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As part of the Arts Council Of Wales Expressive Arts program  - which is providing a large range of online resources in the form of pre-recorded and live masterclasses  - I was commissioned to create a 30 minute masterclass on portraiture. Below you will find the video we made and a few notes regarding the materials used and useful links.

I hope you enjoy this masterclass and please do explore the rest of the website and get in touch with any further questions.

Thank you



*Photocopier/printing paper - I used this as it is most widely available during the Covid lockdown when this video was made. This is fine to use but will have some limitations: it has a very smooth surface which does not allow for a lot of material ie graphite etc to be absorbed or held in its fibres. Therefore you will find that you get shiny pencil drawings and sometimes the paper will tear or become scared by over use of easers.

*Smooth cartridge paper - I tend to use Windsor and Newtons Drawing and Sketching paper - Smooth Surface 100lbs / 220 gsm - this allows you a lot more scope with using different media such as pastel and ink as well as graphite. Iis an off white colour which is a little more pleasing to the eye and it has two sides - so try both out to see which works best for the type of artwork you are working on. 

*Graphite pencils - I tend to favour Derwent - Graphic pencils ranging from B to 8B. I also use a graphite stick in the video which is a pure stick of graphite that you can sharpen to a fine pint and get both a precise line but also a very smooth wide mark making area from using it on its side.

*Putty rubber - there are a few makes of this type of eraser and are a must for lifting unwanted graphite or pastel from a piece of work. I would have a few lying around and make sure you keep kneeding it to clean it and keep it valuable. 


*Chiaroscuro  - this is the art of using strong light to cast dramatic shadows allowing for a more three dimensional piece of art.

Little Art Talks -

Lighting Techniques -


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