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Oil Painting Master Class | Portrait Painting with Marie Mansfield

Course overview

This master class style workshop is for experienced oil painters who would like to learn portrait painting or refresh their skills. Award winning portrait artist Marie Mansfield will show you techniques of portrait painting through studying proportion and how to paint features by observing tone. Students will be taken through a block-in exercise and finish with a study in oil.

Students will work from a model over the two days and:

  • learn the proportions of the head and facial structures
  • learn how to paint the features of the face by studying light and tone
  • learn to mix a colour palette for painting portraits
  • learn about tonal painting

In 2018 Marie is in the Archibald Prize Salon des Refuses with her painting of Nick Stathopolos, and in 2016 was a finalist at the AGNSW with her painting of fellow New Zealander Euan Macleod. She is a regular finalist in the Moran Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Lester Portrait Prize and Mosman Art Prizes

_image credit Euan by Marie Mansfield, 2016 Archibald Finalist _
_image credit Nick Stathopoulos by Marie Mansfield _

Is this course right for me?

Prior experience with oil painting is assumed. Not for beginners.


  • Melamine palette or Palette pad
  • Palette Knife
  • 2 Canvas boards or canvas 10x12" or larger (10x14" or 12x16") what ever feels comfortable.
  • Brushes (Synthetic long Flat Neef or similar) recommended size 4 and 6
  • Odourless Solvent (solvent MUST be odourless) and a couple of jam jars with lids for mixing solvents and clean up
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Your Oil Paints. Marie recommends the following as a basic palette for portraiture and skin tones: Titanium White or Zinc White, Ivory Black, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Vermillion Red or Cadmium Red and Raw Umber.
  • Other colours could include but are not necessary for skin tone: Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson (hue will do). Optional colours Cerulean Blue (hue will do), Cadmium Red (a warm red), Cadmium Yellow (a warm yellow)
  • Bring an apron or wear clothes you don’t mind getting paint on, also bring along disposable gloves particularly if you are sensitive to oil paints and/or solvents

This class will run online

Due to Sydney’s COVID-19 restrictions, our classes have been designed to run online. Click here to see our detailed guide to setting up, and having a smooth online class.

Fees for adult classes exclude art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

Read FAQs Terms + Conditions

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

Course testimonials:

  • The one day painting workshop with Marie Mansfield was fantastic. Marie is a gifted artist and generous with her knowledge of materials and techniques for painting the portrait. The venue is spacious and light and ample parking was a nice surprise. Definitely a great day and went home with a better understanding of how to plan out your palette and mixing skin tones.