New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts

Registering now for our summer semester: June 4 - July 27

Portrait Painting

Instructor: Phil Sandusky

prerequisites: oil painting and portrait drawing

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In general, in any of my painting classes, I want to instill an appreciation of the whole through simplification. In portrait painting I will show that the likeness, and in general, the quality of the painting, will be improved more by strengthening the simplified statement rather than by adding little details. The human face is particularly illusive because it is the most intimately familiar object. The untrained eye sees it in terms of canned schema that seems to be hardwired into our brain, such as a line with two humps above and one hump below that represents a mouth. My goal is to teach the student to see these illusive features more objectively as color patterns. In time, after amassing a more appropriate vocabulary of pattern rather than line, the student will be able to communicate their experiences of the human face more expressively and convincingly.

The first week Phil will do a couple of quick demos from different angles. Students may paint after the first demo or just watch the whole time for both demos. Please bring a selection of canvases to the first class if you think you will opt to paint during the second demo (see supply list for a size range).

Click HERE for a list of supplies you will need for this class.