Develop A Portrait In Oils

Art & Crafts |
16th March 2024

Develop A Portrait In Oils | Sat 16 Mar | 11am-5pm | £50 | 16+ yrs | Tutor Cat Macdiarmid | Studio 3

Learn the basics of oil painting a portrait, from using equipment to handling the paint, representing tonal values to mixing and painting skin colour.  Photographic images will be used as source material for your paintings.

What will the class cover and how will it be taught? 

A fantastic opportunity to complete a portrait in one day.  During the workshop, you will be guided through using different oil painting equipment – from how to prepare surfaces, to using different painting mediums and mark-making in relation to painting a portrait.   You will learn to map out a basic underpainting in tones followed by techniques of building layers of skin tones and colours.

Through a combination of practical work, tutor demonstration and group discussion, you will:-

1)  Learn the basics of painting in oils.

2)  Expand mark-making with oil paint.
2)  Practice and develop painting a portrait oils.
3)  Develop the representation of tone and skin colour.
4)  Appreciate oil portraits by some other artists.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring:-

  • Oil Paint – Titanium White, Cadmium red. Yellow ochre, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber (plus other colours if you have them but they are not necessary)
  • 2 x primed (gesso primer) practice surfaces (can be anything including paper)
  • 1 other primed surface (any surface will do and it doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it is primed)
  • Range of brushes
  • Solvent/Linseed oil/oilmedium (for diluting paint)
  • Solvent (for washing brushes like white spirit)
  • Material rags
  • Glass jars with lids
  • Palette
  • Palette knife
  • Good quality image for painting (a large head shot with good light source is best)

When using art materials your clothes could potentially get dirty so you may wish to bring an apron and/or dress for mess.

About the tutor 

Catherine MacDiarmid

Catherine MacDiarmid is a local artist who has exhibited widely, including exhibiting in the BP Portrait in 2001/2, New Light Art Tour 2021/22 and 2023/24 (of outstanding Northern based Artists) and regularly at the Mall Galleries, London.  Catherine has won many awards for her art, most recently being the Watercolour Materials Award in the Jacksons Painting Prize 2023.  She is an elected member of The Lakes Artists Society and appeared in Sky Portrait Artists of the Year 2014, 2018 reaching the semi-finals in 2019.  As well as completing private portrait commissions her work is in collected internationally and she works from her studio in Kendal.  Her artwork focuses on the human form and portraiture in both drawing & painting.


16th March 2024

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