My Portraiture Class Changed (For The Worse)

Acrylic portrait with burnt sienna, blue and white

I tried a portraiture class after my first drawing class, I wasn’t really interested before but I thought I’d give it a go.

I enjoyed it much to my surprise. So I did two terms.

I was looking forward to the third term but when I arrived for the first class everything had changed, and not in a good way.


What went wrong?

The format of the class was the problem.

In the first two terms the format was: arrive, set up you easel, set up your paint palette, start painting the model. The teacher would wander round giving tips and advice.

It was a format that worked for me.

When I arrived this term all had changed. There was a new tutor, we had to sit at desks, the teacher gave us sketchbooks, she told us she was going to teach us to copy photographs.


I was so dissapointed.

It made me realise how much I had been enjoying the previous classes.

I loved the mindfulness and concentration of the process. You are really focussed for two hours on one face. Trying to get the proportions right, doing good brush strokes, getting the tone right, working  with colours.

There was a nice atmosphere too, relaxing music in the background, and a bunch of people going through the same challenge, and even though you don’t talk much it’s a shared challenge.

And it is a challenge, you just have two hours, the pressure is on. I liked that.

And, I enjoyed being stood up! I sit in front of a computer all day for my job, so I just like the physical act of standing while I practice art.

I was so disappointed!

I couldn’t stick it so I transferred to a life drawing class where I heard it was straight in and straight to the easel, much to my relief.

But still I remain dissatisfied. The life drawing class is good but it just isn’t the same. It’s more teacher guided, the model strikes more than one pose, and there’s a break in the middle. A break in a two hour class?!  That’s just lazy!

So, did I say I’m feeling disappointed? I am.

What can I do?

I’ve been wondering if maybe I could get together with other students and hire an art studio, and a model and recreate a tutorless version of the portraiture class.

Maybe there are other portraiture classes that follow my preferred format.

I don’t know I need to do some thinking, some research, some asking around.

It has revealed to me how much I enjoy doing portraiture.


Posted on: January 17, 2018