Workshop | Oil Painting | Tonal Painting - Individual Facial Features with Michael Simms Art Est Art School and Gallery

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Workshop | Oil Painting | Tonal Painting - Individual Facial Features with Michael Simms

Workshop | Oil Painting | Tonal Painting - Individual Facial Features with Michael Simms

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

In this one-day workshop, students will learn how to construct human facial features (including an eye, nose, mouth and ear) with tonal or ‘monochrome’ painting techniques in oils. Michael will provide tips and tricks on how to simplify some of the most seemingly complex areas of the face into basic geometric shapes that make painting digestible and fun.

Without the distraction of colour, students will hone their vision to observe light and dark, building a series of small three-dimensional painting studies throughout the session. We will begin by breaking the features down into simple shapes and then using thin washes of raw umber paint to block-in their paintings. Students will then mix a ‘tonal scale’ of raw umber and titanium white paint to develop form and richness. 

Topics covered include

  • Overview of materials
  • How to observe and understand the hierarchy of tone
  • Tips and tricks on brush work and how to apply paint effectively
  • Basic anatomy of the eye, nose, mouth and ear
  • Planes of the face and tonal shapes

Is this class right for me?

Suitable for all skill levels, this workshop is a great introduction to painting facial features in oils for those who might be daunted by colour mixing, but also an opportunity for more experienced painters to hone their understanding of tone.

Materials List

Please bring the following materials to your workshop

  • 1 bottle of odourless solvent (Gamsol preferred).
  • 1  small bottle of Safflower or Linseed oil (Gamblin 200ml).
  • At least 2 empty jars with lids for your solvent.
  • A palette knife
  • Willow charcoal and kneadable eraser
  • Rags and a roll of paper towel
  • Palette (40 x 30 white perspex is ideal or a 'disposable palette')
  • Brushes: flat brushes, sizes 4, 10, 20 or similar.
  • Michael will be demonstrating on Fredrix Canvas pads, 305 x 407mm. Students will need at least two canvases to work on, one for warm up studies and one for their final portrait. Fredreix Canvas pads are ideal, but experienced students can bring in whatever canvas they are comfortable working on with oils. 
  • Oil painting colours: titanium white, raw umber, cadmium red, ivory black and yellow ochre.

About studio classes

Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need. We have a maximum of 12 students per class.

Unless otherwise noted, prices *exclude* art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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Save on your art class

Art Est accepts Creative Kids vouchers and memberships to help you save on your art class, along with regular discounts for current students. To find out what you are eligible for and how to book with these, visit our special offers and discounts page:

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Course testimonials:

  • Great workshop. Lots of tips and useful coaching to increase confidence and build skill in portrait painting
  • Learnt so much. Michael is a great teacher and able to demonstrate his skills in a way that is easy to replicate. So excited to have a course focused on portrait painting