Drawing Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

This course teaches you the principles of drawing faces and portraits.  We’ll spend the day working from the many exquisite marble busts and historical statues in the National Portrait Gallery.


We’ll work on a range of styles and techniques to capture a likeness of your subject.  Experimenting with some fun quick studies in a loose, impressionistic style at the beginning of the day - building up to longer drawings that will utilise guidelines and measurements to create more realistic sketches.


The course will teach tips and techniques to build confidence in creating observational sketches of face, focusing on proportion and tone.


What you’ll learn


The fundamental principles of portraiture, creating sketches from the marble bust and statues at The National Portrait Gallery. 


How to draw faces in varying positions, including full face, profile and three-quarter view.


How to use guide lines, building shapes and forms, with measurements and negative space – to sketch a likeness.


An introduction into tonal shading to depict the way light hits a face, giving your portrait depth and form by rendering shadows and highlights.


On The Day

All materials that you will need are provided - including drawing board, pencils, paper, erasers, stools.  You are welcome to bring your own supplies or sketchbook if you’d prefer, but please be advised that charcoal and wet materials (such as paint) are not permitted in the museum.


The gallery can be sometimes be draughty, so please wrap up warm.  You will need to keep your personal belongings with you at all times, so it’s advised to avoid bringing large bags.




The course runs from 10am until 4.30pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch at approx 12.30pm.


£60 (All materials included)

Upcoming Dates

Saturday 14th March 2020



© 2019 Created by Joe Simpson.