The Allure of Portraiture – many artists and students love portrait drawing and painting, it is a subject that has always fascinated us. For most the allure is something much greater than the likeness; it is the expression and character that they seek to capture, which most intrigues.
Yet, like all other forms of artistic discipline, the mystery belies a clear sequential system to be followed. The likeness is not achieved through racing to the end product and the tiny details; it is in drawing out the big shapes and the simple proportions.
We hold portrait classes every day at the studios from Monday to Saturday, as well as Monday and Tuesday evenings. Those who would like to apply must first have completed the Foundation Course and at least one term of Figure Drawing/Painting. We also hold two 5-day workshops in the month of December and July that specifically focus on portraiture.
Term dates & prices here.
We teach a clear systematic way to approach the portrait and always work exclusively from life. All students start by working with charcoal and understanding the importance of mass and values in finding a likeness.
Students signed up for the part-time and full-time courses start by working from plaster casts and understanding value patterns and the essential darks, before they move onto working from the portrait model.
During the 2 portrait workshops, students start drawing straight from the model.
At the beginning of term students will need to buy a box of charcoal and chamois (fabric for erasing), available from Lavender Hill Colours (£4.75). Paper is provided initially. In week 4 you will need to buy quality paper so as to more effectively work the chiaroscuro stage (£1 per sheet). In week 7 or 8 students start to work in oils, for this will you will need a Starter Painting Kit.
Recommended Further Studies:
We encourage students to compliment their studies by taking the time to visit exhibitions and practice sketching in museums. In addition, the Studios host a range of events throughout the term aimed at enhancing the artist’s understanding of their craft and the tradition that they are working within.
We recommend the following books available from Lavender Hill Colours.
Alla Prima II – Richard Schmid (paper back or hard cover)
Heads, Features, Faces – G.B. Bridgman
Charles Bargue & Jean-Léon Gérôme Drawing Course – Gerald M. Ackerman
Portrait Drawings – John Singer Sargent
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