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...from photographs


Robert Macmillan graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 1997 with a BA hons in Fine Art; Drawing and Painting. Robert has been a full time artist for almost 20 years, exhibiting all over the UK, winning prestigious awards and has work in many private collections worldwide. His dramatic portraits are instantly recognisable and appreciated for their use of old masters techniques.

In this class, Robert will demonstrate how to produce a portrait from photographs using oil paints. Starting by drawing an image, you will develop an underpainting and work up in colour. There will be various techniques taught, including forms of glazing and how to use a variety of tools such as brushes, palette knife and even sandpaper to enhance a painting. There will also be short talks on various classical and contemporary figurative painters.

Images will be provided to work from. A material list is available at



8 WEEK BLOCK I APRIL 30 MAY 7, 14, 21, 28 JUNE 4, 11, 18




image-27-09-18-21-13[19137] Nightwatch detail 1 portrait painting robert macmillan

Tutor will provide MDF boards, primer, palettes, masking tape, tracing paper and fixative*

Students to bring:

*photograph of portrait (side or front on) ideally with strong light and dark contrast (I will provide images if students have nothing suitable)

*pencils (1H and 1B)

*putty rubber and standard rubber

*genuine turpentine or gamsol (NOT white spirit)


*jam jar with lid

*small tube of yellow ochre acrylic

*oil paints (small tubes – 37ml would be fine) – titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red, French ultramarine, raw umber, ivory black

*range of small-medium soft hair brushes

*palette knife

*painting shirt or similar to protect clothing


Materials ...