Portrait Painting Masterclass | Monochromatic Portraits in Oil with Andrea Huelin Art Est Art School and Gallery

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Portrait Painting Masterclass | Monochromatic Portraits in Oil with Andrea Huelin

Portrait Painting Masterclass |  Monochromatic Portraits in Oil with Andrea Huelin

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

Course overview

In this one-day oil painting masterclass with 2023 Archibald Packing Room Prize winner Andrea Huelin, you will work from a supplied photograph to practice monochromatic portrait painting with an emphasis on tonal values.  Andrea will demonstrate how to first simplify your image into broad tonal regions, building detail as the painting progresses.  With the challenges of colour mixing taken out of the equation, students will have the opportunity to learn how to focus on the structure of your painting, and how to make the best use of your big brushes to create a ‘painterly’ style of portrait.  We will work with one colour only, plus white.  

Note for acrylic painters: This workshop is geared towards oils. However, while Andrea works in oils and is not that experienced with acrylics, the principles for painting in acrylics are the same. If you are an acrylic painter and keen to do this workshop, Andrea will do her best to provide the equivalent instruction where the processes are different.

What to expect

Students will learn about:

  • Preparing your subject for life painting, or choosing an appropriate photograph to work from 
  • achieving a likeness in your portrait
  • The importance of tonal values in portraits
  • Students will complete a painting ’study’ during the workshop

Is this course right for me?

This workshop will suit students used to oil painting and experienced artists who want to shake up their oil painting skills and learn new approaches to portraiture.

Photo References

Andrea will supply a photograph to work from.  Experienced painters may bring a reference photograph of their own if they wish to. 


Oil paint colours
40ml tubes or similar. A very dark paint colour like black, Paynes grey, burnt or raw umber plus Titanium white.  

At least one large-ish brush and one smaller one.  Andrea uses Neef 95 Flat Stiff Synthetic or Rosemary & Co Ivory Synthetic long flats, size 8 and size 3. The benefit of flat brushes over round or filbert brushes is that you can use the sharp corners of the ‘chisel’ on the brushes for details.  Size 8 brush is about 1.5cm across the top of the bristles, and a size 3 is about 4mm.

Oil painting medium: Archival brand odourless lean medium (at least 100ml). For your and other students’ comfort, Archival brand is the recommendation as this is the only odourless brand of medium available.  Another option is to use a mixture of linseed or other artist’s oil diluted with solvent

ODOURLESS solvent for clean-up and diluting paints and mediums - at least 100ml. Solvent MUST BE ODOURLESS

1 x artist board or canvases about 9x12inches / 30x35cm or similar.  You can also use oil painting paper.  If you can, please apply a thin layer of gesso to your surface before you come to the workshop (even if your canvas or paper says it’s already primed).  If you can’t, that’s fine, we can do it in class.

  • Soft cotton rags - at least 2 per person
  • Clear or white perspex, melamine or glass, about A3 size to use as a palette, or an A3 sized disposable palette.
  • Masking tape, at least 1 inch wide
  • Cheap box of tissues
  • 2 jam sized glass jars with lids
  • A bottle of baby oil is good for cleaning your hands
  • a roll of paper towels, extra wipes or chux towels

What our students say about Andrea's masterclasses:

  • This oil portrait painting workshop with Andrea Huelin was a delight right the way through. The materials list, what to expect, the opportunity for participants to share what they were hoping to get out of the course during introduction, the demonstration of techniques and tips to help portraits pop before we tried them on for ourselves, the one-on-one individual tuition, the feedback and curated advice, the welcoming environment that alleviated nerves of novice inadequacies, the brilliant facilities and Andrea’s teaching style was as gorgeous as the works she produces - her finesse, encouragement and ability to address how to tackle the obstacles we were facing was informative and insightful.  
  • Andrea is an excellent teacher and was very generous with imparting her knowledge. She demonstrated the steps thoroughly and was an excellent communicator. Her various demonstrations of colour mixing and approach to painting faces and hands were excellent. I learnt a lot and am very happy with my outcome. Thank you Andrea. Please come back and teach us again.  
  • I learnt so much at this workshop - it was made truly special by Andrea Huelin's energy, generosity & positivity in her sharing of her expertise, practical skills & knowledge & her personal artistic insights. Sincere thanks to Andrea & Art Est Studio

Images: Painting studies by Andrea Huelin, 2023

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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