A Portrait from Life in Oils | Andrew Bonneau Bienarté

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A Portrait from Life in Oils | Andrew Bonneau

A Portrait from Life in Oils | Andrew Bonneau

“Andrew Bonneau is a patient and supportive art instructor and very generous with his artistic knowledge. Attending his drawing and painting workshop filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge and opened up my capabilities. I gained valuable tools and resources and a renewed drive and direction. Given the opportunity, I would definitely attend more of Andrew’s workshops.” - Cindy

About this workshop

Study portraiture with nationally-renowned realist painter, Archibald and Doug Moran Prize finalist, Andrew Bonneau.
In this workshop students will spend 3 days developing a single portrait painting from life. This is a unique opportunity to spend an extended period carefully looking at and understanding the structural complexity of the human head in relation to a light source. The emphasis will be on the accurate observation of the model.

We will be working from the life model for the entire workshop.

What will I learn?

Beginning from an initial 'block in' in graphite, we will proceed to develop a refined drawing which we will then transfer to canvas to begin painting.
All aspects of the process will be discussed and demonstrated, such as proportion, anatomy, perspective, conceptualising the model in relation to the light source, modelling form, colour theory and paint handling.

Who is this course suitable for?

Basic knowledge and skills in drawing and painting will be helpful for this workshop.
The more experience you have in painting and drawing from life the better, but the workshop is suitable for all levels.

What do I need to bring?

Oil Colours - Andrew recommends professional brands such as Winsor & Newton, Norma Schmincke, Old Holland, Michael Harding

  • White (Lead, Flake or Titanium), Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light or Scarlet, Cadmium Orange, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Terra Rose, Venetian Red or Indian Red, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black


  • A selection of small to medium sized brushes (Eg Sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, etc...) Sable or synthetic brushes are recommended
  • A large bristle brush

Canvas Options

  • A fine grade of primed white linen or cotton canvas is recommended. Otherwise a primed board, the idea is to have minimal texture. Recommend pre-toning with light grey or brown oil colour (eg burnt umber with white) about a week before the workshop.  Canvas should be stretched and around 10" x 12" (25x30cm), or 14" x 16" (35x40cm)-  larger would be fine too

Drawing Materials

  • HB pencils, Kneadable eraser, Blade and sandpaper for sharpening pencils
  • Paper – A few sheets of any medium or low textured paper about 18" x 24" (45x60cm)
  • Drawing board & Clips
  • Small mirror

Other Materials

  • Palette knife & Palette (Andrew uses a wooden palette sealed with oil or varnish).  Perspex and disposable palettes are available for sale from Bienarte.
  • Odourless solvent in a jar with lid
  • Paper towel
  • Medium – recommend 50/50 odourless solvent and refined linseed oil

What is Provided?

  • Clothed life model for the duration of the workshop
  • Standing Easels, tables and chairs
  • Large light-filled studio space
  • Tea and coffee (you might like to bring your own cup)
  • A friendly, supportive and encouraging learning environment
  • Connection to the Bienarte art community

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.