Portrait painting workshop in oils, at Fitzroy Painting.


Learn the basics of portraiture over two weeks

Next Available: Sat, 06 Jul 2:00PM (AEST)
3 hours x 2 Weeks
Over 20 people have attended this class



LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE (Students must have some oil painting experience)

This two-part oil-painting workshop focuses on studying the tonal values in portrait painting, advanced drawing skills are not essential as you will learn how to transfer your chosen image.  In this course we will cover the process of using an initial underpainting layer before adding colour,  and you will learn: 

  • How to identify the darkest shadows and brightest highlights, and apply them accurately
  • How to create the illusion of three-dimensional form 
  • How to mix skin tones

This workshop is suitable for students who already have basic oil-painting skills, and who are keen to strengthen observational skills in seeing values (the degree of light or dark), and applying that to painting. Learning to correctly identify values is invaluable for painting convincing three-dimensional forms in colour. 

You will be given a selection of reference images to choose from, and shown how to easily transfer your image to the painting surface, saving on drawing time so that you can focus on the painting process.

Students wishing to continue working on their painting with the same tutor can book our Sunday afternoon Open Studio for further technical support and guidance.

About your tutor:

Rachael Robb graduated form RMIT with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1990 and recently returned to Australia (Feb 2020) after 28 years living and working in London. Rachel has had international exhibitions in the USA, England, Czech Republic, Australia, Sweden, France, and Switzerland. Rachael is a 2022 finalist in the Darling Portrait Prize, to be held at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

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What you will learn

  • Mixing a grey scale palette
  • How to see and use values to create 3-dimensional form
  • Brush stroke techniques and blending

What you will get

  • Practical demonstrations and one-on-one guidance
  • All materials provided
  • Refreshments
Parking Info

Parking is ticketed in Brunswick St but there are some 2-4 hour spots in the surrounding streets. The No 11 tram comes down Brunswick St, get off at stop 15. All-day parking on Brunswick St is a flat fee of $12 on Sundays only.

What to bring

  • All materials are provided

What to wear

Casual, please bring an apron or purchase one of ours!

Appropriate for

Students already familiar with working in oils

Fitzroy Painting

(1266 Reviews)

About us: Established in 2009 and based in a Victorian heritage building overlooking bustling Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Painting 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 in oil painting, drawing and watercolours are designed for the complete beginner, taking you through a series of exercises and building your skills week by week. Students may choose to continue to our Beginners Courses Level 2 and 3 in both painting and drawing..  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 class-passes for ongoing students at a discounted rate. Some of our students have gone on to Higher Education courses and are now exhibiting professionally!

Evening classes include wine and refreshments, 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, 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. www.fitzroypainting.com

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4.9 (10 reviews)
Cathrynrated it
18 Mar 2024
Great portrait class with Rachael Robb, I really enjoyed it
Candicerated it
17 Mar 2024
Great workshop with Rachel. One big take out for me is ‘trust the process’
Phoeberated it
17 Mar 2024
Rachael was so lovely, learnt so much from her!!! Got me back into being creative and inspired.
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Cancellations & Refunds

If the organiser cancels the class:

You are entitled to a full refund.

If you can't attend the class:

You’re welcome to send someone in your place.


  • A refund can be requested 14 days before class starts. An admin fee of AU$50.00 applies.
  • A transfer can be requested 14 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$20.00 applies.
  • A credit note can be requested 14 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$20.00 applies.

No changes will be allowed after these times.

Terms & Conditions

Fitzroy Painting is under no obligation to offer any ‘make-up’ classes, courses or workshops missed. 

Absences without notification will forfeit the full class/course fee and receive no credit. By proceeding with your booking you agree to these terms & conditions.

Should Fitzroy Painting be forced to cancel a class due to low enrolments, you will be notified as soon as possible prior to the scheduled class and will receive a refund, transfer or a credit voucher for a replacement class, course or workshop.

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.  

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