Online Master Copy Course


Out of stock

Online Virtual Class

Out of stock


Online Master Copy Course 

6 morning course
Dates to be announced
9.00am – 12.30pm
Cost = £270


This online master copy course is part of the curriculum from the One Year Painting Program. If your interested in taking part in the program and would like to see if this would suit your needs then this workshop will give you a glimpse of Louis Smiths teaching method and the facilities on offer.

Aim of the course
To reproduce John Singer Sargents portrait of Carolus Duran using the limited palette. Learn how to get the most out of the limited palette by using both opaque and glazing techniques. View our new virtual class layout.

Students will gain an insight to the methods used by John Singer Sargent

  • How to set up a palette
  • How to get the most from a limited range of colour
  • How to model the form of the face using warm and cool hues
  • How to create depth using complimentary colour
  • Glazing techniques.

Note, this is not the Terra Verde technique using a green underpainting to be followed by layering glazes to build up the finished image, this process would take months due to the amount of time it takes for each layer to dry.

1st week –
Morning, organising the palette, colour wheel and value chart in the morning.
Afternoon, begin John Singer Sergeant Master Copy complete drawing stage.
2-3rd week
Working on master copy to finish

Lesson 1 Morning – Colour Theory

Organising the palette
The palette is organise by dividing it up into the warmer colours on the left hand side and the cooler colours on the right hand side of the palette.

Each colour is  broken down into 3 values by adding white for the middle and light tones which helps to mix the colours of the face with more accuracy.

Colour Wheel
This is a useful exercise to help students understand the potential of using black as a blue pigment. Most black pigments are a low chroma blue which is apparent when placed alongside its complimentary colour. Students also learn how black works when mixing it with the cadmium red and yellow ochre to achieve secondary and tertiary hues.

The limited palette has an harmonious colour range as all the colours are mixed from low chroma primary colours. Most beginners invest in high chroma colours which look nice on their own but when used to create the illusion of form are difficult to control and can result in an over saturated mess. This method promotes a disciplined approach to mixing colour as it challenges the student to get the most out of a limited range of low chroma colour.

The wheel can be used as a complimentary colour reference as all the colours on the opposite side of the wheel are complimentary to one another.

Value Chart
The value Chart helps the student to understand the tonal value of each colour and how to add complimentary colours to extend the value range while maintaining the depth of colour.

Each colour has its own tonal value from 1 to 9,

  • White = 1 value
  • Blue Black = 9 value
  • Yellow ochre = 3 value
  • Orange = 5 value
  • Cadmium Red = 6 Value
  • Purple = 7 Value
  • Green = 6 Value

Free PDF Download of the Steps Covered in the Course

Download the steps covered in the course. 

If you are interested in the workshop or would like to use the illustrated steps of the online master copy course for your own use then download the PDF below.

Free PDF of the Steps

Online Master Copy Course

Lesson 2 – Begin Master Copy

The afternoon will be dedicated to working on the Master Copy. Taking the painting to the shadow shape stage. Louis will be demonstrating each step for the class to follow as seen in the Free Master Copy PDF.

Steps covered

  • Placement-Composition
  • Plumb Line – Proportions
  • Construct and Articulation of the Features
  • Shadow Shapes

online master copy course

Lesson 3 Full Day – Underpainting

We will be setting up ready for glazing on week 3. Allowing a week for the paint to be dry enough to start the glazing process. Main emphasis will be on colour temperature, learning how to describe the form of the face using warm and cool hues.

Steps Covered

  • Darkest dark
  • Large Areas of Colour
  • Lightest Light- Big Form Modelling
  • Basic Planes of the Face
  • Smaller Planes of the face

Lesson 4 – Glazing

We will be taking the painting to its conclusion. Using the Glazes to illustrate the luminous areas of the painting. To squeeze as much chroma out of the limited palette as possible.

Steps Covered

  • Background Glaze
  • Jacket Glaze
  • Shirt Glazed
  • Hair Glazed
  • Transition of the Face – Beard
  • Finishing the Shadows
  • Finish Eyes
  • Finish Nose and Mouth
  • Finish the Forms of the Face

Louis Smith will be your teacher for this course