Summer School // The Contemporary Portrait: Drawing and Painting

This drawing and painting course is taught by two artists each with a different approach to working from the head. Techniques and ideas from the work of both artists will inform approaches of drawing the portrait back in the studio.  Over the week, the course will offer an opportunity for a sustained period of enquiry, revision and experimentation through working directly from the model, and seeks to develop both perceptual skills and a personal language in response to the sitter. The first two days will focus on drawing and water-based materials, with an introduction to the use of colour; whilst the final three days will see the students working with oil paint, moving from a limited palette to an extended luminous primary palette. Referencing a broad range of contemporary and traditional artists from Hans Holbein to Lucian Freud, Alice Neel and Paula Modherson Becker, this course will explore the many facets of the drawn and painted portrait. We will explore how scale, depth, focus, tonal range, viewpoint and composition can affect the works’ emotional charge. All levels welcome including beginners.

Free charcoal, newsprint and masking tape are provided in the Studios, you can purchase cartridge paper at cost price. 

There is an added Co-Co Bello Solvent fee for painting courses which includes a 200ml pot of solvent to use during the course. Please note that no other solvents will be allowed in the studios, in order to protect not only those with allergies but all who paint within our studios. Co-Co Bello is a plant-based, natural & odourless oil painting solvent. It is a replacement for traditional solvents and thinners such as turpentine, white spirit & alcohol. Co-Co Bello is non-hazardous, non-flammable.

You will need to purchase and bring all other recommended materials with you; a material list will be sent out before the start of the course. 

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 Shawn McGovern