Portrait Painting

Portrait painting has a rich and fruitful history. In this class, students will be exposed to not only a brief history of the portrait but also the varying ways a portrait can be made. From alla prima to a more nuanced depiction using oils, a sound structure of painting the human portrait will be explored. Painting with acrylics will be allowed, but oils are encouraged.

Special Notes

This is an in-person class which will take place onsite at Fleisher. Please review our COVID-19 community safety policies for current guidelines.

Tuition Assistance is Available

To make our classes and workshops accessible to everyone, Fleisher offers tuition assistance every term so that everyone can join our creative community. Tuition assistance applications can be completed once registration is open by clicking here. The deadline to apply for spring term assistance is Friday, March 10; Notifications will be sent by Monday, March 13.

What you will learn:

  • History of portraiture painting

  • The structure and anatomy of the head/face

  • Alla prima techniques for portrait painting

Required supplies:

  • Oil Paints:

    Do not buy “Winton” brand. Do not buy colors with the word “hue”. Recommended: Utrecht, Gamblin, Windsor Newton, Rembrandt.

    • Titanium White
    • Lemon Yellow or Hansa Yellow
    • Cadmium Yellow Medium
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Cadmium Red Light
    • Alizarin Crimson
    • Cerulean Blue
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Viridian Green
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Raw Umber

  • Brushes: A variety of flat and round brushes in different sizes, small and large, bristle and soft brushes. Filberts, flats, rounds (shape of brush).

  • Palette Knives: Trowel type with bent handle, metal, 1 or 2

  • Palette: Wooden or Glass/Plexiglass. Rectangular shape. Disposable paper palettes are not good.

  • Painting Medium:
    • Odorless Turpenoid or Gamsol
    • Linseed Oil

  • Painting Surfaces: Can be canvas, or canvas board, canvas paper or gessoed paper as long as its compatible with oil paint.

  • Sketchbook (8.5 by 11 in, or 9×12 in or bigger)

  • Pencil, eraser

  • 2 glass or metal jars for turpenoid

  • Paper towels or rags

  • Mirrors