This fantastic new four day course with artist Jon Doran will equip students, of any level of previous experience, with the necessary tools to achieve a likeness of the portrait model with oil paint. These tools explored on the course relate to four main relationships:

1. The shapes of features in relation to each other.

2. the relationship between light and dark.

3. the relationship between warm and cool.

4. The relationship between soft and sharp edges.

The process Jon will teach will be a combination of both sight-size painting and comparative observational painting.

Particular focus to each of these will be spread across the four days, culminating in an 'alla-prima' (wet-on-wet paint) sketch that utilises all of them at once. A portrait artist who was well-known for using the alla prima techinique was John Singer Sargent. 

Much of the tuition will be one-to-one as Jon goes around the group and as such the teaching is very much tailored to the level of each individual student whatever the level of their previous experience. Two portrait models will be used at all times during the course.


After a powerpoint presentation and discussion on different approaches to portraiture, students will be introduced to the sight-size method and begin their first painting. That afternoon we will begin the painting using straight lines and constant analysis of the shapes of the face. The 2nd day using a light and shadow tone, students will paint a grisaille (tonal study), always focusing on developing the drawing. 3rd day introduction of colour and temperature, students will paint over the grisaille using the full palette, assessing both the tonal and temperature relationships as well as edge qualities. 4th day we will do an alla-prima portrait study - this is a direct, in-one-method, where after an initial tone sketch the students immediately use the full palette, assessing the tonal, colour and edge relationships.

A fantastic four day course with a leading oil painter which gives you all the building blocks for portrait painting in oil.


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

Jon Doran

The painting studio at Newlyn School of Art

Oil paints and drawing materials

Please meet at 9.50am for a 10am start at Newlyn School of Art, The Old Board School, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Cornwall, TR18 5AW.

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.

All paints, boards and other materials provided by the school. Please wear old clothes.

Please bring a packed lunch.

£495 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, Hotels, Cottages 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.

28th Sep - 1st Oct 2021
  • 28th Sep - 1st Oct 2021 - sold out
  • 1st - 4th Dec 2021 - sold out
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9.50 for a 10am start. Ends at 4pm every day. £ 495.00
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'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.