Tonal Portrait Painting in Oils | Workshop with Michael Simms Art Est Art School and Gallery

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Tonal Portrait Painting in Oils | Workshop with Michael Simms

Tonal Portrait Painting in Oils | Workshop with Michael Simms

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

In this one-day workshop, students will learn how to render the human face with a tonal or ‘monochrome’ painting in oils.

Without the distraction of colour, students will hone their vision to observe light and dark, building a three-dimensional painting that captures a likeness to their sitter.

Students will learn how to lay the foundations for a strong portrait, breaking the face 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 into their paintings.  

Suitable for all skill levels, this workshop is a great introduction to painting the face 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.

 Topics covered include:

-       Overview of materials

-       Proportions and basic anatomy of the human face

-       How to observe and understand the hierarchy of tone

-       Basic shapes and planes of the human face

-       How to capture a likeness to your subject

-       Tips and tricks on brushwork and how to apply paint effectively

Materials List:

•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

Course testimonials:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed Michael's workshop, the approach to seeing tone in a face was clear and concise. Left wanting more!!