Portrait Painting Workshop

Paint a portrait in just two days! You will learn about:

  • The structure of the head
  • Light-and-shade patterns that are common to faces
  • How to draw and paint facial features
  • How to use the grid method
  • How to achieve convincing skin tones.
  • How to choose the best photo reference
  • How to paint hair, clothing, and backgrounds

You will work from a plaster cast and a photograph. Basic drawing skills required, as well familiarity with your chosen painting medium. All media welcome. Instructor will be working in watercolor.

Bring some photos of people that you would like to work with.


September 21 - 22, 9am - 5pm.  

Location: Burning House Art Studio: 14015 Pioneer Rd, Ste #10 Apple Valley, California 92307

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Day 1.

9am-12pm: Portrait Drawing Demo by Yevgenia Watts. Discussion of:

  • ·       Proportions
  • ·       Facial Features
  • ·       Planes of the Head
  • ·       Tilt/turn
  • ·       Light and shade patterns of the Head

12pm - 1pm: Lunch

1pm - 4pm: Students work with the plaster cast. One on one assistance by instructor.

4pm – 5pm: Critique / Q & A. Discussion of the grid method of drawing from photographs. Bring a couple of your favorite portrait photos to choose the best reference for your painting on Day 2.



Make the drawing from your reference photo (using grid method if you prefer). Make one or more value sketches of your chosen subject.


Day 2.

9am -12pm: Portrait Painting Demo by Yevgenia Watts. Watercolor. Discussion of: 

  • ·       Choosing light source and direction
  • ·       Skin Tones
  • ·       Specifics of painting from life and from photographs


12noon -1pm: Lunch 

1pm -4pm: Students work on their painting from photographs. One on one assistance by instructor.

4pm – 5pm: Critique / Q & A


Note: Depending on how Day 1 goes, we may have an opportunity to work with a live model on Day2.


What to bring to the workshop   (click for supply list)