Author: Amy Florence
In this 12-week course, you will study how to use the sight-size method in portrait painting. Instructor Amy Florence will introduce you to several materials needed for sight-size drawing and painting. She will teach you the basics of oil painting while demonstrating on a cast. Then, you will practice the sight-size technique on a portrait drawing and learn the preparatory steps for a portrait painting; they include creating value and color studies. Lastly, Amy will show you how to execute a life-size portrait painting and a large-scale portrait painting with hands. After this course, you will become more proficient with your handling of oil paints and be able to capture any portrait with confidence.
Week 1: Cast Painting
In week one, Amy will walk you through the basics of cast painting. You will learn how to utilize a mirror and a plumb line to make accurate measurements and find placement for the main features of the cast.
Week 2: Portrait Drawing I – Initial Block-in of Shadows and Lights
In week two, Amy will demonstrate the first session of a sight-size portrait drawing. You will learn how to use Nitram charcoal to block in the external contours and establish the shadow and light shapes.
Week 3: Portrait Drawing II – Developing Contrast and Adding Halftones
In week three, Amy will continue to work on the sight-size portrait drawing. You will learn how to recheck measurements, make corrections with a fresh eye, darken the shadows to create contrast, and use halftones to turn forms.
Week 4: Portrait Drawing III – Making Final Adjustments and Refining
In week four, Amy will complete the sight-size portrait drawing. She will teach you several ways to refine the portrait, such as adding a variety of marks to the background, designing the shape of the collar, and adjusting the expression of the face.
Week 5: Creating Value Study
In week five, Amy will teach you how to create a value study for a portrait painting using the sight-size method. While creating a life-size work of art can be overwhelming, you will learn how to focus on one aspect of the painting process; making a value plan.
Week 6: Creating Color Study
In week six, Amy will demonstrate how to create a color study for a portrait painting using the sight-size method. You will learn to paint an under life-size portrait with a limited palette; this helps simplify the mixing process of oil paints.
Week 7: Portrait Painting I – Initial Block-in of Shadows, Lights, and Facial Features
In week seven, Amy will teach you how to create a life-size portrait painting using the sight-size method. During the first session, you will focus on getting accurate measurements, establishing the placement of the facial features, and blocking in the shadow and light masses.
Week 8: Portrait Painting II – Adding Information to the Hair, Garment, and Shoulders
In week eight, Amy will teach you how to further develop a life-size portrait painting using the sight-size method. You will focus on designing the shapes of the hair and the folds of the garment to help guide the viewer’s eyes to the focal point.
Week 9: Portrait Painting III – Glazing and Rendering
In week nine, Amy will teach you how to complete a life-size portrait painting using the sight-size method. Here, you will focus on making corrections to the colors and adding refinements. Amy will teach you her technique for glazing.