Portraiture with Mathew Lynn / Term Class

Portraiture with Mathew Lynn / Term Class
$424.2 Limited GST free
Portraiture with Mathew Lynn / Term Class

<h4 id="header-suitable-for-all-levels"><em>Suitable for all levels</em></h4>

<p>Choose your own adventure using your desired medium and approach in this portraiture class with award winning artist


If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.

Suitable for all levels

Choose your own adventure using your desired medium and approach in this portraiture class with award winning artist Mathew Lynn. Across nine weeks learn the traditional aspects of realism to achieve a technical likeness as well as how to evoke those intangible qualities that create a sense of someone’s being.

You may choose to move through realism more quickly and spend time experimenting with contemporary portraits. Mathew will help students learn to look at and ‘see’ subjects in less representational ways and combine elements of observation and abstraction into a new kind of harmony.

Students will start by working through drawing studies and move on to translating this work into painting. Mathew believes it is important to explore these two processes, and what is distinctive about them.

This course will cover:

Traditional aspects of realism, including:

  • The importance of initial drawing and sketches for identifying proportions and essential familiarity.
  • Transferring that information onto canvas.
  • Understanding and knowing when to use a white or coloured ground.
  • Drawing immediately with paint for freshness and energy.
  • Blocking in and ‘drawing’ with planes.
  • Understanding the use of large brushes to quickly achieve form (and to also handle some fine details with dexterity and brevity).
  • Moving quickly and efficiently through this process so you can concentrate on the person, not just the technique.
  • Knowing when and where to use finer brushes.
  • Learning about the variety of dynamics, effects and marks you need for different areas to convey flesh and realism.
  • Understanding blending and efficient ways of manipulating your surfaces.
  • Understanding the core colours that can render most flesh tones, and how to use them.
  • Understanding the importance of body colour (using opaque pigments) to create physical presence.
  • Understanding the use of transparent pigments for a range of glazing techniques and adjustments.
  • Understanding body language, and how to translate these cues.
  • Understanding and reminding yourself constantly to tune into the intangible quality of your chosen subject, and that all these technical elements are only there to serve their likeness and essence.

Contemporary portraiture including:

  • Learning how to look at and ‘see’ your subject in less representational ways.
  • Learning how to make a new hierarchy of information and stimulus emphasising feeling.
  • Understanding how to combine elements of observation and abstraction into a new kind of harmony.
  • Learning how to work through studies and experiments (sometimes quite rapidly) to get closer to your vision.
  • Learning to experiment with and expand your sense of colour, mark making and process.
  • Learning how to let your painting and the pure qualities of paint be your guide.

Materials List

All students need to bring in a variety of images, sketches or even other works you might like to work from. Mathew can guide you through the process of selection. Your focus can also change and evolve from week to week in relation to what you’ve learnt and experienced in the previous session.

Bring your preferred medium to the course, but be sure to follow the guide to essential portrait colours and brushes below if you are wanting to learn the fundamental technical aspects of realism - and bring a sketchbook and drawing materials for quick studies. Oil painters must use an odourless system!

If you haven’t painted before (or not very much), start by choosing a particular medium and work your way through each detailed list. The main colours below are crucial for portraits, but are also good for basic rendering of most things, and you can augment with your own favourites. Oil painters need more brushes, because it’s important to keep your mixed colours separate on each brush!

Mathew also likes his students to always have a sketchbook/paper and pencils (or range of drawing materials) handy for quick studies on the go, and for helping when a painting gets stuck.

Oil Painting

You must use an odourless system for mediums and solvents!
Colours (essential for rendering basic skin tones, but also most things): 
Titanium White, Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Indian Red (red ochre), Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light (or equiv), Cadmium Red (or equiv), Alizarin Crimson (or equiv)
Also, these additions can be useful (or any other colours you like):
Cobalt Blue, Magenta, Cadmium Orange (or equiv), Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green etc.
Art Spectrum is a good basic artist quality range.
Brushes – cheap Hog Bristle round brushes

It is important to have predominantly round brushes, some flats are good to have too, filberts can be a great in-between option. Having only flat brushes means you will be constantly fighting against the sharp edge marks, and you will miss out on the subtlety, range and facility that a round shape can give!
#12 x 2, #10 x 2, #8 x 2, #6 x 4, #4 x 4, #2 x 2, #1 x 2
Bring any other brushes you like to use.
Medium – quick drying odourless medium and solvent. My personal favourite is Galkyd medium and Gamsol solvent. You can use Linseed Oil but the drying is much slower.

  • Palette, could be disposable – make sure your palette has plenty of mixing space.
  • Dipper for medium and solvent
  • Rags, paper towels, cotton buds
  • Spare containers 
  • Palette knife
  • Anything else you like to make marks with or push paint around
  • A canvas or canvas board (or a few of them), oil painting paper
  • It is always a good idea to wear disposable Nitrile gloves when painting and handling oil paint and mediums.
  • Use odourless artist quality solvent for clean-up
  • I recommend taking your brushes home wrapped in glad wrap to clean and wash. Clean brushes with solvent and then wash with soap AFTER EVERY SESSION. Try not to come to class with hard brushes! Quick drying mediums are very hard on brushes.


Colours - same as oil colours, Matisse (Flow or Structure) are good artist quality options.

Brushes - same hog bristle range as above for basic painting, but you’ll only need one of each size. It’s important to also have some finer synthetic brushes in golden sable (or equiv) in a range of sizes.

Bring any acrylic style brushes you like!

Medium – can be a basic Acrylic Painting Medium, Gel Medium, Impasto Medium etc. I personally like to use just water, like gouache.

  • Acrylic palette/s with a flat surface (around A3 in size)
  • Spare containers and a water container 
  • Rags, sponges, paper towels, cotton buds, or anything else you like to use
  • A canvas or canvas board (or a few of them), you can also use heavy water medium paper

Watercolours & Gouache

  • Gouache may have some different names but refer to the oil/acrylic colour for reference. I find Gouache wonderful for studies. 
  • Watercolour colours follow a different system and can be quite specific, favouring particular transparent pigments, but you can use any that you have and Mathew can give you advice on this.
  • Or simply use a basic watercolour or gouache set
  • Appropriate palettes for colours and mixing
  • Water container and extra containers for mixing
  • Rags, paper towels, cotton buds
  • Synthetic watercolour brushes in a range of sizes: fine, medium and a large, also a mop type brush. Other water media brushes such as a wide flat brush
  • Watercolour paper or watercolour pad

Terms and conditions

Please choose carefully as fees are non-refundable. Refunds of course fees will only be given if the course is cancelled or a place is not available in the course. Payment of course fees implies that you have read and agree to the WAC Terms & Conditions which are available online.