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Indirect Painting: The Portrait

at New York Academy of Art

Course Details
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Virtual Classroom
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 10
System Requirements:

You will need a reliable Internet connection as well as a computer or device with which you can access your virtual class. We recommend you arrive to class 5-10 minutes early to ensure you're able to set up your device and connection.

Class Delivery:

This class will be held via Zoom unless otherwise specified

Teacher: John Wellington

What you'll learn in this portrait class:

This class has been designed to remove some of the mystery of the almost magical techniques of the European Masters. Painting from the model on zoom, students will learn how to develop a grisaille (a monochromatic under-painting), and then add semi-opaque layers of color and transparent glazes to realize an almost inner glow when painting flesh.

Demonstrations by John Wellington will include advanced blending techniques, glazing, rendering forms in light and shadow, applications of warm and cool layers of color to give depth to flesh, and how to balance both perceptive and conceptual skills in depicting the features of the face. Although not an “artist’s materials,” class there will be a thorough review of brushes, paints, media, linens, wood, aluminum, and copper prepared panels. 

There will be one six-week poses with the live model through Zoom. A good internet connection is important for this class.

Materials List:

PAINT COLORS (brands are suggested):

The following is a basic list of oil colors. I paint primarily with Vasari, Rublev Colours, and Gamblin Colors. Colors in bold are for limited palettes.

  • Titanium or Lead White (Rublev Colours - or other high quality white. 
  • Ivory Black (Rublev Colours or Vasari Ochre Pale or Light 
  • Raw Sienna
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naples Orange (Vasari)
  • Cadmium Red Light (Gamblin Artist’s Colors
  • Viridian
  • Burnt Umber, Red Umber, or Transparent Brown Oxide
  • Burnt Sienna or Transparent Red Oxide
  • Terra Rosa or Red Ochre
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Alizarin Crimson


Below are brushes that we use. Isabey brushes are very expensive and may be substituted with synthetic replacements to cut down on cost. All brushes are “round” as opposed to flats and filberts, as the latter were not used in traditional painting until the latter part of the 19th Century.

  • Creative Mark Fine Tip Liners Great inexpensive brush for detail and hatching work. Cheap enough to buy various sizes.
  • Raphael Kevrin Series 867 Round Brush Mongoose-hair brushes for blending and larger applications of paint (suggested sizes 8, 12).
  • Isabey Kolinsky 6227Z - this water color brush is great for general application of paint in the Old Master styles of Vermeer and Ingres. (sizes 2, 4, 6)
  • Rhapsody Creative Mark Round Kolinsky Sable (sizes 0, 2, 4) - another good brush for general and detailed applications of oils.

MEDIUMS: Gamblin’s Galkyd Lite, Galkyd Slow Dry and Neo Megilp thinned with mineral spirits are all good mediums for class work.

SUPPORTS: Paintings may be done on portrait linen, wood panel, aluminum, copper, or prepared watercolor paper. “Cotton-duck” and poor quality canvas boards produce the worst surface to paint on and should be avoided in this class.


  • Mineral Spirits - please note that turpentine is NOT allowed in class.
  • Wood Palette - I use the beautifully crafted New Wave Highland (held in right hand as I paint with my left hand)
  • Palette Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Two separate metal cups – one for medium and one for mineral spirits.
  • Mahl Stick – if you are comfortable using it or would like to learn how.
  • Jack’s Linseed Studio Soap - this saves brushes!

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
100% refund will be issued up to seven days after the first class. After this, no refund will be issued.

Unfortunately, we do not offer makeup classes. The instructor can tell them what they missed. Most of our classes are taught atelier style. If there is a demonstration during the particular session, after the demonstration the instructor goes to each student to work with them on a one-to-one basis. During this time the instructor can work with the student who missed the previous week, talk with them and explain what to do.
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Reviews of Classes at New York Academy of Art (124)

(124 Reviews)
Indirect Painting: The Portrait
Reviewed by Anonymous on 10/28/2020
Really fun and informative Sessions.

School: New York Academy of Art

New York Academy of Art

At the New York Academy of Art, we believe that the world of visual art is built upon the essential cornerstones of figurative drawing, painting, and sculpture. Mastering these disciplines is critical to the development of an artist's personal vision and, ultimately, to the creation of vital contemporary...

Read more about New York Academy of Art

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