Portraits 1

Course Dates: 12/09/22 - 14/11/22
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
This course aims to introduce you to this fascinating genre in both drawing and painting portraits through practical experience of the basic skills and concepts involved, including structure and proportion of the head and features, tone, colour, pose and expression.
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Full fee £439.00 Senior fee £351.00 Concession £285.00

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Course Code: VH497

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Full Mon, eve, 12 Sep - 14 Nov '22

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

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?

Through practical experience we will learn how to represent people in drawing and painting. We will also develop your knowledge of the basic skills and key concepts involved in making portraits. This includes learning about scale and proportion in relation to the human head, use of lighting, tone and colour, and a chance to experiment with drawing, painting and mixed media.

What will we cover?

Working directly from the model we will make observational studies and interpretations. We will learn about composition and key themes from the art historical traditions of portrait making. This will include the option of self-portrait projects and using narrative references in making portraits.

We will look at how information can be gathered through sketching, and brought together in a finished piece. There will be short projects around improving observational drawing throughout the course, as well as content structured to your individual needs.

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

• Develop your drawing from observation of the portrait subject
• Use painting techniques and colour mixing relevant to portraits
• Experiment with a range of compositions and make a selection
• Recognise narrative elements and art historical references in portraits.

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

Ideal for beginners but also mixed level.

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, exercises, demonstrations, informal lectures and group discussions.

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

Paint, brushes, boards and paper are provided. The tutor will advise you if you wish to buy additional art equipment.

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

There are a vast array of art classes at City Lit to progress onto, in particular other portraiture classes. There are also courses such as the art foundation and the City Lit fine art course from which you could progress to degree level.

Brian Sayers

Brian has taught painting and drawing for over 30 years in a variety of different places and at different levels. He graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1978 and has continued to practise painting ever since. He has had over 10 one-person shows in the UK and exhibited in Germany and the USA. Although still life has been a principle interest, he has completed a number of portraits and exhibited 3 times in the National Portrait Gallery and is often in the RA Summer Exhibition. Brian particularly likes to include knowledge of art historical contexts with practical work to extend students' methods and approaches. He aims to focus on painting from diverse periods and cultures to develop individual ideas. When teaching he hopes to encourage a liveliness of approach with a solid understanding of technical issues involved. This can, in his opinion, lead on to a more confident, personal approach.

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.