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Learn to Paint and Draw Portraits

Course overview

This painting class is for students who want to learn how to paint portraits well. In this class you will learn skills required to produce accurate and meaningful portraits through a series of structured exercises. Throughout the planned exercises, your tutor works with each student at his/her own level, and works to progress each student’s ambitions and painting interests. This is a dynamic class for students with a wide range of experience, and using their choice of oils, acrylics and watercolour paints.

images: student artwork

What to expect

Students will learn :

  • about the anatomy and structure of the face and head
  • the difference that age makes
  • about colour as it relates to different skin and hair types
  • about light and the difference to producing a portrait
  • skills in dealing with difficult poses
  • techniques to deal with details such as teeth, wrinkles, hair texture and hands
  • about portrait composition and its impact, with reference to artists past and present.

Is this course right for me?

To get the most out of this class, it is recommended that students have previously attended painting classes either at Art Est. or elsewhere.


Art materials are not included in the course fee. Students will need to bring the following:

  • Drawing materials: Bring a range of drawing materials for example 2B or 3B pencils or charcoal along with some cartridge paper (minimum A3 suggested) for sketches and practice.
  • Surfaces: If you are using oil or acrylic paints you will need to bring canvas or canvas paper to classes along with a brushes in a ranges of sizes. You can discuss with Tanya sizes depending on your interests and ambitions. Approximately A3 size is a good place to start if you are unsure. Watercolourists should bring good quality watercolour paper, cold or hot press depending on preference.
  • Brushes: bring a selection of brushes that you normally use
  • Paint: You are welcome to work in acrylic, oil or watercolours in this class. The following are the recommended minimum colour palette for portraiture (in your chosen medium) : Pthalo and ultramarine blue, Lemon and warm yellows, Crimson and cadmium reds, White Burnt sienna. Optional colours: yellow ochre, cobalt blue. Students are welcome to bring other paint colours you may already own. For better results, we recommend buying ‘artist quality’ paints (Matisse Derivan Acrylics, Art Spectrum Oils, Winsor & Newton Watercolours are good, reasonably priced brands)
  • Paint mediums: students using oils and acrylics will need to bring along paint mediums as required.

If using oil paints
Bring odourless solvent for cleanup and diluting mediums. Solvents MUST be odourless. Oil painting solvents and mediums must not be tipped down the sinks. You will need to bring jars with lids to take away spent solvents/mediums. Spent solvents/mediums must be taken with you and not left in the studios. You tutor will give you information on reusing and disposing of spent solvents and mediums.

Maximum of 12 students in all our classes Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need.

Unless otherwise noted, fees for adult classes exclude art materials.Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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$460 $437 Limited inc GST
Learn to Paint and Draw Portraits

<p>{image name:“learn-to-paint-portraits-hero”}</p><h3 id="Courseoverview">Course overview</h3><p>This painting class is for students who want to learn how to paint portraits well. In this class you

Term 3 now enrolling. Enrol and pay before 3 July to receive your 5% early bird discount offer
Price excludes materials | Some prior painting experience is assumed | Suitable for new and continuing students
Maximum of 12 students in all our classes