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Overview

Course Information

This is a part time study program teaching the complete process as taught on a full time course. We encourage self reliance because at some point you’ll be dealing with the challenges of painting a portrait on your own. The problem with full time study is that you can become dependant on the tutors, learning to make decisions in your own time will help to strengthen your conviction in the long term.
The principles taught on this course are the foundation of classical art techniques. Even if you just learn the basics you will see an improvement in your work. The class will be structured to accommodate anyone wanting to learn how to draw or individuals looking to improve their skills.

The Short Studies vs Long Studies

Each style has its own merit. The longer “Academic Study” is a highly polished piece of work while the “Alla Prima” study is more about suggestion. The danger with an academic portrait is the repeated measuring and checking which can stifle the flow of the artist resulting in a stiff, overworked painting. Alla Prima on the other hand is more spontaneous, no time for procrastination or second guessing, you have to be decisive and live with your mistakes. It tests the artists ability, any failings are easily identified which can be disguised with a longer study.

Rather than working on long studies we will be working quickly through each method and then repeating it until it becomes second nature.

The Facilities

Limited to 10 students per class. The studio uses both north facing light and balanced artificial lighting. It is also equipped with H Frame Windsor and Newton easels and work stations equiped with a palette, brush holder, brush cleaner, medium holders and kitchen roll dispenser so that everything is within easy reach making it more convenient for the students to organise their materials and focus on their work.

The Structure

RAMs approach to portrait painting is a simple step by step process, each step builds on the last creating a solid foundation of knowledge to fall back on when faced with the challenges involved with portrait painting.

Drawing Program Outline

The Drawing Program has been divided into 3 terms focusing on the Structure, Rendering and Interpretation.

  • Term 1 Structure. In the first term we will be focusing on the structure of the head. The Individual characteristics are complicated to draw so we create a basic structure before adding the features.
  • Term 2 Rendering. In this term we will be learning how to render the forms of the head. Observing the effects of light and shade and the visual problems it creates and how to solve them in a logical step by step manner.
  •  Term 3 Interpretation. In this term we will be looking at style. By studying master drawings and then applying it to our own work is one of the quickest ways to advance your own style.

Painting Program Outline

In the Painting Program is divided into 3 terms focusing on Underpainting, Limited Palette and Full Colour Palette.

  • Term 1 Imprimatura and Grisaille Underpainting. The first term will be divided between two types of underpainting, the first half “Imprimatura” using one pigment and the second half “Grisaille” using two pigments.
  • Term 2 Limited palette. In this term we will focus on a gaining control over a limited colour palette. We can expand our palette once we’ve learned to use the palette effectively.
  • Tem 3 Full Palette. In the third term we will be exploring the Full Colour Palette which has a much broader range than a limited palette, containing a range of primary and secondary colours. It lends itself well to the Alla Prima style of painting giving it a fresh vibrant look.

All the techniques taught in the program are a means in their own right and deserve to be experimented with. Zorn himself achieved some virtuoso results using a limited range of colour.

Why Our Method?

This teaching method has been proven from a variety of resources, mainly academic and the methods taught by Andrew Loomis, Bridgemann, Charles Bargue, Vanderpool, Harold Speed and others. Whatever your current skill, we can adapt our teaching to match your ability to help you  progress throughout the two years. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn the basics or an experienced artist looking to improve your skills, we can help achieve your aims. This program is a challenge but the results are worth it if you want to improve your ability.

Outcome

You will leave with a clearer understanding of the process involved when undertaking a portrait painting. Meet some new people to share with and hone you’re drawing and painting skills to a higher level.

Student comments

Louis is both a very talented artist and an excellent teacher who shares his knowledge freely. The course is a lot of fun and I learnt a lot. Highly recommended.
Dave Brindle
Absolutely excellent. Louis is a great teacher, whom is very patient yet also quite demanding with the pace of learning, so a positive challenge with a good amount of support, I suppose is what I’m trying to say.
Louise
The instructor teaches from the front, and then spends time with each student to ensure everything is understood and kept up to pace. Each stage is explicitly described and there’s no confusion about the technique. Though the learning is intense, there’s a relaxed and friendly environment, with plenty of tea and coffee to keep you going. I left feeling both inspired and much more capable, and I’m sure anyone wanting to attend will do the same!”
Niki Duffy