Focus your drawing and painting techniques and develop your skills in portraiture as you study the portrait model in one pose over an intensive two-day period. Throughout the course, we will examine and discuss how contrasting artists have responded to the head in portraits ranging from the Renaissance through to the present day.
You will begin by drawing the model to establish your composition and to become used to drawing and observing the model when working online. Through drawing you will examine techniques using line and tone, with a variety of drawing materials. Two studies will be produced during the set-up where you will analyse composition and the figure in space.
When painting, you will look in detail at colour mixing, colour theory, proportion and anatomy of the head, measurement and how to select and build composition. Techniques in paint mixing and application are covered in both individual and group activities.
As your painting progresses, you will identify and address specific issues as they arise. The tutor offers support and individual guidance throughout the course and encourages you to apply self-reflection and evaluation to your progress. There will also be regular group discussions and a group critique at the end of the course.
By the end of the course, you will have developed your knowledge and awareness of drawing techniques, anatomy of the head, colour theory, paint mixing and application, and composition. You will also have a wider knowledge of portrait artists and be able to use a variety of drawing materials confidently to analyse the figure. The aim is to produce several studies and one oil painting.
Day one - After a group introduction we will begin by drawing the model, exploring line and tone. During the early part of the morning session, we will set the pose, then you will work on preparatory studies and begin your paintings. The pose will then continue throughout the rest of the course. There will be a group discussion on contemporary portraiture, supported by images.
Day two - You will continue with your paintings, working directly from the model. At the end of the course, we will have a group discussion on your work, the aim is to work towards the completion of one portrait painting during the course.
09.00 – 09.15 All students to join via Zoom
09.15 – 10.45 Introductions, health and safety, teaching and demonstrations, Q+A followed by independent study with tutor support
10.45 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.45 Teaching, Q+A followed by independent study, with tutor support
12.45 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.45 Teaching, Q+A, independent study with tutor support
15.45 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.00 Plenary and next steps
The course fee includes the cost of providing a portrait model for the duration of the course.
Please read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. Be ready to start at 9am on the day with your computer set up and ready as detailed in the guidance notes emailed to you with your booking confirmation.
To enable you to share your work effectively during the course, we recommend that you either
1. Use your smartphone, ipad/tablet or a digital camera to take images of your work during the course, to download these to your computer’s desktop, so that you can easily use the Share screen option in Zoom, to show your work when necessary.
2. Alternatively, join the course via the Zoom link from a secondary device to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (e.g. a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet, though please ensure the sound is turned off on this device to avoid sound interference).
A Primed surface suitable for oils, either board or canvas, 30 x 40cm approx
Sansodor or Zest it (odourless thinners - not Turps)
Sketchbook, (A4/A3 in size)
Drawing materials, charcoal or charcoal pencils, pencils B/2B, graphite stick
2 sheets A2 cartridge paper
Selection of brushes of varying brittle type and shape suitable for oils, include a rigger and a round synthetic brush
Oil paints - Suggested oil colours:
Titanium White, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine, Viridian, Raw Umber.
You will also need to have:
Any drawing materials you may already have
Any materials thought to be suitable, tools or equipment you use regularly that are not listed
Tools and equipment:
Glass jar with lid
Palette, preferably wooden (or any Perspex/plastic palette you may have)
2 Dipper pots
What skill level do I need to take a course?
Our online courses are each given a level of study to ensure you pick the right course for you;
Beginners - Suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject
Intermediate – If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Suitable for all - With content that can be engaged with on different levels.
What format does the course take?
Our online live-streamed courses run each day from 9am-5pm.
After admitting all students to Zoom between 9am-9.15am, the tutor will introduce the course at 9.15am promptly and give a demonstration or warm-up exercise with a chance to ask questions before independent study with tutor support. This pattern is followed throughout the day as additional tasks are introduced, concluding in the final session with a round up and discussion on next steps.
Is the course taught live?
Yes, the course is taught live via Zoom.
Will the course be recorded?
No, the course will not be recorded.
How many people will be on the course?
There are a maximum of 10-12 places for most courses, depending on the subject. Some lecture courses may take more students.
How do I sign up for a course?
Follow the online booking process to sign up for a course.
Can I use a College gift voucher for online courses?
Yes, simply enter the gift voucher code at the online checkout.
How do I access my course?
You will receive a link and password to access the course email, typically within two working days.
What do I need to set up or prepare before the course starts:
Find yourself a quiet place to work, away from background noise and distractions during the core teaching times. Prepare a workstation, ideally with a good sized work-surface or table, adjacent to your computer, and with enough space to layout your assembled materials and tools ready for the start of the day. Also assemble any materials listed on the course details which will not be supplied in any materials kit sent to you, if included in the course. (If your course includes materials, this will be clearly stated in the course materials section above).
Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. We recommend doing this several days in advance to avoid technical issues on the day.
What computer set-up will I need to take a course?
You can join a zoom meeting on a computer or laptop – Mac, PC – with Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers (usually in-built). You need high speed Wi-Fi with full bars signal that doesn’t drop out Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below).
You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser.
To join the course simply click on the link in your confirmation email and follow the instructions on the screen. You can access Zoom via the web browser or app. For help joining a meeting see Zoom support here
It is also useful to have the following close to hand - a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet), if possible.
Some of the course resources may be presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
What web browser do you recommend?
PC users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+ are supported.
Mac users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+ are supported.
Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.
Phones and tablets – download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
We recommend setting up and testing Zoom a few days in advance of your course to ensure you do not have problems on the day. If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email firstname.lastname@example.org (Monday-Friday, and for courses held on Saturday or Sunday, 8.45-9.15am only) with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.
I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact email@example.com (Monday-Friday, and for courses held on Saturday or Sunday, 8.45-9.15am only).
I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to do this course, what can I do?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately if you have changed your mind, within 14 days of booking. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions when booking. If your course includes multiple units, by booking you are committing to attend all unit dates listed in the course description, no alternative dates or refund can be offered for any that you are unable to attend. For any other queries about online courses please contact email@example.com.
For courses that included a posted materials pack: (this will be stated clearly in the course materials list above). Please only book this course online if you live on the UK mainland. The costs included in the course fee do not cover areas outside of the UK mainland. See note below.
Can I do this course if I live overseas?
If you live overseas (including Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and Islands, Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and Isle of Man), please email the Bookings Office firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and contact details, do not book the course online. Our team will then ascertain whether we are able to post the materials to you and, if so, the additional cost. We will then let you know and you can decide whether or not to go ahead with the booking. Please note that delivery of the materials box to an overseas address may also take longer.
What is included in the materials pack?
Included materials are listed in the ‘Course materials’ section above.
When should I expect to receive my materials pack?
Your pack will be posted to arrive 1-2 days before your course starts. It will be delivered by courier. Boxes are usually larger than letterbox size and the courier may contact you via email with delivery information. Currently, these can only be posted to mainland UK addresses - please see note above if you live overseas.
Who do I contact if I haven’t received my materials pack or it is missing an item?
Please contact email@example.com (Monday-Friday) within two days of the course start date. If the original delivery is failed or refused and returned to the College, you will be responsible for paying any additional charges for re-delivery.
Adele is a painter and printmaker, born in Yorkshire and trained
at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Slade School of
Fine Art London.
She is a tutor with over 20 years teaching experience with a focus on working from direct observation of the figure, portrait and still life subjects. Adele teaches at West Dean College,
Arte Umbria, Putney School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art, London.