New Zealand Community Education Centres

Face-to-Face: Drawing and Painting a Portrait

Creating a portrait can improve artistic skills for anyone – whether experienced artist or absolute beginner. This course emphasises individual choice of medium and subject, introducing some easy-to-absorb seeing skills to apply in a likeness of your favourite person – or animal!


Using a few “easy-to-understand and apply” techniques, our experienced tutor and artist will show you how to improve your ability to “capture a likeness”. Emphasis is on the individual choice of portrait but there will also be plenty of opportunity to practise drawing from a live person! Along the way we will select some unique artists who have taken portrait as a favourite subject and apply some of those techniques to our own work.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
• Understand and apply some standard proportions for drawing the face (human or animal)
• Demonstrate how to use those proportions to compare standard measurements with individual faces
• Use a chosen medium in a wider variety of ways and choose another to develop
• Draw on an appropriate seeing skill to develop a particular part of the portrait
• Recognise and apply some ‘signature’ features of both realistic and expressionist portraiture
• Complete at least two finished portraits

Initial paper and pencils included but feel free to bring along other drawing or painting materials you enjoy using, plus a photograph or image to use as a subject. 

Note:  Courses need a minimum number to go ahead so if we don't have enough enrolments a few days before the start date, we have to cancel. We'll let you know by email so please check yours regularly. If you need to cancel your registration, here are our terms and conditions: "What You Need to Know".

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