Grisaille Portrait Painting - Online Course

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Event description
Learn to paint grisaille portrait studies, a great technique to help you progress from drawing to painting or improve your underpainting.

About this event

Course Price £150, reserve your place here on Eventbrite with a £40 deposit,  the remainder will be invoiced and is due before the course begins. 

A Grisaille is a painting executed entirely in monochrome and originated as an underpainting technique for Old Master Paintings. It’s a great technique to help you progress from drawing to painting or improve your underpainting for colour work.

This workshop with Christopher Clements will show you how to paint a grisaille portrait study. The tonal principles and paint handling skills you’ll learn will give your portrait painting a solid foundation and produce a grisaille study which is attractive technique in its own right.

The workshop will introduce an approach designed to develop your painting in an organised way by working with only one colour and making one decision at a time. Learning to handle paint while applying tonal principles will help you to represent form convincingly.

You’ll also look at the technicalities of oil paint, including, layering, mediums and brushwork.

What you’ll learn will help you to make stand alone portrait sketches, studies for studio portraits or underpainting for full colour work.

Workshop Overview

Each week, Christopher will begin the session with an explanation and demonstration of what he will cover. You’ll then work on your own painting using reference images sent to you, getting plenty of personal feedback as you progress.

You’ll start by painting a tonal scale in which is divided up into value families of shadow, light and mid-tone. A clear understanding of these distinctions will help you keep your paintings clear and convincing. All the while you’ll learn how to handle oil paint to best effect, keeping you in control of your work.

During the workshop you’ll look at how to handle paint, mediums and brushes to best effect at each stage of the painting.

You’ll develop your portrait study in stages enabling you to concentrate on one concept at a time.

  • Bridge the gap between drawing & painting
  • Paint a well structured head with accurately placed features
  • Develop your understanding of tone and form
  • Learn how to create underpainting for glazing techniques

By the end of the workshop you’ll be familiar with the process of creating a grisaille portrait study of your own. You’ll have a better understanding of tonal principles and will learn a technique which you can use as a great foundation for colour painting. If you're new to painting the approach will help you transition from drawing and painting.

As you’d expect with any Northern Realist course, it’s friendly and relaxed as well a great chance to spend time concentrating on your work alongside like-minded, friendly artists - See the Northern Realist website for more details

Is this course for me?

If you want to progress from drawing to painting this is the perfect course, the course will get you started in a controlled way.

If you have more experience with paint, you’ll find this method of working will reinforce your understanding of tone and form while giving you a perfect foundation for glazing techniques.

Numbers are limited, giving you plenty of personal feedback and helping you work towards your own personal goals. Whether you’re looking to learn fundamental principles or push your skills from a more advanced position the workshop will have plenty to offer.

About Christopher Clements

Christopher Clements is a professional painter and founder of Northern Realist Drawing & Painting. He has exhibited internationally and featured in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and Pastel Society annual exhibitions. He studied Fine Art at Manchester School of Art and Classical Drawing and Painting at the Angel Academy, Florence.

Christopher has been teaching drawing and painting at Northern Realist and the University of Salford for 7 years. He combines his extensive subject knowledge and friendly approach to bring out the best in his students. Classes with Christopher are always informative, constructive and fun.

How The Course Works and What You’ll Need

The workshop will be done using Zoom, after booking you will be emailed a reference image. An invitation to each session half an hour before the class begins.

Bookings are made by paying a £40 deposit here on Eventbrite. You will then be invoiced for the remaining balance which is due before the course begins.

You’ll need an internet connection and webcam and the following materials:

  • Two pieces of primed canvas or canvas paper
  • A range of hog bristle painting brushes
  • 1 House painting brush
  • Turpentine, Odourless Mineral Spirits, Sansodor, Zest it or similar
  • Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
  • Painting Palette
  • Dipping Cup
  • Titanium White Oil Paint
  • An Earth Colour such as Raw Umber or Burnt Umber Oil Paint
  • Ivory Black Oil Paint
  • Rags and Kitchen Roll

Course Price £150, reserve your place here on Eventbrite with a £40 deposit,  the remainder will be invoiced and is due before the course begins. 


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Chris: info@northernrealist.com

What's the refund policy?

No deposit refunds unless the course is cancelled, remainder refunds up to 2 weeks in advance.

Full refund including deposit if the course is cancelled

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Date and time


Online event

Refund policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Organiser Christopher Clements

Organiser of Grisaille Portrait Painting - Online Course

Christopher Clements has been a working artist for almost 20 years. He studied Fine Art Painting at Manchester School of art before progressing on to three and a half years intensive study of Classical Realist Drawing & Painting at the Angel Academy in Florence.


In 2013 he founded Northern Realist Drawing & Painting in Manchester and teaches at the University of Salford. Christopher designs and teaches all of the studio courses at Northern Realist while continuing his own artwork alongside. He has extensive experience in learning, teaching and working professionally, he has plenty to offer art students whatever your experience or motivation. Drawing and painting is essential to his daily work and this practical experience and constant development is reflected in the courses he teaches.

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