster. There are two methods, buon fresco and fresco secco.
fresco secco – In this technique, pigment is mixed with a binding agent and painted on dry plaster. This method is not as durable as true fresco painting.
humanism – Humanism is the movement of the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries when all branches of learning, literary, scientific and intellectual, were based on the culture and literature of classical Greco-Roman antiquity.
grisaille – A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used especially for the representation of relief sculpture.
illusionism – A style of painting which makes two-dimensional objects appear to be three-dimensional.
Mannerism – A style developed during the Late Renaissance gaining popularity in much of Europe and northern Italy, Mannerism featured the use of distorted figures in complex, impossible poses, and strange artificial colors.
perspective – The term perspective refers to the technique of representing the illusion of a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface (a flat piece of paper or canvas).
polymath – a person who excels in multiple fields, particularly in both arts and sciences. Another name for “Renaissance Man.”
predella – A decorative frieze or border element running along the front of an altarpiece at the foot usually consisting of several pictures.
refectory – church dining hall
Renaissance Man – A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences. A “universal man” or polymath.
sfumato – The term sfumato was coined by Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, and refers to a fine art painting technique of blurring or softening of sharp outlines by subtle and gradual blending of one tone into another through the use of thin glazes to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This stems from the Italian word sfumare meaning to evaporate or to fade out. The Latin origin is fumare, to smoke. The opposite of sfumato is chiaroscuro.
terribilita – A term applied typically to the art of Michelangelo describing the heroic and awe-inspiring power and grandeur of his work.
trompe l’oeil – A French term meaning “trick the eye.” Also known asillusionism. A painting style designed to give the apprarance of three-dimensionality.
LifeART School is mentioned in the Cape Town Magazine as one of the BEST Art schools in Cape Town!Come join us and learn from established teacher and artist: Leonie.e.Brown.For more info contact Leonie on:
How to make a Monoprint with Acrylic paints

How to make a Monoprint with Acrylic paints

The beauty of monoprinting lies in its spontaneity and its allowance for combinations of printmaking, painting and drawing media.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monoprinting is a form of printmaking that has images or lines that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals. There are many techniques of monoprinting. Examples of standard printmaking techniques which can be used to make monoprints include lithography, woodcut, and etching.

Basically a monotype (mono means “containing just one”), is created using a printing plate (could be glass, board or plastic). A unique image is made in the ink each time. Monoprints can also be made by altering the type, color, and pressure of the ink used to create different prints.

There are three ways to do a monoprint:

The first monoprint technique is to roll out paint over the whole inking plate. Gently place a sheet of paper on it, then draw or press on the back of the sheet of paper. Remove the paper. This process can be repeated in many different colours.

This can be done positively or negatively. Working positively means that the artist will put down imagery with brushes or rollers. Working negatively means that ink is removed  by scratching or wiping away.

The second monoprint technique is very similar, except you create a design in the ink before you place the paper. Roll out the paint as before. Now draw your design in the wet paint. Use a cloth or your hand to remove some ink. Gently place a sheet of paper on it, and roll or rub the the back of the paper. Remove the paper. This process can be repeated in many different colours.

The third monoprint technique is to create the image as you place the ink or paint on the surface. It will help if you have a finished image or photostat that you can place under your glass, to give you an idea as to where to apply the paint. Gently place a sheet of paper on it, and roll or rub the the back of the paper. Remove the paper.

You can continue adding paint to the glass plate in different positions and layers. Gently place a sheet of paper on it, and roll or rub the the back of the paper. Remove the paper.

The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike.

The beauty of this medium is also in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing media and is considered to be a very versatile method. The artist can decide to work positively or negatively.

Materials and methods

To make a monoprint or a monotype all you need is a plate and some ink. Glass works well as it is easy to wipe clean and very smooth.

  • Glass
  • Heavy duty paper
  • Ink or paint (Acrylic’s will need a slow drying medium added)

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