Portrait Painting From A Photo: Underpainting

Kristy Gordon, New York Based Artist And Teacher

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9 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Photo Guidelines

    • 3. Toning The Canvas

    • 4. Materials

    • 5. Comparative Measuring

    • 6. Blocking In The Proportions

    • 7. Blocking In The Proportions 2

    • 8. Refining The Underpainting

    • 9. Conclusion

31 students are watching this class

Project Description

Portrait Painting From A Photo: Underpainting


Your assignment is to create a monochromatic portrait painting! You’ll begin by selecting a good photo to work from (or you can use the one provided in the resources). Next you'll learn how to develop a well structured underpainting using comparative measuring. From there you'll move to refining the features and details. Upon completion of this class you will have a portrait painting which you are proud of.

This painting will be the foundation that you will work on in the next class, where I will walk you through the stages to developing the portrait in color.


Post your progress in the Project Gallery for feedback from the other participants. Here’s what to upload as you go through the stages to creating your portrait painting:

  • The photo you select
  • Your block in of the basic proportions
  • Your completed painting


Please download the attached files, which include handouts that describe the drawing of the features, a supplies list, photo guidelines, as well as my source photo, which you can work from if you would like.

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