Intoduction to the Painting Portraits from Life

“Portraiture is one of the greatest challenges an artist can face. This figurative art course will give you the tools to tackle this demanding subject, using the direct “Alla Prima” painting technique favoured by artists like John Singer Sargent.” – Alex Tzavaras


Students will be guided through a step by step process, learning to sculpt or “model” the whole head in paint before moving on to features like the eyes and mouth. Starting with short poses and simple monochrome exercises participants will progress to working on longer poses over several weeks in colour. Demonstrations and individual instruction will be given throughout the course.

Working from a live model, students taking part in this London-based portrait painting course will learn:

  • To map out the head using key anatomical markers
  • To recognise the planes of the head and use them to construct form
  • How light and dark tonal “values” are used to sculpt or “model” the head with paint
  • The basics of colour theory and how to understand relative colour temperature
  • The importance of edges for creating lifelike images
  • Comparative measurement for accurately positioning features and obtaining a likeness
  • To simplify complicated features and focus on essential details
  • Practical information about canvas, paint,  brushes and other materials

Book your place on next term’s portrait painting course. BOOK NOW

This is a course for all abilities. However, if you are new to drawing from life or have never used oils before please check out the Mass Drawing course. This offers a solid grounding in the fundamentals of figurative painting working from less exacting subjects than portraiture.

Courses 2022

Courses Online

Courses 2021