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Learn how to paint a realistic portrait using traditional painting techniques.

with G Caruso

The genre of portraiture is as timeless as painting itself. The portrayal of the human face creates a deep psychological connection between the artist, the painting and the viewer. Go deep into the techniques, as well as meaning, or portrait painting. You will engage in two distinctive approaches to portrait painting: a more expressive self portrait and a carefully planned realistic portrait. The self portrait technique is a more modern approach, drawing inspiration from painters such as Maria Lassnig and Vincent van Gogh. The layered painting will emerge through a series of glazes, relying on a technique mastered by artists such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt. 

This online workshop will cover the foundations of portrait painting, including:

    • Basic facial proportions and rendering facial expressions.
    • Management of tonal values and chiaroscuro in order to achieve realistic forms and convey light source.
    • Mixing and choosing colors to render skin tone in a natural way and organizing your color palette to achieve a unified color world.
    • Color blending and brush technique.

The painting techniques learned during this workshop are applicable to any opaque painting medium. You can use gouache, acrylics or oil. Every student will be able to use the medium they prefer and receive individual feedback on the process. Live-demos throughout the workshop will show how to render details such as eyes, nose, lips, and hair texture. 

Portrait Painting Projects:

    • Self-Portrait: Paint a self-portrait using the alla prima technique. Alla prima is a wet into wet technique that can be accomplished in one sitting and is used for its direct and expressive quality. 
    • Layered Portrait: Learn to plan and execute a layered portrait painting from start to finish; from how to choose a good reference image (can be a photo) to capturing likeness. 

Skill Level: this workshop is suitable both for beginners as well as more advanced students.

Our Online Workshop Format:

    • Livestreaming classes take place via online video conference (using Zoom). The instructor conducts live demos with step-by-step instruction so that you can work together in real time. You also have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback during class time.
    • We keep class sizes small and the atmosphere is interactive and supportive.
    • Finish exercises or practice at your own pace, at home, outside of class time.
    • Receive individual feedback on your completed work and exchange comments and questions with the instructor and your fellow workshop participants in an encouraging environment.
    • Find supplemental material and watch the progress of other participants by visiting the workshop Dropbox folder in between classes.
    • Recordings from each week’s livestreaming session are available in case you miss a class or want to review a demo.


2023 dates coming soon… Please email if you are interested in this workshop.

6x Fridays from 6-8 pm CET
(6pm in Berlin, 12pm in New York, 9am in San Francisco, 5pm in London)

Cost: 185 Euros
(includes VAT)