April 28, 2023
Study in 3-Day Oil Portrait Workshop
In this class we talk about proportion of features and basic placement of the portrait on the
canvas. For this workshop I will be using photo references, yours or mine, to paint and discuss
how to paint your portraits and get a likeness. Drawing hinders some artists, so let us take that
out of the equation for these three days. I will be working on my painting in steps so that
students can practice and set up their paintings. I will give individual help throughout the 3-days.
• Learn basic color mixing for the portrait
• Integrate the figure with the background
• Practice the use of negative shapes
• Learn some tips to make your portraits realistic and manageable.
• Demos, discussions and helpful critics
• Let’s make it easy and have fun painting!
Most of the paint I use is from Gamblin. I mix my own burnt sienna. Bring whatever colors
you are comfortable with.
The paints with the star (*) I use most frequently for an oil portraits and think are very important. The others can be
other brands or whatever yellow, blue, or red. Try to have cool and warm tones of each. Use your judgement.
Any colors that are bold, I prefer Holbein paints:
Terra Rosa (not necessary but I like)
*Gold Ochre (I usually use gold ochre)
Cadmium Red light
Panels – I use oil primed linen Raymar boards. Wind River makes a good panel.11×14. Bring a few.
Thinners I use Gamsol, an odorless mineral spirit, by Gamblin but I also like Bob Ross’s. Just be sure it
Paper towels – I like Viva
Palette – anything you like. I use the one that came with my easel, but it needs to have enough mixing
Paint brushes – I use a variety of sizes. Bring what you are used to. I like a hog bristle for the beginning
and a little softer for the end of the painting. Flats and Brights: sizes 2,3,4,6,8,10 & 12, Brand -”Silver
Brush”. A rigger is in my box for rope lines and details.
Medium – I use Galkyd Light made by Gamblin to speed up drying. Bring a small container to put a little
Trash bags and a bungee cord or clip for holding trash. I just bring a used grocery bag.
Small sketch pad for notes and designing your painting with a 4-B pencil or pen.
Upright easel – I paint standing up or a high stool.