Explore portraiture

Course Dates: 30/04/22
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Looking at contemporary portraits for inspiration, you will use a variety of exciting approaches including painting, collage and exploring the relationship between the artist and the sitter. Come with an open mind to enjoy experimentation and a range of ideas in creating compelling images of the human head and form.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £79.00

Course Code: VM910

Sat, day, 30 Apr - 30 Apr '22

Duration: 1 session

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course aims to examine the roles and shifting positions of the portrait within modern and contemporary art.
"Contemporary Portraits" will propose a series of practice based sessions exploring mixed media drawing, collage. photography and painting alongside preliminary talks, demonstrations and group discussions.
We will use life models, photographs and media based imagery as principle sources in which to instigate, investigate or indeed interrogate our subject.
Modern and contemporary portraiture is still a highly vibrant and communicative enterprise in todays art, the gaze of the known/unknown sitter still fascinates.
Contemporary portraiture reveals the modern psyche, touching on issues of fame, gender, religion, politics, race or sexuality as well as offering us a compass of humanity, a memorial of lost eras, a snapshot of now, a keepsake of love or finally, a reminder of our own mortality.

What will we cover?

- Practical workshops will involve an abundant use of drawing, painting, mixed media, mono-print and collage.
- An examination of mark and line in relation to fleeting glimpses and image construction.
- A look at structure, scale and anatomy as a means of unveiling the mask.
- The use of tone, light and cross hatching in the art of rendering flesh and form.
- Mono-print as a means of spotlighting celebrities, heroes, villains and loved ones.
- Heads of consequences in relation to collage, identi-kits, the exquisite corpse and death masks.
- Gesture, expression and the human condition through the frame of mixed media drawing.
- Likeness and the art of palette mixing.
- Myth and morphology through shape shifting and colour.
- Memory and the pursuit of ghosts.
- The art of keepsakes, tablet painting and farewell portraits.
- Talks on Contemporary portraiture with an emphasis on "Who's looking at Who Now" and the intricate relationship between the artist, the sitter and the spectator within a contemporary context.
- The optional construction of an ongoing "Head Notebook".
- Group "Talking Heads" discussions.
- Text and titles within the context of contemporary portraiture and communication.

This course concerns contemporary practice and debate. As such you can expect to be stimulated and challenged by some of the ideas and images discussed.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Work confidently with a wide range of mixed media, drawing, painting, mono-print, collage techniques and skills.
- Understand the significance of materiality upon the making and meaning of the subject.
- Develop a "Head Notebook" and be able to understand, grasp and talk "Heads" in Contemporary Art.
- Experiment with diverse ways of both making, looking at and presenting portraits both on and off the wall.
- Reflect on the important relationships between the gaze of the artist, the subject and the spectator.
- Understand the use of text and titles alongside the contemporary image.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is open to all though some previous experience in drawing and painting is advisable though not essential.
Bring an open mind.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will be primarily practical with one to one tuition, exercise, demonstrations, informal lectures and group "Talking Heads" discussions.
You are invited to initiate a "Head Notebook" to record artist names and experiment with various techniques and approaches during the intervening weeks. This is optional.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Basic materials will be provided. The tutor will advise you what to bring in from the mixed media cupboards of home with regard to collage and photography.


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit Year of the Figure and Portrait, City Lit Fine Art Course, Contemporary Painting Studio, Painting Techniques, Life Painting Studio, Drawing and Movement, Performative Life Drawing: A Theatrical Approach and many other courses please see brochure or website for details.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.