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Drawing: the portrait examined

Weekend-long practical course

Short courses

● Fully booked

29—30 April 2017

Sir George Clausen RA, Study of a female head, portrait of the artist’s daughter, ca.1935.

Pencil on wove paper. 27.60 x 20.80 cm. Given by Hugh Clausen, 1970 Photo credit: © Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Artist Alan McGowan will lead this two-day practical course examining fundamental approaches to portrait drawing, including the form, structure and anatomy of the skull and neck; describing features, measuring, representation and likeness.

The portrait is perhaps the most challenging and compelling subject for the representational artist, encapsulating both uniformity and yet seemingly infinite variety. It challenges us both in the elusiveness of our subject and in the language of drawing that we employ in the attempt. Portraits fascinate through their expressive content and their dual manifestation of both the sitter portrayed and the sensibility of the portraying artist.

This course will look at the main anatomical structures of the head and facial features that underlie the surface forms. We will discuss how they relate to one another as a fundamental basis on which to build a portrait. Working from life models each day, the group will also address the main themes in drawing such as light and shade, tonal relationships, proportion, likeness and mark-making, relating these activities to works from the RA Collection.

The first day will begin with a number of shorter studies from the life model, examining form through a variety of approaches and monochrome drawing materials including willow charcoal, conté pastels and pencil. It will continue through the second day with two longer poses, giving students time to develop more sustained and individual works.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

29—30 April 2017

The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools

£420. Includes all materials, lunch and a drinks reception.