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Portrait Painting from a Photo

Workshop: Portrait18

Date: Jul 23, 2018 - Jul 27, 2018

Duration: 5 Days

Location: ARA Toronto

Instructor: Esteban Rodriguez

Price: 600.00

Save your seat now for this workshop

$200.00 deposit is requested.

Please note: SPACE IS LIMITED. Registrations are not guaranteed until a deposit has been paid. If you require more information call 416-766-1280.

Who's Attending

2 people are attending Portrait Painting from a Photo

  • Mirela Sahmanovic
  • don willms


14 available
Portrait Painting from Photo$200.00Portrait Painting from Photo

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This 5–day workshop focuses on creating a painted portrait using a photo reference (a selection of pre-approved photos will be provided). Participants learn the key principles of working from photos, and most importantly, what to keep and what to leave out from the photographs. Also covered are painting fundamentals such as form, value (or tone), shape, colour theory, and the process of “finishing”. In addition, fundamentals of photography for portrait painting will be presented and a handout provided to outline photo requirements. Students of all levels are welcome.

About ARA Workshops

Each participant gets lots of one-on-one attention from our superb instructors. ARA instructors teach year round so, unlike many artists who offer summer/holiday workshops our instructors are professional teachers as well as successful award-winning artists Whether you are an award winning experienced artist or have never painted before, our instructors will tailor to your skill level.

If you have any questions or are having trouble with online registration, please contact us.

Workshop hours

Most workshops are scheduled five days per week, Monday to Friday, with weekends free (unless otherwise noted). The hours are usually 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but will occasionally go to 5:00 p.m.


If you are coming from out of town and need local accommodations, click here to see our list of inexpensive places to stay near the Academy.

Can’t make it this time?

We offer our workshops on a regular basis. Sign up for regular email workshop updates.

Where to buy art supplies?

Click here for a list of local art supply stores

Materials List

Portrait Painting From a Photo, Materials List – Juan Martinez


Either a 14 x 11 in. or 16 x 12 in.  The most economical and simple surface to paint on is a standard stretched canvas with acrylic primer. Prepared panels are the best options as they are more portable, archival, and can have smoother finishes, which is preferable for both detail and painterly effects. Good quality prepared panels, such as Ampersand™, RayMar™, and Fredrix™ are available at art stores very nearby ARA: Aboveground Art Supplies and Articulations. Also panels from New Traditions™ or RealGesso™ or Art-Boards™ all are good choices, as well, but would have to be ordered online. If you wish to tone your canvas   beforehand please do so early enough so that it is completely dry prior to the workshop. A mid-tone   warm or neutral grey is ideal (Value #5 Munsell) mixed with black, white, and raw umber. You can use a premixed #5 acrylic paint instead to tone the canvas, as it dries quickly, but ensure that it is not applied too thickly; i.e, it should be transparent, like watercolour. Golden and Liquitex acrylics both sell tubes of   Munsell value #5 Neutral Grey paints.  Please NOTE: We will supply photo references. If you wish to bring along photos to discuss for future use, you are welcome to do so.

COLOURS for flesh palette (oil paint only):  

  • Titanium White + Cremnitz (Lead) White (if available)
  • Yellow Ochre PALE (Winsor & Newton) or Mars Yellow Light (Williamsburg) or Blue Ridge Yellow Ocher (Rublev)
  • Cadmium Red (true Cadmium only, not “Hue”)
  • Burnt Sienna (No Winsor & Newton nor Rembrandt for this paint)
  • Burnt Umber
  • Raw Umber
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Viridian Green
  • Black (Ivory)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • A natural earth red (PR 102) such as Terra Rosa, Rosso Veneto, Pompeii or Pozzuoli Reds, (Williamsburg); Red Umber or Red Ochre (Old Holland); Pozzuoli, Ercolano, or Pompeii Red (Rublev).


Have around 6 to 10 synthetic mongoose brushes ranging in sizes from 1-10 (filberts only). More detailed finished work will require soft (synthetic or natural) round brushes. 3 or 4 small rounds (sizes   #1 to #0) should do it. Also have 3 or 4 hog’s bristle brushes on hand, in sizes from ¾ in. to ¼ in. (Filbert or Square)


  • A faster drying medium such as Liquin™, available nearly everywhere, is ideal for this workshop.
  • A small container of odorless mineral spirits (OMS). No turpentine or citreous please.

Note: These will be provided for you if you cannot find the product or if you are travelling by air.


  • 2 (two) small cups with lids for holding medium or mineral spirits. Available at art stores everywhere.
  • Palette knife — a narrow, long and flexible blade is best
  • Palette — Paper palettes (preferably a gray-toned palette) are quick and convenient, but a prepared (i.e., sealed) wooden palette is ideal.
  • For clean-up; a roll of paper towels, or Shop towels, or a Box of tissue, or Clean rag(s)
  • Masking tape, and 2 Bulldog clips
  • Foam core (cut to the height of your canvas and double the width. If your canvas is 16 x 12 inches, the foam core should be 16 x 24 inches.)

Note: Foam core and other materials can be purchased locally.

If you have any questions, please contact Juan directly at juan@juanmartinez.com

Where to buy art supplies? Click here for a list of local art supply stores