Portrait Painting with Yvette Coppersmith

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In this six-hour class you will learn a variety of skills and techniques towards understanding portrait painting. Run by reknown Australian artist and 2018 Archibald Prize winner Yvette Coppersmith, you will be taken through the process of portrait painting as Yvette guides you along the way with practical demonstrations. All materials are included.

Building skills incrementally, this workshop is designed to develop and strengthen observational skills and to provide a structure in working with the portrait.

Topics include seeing the face geometrically, tone and colour, preparatory studies, portrait proportions and painting techniques.

The workshop will be split into two sessions, with a one-hour lunch break in the middle, morning and afternoon refreshments are provided. There are many good cafes close-by to find some lunch.

About your tutor:

Yvette Coppersmith began her practice as a portraitist working within the realist style and over the past 15 years has expanded her subject matter and style to include working in abstraction. Yvette exhibits nationally and internationally, and has been commissioned for portraits for public and private collections. Yvette has been a finalist of art prizes including the Archibald four times, the Doug Moran four times, the Portia Geach five times. Her 2017 Archibald portrait of Emirtus Professor Gillian Triggs is part of the Foxtel Arts doco 'The Archibald'. Yvette won the inaugural Metro Prize in 2003 and began teaching painting/drawing in 2004. She has run workshops at the National Gallery of Victoria, Benalla Regional Art Gallery, Geelong Grammar and private art schools.

Follow Yvette's Instagram feed for images of her latest work.

To register your interest in the next portrait workshop with Yvette please click here.

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What you will learn
  • An understanding of the planes of the human head
  • Identifying portrait structure and tonal values
  • Painting a self-portrait from the mirror
What you will get
  • All materials included
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Morning and afternoon tea

What to bring
  • A small notebook may be useful
What to wear

Casual clothes, aprons provided

Appropriate for

Intermediate and advanced art students


Fitzroy Painting

Vendor since 2013

Established in 2009 and based on the top floor of a Victorian heritage building overlooking bustling Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Painting for Beginners is the original and best of private art classes in Fitzroy!  A working artists studio, the space provides a great environment to develop your painting and drawing skills with the expert support and guidance of highly qualified teachers and full-time professional artists.

Our 4 - Week Beginners Courses are designed for the complete beginner, taking you through a series of exercises and building your skills week by week as you produce paintings to take home. Students may choose to continue to our Beginners Course: Level 2. Ongoing students are supported to help develop their own direction, with optional exercises offered to expand on skills and knowledge, and our Atelier students are assisted in taking it to the next level in professional practice.

Love the class? All students wishing to extend their course may purchase 4 or 8 - week blocks for ongoing students at a discounted rate. Some of our students have gone on to Higher Education courses and are now exhibiting professionally!

Need to miss a class? We understand busy lives and offer flexibility - just let us know in advance and we'll credit you a class. (Maximum of 2 changes per 8 weeks, ongoing and Atelier students only).

Evening classes include wine and cheese, and morning classes include tea, coffee and cakes. Classes run for 3 hours and basic equipment is available for student use at the studio, including easels, aprons, palettes and drawing boards. We believe in safe studio-practice and provide low-toxic, low-odour materials for student use, as well as high-quality clean-up materials for brushes and hands. We also have storage facilities if you wish to keep your materials at the studio.

Each student works at their own pace and receives one-on-one attention, and all students are invited to exhibit in our annual end of year exhibition, a fun opportunity to show family and friends what you’ve been doing!

Visit our website for more info and pictures of student work.

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Refund & Cancellation Policy

Course refund policy:

  • Full refunds for cancellations can be given up to 30 days before the course commencement date. If available, we are happy to transfer you to another course or workshop at a later date with 30 days notice.
  • A 50% refund will be given for cancellations up to 10 days before the course commencement date.
  • No refund will be given after 10 days before the course commencement date. Under exceptional circumstances a full refund will be given regardless of date of cancellation.
  • No make-up classes can be offered for our beginners courses.
  • Please note there is a $20 administration fee + the Weteachme booking fee deducted on all refunds.

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Terms & Conditions

Bookings and class cancellations policy: 

Due to the high demand for classes and small number of places available in our 4-week beginners course, Fitzroy Painting is unable to swap, substitute or offer ‘make-up’ classes. Ongoing students please contact us if you are unable to attend a class. Absences without notification will forfeit the full class/course fee and receive no credit.

Should Fitzroy Painting be forced to cancel a class students will be notified as soon as possible prior to the scheduled class and will receive a credit for a replacement class or a refund as required.

Collection of work and materials left at the studio: Please understand that our storage capacity is extremely limited.  Beginners work and painting kits will only be retained for one month after which they will be disposed of.  Ongoing students may store their materials in the shelving provided at the studio. 

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24 Reviews
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18 February 2020 • Portrait Painting with Yvette Coppersmith

We spent a wonderful day learning and painting with Yvette on Sunday. The pace was good, the studio was clean and organised, with teacher-assistants helping out when needed. I loved that everything was ready for us when we got there and a lot of care and thought had been put into the operations of the day, minimising fuss for the painters. We were even treated with almond cake, coffee and later cheese and wine. I really enjoyed the day and learning about proportions of the face and cool and warm mid tones to create depth. I look forward to doing another portrait again soon!


16 February 2020 • Portrait Painting with Yvette Coppersmith

A great day , learned new skills and Yvette explained the techniques with ease and grace and with a bit of fun. everyone was made to feel welcome and fit in . it was a face pace session so that you can remember everything and they even give you cake, coffee and nice things to eat I enjoyed it and will come again for more Thankyou Antonina


04 May 2019 • Portrait Painting with Yvette Coppersmith

It was a very enjoyable workshop and I learnt a lot! The staff were all very friendly and encouraging, and the quality of instruction was excellent.

Fitzroy Painting


Thank you Ashlin! Hope we see you again in the studio some day, all the best with your painting.

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