Life painting & portraiture

Life Painting & Portraiture — Courses Online & In London

If you’ve tried life drawing then developing a figure or portrait painting from life is the next exciting step. On these painting courses, students will be looking at artists, both historic and modern, who have mastered the genre to inspire and develop confidence in handling paint. Beginners will follow a structured course to build skills in life painting including structure and volume of the head and body and how to mix naturalistic skin tones.

Taught in our bright, open and modern Life and Portraiture studios, you’ll work from a variety of life models and poses to develop confidence whilst exploring the relationship between the artist and subject. If you wish to develop and build a larger portfolio of life and portraiture related works, have a look at our Year of figure and portraits course.

Courses available both in-person and online

At City Lit, you can choose to study in-person or online. Our fantastic in-person courses are taught in our attractive campus, located in the heart of Covent Garden, central London. Here, our students can benefit from a variety of services and resources, including our café and state-of-the art equipment.

Our online courses are tailored to give you a social and interactive online learning experience, allowing you freedom to study from anywhere and with like-minded fellow classmates from all over the country without the need to travel. Use the Location filters on this page to choose your preferred learning method. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

To arrange a conversation with our life and portraiture coordinator about your interests, options and courses available, please contact our Visual Arts team at visualarts@citylit.ac.uk

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  1. Portrait painting: two session pose
    Course start date:  Tue 13 Dec 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Amanda Bracken
    Develop a portrait from life: a structured course to build skills towards making a convincing portrait where the model keeps the same pose over 2 sessions to enable a sustained piece of work.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  2. Life painting for beginners
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tony Hull
    This short course is a great introduction to painting directly from the nude model. Using simple projects, you will



    explore different ways to represent the human form in paint, with encouraging, helpful guidance from an experienced tutor. Suitable for absolute beginners.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
  3. Life painting: an experimental approach
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Amanda Bracken
    Explore imaginative, dynamic approaches to painting the figure using a variety of approaches: be inspired by new ways of seeing and access innovative ways of approaching your life painting.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  4. Painting: colour mixing for skin tones
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ro Sylvester
    This course will teach you the skills you need to paint naturalistic skin tones when working from life which will make your figure and portrait paintings more convincing.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  5. Life painting: a contemporary approach
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Steve Wright
    This course introduces contemporary contexts for life painting using acrylic paints to explore different creative approaches using the imagination alongside observation of the model. Suitable for all levels but some previous life drawing experience an advantage.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Saturday life painting studio
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Luke Jones
    Develop your own ideas in life painting with reference to the work of contemporary artists and experimental approaches to painting. Ideal for students who have some previous life drawing/painting experience.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
  7. Oil painting: focus on portraiture
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Brian Sayers
    Learn to draw and paint portraits using traditional methods of observation, composition and mark making. Working from a variety of professional portrait models you will start with pencil and charcoal and progress on to oil painting.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  8. Artists eye: painting portraits
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Kate Hardy
    Paint a series of portraits inspired by the work of contemporary and historical artists. Learn from their individual ideas and techniques to introduce new ways of painting to your practice. The course can be used to progress from beginner level, or for experienced painters interested in portraiture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £129.00
  9. Portrait painting in a day
    Course start date:  Fri 31 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Luke Jones
    Paint a portrait from life in a day. Learn quick painting methods, how to construct a painting and how to render skin tones and light and shade to make a convincing likeness.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £99.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Life painting weekend: expressive approaches
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Aug 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Desmond Haughton
    Explore and develop a personal expressive response to life drawing and painting using a variety of techniques working from the life model. Explore mark-making, rich colour and dramatic contrast to explore and experiment with expressive and dynamic drawing and painting techniques, in response to examples of Expressionist artists styles and approaches.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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