Imprimatura Portrait Workshop

2 Day Workshop
6th-7th October 2018
Saturday and Sunday
9.30am – 5.00pm

Cost = £160

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Workshop Outline

If you are new to using oils then this is a good opportunity to learn how to control oil paint.  This method is the traditional transition from charcoal to oil paints taught in Classical Realist  Academies. First the student learns how to use the one pigment then progresses to using black and white,  a limited palette and then a full palette. You will be shown how to use;

  • Medium and Paint  Consistency of medium to paint for the dark and subtle light areas.
  • The Right Canvas  How to prepare a canvas to make sure the glaze skates across the surface
  • Brushes  Shorter stiffer brushes in the shadows and softer brushes in the lights so they don’t lift the paint off the surface.
  •  Wiping the Paint  Various methods of erasing paint, paper towel, brushes, cotton buds and a pencil eraser for the highlights.

Free Download of Imprimatura Steps

There are a number of ways of creating an underpainting and the three most popular are known as Verdaccio, Grisaille, and Bistre or Imprimatura.

For this workshop I am going to use the Bistre/Imprematura method.  Bistre is known as the “wipe-out method”.  A brown glaze is painted over a white canvas or board and then ‘wiped out’ to create the highlights. The shadows are built up using opaque paint and the half-tones are applied with a little colour on the brush allowing the warmth of the brown to show through the translucent glaze. It is the most appealing of the three techniques because of its simplicity, looseness and warmth. The effect of translucent brown glaze on a white background gives a warm glowing feel as opposed to the cooler Grisaille that mixes black and white whch produces a dead looking painting.

2 Day Imprimatura Portrait Workshop = £160.

Materials Deal = £20

Organisation is a challenge faced by most beginners.  The studio is equiped with work stations so that everything is at hand.  The students will be using the same paints and canvas that the teacher uses for demonstration, eliminating a number of problems that students have when they bring their own paints and canvas. Each workstation includes;

  • Palette and palette knife
  • Medium holder
  • Medium and thinners
  • Prepared canvas
  • Paper towel,  cotton wool buds and kneadable eraser
  • Paint – Burnt Sienna

(Offer does not include brushes – Information on dedicated suppliers shall be provided)


The studio is equipped with easels and work stations to make it more convenient for the students to organise their materials and focus on their work.  The studio is also lit with balanced lighting which can save a lot of problems when dealing with a colour palette.

Image shows the workstation, the Alla Prima painting it is for display purpose only.


Imprimatura Workshop plus Materials Deal

£180002 Day Workshop
  • £160 Cost plus £20 Materials

Imprimatura Workshop Only

£160002 Day Workshop
  • £160 Cost