Portrait painting for Beginners and Improvers

Ref: C3128111

An introductory course to portrait painting in acrylic. Guided exercises will help you to see like an artist - in terms of tone, shape and colour, to bring dimension and realism to your work. Initial studies will be based on photographic references, to develop observational skills. By the end of the course you will paint a self portrait rendering skin tones and colours.

Course aim

Enjoy learning new skills at a relaxed and friendly pace. Explore mixing skins tones using a limited palette to create vibrant and naturalistic portraits in acrylic. Have fun and share ideas.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Observe and record tonal (light and dark) shapes within a portrait.
  • Mix a range of base skin tones using a limited palette.
  • Explore visual elements such as colour, shape and texture to create engaging and naturalistic portraits.
  • Build confidence in creative work by exploring art techniques / processes and sharing ideas with others.

How will I be taught?

  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • See Canvas for a full Materials List. Acrylic Paint Colours: Titanium White, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue Surfaces - cartridge paper, hardboard, mount board or canvas. Paper for sketching, soft pencil (6b), putty rubber Acrylic brushes Access to a printer?

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Portrait painting for Beginners and Improvers


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing