COVID-19 updates

Our physical location has reopened and regular operating hours have resumed! Students are welcome to join us for Open Studio on Saturdays 11-5, Mondays 10-9, and Thursdays 10-4. Figure Classes will be held Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-4 and 6-9.

Contact Colleen at or 416-766-1280 to schedule an appointment so we can ensure enough physical distance between you and your neighbours. We will not accept drop-ins at this time, and we ask anyone experiencing symptoms to stay home and self-isolate.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to ARA.

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Classical or Direct Portrait Painting – Long Pose

Realist painting by Toronto Academy of Realist art School. Teaching based on 19th Century French Academies.


Date: Sep 10, 2016 - Sep 16, 2016

Duration: 7 days

Location: ARA Toronto

Instructor: Juan Martinez

Price: 750.00

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.


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This seven-day workshop focuses on a head-and-shoulders portrait study painted from a live model using a “classical” academic approach. There will be a single, long-term sitting for the duration of the workshop. The academic method allows participants to explore all aspects of portraiture including anatomical structure, planes of the face and head, rhythms of warm and cool tones, expressive brushwork, achieving a likeness, etc. The approach employed is a layering method used by most Old Masters which includes an under-painting, a middle layer (or two), and a finish coat. Despite its ancient roots, this is a modern synthesis that allows for efficiency of execution, without compromising principles of quality, craftsmanship, and draftsmanship.

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.

Workshops at our physical location start at 10 am and end at 4 pm each day. Students are welcome to stay and continue working in the studio on their own until 9 pm.

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

All participants will be required to follow our studio policies in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19:


On entering the Columbus Centre, please use the hand sanitization stations in the lobby and elevator. Upon arriving on the 3rd floor, all arriving students are also expected to wash their hands in one of the sinks in the Figure and Workshop rooms.

Thereafter, students and instructors are expected to wear masks at all times. ARA will supply these to students arriving without.


All horses and easels will be taped and placed 6 feet apart to ensure enough distance between you and your neighbours. These are not to be moved. Instructors will wear masks at all times and practice social distancing while instructing.


Frequent hand sanitization throughout your time in the school is asked. Sanitization stations are located outside of each studio. The lunch room will not be available, so please plan accordingly and follow social distancing rules during breaks.



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.

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Where to buy art supplies?

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Materials List

Classic Portrait Workshop, Materials List – Juan Martinez PAINTING SURFACE(S):

  • 1 (one) 16 x 12 in. and 1 (one) 20 x 16 in. canvas or panel. The most economical and simple surface to paint on is a stretched canvas primed with acrylic gesso. Panels are better options as they are more portable and smoother, which is preferable for both detail and brushwork. Good quality prepared panels such as Ampersand (gesso ground), RayMar (Oil ground), and Winsor & Newton (gesso or oil) and Fredrix, are available at nearby art stores; Aboveground Art Supplies and Articulations. Also, panels from New Traditions™, RealGesso™, or Art-Boards™ all are excellent choices 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.

(Note:You can use a premixed #5 acrylic paint instead to tone an acrylic gesso but ensure that it is not applied too thickly; i.e, it should be transparent, like watercolour. Golden and Liquitex acrylics both tube #5 Neutral Grey paints. If working with an oil primed panel, then use only oil paint, but mix in a small amount of Liquin so that it dries well.) 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 synthetic mongoose brushes ranging in sizes from 1-10 (filberts only)
  • 6 or 8 Hog’s bristle brushes in a range of sizes, as well. Filbert or square for larger bristles, filbert only for smaller bristles.
  • More detailed finished work will require soft (synthetic or natural) round brushes. 3 or 4 small rounds (sizes #1 to #0) should do it.


  • A faster drying medium such as Liquin™, available nearly everywhere.
  • A small container of odourless 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. MISCELLANEOUS:

  • 2 (two) small cups with lids for medium or mineral spirits. Available at art stores everywhere.
  • Palette knife — a narrow and flexible blade is best
  • Palette — Paper palettes (preferably a gray-toned palette, made by Richeson) are quick and convenient, but a prepared (i.e., sealed) wooden palette is ideal.
  • Roll of paper towels, Shop towels, a Box of tissue, or Clean rag(s)

If you have any questions, please contact Juan directly at