Learn to paint the figure from life using techniques based in the classical tradition. The course will help you transition from figure drawing to figure painting, working in monochrome and then full colour oil paint.
Learning to paint the human figure provides a fantastic introduction to painting in oil whatever your preferred subject matter. Figure painting is demanding and this course will push your observational and technical abilities to new levels. As well as developing your abilities working from life, there is also plenty of practical painting information included about how to use oil paint, mediums, painting grounds and brushes. It’s all designed to help you get the most out of this amazing medium and incorporate it effectively into your work. The delicate control of colour that working from the figure demands is invaluble in almost all painting situations. You’ll cover a lot over the three days including:
- Gesture & Proportion – Getting the basics right
- Chiaroscuro & Tonal families using monochrome paint
- Limited Colour Palette – A simple but effective range of pigments
- Warm & Cool Colour – Rendering of skin ones
- Practical Oil Painting Techniques – Grounds, Brushes, Mediums & Layering
Figure Painting Course Outline
Gesture and Proportion
You’ll start with a strong emphasis on gesture and proportion to give your figure painting the best possible foundation. This will teach you several practical approaches to quickly laying in the overall size and fundamental gesture of your painting. The gesture drawing stage encourages you to look at the figure and distill the most important elements of the pose, finding its balance and energy while developing your powers of observation.
Chiaroscuro & Tonal Families
One of the most important considerations when working in colour is understanding tonal values. In the monochrome painting exercises you’ll learn to break down what you see into families of light, shadow and midtown. Starting with light and shadow, known as chiaroscuro, you’ll build a foundation for your painting then develop it further into halftone and reflected light. This will give your painting form and a convincing sense of light. The monochrome exercises will provide the basis for the following lessons dealing with colour while also developing your handling of oil paint and brushwork.
Limited Colour Palette
As an introduction to working in colour you’ll be shown how to use a limited palette. This basic set of colours allows you to mix a huge range of colour while still being simple enough to let you make reasoned decisions about the colour mixes in your work. You’ll look at the fundamental characteristics of each pigment and how they combine to best effect. This knowledge is central to creating vibrant colourful paintings and avoiding the pitfalls of ‘muddy’, indistinct work.
Warm & Cool Colour
The final stage is painting the figure in colour armed with what you’ve learnt about gesture, proportion, value and the limited palette. You’ll look at colour in a practical sense, working particularly on colour temperature and how this relates to skin tones. Keeping the colour mixes clean and in the correct value range helps create vibrancy in your work which you can carry over into your painting whatever the subject matter. The delicate control of colour that working from the figure demands is invaluble in almost all painting situations.
Practical Oil Painting TechniqueOn top of the observational skills you’ll learn, there will be lots of information about how to use paint and mediums effectively. The correct use of paint and it’s associated mediums makes this demanding subject much more manageable. You’ll gain plenty of useful tips and knowledge which will help you expand your technique including:
- Different painting supports, grounds their uses
- Layering you work using the ‘fat over lean’ principle
- How to use painting mediums to best effect
- Good brushwork to keep you in control of your paint
Essential Info & booking
- Course Length: 3 days
- Dates: TBC – Get in touch if you’d like to be kept up to date with course dates
- Hours: 09;45 – 16;30
- Location: Northern Realist Studio – Map
- Materials: Charcoal & Oil Paint (Use contact form to request list)
- Price: £195