Portrait Painting | Workshop

Learn to paint a competent portrait using the sight-size method, starting with a simple charcoal transfer drawing through to a finished study in oils.

Date & Time

10th-14th August 2020 | Monday to Friday | 10.00-17.00


LARA London
371 Clapham Road
London SW9 9BT
Bring me there

Stephanie Kullberg will teach you to paint a competent portrait using the sight-size method, starting with a simple charcoal transfer drawing through to a finished study in oils. To maintain the highest quality teaching and results there are no more than four students per portrait model allowing each student to a achieve a sight size portrait within the five day course.

This course requires a minimum number of enrolments to run.

Aims of this Course

This course will address

  • Applying a knowledge of anatomy to a portrait
  • Understanding the proportions and planes of the head and using props such as the skeleton and skull to inform understanding and develop a deeper knowledge of the underlying structure of the form
  • Using sight-size to capturing an accurate likeness of the sitter and bringing out the best in your model
  • How to organise a complicated subject with a simple value range
  • Assembling an appropriate palette of colour and mixing accurate colour values
  • Paint handling and edge control
  • Controlling focus within portrait painting and overall design

The Facilities

Each class is limited to 8 students working from two models in sight-size. The Workshop Room is located within the main LARA London studio. Each model is lit with individual professional photographic lighting providing a steady, unchanging environment from which to observe all elements of portrait painting.


Please bring the following materials with you. Items marked with an asterisk are stocked in the LARA shop. Please call ahead if you would like to reserve items to ensure availability.

Oil Paint: The LARA Palette

  • White*
  • Mixed white (contains Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide)
  • Yellow Ochre* – PY 43
  • English* (PR 1CI) or Venetian Red
  • Transparent Red Oxide
  • Ultramarine Blue* – PB 29
  • Burnt Umber*
  • Ivory Black* – PBk 9
  • We highly recommend Old Holland, C Roberson, Blockx, Vasari and Winsor and Newton (cheapest option)

For Your Transfer Drawing

  • Tracing paper* – 1 or 2 sheets same size as canvas
  • Charcoal* – this can be willow charcoal or you can purchase Nitram charcoal from the school

For Painting

  • Balanced wooden arm palette* (if you are right handed, please buy a left handed palette, and vice versa)
  • Stretched linen canvas* or gesso panel 18″x24″ approximately. It’s advisable to bring 2 canvases of the same size to help transport your painting safely home.  If you know how to put down an imprimatura, please do so with a thin wash of raw umber as this will save you painting time.  Alternatively we will do a demonstration on the first day for those who are unsure.
  • Small (roughly A4 size) canvas cut-off, panel or canvas paper* – for colour study
  • Hog bristle brushes*  (overall a good selection of hog brushes should be used.  The more brushes, the easier it is to keep colour mixes clean. A variety of sizes is essential for handling large areas of the painting as well as small details.  However, a set of at least 10 ‘filberts’ and ‘flats’ should be enough to get started).
  • Flexible steel palette knife*
  • Refined Linseed Oil*
  • Winsor and Newton Sansodor* or Jackson’s low odour solvent (odourless turpentine substitute for painting).  You cannot use turpentine within the studio
  • Airtight metal brush cleaner or jam jar (jam jars must be clearly labelled with your name, course and solvents it contains)
  • Metal dipper* for medium
  • A good supply of kitchen roll for cleaning brushes
  • Tupperware tub for keeping paints overnight
  • Something to carry your wet paintings home with on the last day, for example, a canvas carrier*.  If you are unable to find one, another canvas of the same size can be strapped to the front to keep the painting safe while being transported.


“I learned so much in a week. I most enjoyed having the opportunity to watch Stephanie paint alongside the class as an ongoing demonstration of how to put what we were learning into practice” – Jennifer Chau, Portrait Painting Workshop student 2018

Bundle Discount

Receive a 10% discount on this course when you also purchase Stephanie Kullberg’s Portrait Drawing Workshop (previous week).

To take advantage of this offer simply add this course to your basket and then enter the following coupon code at the checkout:


Portrait Drawing Workshop (discounted by 10%) will be automatically added to your basket.

Learn from the best tutors

Stephanie Kullberg

"Learning how to paint is like learning how to play an instrument, you start with the basic techniques"


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