Summer School // Painting: Portraits and Self-Portraits

In this online oil painting course we will think about how we can question the role of portraiture in our work, a most enduring subject for an artist seeking to represent the physical and the psychic condition of being human. Delve into the possibilities of the portrait through the materiality of paint, graduating from quick studies to sustained portrait poses, working both from the mirror image and the model. 

Emphasis will be placed on mark making, tone, colour mixing, temperature, how to glaze with oil colour in layers and how to paint directly. Students are invited to test out methods and build a strong foundation in techniques and processes of oil painting. Across the course students will move intuitively towards processes most relevant to their individual practice.

With a balance of careful study and playful intuition we will explore the structure of the head, composition and character - taking inspiration from artists both historical and contemporary, from Fayum portrait artists, via Alice Neel, to Chantal Joffe. Students receive tailored tuition and advice and benefit from working in a community - participating in group discussions and learning from each other’s working styles. Suitable for beginners and experienced painters.

This course is for students 18 and over. 

Unfortunately, we do not offer concessions on our Summer School courses.

All of our course rates are subsidised and we also offer a comprehensive concessions scheme on our term-time courses. View all course fees and concessions.

Featured image by Pollyanna Johnson