Painting portraits: all levels

Course Dates: 16/01/20 - 19/03/20
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Luke Jones

This course is for students wanting to explore portrait painting from observation. Looking at proportion, tone and mixing colour, students will have the opportunity to use both acrylic and oil paint, with the choice of 2 portrait models in most sessions. You will be taught painting techniques relevant to portrait painting.


What is the course about?

The course aims to develop the skills needed to improve portrait painting. You will start by making preparatory drawings followed by making a tonal painting in acrylic paint. You will progress towards painting in full colour in acrylic and /or oil paint. Your tutor will guide you through the basics skills of portrait painting and if you already have these skills, you will be encouraged to experiment further and develop your work. Your tutor will teach you according to your individual skill levels.

What will we cover?

- Setting and recording poses
- Composition choices
- Lighting portraits
- Mixing colour in oil painting
- Many tips about improving portraiture.

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

- Successfully compose a portrait painting
- Mix oil paint more successfully
- Improve technical understanding of using oil paint
- Identify areas to improve on in your portraits.

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

Mixed ability class
Your tutor will work with at your own pace and level.

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

- Optional homework will be set
- Group exercises
- Individual practical work
- Most tuition will be one to one tutorials
- Some demos and slide shows / short lectures will be included in the class.

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

Basic materials are provided.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

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

Experimental approaches to portraiture
Anatomical life and portrait drawing studio
Contemporary portraiture studio: all levels
Drawing and painting traditional portraits: all levels.

Tutor Biographies
Amanda Bracken Tutor Website

Amanda Bracken started her teaching career at the Serpentine Gallery, researching, developing and delivering projects to a range of audiences, which illuminated the art work on show in the exhibition programme, including a teachers’ pack for the Bridget Riley exhibition. She also gained substantial experience developing projects and workshops within the education departments of The Drawing Room, the Estorick collection, The National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria Miro Gallery in particular Alice Neel: Portraits. Bracken holds an MA in Fine Art gained at Central Saint Martins. She also holds a BA in joint Art/Dance and a PGCE gained at Goldsmiths College London. Brackens paintings, drawings and installations have been selected for exhibitions in London and nationally including the Drawing Room, ASC Gallery, C and C Gallery and Atkinson Gallery Millfield. ‘I am interested in colour and form in all its permutations and the qualities of the substance of painting and drawing-the figurative, the abstract and the in-between. Citylit has a diverse Art department where I can use my experience to stimulate students to develop their own work'.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

This course has now started

Course Code: VM934

Full Thu, day, 16 Jan - 19 Mar '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £349.00
Senior fee: £279.00
Concession: £213.00

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.