Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

Portrait Workshop with Nafisa Naomi

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Today I attended a portrait workshop at Sydney Art School in Baulkham Hills with Nafisa Naomi.

The workshop was actually a two day workshop but I was only able to attend one day. It would have been great to be able to go for both days, especially now I have seen the outcome from today, but I am really happy to have been able to go for the one.

Nafisa began with a demonstration of her technique for still life and then portrait, before she broke the class up into two groups, one working on a portrait from life and the other on a still life (we swapped after lunch, so we all had the opportunity to work with both set-ups).She believes that both have their tonal challenges and provide a good mix for the day.

I started on a portrait. I took copious notes during Nafisa’s demonstration which were very helpful in working the way she suggested to get the drawing onto the paper in proportion and with correct tones. Nafisa spent time with each of us as we worked and provided great assistance in correct placement of features and how to work it out for ourselves when we go home and attempt portraits on our own.

Lunchtime came way too quickly.

This is the portrait I completed in the three hours we had…

I didn’t get the time to add too much tone to the face, but I am happy with the proportions. Nafisa places a lot of emphasis on anatomy and she explained a lot about the anatomy of the face and eyes in particular, which was really useful.

After lunch, it was time for still life. The still life was a mix of reflective, non-reflective, ceramic, metal and paper items – to give us as much to challenge in the tonal drawing as possible. During her demonstration she showed us how she sets up a composition and how to begin sketching the drawing onto the page – so useful.

I’m very happy with this drawing and I received some nice feedback from Nafisa for this.

If I have to opportunity to do another course with Nafisa I will take it. She is a very thorough teacher and shares a lot of info with her students. She is very generous with her knowledge and skills. And I enjoy the atmosphere at Sydney Art School – a great place to go for courses. This is the third course I’ve done with them and I highly recommend them for classes.


Author: Elaine

Artist, writer, married, mother, living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and winning (most of the time). My creative impulses have led me to drawing, pastel painting, writing, handcrafts and photography.

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