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Portrait Drawing & Painting

at New York Academy of Art -

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Class Level: Intermediate
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 10
Teacher: Manu Saluja

What you'll learn in this drawing and painting class:

Learn to paint portraits with solid dimension and beautiful skin tones with MFA and CFA Faculty member Manu Saluja. Portrait reference is provided to you in digital format (both photographic and Old Master Copy) to use for the duration of the course as you draw or paint in your home studio. 

Learn strategies for achieving proportion, light and shadow with specificity and nuance as it falls across the structure of the head - and how to handle oil paint to capture this effect. You’ll also learn important considerations when taking photographic reference for a painting and how working from reference photography differs from life. Clear instruction is given through YouTube demonstrations, live Zoom demonstrations, weekly lectures and small group critiques via Zoom. Students can opt to draw and use their own photo reference upon approval of the instructor.

Prerequisite: Introduction to the Portrait

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Material List:

**This is a recommended list. Given the Covid 19 situation please use what you already have or can easily order and what works best for you

• A desktop, lapop, or ipad (tablet) to view the reference photo.
• Or 8x10 inch print out if you have a good printer (color or black and white)


  • Drawing paper pad 9x12 inch
  • 2-4 Graphite pencils – HB, 2B, F and/or General’s Charcoal pencils black and white
  • Handheld Razor blades– Found in hardware store, for sharpening charcoal and pencils
  • Kneaded eraser
  • 1 Tombo Mono eraser pencil (optional)
  • 1 packet of paper stumps (optional)


  • 2 Palette Knives (triangular metal shaped, 2-3 inches long - more flexible, or bendable the better)
  • Gamsol (or a brand of Odorless Thinner - also called Oderless mineral spirits)
  • Refined Linseed Oil
  • Oil & Thinner Cups (small, clean food jars)
  • Paper Towels


  • recommend either 12x16 or 16x20 inch canvas or any size you currently have

Oil Paints: *most important pigments (the rest only if you have)

  • Raw Umber*
  • Titanium White*
  • Ivory Black*
  • Yellow Ochre*
  • Cadmium Red light or Venetian Red*
  • Alizarin Crimson*
  • Burnt Umber
  • Cadmium Yellow light or Lemon Yellow
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Viridian Green
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Green
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Dioxazine Purple
  • Transparent Oxide Red


  • We recommend using a 12x16 inch glass palette placed in a rectangular 12x16 inch Masterson sta-wet palette seal box. The glass and
  • wood is a clip frame from Bed, Bath & Beyond, A.I. Friedman or Michael’s). I recommend “Grey Matters” disposable
  • paper palette pad if you have it.


  • Bristle brushes: 6 flat brushes (2 in each size: 4, 6, 8), long handle for oil painting

Recommended brands: Isabey specials, and Silverbrush Grand Prix

  • Soft synthetic brushes: 2 round brushes (size 2), 6 flat brushes (2 in each size: 4, 6, 8).

Recommended brand: Winsor & Newton Monarch.

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
100% refund will be issued up to seven days after the first class. After this, no refund will be issued.

Unfortunately, we do not offer makeup classes. The instructor can tell them what they missed. Most of our classes are taught atelier style. If there is a demonstration during the particular session, after the demonstration the instructor goes to each student to work with them on a one-to-one basis. During this time the instructor can work with the student who missed the previous week, talk with them and explain what to do.
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Reviews of Classes at New York Academy of Art (117)

School: New York Academy of Art

New York Academy of Art

At the New York Academy of Art, we believe that the world of visual art is built upon the essential cornerstones of figurative drawing, painting, and sculpture. Mastering these disciplines is critical to the development of an artist's personal vision and, ultimately, to the creation of vital contemporary...

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