Portrait Drawing, Foundation and Practice cod 273

This course is specifically designed to give the students interested in portraiture, a solid foundation on the subject and practice a variety of  portrait techniques.

During the six-3 hour sessions of this online course, we will create a number of portrait drawings working from photos of casts and models, both male and female in a variety of dry media and techniques: graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, Conte crayons, reduction technique, Trois Crayon technique, pen and ink with water media washes.

We will also study the essential structural and anatomical aspects of the human head and face, measuring techniques, tonal rendering, effects of light on form, correct positioning of the facial features and their structural characteristics, a very important foundation for all the artists interested in portraiture, independently from style or technique they will use.

The students will also be encouraged to work from life preparing self-portraits or portraits of family and friends as homework assignment, continuing practicing the techniques studied in class and further develop technical skills.  We will also do a few copies of drawings by Old Masters, to study and practice their techniques.

The techniques we will practice during the course include those that are traditionally used for portraiture to obtain a good level of realism and detail but also quick preliminary sketches to study subject and composition, utilizing also modern approaches and materials such as markers, ballpoint pen and so on.


  • White paper: a pad of Strathmore Drawing medium finish or vellum or vellum finish, about 11”x14”; or a pad of Strathmore Bristol, same size and same surface; or a pad of Stonehenge Legion in white, same size.
  • Toned paper: you can wait to buy the toned paper as we will be discussing various types of paper in class, but these are a few possibilities: a pad of Strathmore charcoal, 11” by 14” or bigger; or a few sheet of Fabriano Roma, Fabriano Ingres, Canson Mi-Teintes, Hahnemuhle or Strathmore Charcoal toned.
  • Graphite pencils: traditional wood casing pencils or lead holders in gradations HB, B, 2B, 4B.
  • Red earth colored pencils, (such as burnt sienna, sanguine, Venetian red or Indian red) black and white.
  • Charcoal sticks in medium, soft and extra soft gradations. My favorite brand is Nitram, but you can use any charcoal brand you are used to. Do not use willow charcoal because it is too weak for our purposes. Compressed charcoal pencils in medium, soft and extra soft gradation, General’s is a very good and cheap brand. White chalk in pencils and-or sticks. Red earth pastels (Conte, Cretacolor or General’s).

Kneaded eraser, pencil sharpener, sand paper.

Availability of Courses' Recordings

As part of the services offered by the New Renaissance Atelier, you will have access to the recordings of the video sessions of all the courses you purchased for one year.
You will find the links to the videos in your Personal Video Library that has been set up specifically for you. Please keep this Video library link on your desktop or in your browser for easy access.

In case You missed a course You are interested in, You can purchase the recording of the video sessions, by clicking on the menu above

roberto osti
roberto osti
Roberto Osti teaches figure drawing and human anatomy for artists at the New York Academy of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Formally trained as a medical illustrator before becoming a fine artist, Osti has contributed his work to many science and art publications. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Europe and the United States. He is the author of Basic Human Anatomy (2016), an art instruction best seller and classic reference book. His latest book , Dynamic Human Anatomy has been released in March 2021.
Portrait Drawing, Foundation and Practice cod 273
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