Portraiture in Drawing (Online)

This class will examine the genre of portraiture across art history, as it provides an introduction to multiple and varied ways to approach the portrait in the studio. Students in this class will learn how to achieve accuracy with regards to proportion, and how to document a degree of "likeness" of the sitter. The instructor will teach students how to succeed at capturing the subject's essence through the use of gesture, shadow-shapes, skull studies, and structural shapes, using various mediums. Students will learn to draw the portrait through a traditional method of Classical Realism, and then apply these traditional methods to working from photo references in a looser and more modern approach. Portraiture throughout art history will be addressed through lecture, discussion, and video presentation; students will learn about the advent of self portraiture within the western canon, portraiture as political propaganda, portraiture as protest, and portraiture across place and time- from prehistory to present, and from all continents. / Open to students ages 18 and above. View complete policies.

This online course will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous. Students will meet together online for synchronous class meetings on Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (CST) via Zoom. Class meetings will include lectures, demonstrations, group discussions and individual critiques. Asynchronous activities may include readings, lectures, videos, demonstrations, and written feedback on submitted work from the instructor.

Prerequisite: Previous drawing experience helpful, but not required.

Required Hardware: A computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, a camera, and microphone for class meetings and to capture and upload work.

Required supplies for the first class: Extra soft VINE (not willow) charcoal; 18 x 24” drawing paper pad; 18 x 24" drawing board; Kraft paper/ packing paper; 18 x 24" drawing paper; 6B Soft charcoal pencil; white charcoal pencil; 3B drawing pencil; kneaded erasers; eraser-pens; Q-tips. Students should expect to spend about $50 on supplies.

Recommended supplies: Easel highly recommended. 

You might also like the course Storytelling Through Figure Painting.

Register Before: July 8
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 May 10 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 9381 01 SU21
Date Start: 
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Date End: 
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
6:30–8:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 16 and above.
Days of Week: 
Drawing and Painting
Online Classes
Previous drawing experience helpful, but not required.