Paint a Portrait in Oils
Intermediate | 3 hours 45 sec
Paint a Portrait in Oils
Professional artist and storyteller Christopher Clark's favorite subject to paint is the light itself, and in nowhere is it more important than the portrait. Inspired by 19th century art and the Impressionist Movement, this class formally guides you through all stages of developing a portrait in oil paint. Learn about light, shape, value, and anatomy sculpturally, as you push and pull with charcoal and add and subtract paint. Begin with a charcoal study, then move on to underpainting. Then follow with blocking out general shapes with paint and then adding a few more layers of detail and fine-tuning. While portraits can certainly be challenging, they are also immensely rewarding. 
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Brushes - Christopher recommends several brushes for each size so you can have a different paint color on each brush and save time washing them
  • Rosemary Ivory Synthetic Bristle Brush, Brush shape: Long Flat, Sizes: 10, 6, 2, 0
  • Other brushes -  a few brushes for underpainting, like cheap chip brushes from a hardware store: 1”, 2”, and 3”, small liner brush, soft fluffly brushes for blending edges
  • Medium such as odorless mineral spririts, Gamblin solvent-free fluid, and solvent-free gel, or Galkyd medium and gel
  • Williamsburg oil paint in Titanium white, cadmium lemon, yellow ochre, cadmium orange, transparent oxide brown, transparent oxide red,
  • cadmium red medium, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, pthalo green
  • Canvas boards or stretched canvases - minimum size should be 11×14” and 16x20” is nice to have a little more room. Christopher is using 18x24“.
  • Palette - Christopher uses a glass palette. You can use any piece of 1/4” glass you have
  • Palette Knives - Christopher uses a Bob Ross palette knife (it has two edges on it, one long and one short) and a triangle-shaped palette knife
  • Paint Solvent - Turpenoid, Gamsol, and any kind of Oderless Mineral Spirits are all fine
  • Brush Cleaning Jar: Christopher uses a Silicoil Brush Cleaning Tank. You’ll need this or some kind of jar about 3/4 full of solvent.
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Drawing Materials including a paper sketch pad, charcoal, kneaded rubber erasers, foam brush, and spray adhesive
  • Easel
  • Apron
  • Brush Cleaner such as “Masters Brush Cleaner” or “Studio Soap”
  • Download the class PDF for this materials list with additional notes from Christopher as well as reference photos
Learn how to:
  • Paint a portrait in oils
  • Hold your paint brush
  • Start with a charcoal sketch to determine the shapes and values of your painting
  • Consider the importance of anatomy
  • Underpaint
  • Properly clean your brushes and palette
  • Develop your portrait in layers

What you'll get:
  • Unique video lessons on how to paint a portrait using oil paintings
  • 9 HD video lessons you can access online anytime, anywhere
  • Detailed supplies list
  • Step-by-step expert instruction from artist Christopher Clark
  • The ability to leave comments, ask questions, and interact with other students
Class PDF
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Class Reviews
10 users recommended this class to a friend
kathy cooper
You’re a wonderful teacher. Thank you
March 18
Tammy Jordan
Very much in details, the portrait is mirror image of the beautiful lady wow amazing
More than 3 months ago
rosiland henderson
great class
More than 3 months ago