Portrait Painting, Secrets of Russian School | Natalia Eremin





This two-day workshop was  focused on the elements of form and how to achieve the illusion of three-dimensions.  By better understanding the importance of form the students  gained a new insight into value, color and likeness.


During workshop students :

-learned  step by step method of working on portrait from life based on Russian realism tradition; 

-learned main face and head proportions as well as basic facial anatomy;

-Found out how to capture likeness, individual character and what to focus on when you are working on a portrait; 

-Learned methods and techniques which will make work on the portrait easier.

-Done a small compositional study; 

- Created oil portrait (head and shoulders)


About the workshop

DAY 1 (10:30 am - 4:30 pm)

Work with a small compositional study:

  • Search for the best composition on a small scale canvas (10x15cm); common mistakes and how to avoid them  
  • Coloristic and tone solution of the sketch
    (demonstration ->checking for students progress)

Theoretical part

  • Theory of basic facial anatomy and facial proportions
    (demonstrational drawings and explanations)

Working on portrait

  • Scaling composition from small sketch into bigger canvas
  • Charcoal/pencil drawing on canvas focusing on form and structure
    (demonstration ->checking for students progress)
  • a thin neutralized underpainting
  • intro to color space by putting on a slightly thicker layer where the form will be built up
    (demonstration ->checking for students progress)

DAY 2 (10:30am-4:30pm)

Continuation of work on a portrait

  • Building up form. Definition of lighter lights, darker darks. 
  • Gradual increase of paint layer
    (demonstration ->checking for students progress)

Final part

  • Adding and drawing detailseyes/nose/lips
    (demonstration ->checking for students progress)

Discussion of the works done

About the artists....



Natalia Eremina was born in 1989 in Moscow , Russia.
Graduated from Russian Academy of Painting Sculpture and
Architecture in Moscow where she was trained in the Russian
tradition of realist art, and the technique of the Old Masters.
Her Diploma project was a full-length portrait of the Premier of
the Bolshoi Theatre, Nikolay Tsiskaridze. This received a very
good review and now is in the collection of RAofPSA museum.

She is a figurative painter doing portraits, landscape and still
life. She works from life, and goes to Plein Aire both in Russia
and Europe each summer. In 2016 Natalia won Tuscany Plein
Air scholarship.
She is a regular participant in Russian and international
exhibitions. Her work won first and second prizes at ArtWeek in
Moscow 2014 and 2016 . She was a semi finalist at the BP
portrait competition 2016.

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