Acrylic Painting - How to start a portrait in acrylics - Beginners

Course intent

If you have considered painting portraits in acrylics, this workshop will be the perfect introduction. This workshop will guide you step by step to help to build your knowledge and confidence to start a portrait in acrylic paint. Enjoy the well-being benefits gained through working in a friendly, creative learning environment.

What will we cover?

Working from photographic imagery, the workshop will cover the basics of how to start to paint a portrait using acrylics. We will begin with background preparation before moving on to techniques for sketching out a face, mixing skin tones and then applying the subsequent layers of paint.

The workshop will be taught through a series of demonstrations, class discussion and one to one support.

To make the most of your session, if you are completely new to acrylic painting, you may also benefit from attending the ‘Acrylics from Scratch’ workshop for a complete detailed introduction to using this medium.

Where this course consists of more than one session you will find you make the most progress if you attend every taught lesson and complete any self-directed study opportunities provided.

Who is this course for? Is there anything I need to know before joining?

Beginners to painting portraits in acrylics.

As our courses are taught in English, please contact us if you have any concerns about your level of English.

What do I need to bring to the first class? Will there be any extra costs?

• A3 size sketch pad 250 gsm or higher suitable for acrylic painting (mixed media pads have a smooth paper surface which may be preferable to a canvas texture paper surface when learning to paint).

  • A set of artist-quality Acrylic Paints including both warm and cool versions of primary colours (packs are often sold this way). OR If buying paints separately then colour recommendations are:

o Ultramarine Blue

o Cerulean Blue

o Cadmium Yellow

o Lemon Yellow

o Cadmium Red

o Alizarin Crimson

o Titanium White

o Ivory Black or Mars Black.

o Yellow Ochre (Optional)

o Raw Umber (Optional)

These examples cover both warm and cool biased primary colours. It is important to buy artist quality paints from one of the reputable art brands to ensure good pigmentation.

  • Artist-quality soft bristle, short-handled paint brushes for acrylics. Essential brushes for the workshop are a Round brush with a pointed tip in either a size 5 or 6.
  • If you wish to purchase extra brushes then the recommendation is a size 3 and size 0 which are good to have for finer details. A Filbert brush (flat brush with curved edges) in size ½ inch or ¾ inch.
  • Flat palette or old plate (preferably white).
  • Water pot/cup
  • Kitchen towel sheets
  • Pencil, sharpener, soft eraser and a ruler.

Recommended but not essential:

  • Acrylic Paint Flow Enhancer (translucent or transparent liquid).
  • Slow Drying Medium/ Acrylic Retarder Gel (transparent gel).
  • What can I do when I finish the course?

    In discussion with your tutor you may like to progress onto our Powerful Portraits course or Acrylic Painting- Techniques courses where you can continue to build your skills.

    Additional information

    We welcome learners with additional needs and disabilities. When you enrol please let us know if you would like to discuss your extra support needs with a member of the Supported Learning Team who will then contact you as soon as possible. If you are enrolling within 10 days of the course start date, we may not be able to contact you before your first class. Surrey Adult Learning values and supports equality and diversity by promoting fairness and respect at all times.

    How to enrol

    You can't currently enrol online for this course, so please call 0300 200 1044 to express your interest or to make an enquiry for further information.

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