Portrait Fundamentals


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This series of workshops with Christopher Clements will deal with three fundamental areas of portraiture: gesture, head structure and tonal value.

Read below for more details.

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In the first session, you will work on creating dynamic gesture in your portraits. The relationship of the head and torso create the gesture much like a life drawing. Capturing the stretch and twist
between the two adds drama to your work. It’s important to get this right from the start as it can’t easily be worked in later. You can use any drawing media you like for this one.

The second workshop will deal with creating structure in your portraits by exploring the planes of the head. You’ll look at the relationship between the features and planes of the head using gestures lines to keep everything unified. The knowledge of structure you’ll develop in this session leads into the tonal values dealt with in the final session. Again you can use any drawing media
you like for this session.

The last session we will look at tonal value and how it can be simplified into families of light, shadow and mid-tone. This session bids on the previous two and will help you create a solid, simple base for drawing or painting portraits and help maintain the unity necessary for rendering detail and texture effectively. This session can be done using drawing or painting materials.

Drawing Equipment List:

  • Drawing Board
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Pencils of your choice

Painting Equipment List:

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Burnt Umber
  • Bristle Brushes
  • Canvas or Canvas Paper
  • Linseed oil
  • Turps
  • Palette
  • Palette Knife
  • Medium Cup

Christopher Clements

Christopher Clements a professional painter based in Manchester, splitting his time between his own work and commissions. He is also the artistic director and tutor at Northern Realist Drawing and Painting as well as a drawing lecturer at the University of Salford. He studied Fine art in Manchester followed by classical drawing and painting in Florence. He has exhibited widely including with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Pastel Society and Royal Birmingham Society of artists.

Additional information

Membership Type

Member, Non-Member


Monday 7th October, Monday 4th November, Monday 2nd December, All Sessions