Classical Art Atelier

Classical Portrait Painting

3-Day Weekend Workshops in May and 5-Day Workshop in July 2018

This intensive workshop by Brian Smyth, artist and tutor from the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy, introduces you to portrait painting practices in oils, and demonstrates some of the principles and techniques currently being taught at the realist painting academies in Florence and elsewhere. This workshop will focus painting from life, using two models throughout the workshop.

The 3-day weekend workshops in May are sold out. The next 5-day workshop will be held at C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Campus, No.46 Grand Parade, Cork, from Monday 09 to Friday 13 July 2018. Please BOOK EARLY to ensure a place on this workshop.


In the five-day workshop on portraiture, students will learn a step-by-step method for creating a realistic and believable portrait. Working from the live model, Brian will outline and demonstrate how to plan for and complete a portrait over several painting sessions.

Time will be spent explaining and demonstrating colour theory and how best to set up a colour palette for skin tones. Students will receive various handouts that explain the correct methods of using oil paint. These handouts will lay out the various grounds, materials and mediums used in oil painting and also describe the various layers used in classic underpainting-overpainting techniques, that will be covered in this workshop.

  • Live models each day
  • Basic materials included*
  • Detailed handouts
  • Practical exercises
  • Live Demonstrations
  • Refreshments provided

*Students will be provided with a list of materials to bring.


Brian will demonstrate each of the key steps in the painting process
and will individually assist each student as they progress.

All Prima Portrait Step-by-Step by Brian Smyth © 2018

Day One

Starting with the drawing stage, Brian will explain and demonstrate the principles of getting a good sense of proportion and accuracy of shapes and how, at this early stage, these are the key elements of getting a good likeness of the model.

Days Two & Three

The underpainting stage will comprise of colour mixing and getting a good block-in of the skin tones, hair, clothes and background colours. At this stage, an introduction to the anatomy of portraiture will be discussed and the methods for modelling form will be demonstrated.

Days Four & Five

The overpainting and glazing stage will concentrate on bringing each area to a finish, with an emphasis on turning form. At this stage, we pay greater attention to paint handling and edge quality.

Workshop Details

See the dates and details for each venue below, or contact us to find out more and to enrol.

# Venue Duration Day Time Dates Cost
1 Classical Art Atelier
Dunhill, Waterford
3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 11-13 May SOLD OUT
2 No.46 Grand Parade, Cork
(C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Centre
3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 18-20 May SOLD OUT
3 No.46 Grand Parade, Cork
(C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Centre
5 Days Monday - Friday 10.00am - 5.00pm 09 - 13 July 2018 € 600

About Brian Smyth

Classical Painting Instructor

Brian Smyth is an award-winning graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design. He has had several succesful solo exhibitions in Dublin and London and has participated in and curated many group exhibitions. He has completed many private commissions, including a 14-painting Stations of the Cross commission for a church restoration project in his native Co. Cork.

Brian has his works in many private and public collections and continues to develop his technique, to exhibit his paintings and to work on portrait commissions.

Brian began his studies in The Angel Academy, in Florence, in 2012, and has worked there as an instructor since 2013. Visit to see his work.

Classical Portrait Painting Workshop

Start learning the oil painting methods and techniques of the Old Masters

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