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Intermediate Portrait Painting
Working with the Model

A Four Day Portrait Painting Workshop with Seamus Berkeley

Ashley Portrait Painting Seamus Berkeley
Portrait of Ashley, 7″ x 5″, Oil on canvas (click image for video)

This four-day workshop is designed to enhance your ability to capture the presence of the individual before you on canvas. What is involved in posing the model to allow the presence of the person to be most seen? Seamus will begin with how to set up the pose to make best use of existing light, angles, and the position of the head to the body. How to work with the individual to allow the character to emerge. He will cover color mixing focusing on skin tones and use of measurement in seeing facial features and developing a central point of focus around which you will develop the portrait. The ultimate goal is to empower you to look at the painting process with a quiet mind thereby increasing your intuitive skills and your ability to work with the model. Discussion will also cover how to evaluate your own work. From the very first class meeting, you will work from life with models in the studio.


Although the idea of portrait-painting may seem daunting, the principles of portraiture are identical to the principles that underlie all types of painting. Simply stated, in order to paint, an artist must be able to see. In this workshop, Seamus will show you how to break down a complex image into simple, easy-to-see elements that you can translate onto canvas. One important aspect for the workshop is to have fun!

Seamus will demonstrate his own successful techniques for creating portraits that accurately convey both the appearance and the character of the model.


This workshop is designed for intermediate students. It is open to artists who have previously attended a workshop with Seamus or for those who have some familiarity with their medium and portrait painting.

Note: Seamus works in oils and instruction will focus on this medium, although the workshop is open to students who work in other media including acrylic


Seamus Berkeley has taught drawing, fundamentals of painting and portraiture classes and workshops for over 20 years in a number of places including the Taos Institute of Arts and at the University of New Mexico and his studios in Berkeley, California and Taos, New Mexico. He is a commissioned artist whose fine art works are owned, respected and enjoyed by collectors worldwide.


Seamus has won regional and national awards, including Best Portrait at the Oil Painters of America show in 2000. He is the founder and past-president of the Taos Society of Portrait Artists and a member of the Oil Painters of America. His work has been featured in such publications as Southwest Art, Information Warehouse, The Taos News, Art-Talk and The Trail-Gazette. His work has been exhibited at the Rane Gallery in Taos, New Mexico and the Tennyson Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Visit his website at www.seamusberkeley.com.

LOCATION: Studio 40, 933 Parker Street between 7th & 8th Streets in Berkeley, California.

DATE: Thursday, November 1 through Sunday, November 4, 2007


FEE: $495 plus $30 Models fee; Register before October 1 for $445 plus model fee; Last date for registration: October 18, 2007

Class size limited to 10 students

To obtain further information (supply list, map, lodging, etc) and to register, please contact Sally Stewart at 510-235-1121.