Portrait painting workshop in oils, at Fitzroy Painting.


Learn the basics of portraiture over two weeks

Next Available: Sun, 10 Mar 10:00AM (AEDT)
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

(1144 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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5.0 (6 reviews)
Martínrated it
12 Nov 2023
Rating Only
Aliarated it
11 Nov 2023
Wonderful class with Rachael! It really helped me get a better understanding of colours used in traditional portraits and gave a great foundation for future experiments with portraits. Rachael is very patient and provides the best guidance in a gentle way. Cannot wait to do more classes!
Amandarated it
11 Nov 2023
Really great, challenging and definitely not for beginners but provides a fantastic foundation for understanding how to set up for portraiture, how to create the underpainting, colouring and final painting.
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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 10 days before class starts. An admin fee of AU$50.00 applies.
  • A transfer can be requested 10 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$25.00 applies.
  • A credit note can be requested 10 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$10.00 applies.

No changes will be allowed after these times.

We recommend the refund upgrade option upon checkout in case you’re not able to attend the class. Learn more about refund upgrade option.

Terms & Conditions

Bookings and class cancellations policy: 

Fitzroy Painting is unable to offer any ‘make-up’ classes for classes, courses or workshops.  

Please consider taking out the Weteachme insurance policy if you think there is a chance you may not be able to attend. This policy is managed by Weteachme, and any refunds must be sought through the insurer directly. Please read their terms carefully before purchasing as change of mind is not a valid refund option.

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 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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