Painting: The Fundamentals of Portraiture


COURSE DATES: Mondays, 16th September - 25th November 2024

TUTOR: Julia Hawkins ROI NEAC

DAYS: 10

TIMES: 10:30am – 4:30pm

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Ages 18+, All Levels

FEE: Early Bird: £607.50 / Standard Price: £675

LOCATION: Bankside Campus, 185 Park Street, SE1 9SH

This course is a revision course for students with some experience of portrait painting. It examines fundamental aspects of portrait painting to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the techniques and skills required. You will analyse form and colour, consider again the handling and mixing of colour, and how it applies to portrait painting

Your tutor will support you fully throughout the course in both group sessions and one-to-one, providing regular feedback, critique and constructive advice.

Students will be able to: 

  • Develop knowledge of different stylistic approaches to portraiture, past and present, analyse the work of others and apply findings in their own work. 
  • Analyse, mix and apply colour in a practical and precise way, including for skin tones.
  • Find solutions to the problems of arranging a subject with reference to the paintings of the past.
  • Understand the structure of the head and convey depth through the use of tone and colour.
  • Understand the head in relation to the space around it and create balanced compositions. 
  • Apply safe-working practices at all times. 

This course is part of our Elective Skills Workshop series. You will be studying alongside students from our pre-degree and degree programmes. Check out the Elective Skills Workshops currently available.

*The Early Bird discount ends on the 8th of July and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Recommend booking by: September 2, 2024

All Levels

All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish. This means an student from the following experience levels can join this course:


Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience.

Beginner +

Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium.


Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.


Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.


The Academy is a white spirit and turpentine free environment and only odourless spirits, such as Zest-it or Sansodor, are permitted on the premises. Students must provide their own spirits, which can be recycled for longevity. 

We request that you bring 2 small jars (one with a lid, one without) to hold your spirit, and a few cloths rags for brush cleaning (such as an old cotton t-shirt).

Below is a list of what is currently required for the course. Please also check the ‘what to bring’ sections above. Your tutor will advise if further materials or equipment are required as the course progresses.

You will need to bring the following:

  • Sketchbook, 4B pencil. Eraser. Pencil sharpener/blade. Charcoal.  Putty rubber
  • Two dippers/or double dipper
  • Jam jar with lid.
  • Only odourless spirits, Sansodor or Zest-it (the Academy is a white spirit free environment)
  • Medium: Liquin Original by Winsor and Newton
  • Large palette (A3)
  • Rags
  • Canvas/board between roughly 16” x 12” and 20” x 14”
  • Primed Paper (with PVA) or canvas/oil painting pad (A3)
  • Paints: *
  • Titanium White or Michael Harding ‘Warm White’
  • Mixing White or Zinc White
  • Cadmium Lemon or Cadmium Yellow 
  • Yellow Ochre

                    o     Cadmium Red

  • Magenta or Rose Madder
  • Oxide of Chromium Green
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt Umber
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Ivory Black

* Artists’ quality paints are much better for mixing flesh tones. If you can afford an Artists’ Cadmium Red (or any of the other reds or blues) that would help. The earth colours are not such an issue.

  • Brushes: assorted sizes of filberts and flats – suggestions: Pro-arte Sterling white synthetic brushes and the Monarch brushes 
  • An off-set palette knife (metal)
  • Riggers: size 1 and 3
  • Hog filberts; sizes 2, 4, 6, 8

Certain materials can be purchased from the Academy shop during shop hours. Please check in advance of your class if the item you require is available, as the Academy may not have this in stock.

The Academy has created an ‘Oil Painting pack’  which contains part of the basic materials necessary for this component. Please either purchase an academy painting pack following the link below or source your the individual items from elsewhere;

An Oil Painting Pack (£75.00) contains:

  • A set of bristle brushes, both flat and round, suitable for either oils or acrylics
  • One tear off palette (9”x12”)
  • One palette knife
  • One bottle Zest-it (250ml) 
  • One 10″x 12″ canvas board
  • One 10″x 14″ canvas board
  • Two 12″x 16″ canvas boards
    8 Daler Rowney Georgian Oil paint tubes in: Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue, Coeruleum Blue..

Julia Hawkins is a contemporary figurative artist based in Surrey, UK. Julia’s modern impressionist style is well recognised and her works are sought after by collectors both in the UK and internationally. Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 2020 and the New English Art Club in 2022, she is a regular exhibitor at the Mall Galleries in London as well as in private galleries such as Jonathan Cooper Park Walk Gallery. Her work has been selected for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize. Julia also shows her works with Chelsea Art Society and in Surrey.

Bankside Campus

185 Park Street,London SE1 9SH

tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

This is our new purpose built accessible campus. Find more information here

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Southwark (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough Market”.



Students are welcome to use our Common Room during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.

Materials & Equipment

  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of each session where possible, with the exception of oil paintings and sculpture works.
  • We cannot store materials at the Academy, so please take these to and from your sessions.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.

£607.50 £675.00


Early Bird discount available until 8th July