This course has concessions available

Portrait: Evening

Explore portraiture working from the clothed figure. The course is for students interested in portraiture and in learning the subtle art of drawing and painting people. The aim is to draw and paint portrait, with students working from the model, drawings and photographs.

If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Who is this course for

All levels of experience and ability are able to attend. Each term will involve practical exercises designed to offer beginners an array of methods and inspirations. Veteran artists will by challenged by models offering different character, costume and context.

What does this course cover

The course will journey through technical and creative avenues. Students will be guided through steps towards breaking down the difficulties of the human head and body. We will also encourage lines of expression, so that each work has an individuality of both the sitter and the artist.

Topics covered through the course include: Structure of the Skull; Textures of Figure and Costume; Colour Palettes; Drawing and Painting with Different Materials; Historical Genres of Portraiture.

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

Students will develop various strengths, including-
An ability to create a portrait utilising the structure of the skull, with an idea of how each feature- eyes, nose, and mouth- relate to each other to create a face.

An understanding of a flesh tone palette through the mixing of basic colours.

Take inspiration from artists of the past, and use their approaches towards your own work.

An ambition to render the portrait beyond the head; through clothing, posture and surroundings.

A fluid approach to working from life, alternating between long and short poses.

Work within a collaborative process, reflecting on results with fellow students and models, we will explore how a portrait often has input from the sitter themselves.

What will it be like

The term will alternate between a series of shorter poses, over one lesson, through to poses held over three weeks. Our one week lessons, will allow a series of exercises to develop skills and ideas. Longer poses will allow experimentation with different media.

You will also be assessed at the end of the course in terms of your personal journey from the start of the course. The tutor will give you verbal feedback about your progress. There will be whole class reviews plus individual reviews.

Teaching methods: Visual and verbal explanation. Written handouts with illustrations. One-to-one teaching. Group discussions.
Learning methods: Hands-on practical activities and direct tutor input.

How students are assessed: Questions and answers during group discussions and one-to-one teaching.
Record of students' progress and achievement on an assessment sheet as they achieve the course objectives. Practical work produced is evidence of learning.

What else do you need to buy or do

Suggested materials:

For drawing: Pencils, charcoal, eraser, sharpener, paper (available for purchase at the centre), masking tape or clips.
Painting materials: A selection of colours, brushes, palette, canvas or board, rags, jars, Eco-friendly thinners if using oil paints (e.g. Zest-it). Please note students are not allowed to dispose of any thinners at the centre.

What this course could lead to

This course will prepare students for further courses in both drawing and painting.

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: and from the following websites:;;;;

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’