Monday (Morning) x 4 | Portraiture from live model | Nicholas Robinson


Monday (Morning) x 4 | Portraiture from live model | Nicholas Robinson


Monday 9:30am - 2pm (4.5 hours)


March 25th, & April 1st, 15th & 29th

(18 hour course)

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every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.
— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Painting the portrait is one of the longest traditions in oil painting; from van Eyck, Titian and Velázquez through to Reynolds, Romney and Raeburn and up to our present day.

This 4 week class (18 hours in total) using a live model offers a wonderful opportunity for in-depth study of portraiture with Nicholas Robinson.

Nicholas is an FAA portrait drawing award winner, a Hennessy portrait prize nominee, a Zurich portrait prize nominee and a Royal Academy of Portrait Artists exhibitor.

This series of classes is designed to present the process of portrait painting focussing on creating realistic form and light as well as the likeness, personality and expression of the sitter.

Each participant will work from the model receiving one-to-one instruction over the block in drawing accurately, colour mixing, use of oil paints and materials, painting techniques and theory. 

Materials List

The basic materials list is:

• a canvas
(suggested size 40x30cm up to 90x50cm, but it's up to the individual 60x40cm is what I would use)
• Brushes
• Palette
• Palette knife
• Black/ raw umber /red /ochre /white oils
• Sansodor
• A preferred medium.

The detailed materials list is:

• brown baking paper (for storing oil paint)
• Vanish soap (for cleaning brushes)
• Sansodor (odourless solvent)
• Preferred medium (I would use linseed oil)
• Medium cup
• Wooden palette
• Palette knife
• Canvas


Michael Harding/ Old Holland recommended

1. Raw Umber
2. Ultramarine Blue
3. Titanium White
4. Yellow ochre or Old Holland Yellow Ochre Light
5. Cadmium red
6. Transparent Red Oxide
7. Alizarin Crimson
8. Ivory black


A range of about 10+ flat and filbert brushes in different sizes. From Evans art shop I suggest:
• Winton Flats 1 to 4
• Winton Filberts 1 to 8
• Winton Short Flat Brights 2 to 8
• Richard Oliver Flat Hogs 0 to 4
• Richard Oliver Hog Filberts 1 to 6 Also the Mr. Price Royal & Langnickel brushes are fine.
Get 2 packets of those and you’re away in a hack. (Pictured)
Plumb line (a 60-70cm piece of thin string or thread with a small fishing weight attached to one end but I will bring these)
• hand mirror
• black mirror (a piece of Lacobel black glass available from the glazier)



To paint a life size head and hands portrait like this Repin, you want about 90x50cm


For a life size head and shoulders alone like this Serov get approx 60x40cm approx. (I would suggest this size) For a smaller than life size head alone get about 40cmx30cm


About Nicholas

Florence Academy of Art prize winner and graduate.

Nicholas finished his post-graduate studies at Ireland’s National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in 2009, having previously graduated from the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork. Thoroughly disillusioned by art education in Ireland, Nicholas searched elsewhere and was introduced to the American ateliers in Florence, in which students study exclusively from life, by the Irish painter Gearoid Hayes.

Subsequently Nicholas quit his teaching career and attended the Florence Academy of Art, Sweden under the tutelage of the Swedish painter Joakim Ericsson. Nicholas received a pair of drawing awards during his time at the school in Sweden and returned to Ireland in 2013. He is now exhibiting nationally, and works and teaches out of in his studio in Dublin city-centre.