The Comprehensive Portrait Course covers the very basics to produce a portrait in just eight weeks and if you enjoyed the process then this Improving Portraiture Skills Course is an opportunity to keep practising and painting more portraits as we learn so much from each one we tackle! As well as consolidating what we learned on the first course, this course aims to help you advance more of your own personal style by looking at the works of a few great artists both past and contemporary. We have a fantastic advantage of being able to study great works of art across history and gaze first-hand at the master strokes of painters throughout the ages so in this course we will draw on our collective knowledge and discuss artists' work that can inform and inspire our own. The results as you can see below are a varied selection of experimental portraits in different mediums. 

NEXT COURSE: Please contact Kate if you are interested in coming on this course.

COST: £258 for 6 classes of 3 hours. Includes fee for hiring a model.

Course Outline Example

Week 1 - Planning, composition, style and the use of line - Ingres, Van Gogh, Picasso

Week 2 - Chiaroscuro - the importance of light and dark - Caravaggio, Rembrandt

Week 3 - Using colour - Rosetti, Seurat

Week 4 - Gesture and alla prima - Frans Hals, Singer-Sargent, Scheile, Munch

Week 5 - Paint that describes form - Rembrandt, Freud.

Week 6 - Environment, props and decoration - Gainsborough, Vermeer, Klimt

Materials List

Cartridge paper or sketchbook; paper and canvas at your preferred size; paints or pastels (basic colours ie. Cadmium Red, Crimson Red, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Titanium White and Mars Black plus Burnt Sienna, Paynes Grey and Flesh Tint)); mixing palette; a selection of hog hair and synthetic brushes to include a rigger; palette knives (optional); a board, table easel or easel; jars for water; HB, 2B, 4B and 6B pencils; charcoal & chalk or black and white pastels; long ruler; T-bar or set square; eraser; kitchen towel; protective clothing/apron; photos of people you would like to paint and artists' work who inspire you.

Kate explains things really well and is always very encouraging.
— Peggy M
I enjoyed the discussions at the start of the class, the alla prima techniques and pointillism. A really good chance for you to build confidence and try to expand your skills in a supportive environment.
— Kay W
I particularly enjoyed the historical look at past Masters and more recent great artists. Kate’s classes are inspirational.
— Sally C
I spend a lot of time online each week looking at techniques, but it was fascinating to have live demonstrations of ‘period art’ brush strokes. My painting was not finished because I am rather slow but I improved my techniques as a result of this course.
— Heather G
Thoroughly enjoyable - my confidence has improved and techniques by 100%.
— Francis P

Student Galleries & Comments

Click on image or title to see a variety of students' work from each course

Particularly enjoyed painting ‘alla prima’ - exploring the different techniques proves very useful. The presentations are enjoyable and very constructive. The handouts are practical and concise - just the ticket. Kate has the knack of coaching each one of us individually without obvious effort - great experience
— Francis P 2015
Interesting course to explore many other works of art rather than just concentrating on one piece of work. I liked looking at the master artists’ work and seeing all the different styles. It has opened my eyes more than I expected.
— Anne G
Enjoyed ‘alla prima’ and discussions - wanted to explore different ideas and change styles/media. All demonstrations were excellent and thought provoking. A useful course that helps to draw all your previous courses together.
— Kay W 2015
I came along feeling open-minded and wanted to experiment rather than finish the course with one ‘masterpiece’. I liked the talking and looking through the work of professional artists and particularly enjoyed any occasion when we were pushed outside of our comfort zones. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring aspects of portrait painting and came away feeling inspired and motivated!
— Rebecca L
I have achieved much more than I thought possible. Fantastic course, excellent value for money and super tutor.
— Julie O
A really enjoyable, fun course with a great group of people. I learned a great deal and Kate is a fantastic teacher.
— Lorraine S
Well done Kate for this course and thank you for opening my eyes to the possibility of thinking outside the box.
— Marian W

Art Class 
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