Portrait Sketching Course

Northern Realist student portrait sketch in oil paint

Learn to create portrait sketches from life in charcoal and oil paint using realist principles over different timespans.

Whether you want to create stand alone sketches, studies for studio portraits or just enjoy sketching people, this course will provide you with an approach which will help you create accurate, well composed portrait studies while using your time as effectively as possible.

When working from life you often find that time with your subject is limited so it’s important to use the time you have available to best effect. On this new summer course Christopher Clements will show you how to sketch portraits quickly and efficiently in charcoal and oil using the comparative measurement method.

You’ll work in charcoal for the first two days before moving on to oil paint, firstly grisaille then limited palette colour covering a wide range of areas:

  • Construction and anatomy of the head
  • Comparative measurement
  • Composition
  • Planes of the head and tonal value
  • Efficient use of time
  • Sketching in charcoal followed by oil paint
  • Getting the most out of a limited palette

There will be an emphasis on giving your work a good foundation. You’ll study methods to create portrait sketches with well proportioned, solidly constructed heads, expressive gesture and good composition. As you work through the essential drawing principles necessary to create believable head studies, you’ll back them up with sound anatomical understanding.

Following on from these foundation stages you’ll analyse the fundamental planes of the head and how they affect tonal value. This will help give your work a three dimensional sense and a context for the rendering towards the end.

The various stages of this approach are designed to give you the structure and information you need to make good decisions, correct mistakes and build towards a lively final piece. At each stage you’ll learn about the materials you’re using and their most effective use in this context. You’ll be encouraged to develop your intuition to achieve good proportion reinforced with comparative measurement.

The class is limited to 8 students meaning you can work towards your own personal goals whether you’re looking to learn fundamental principles or push your skills from a more advanced position.

Course Details

  • Date: 6th-10th August 2018
  • Location: Northern Realist Studio, Manchester –  See map on the right
  • Materials: Drawing and oil painting media – use contact form / email info@northernrealist for full list
  • Course Length: 30hrs Hours over 5 Days
  • Hours: 09:45-16:30

Price & Booking

£295 Reserve your place with a £50 deposit on Eventbrite. The reminder will be invoiced separately and is payable a week before the course begins.

Book Now

Why not combine this workshop with any combination of the others and receive a 10% Discount?

1 Week £295  |  2 Weeks £530  |  3 Weeks £795  |  4 Weeks £1060

Follow the link to the page of each course you’d like to do and pay a £50 deposit for each one on Eventbrite. The remainder will then be invoiced with any applicable discounts and is payable a week before the workshop begins.

Other Summer Workshops

link to Northern Realist classical atelier summer workshops 2018 webpage

Link to Northern Realist Summer Figure Drawing Workshop webpage