Portraiture Drawing

Portraiture Workshop with Judith Simonian
Portraiture Workshop with Judith Simonian

Cost: $300.00

Saturday & Sunday, April 25 & 26, 10:00 AM– 5:00 PM


Since prehistoric times, the human head has been the subject of works of art. Capturing emotion, gesture and likeness is a significant undertaking even for the most experienced artist. The class aims to give students insights, skills and techniques to approach this very exciting avenue in drawing.

In this hands-on workshop, students will be instructed in the basic anatomy of the human face, head, neck and hands. Special focus will be made towards the understanding of general proportions. With careful observation students will grasp how foreshortening works at different head positions.  Sighting techniques will be discussed as students work with a variety of drawing materials including ink and charcoal. The class will also learn how photographs can be used to accelerate the learning process. 

Students will be introduced to significant works of portraiture by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, George Gross, Max Beckmann, Alice Neil, Kerry James Marshall,  Marlene Dumas, Lisa Yuskavage and more. 

 A series of short gesture sketches will progress into longer fully developed drawings of the model. This along with a collaborative self portrait project will help students develop the means to make lifelike and expressive portraits. 

This workshop is is useful for beginners to advanced. The pace will keep students engaged and on their toes, but the instructor will give one-on-one feedback and will meet students wherever they are in the learning process.

Please click on the link to view the supply list

Required Materials for the first class session:

  • pad of all-purpose sketch paper 16" x 20" or larger (not newsprint)
  • compressed charcoal (Many different kinds. Bring whatever you have or what you think you would like to use)
  • vine stick charcoal (thick)
  • White chalk pastel (one piece)
  • kneaded eraser
  • plastic or hard rubber eraser
  • sharpeners: single edge razor blade or mat knife, sandpaper
  • 1 roll masking or drafting tape
  • rigid board with 4 bull clips to provide extra support for your drawing pad. 1/2" foam core is very lightweight and highly recommended (optional)
  • $30 model fee payable to the instructor on Saturday (cash or check)

Registration for this class will open on January 8th. 

Course Code: 135651

Instructor(s): Judith Simonian

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.