The portrait continues to be an enduring and powerful subject for artists to this day. This fascinating online course will help students to develop their own response to portraiture and their own use of paint, composition and mark making. A dynamic structured guide begins with inspiring drawing exercises that develop a connection to the model and then colour compositional studies explore expressive ways to create personality and emotion.

The course is pre-recorded so that you can take your time to really absorb the wealth of advice, practical exercises and demonstartions throughout the course. We would advise spending around 3-4 days working your way through the course. It is delivered over five two hour sessions. You have unlimited access to the course for 12 months.

There is a model throughout the various sections of the course in different poses. 

Simply click on the link we send you in your purchase confirmation email from which you can play the main course film which also includes filmed poses from the portrait model to work from.

Jesse Leroy Smith has been working with the portrait throughout his career with painting, photography, printmaking and film and he is a passionate advocate of the power of portraiture in a contemporary context.

The course will include looking at a number of modern and contemporary artists who have worked with the portrait from Van Gogh, Helen Scherbeck, German Expressionists, Francis Bacon, Chantal Joffe, Lucien Freud, David Hockney, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Jenny Saville and Marlene Dumas among others.

Jesse has compiled a bank of such artists on this pinterest board

He will work through the process of making a portrait himself and by sharing how studies, underpainting and reflections can really guide how a portrait unfolds, this exciting course will give students an unforgettable immersion into the world of the modern portrait.

This exciting online Modern Portrait course is aimed at anyone who would like to be guided to explore the portrait through a range of inventive drawing and painting exercises. The course is open to all level of previous experience and encourages a focus on the personality and uniqueness of a sitter and how the painting process, the materials used and elements such as composition, painting surface and colour for example can bring a wonderful richness to your depictions of people.

The course is broken up into a series of exercises and demonstrations which can be worked with at your own pace but we would suggest that it might be experienced in stages over 3-4 days ideally. The content is split into five two hour sessions. You get 12 months of unlimited use of the course.

Essential materials: a canvas/canvas board or wood/mdf panel, 8 sheets of paper A2 size. 4 basic acrylic colours, (yellow, red, blue and white), limited range of oil paints but acrylics or alkyd paints can be used instead (including red, yellow, blue, white, black), Lots of clean rags, white spirit and Turpentine or Turps substitute. Brushes, a palette, drawing materials. It’s preferable to have some colour pastels, a little linseed oil and watercolour or ink but more limited materials are ok.

Simply click on the link we send you in your purchase confirmation email from which you can see the course film. The course is packed with demonstrations and hints and tips and with lots of different poses by the model it is a great resource to be able to work through the film and go back over it as many times as you like during 12 months of access.

Accessible to all levels but a little previous experience of painting from a model may be useful.

16+ might be a sensible guide age


Our full terms and conditions can be found here.

This is a pre-recorded online course. Upon purchase you will receive 12 months of access to the course/session via a private link provided with your booking confirmation.

£ 145.00
Wordlpay - Payment Methods

E-newsletter sign up


'Thoroughly enjoyed the course and feel I have learned a lot to take my work forward. Individual advice was always on hand, well judged and helpful. Will definitely come again!'

Registered Office: Newlyn School of Art, The Old Board School, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Cornwall TR18 5AW. Tel: 01736365557.
Company Number: 7621257. Registered in Cardiff in 2011.