Fine Arts

This class is an introduction to the key techniques and objectives of portraiture. Many beginning painters start out learning the fundamentals of painting through working from the still life, but soon have a desire to move onto more challenging subjects, such as painting people. The first step in a successful figure painting is the ability to paint a portrait. Using oil paint, students will learn to identify and capture the nuances in facial features that make up a realistic and expressive likeness through the foundational techniques of portraiture: Understanding the underlying structure of the face, learning to identify its proportions, and recognizing the subtle nuances and facial expressions of each subject. A live model will be present during many class sessions, providing students with ample opportunity to hone their approaches and techniques. Through lecture, discussion, instructor-led demonstrations, and peer-to-peer critique sessions, students will learn to approach painting the portrait in a thoughtful and insightful way. / Materials fee of $5 in addition to class tuition. / Open to students ages 18 and above.

What to bring: Two sheets of 22 x 30" Arches cover white paper; one 18 x 24" drawing board (or larger); one 32 oz. container of acrylic gesso; gesso brush; roll of white artist's tape; one 32 oz. container of Gamsol odorless mineral spirits; 12 x 16" pad of disposable palette paper; cloth rags; one 37ml oil paint tube each of Phthalo green and Alizarin crimson; two metal palette knives. Students should anticipate additional costs for the purchasing of requisite painting supplies. A complete list of suggested materials will be discussed during the first class meeting.

What to Wear: Clothes appropriate for messy creativity or an apron throughout the semester.

Prerequisite: Beginning Observational or Life Drawing, Beginning Painting, or equivalent experience.

Please Register Before: August 31

If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met.

Class Savings

  • Register on or before August 18 and save $25.
  • Register for more than one class at a time and receive $25 off each additional class (same-day registrations only).
  • Additional savings. Are you eligible?


Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

Course Details

CSFA 3103 FA17
Date Start: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Date End: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
6:30–9:30 p.m
Main Building Room 300
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 16 and above.
Days of Week: 
Beginning Observational or Life Drawing, Beginning Painting, or equivalent experience.