Painting Expressive Portraits in Oils

July 15 - July 16


Painting Expressive Portraits in Oils

Painting Expressive Portraits in Oils

This is a 2-day workshop.  Classes run 9-4pm with lunch included.

Learn to paint portraits full of life and expression.

Starting with short painting exercises, you will learn to mix colours that convey vibrant skin tones. Step-by-step, you’ll discover simple techniques for mixing tones that communicate the subtleties of skin as it appears in light and shadowed areas of the face – an essential skill that will give your portraits a sense of dimension and drama.

Building on these skills, you will create a full portrait painting from the ground up using provided reference photos (or students may bring their own).

You will begin with an underpainting process (or ‘imprimatura’), using measuring techniques to resolve the face’s proportions and general likeness. General shadow tones of the face will then be indicated with this paint, showing the faces three-dimensional nature before layering colour.

As you mix general areas of colour we will place an emphasis on value and temperature. Using ‘alla prima’ techniques and a ‘tiling method’ you’ll being to block in general skin-tones on the face. As you progress through your painting, you’ll receive hands-on instruction, helping add nuance and just the right amount of detail. Finally, through demonstrations and feedback, students will add indications of emotion to bring a sense of meaning to their piece. Along the way the instructor will provide tips and tricks about directional brushwork, colour subtleties and tonal values.

You’ll come away from this course with the tools you need to paint your own captivating portraits in oils!

Material fee includes supplies that will be provided by instructor.  See student supply list for further details.

  • Student Supply List: (Click HERE): Students are responsible for bringing the supplies listed.
  • Materials Fee: $000
  • Course Level: All Skill Levels
  • Course Prerequisites: It helps if you have a basic understanding of the face through drawing or painting, even if self-taught

Price: $362

This price includes daily lunch, material fees, applicable taxes and is listed in Canadian Dollars


Cara Bain is an artist and educator based in Vancouver. She holds a Bachelor’s of Visual Communication, and has expanded her knowledge and technical skills through multi-faceted training approaches with various artists. She has been an active teacher at various private institutions for nearly a decade.

Click here to read more about CARA BAIN

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CONFIRMED: This workshop has met the required registration numbers and will be running.

Attendee Details


If you need to make a cancellation, please complete MISSA's on-line cancellation form. Phone or email correspondence will not be accepted.

Click HERE for the form.

BEFORE May 1: For each course withdrawal, a refund for tuition and any applicable supply fee will be issued, minus a $50 administrative fee.

May 2 – June 29: For each course withdrawal, a tuition credit for MISSA 2024 will be issued, minus a $50 administrative fee. Any applicable supply fee will be fully refunded.

AFTER June 30: Course withdrawals made after this date are not eligible for credits or refunds.

If MISSA must cancel a workshop, students will be offered an alternative workshop. If the 2023 program is completely canceled (due to COVID restrictions for for any other force majeure), a full refund will be given (tuition, material fee and accommodation) or a MISSA credit will be offered.

On-campus accommodations may be cancelled at any time prior to arrival and will be refunded, less a $50 deposit fee, via Paypal within 30 days after receipt of the cancellation request form.

Refunds will be issued within 30 days of confirmed receipt of MISSA's online cancellation form and will be processed through PayPal.

No refunds will be processed during the MISSA Summer Program.


This price includes daily lunch, material fees, applicable taxes and is listed in Canadian Dollars.