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Portrait and Figure Painting Workshop

February 13 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Local artist Dan Kiselev walks workshop participants through the fundamental principles in figure and portraiture work. Students will be provided with materials, as well as individual instruction as they practice the methods and techniques being demonstrated.

No matter how out there your technique or vision is, if you want to do anything remotely resembling realistic depiction, you have to have a solid grasp of technique.

From the artist:

Session 1 – Drawing vs. Painting. Here I will mostly focus on the technical difference between the two and show how drawing techniques and the drawing mindset can aid in painting. I’ll take this opportunity to go over perspective and how the geometry of it translates into portraiture and figurative painting. Not a bunch of topics, but this is a pretty technical, complex subject so I feel this will fill up the two or three hours of the class.

Session 2 – Color theory and the power of contrast. Instrumental if you want to use color. I will go over the color theory, but from a perspective of using it to create a specific impact. I’ll touch on psychological effects of color, on how they influence composition, how to use color as a tool to create movement and how to use it to create contrast. Share practical techniques to help select color pallets, fix imbalances and draw the eye in specific ways.

Session 3 – Proportion. All about portraiture and figure painting: the shorthand measures of a human face and boy, and how geometric perspective plays with those measures. At the same time I will stress the importance of not letting your shorthand techniques and measurements dictate your vision and that imperfection is a very powerful tool when it comes to painting people. I would request the model to take a more dramatic pose for this session so that we can more deliberately apply all these ideas.

Session 4 – Composition. Bringing all of previous lessons together in an interesting, cohesive composition. I’ll go over the hardwired ways in which human brain interprets composition and movement on the canvas, how color interacts with perspective and proportion, and how to use all the previously discussed ideas to move the eye through the painting. Again, not a ton of topics, but important, complex stuff.

Session 5 – Bringing it all together! This is where the students take over the class and get to apply all the skills they have learned, ask detailed questions, and experiment.


February 13
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


The Common Room
1509 North Front Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122 United States


Dan Kiselev Art