Study Traditional Oil Portrait Painting and Classical Realist Figure Painting Techniques



Marvin's Class Demonstration • Atlanta 2003 Portrait Painting Workshop

I have found that the most effective way for me to communicate the painting process is by demonstrating the concepts I employ while specifically Describing each step along the way.

The following step by step progression took place during an actual portrait workshop. Every step was captured by Natalie, my terrific model, who photographed the progress following each twenty minute explanation and painting session.

Talking about what I'm doing slows me down considerably, however I feel that a deeper understanding of my approach serves my students best in the long run. Consequently, during my classes, I never seem to have sufficient time to fully resolve my painting.

For more information regarding my classes, workshops, or private tutoring, you can visit my teaching page or you can contact me directly. To see the kind of results my students experience, please view examples of student portraits and figure paintings as well as some artwork from portrait painting workshop students.
You can read some feedback from my students.


Click here to see additional step by step oil painting demonstrations.


The image above is much closer to the original painting, color and value wise, compared to the the images below, which were shot in the classroom under fluorescent light.

Drawing into wet tone

Wipe out lights

Highlights and accents


Brush for halftones

Develop modeling

Unify lights


Refine drawing

Refine transitions

Shadow lay-in


Light massing

Hi lights, accents and shirt

Edge softening


Hue and chroma changes

Softening & refinements

Scumble light areas


Restate modeling in lights

Restate chroma changes

Small refinements

Portrait and Figure Painting Workshop and Class Information
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