3rd Year

Advanced Figure Painting

Advanced Figure Painting is the culmination of all of the skills, knowledge and methods gained so far. Effective use of structure, rhythm, gesture, body types, edge quality, chroma, hue, value, focal point and theme all culminate in a thoroughly believable and succinct impression of the figure in real space. The student renders realistic flesh in believable hues with a sense of balance and weight, they bring the work to a spectacular finish incorporating all of their knowledge of anatomy.

Students use the full palette we teach here in the studio, with a full range of pigments and mediums.

Key learning objectives in Advanced Figure Painting:

Demonstrate all of the skills learned through the program to create a real sense of the figure in an environment in paint

Show a proficiency in using colour, keying the values associated correctly

Use the knowledge of anatomy and materiality to represent the forms 

A sufficient knowledge of all the objectives allows the student to graduate



3rd year

Students work with a variety of materials, lighting set-ups, themes and compositions. They are allowed to creatively arrange their still-lives with guidance, and develop themes with character. Students start with a small amount of simple objects and build on this to incorporate steadily more. At SSCA we give the students the freedom to pursue vibrant and modern themes, according to the student’s taste. 

In portraiture the student must convey the character of the sitter first and foremost. The portrait course starts with an in-depth explanation of the SSCA process for approaching realistic painting and drawing. A technical demonstration on mixing colours organising the palette and preparing mediums, and producing a painting made directly from the live model. Students work for 5 hours daily, theory in the morning for two hours and three hours in the afternoon with the model.

The portrait sessions begin with two hours of theory and drawing, designed to strengthen the students visual relationship with three-dimensional form. Students use a limited palette for their portrait, they soon discover its phenomenally wide range of hues and its harmonious unity of them. Projects range from 3, 5 and ten minute drawings and then progress to develop a structure for their painted portrait.

In the afternoon students return and work with the live model. In a rich and atmospheric environment students learn the essential points of classical portrait painting, rhythm, lighting, the illusion of three dimensional form and space. This class will fine tune the students approach to painting from life in any students work, whether experienced or complete beginner. The knowledge and confidence is applicable to every form of artistic expression.

Students will use the sight-size method of measurement as well as other drawing methods including Riley and Loomis.

Key learning objectives in Portraiture:

Create an arresting composition of the sitter in a portrait

Create a likeness and replicate the character of the subject

Demonstrate an effective painting technique