The modern portrait with artist Jesse Leroy Smith


The portrait continues to be an enduring and powerful subject for artists to this day. This fascinating three day course will help students to develop their own response to portraiture with the choice of using a variety of source material from historical figures, popular culture, friends and family to self-portraits or the imagination. A variety of materials and processes will be used during the course from drawing and painting through to collage and the use of a polaroid camera. 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, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud to David Hockney, Luc Tuymans, Jenny Saville and Gillian Wearing among others.

With lots of hands-on work and a constant flow of inspiring exercises and examples of related artists’ work; this exciting course will give students an unforgettable immersion into the world of the modern portrait.


You can find our Coronavirus Risk Free Booking policy on the Home Page

Jesse Leroy Smith

Newlyn School of Art, The Old Board School, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 5AW

Please meet at Newlyn School of Art at 9.50am for a 10am start. Runs till 4pm each day.

All skill levels, from beginners to those with more experience. If you have any specific access or support requirements please give us a call at the time of booking to discuss your needs.

We would advise that this course is suitable for those of 16 years of age and upwards. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our students.

Please wear old clothes.

Please bring a packed lunch.

£425.00 including materials - fee payable in full at the time of booking.

If you are looking for a local place to stay, please browse our page for Accommodation in West Cornwall - Newlyn, St Ives, Penzance, Marazion, Mousehole B and B, Guesthouses, Cottages, Hotels and Hostels

You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation and transport where applicable. Although we do list local providers of accommodation on our Website to try to assist you in finding accommodation, you are responsible for contracting directly with the accommodation provider and when doing so (and when booking transport) you should make arrangements for cancellation whether that is as the result of a cancellation of a Course by us or by you and you should consider appropriate insurance.

Our full terms and conditions can be found here.

Once you have booked your place, you will be emailed with confirmation of your order. You will not receive anything in the post. If you find you have not received a confirmation for any reason please have a look in your email spam folder and feel free to call us if you are unable to locate our email confirmation and we will be very happy to resend any information.

22nd - 24th Oct 2021
  • 22nd - 24th Oct 2021 - sold out
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9.50 for a 10am start. Ends at 4pm every day. £ 395.00
1 place

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"Having attended numerous portrait courses over the years, I can safely say that this is a truly unique and individual course! The emphasis is firmly on the creation of ART (with a capital A!) – the idea behind the creation and how to do that to its best advantage, through composition, arrangements of tones and choice of colour palette, to name but three.

Fresh and exciting methods that test both student (and probably tutor!) keep it very lively and exciting, and the course seems very much tailored to the individual needs and strengths of the artists each time and is far from a ‘how to’, formulaic approach.

The use of books and visuals of old master works and contemporary portraits provides valuable context and Jesse is a very open and generous tutor, combining humour, encouragement and great knowledge, and willing to share his own practices and thought processes to engage others in a non-competitive, friendly yet professional environment.

I very much enjoyed the course, and thanks to all involved, especially the behind the scenes help in setting everything up so beautifully (and no doubt cleaning up thoroughly after us!)"

Julie, West Yorkshire
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.