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The Portrait Masterclass is suitable for artists who are interested in classical painting and who wish to observe and synthesize the model better. There will be a focus on the basic notions of drawing, colour, edges and brushstrokes as well as design and composition as part the overall approach to creating a portrait. It is also an opportunity to socialise with other artists and to participate in discussions about painting and technique.

(Not suitable for beginners.)


  • To create a single portrait/figure, working from life; starting with a preparatory drawing on day one, transferring it to canvas/board and then modeling in oil paint over a sustained period of 3-4 days.



  • Consolidate the fundamental notions of painting- drawing, colour, edges and brushstrokes

  • Explore elements of design and composition when planning a portrait

  • Improve the skill of observation

  • Explore ways to use colour, tone and light when modeling form

  • Discuss approaches to painting with the aim of achieving greater self-awareness as a painter



  • By the end of 5 days the student will have a drawing, colour study and oil portrait of a model painted from life.


NB - Sally's course is painting from life and so requires a model for the week. An additional cost of $125 per person is payable to Sally that week to be able to run the course with the required model full time.

Sally Ryan is an Australian painter and portrait artist living and operating in Sydney. Her style is best described as contemporary realism with an emphasis on portraiture although her practice includes all genres of painting.
Before portraiture became her primary focus, Sally had worked for a number of years in both the graphic and ceramic arts. These practices laid the foundation for the patterning and detail her art is noted for today. The human subject, though, remained a point of interest throughout her career and after a few years of intensive study at the Julian Ashton Art School (including a Scholarship in 2010), portraiture and figurative art had become her passion. 
Sally now works in oils, graphite and charcoal and has been recognized in competitions across Australia and internationally.  
She is a member of Portrait Artists Australia and has had works exhibited with this organisation at the Art House Gallery, NSW Parliament House and the Australian Embassy in Washington. In 2016 she had a portrait of the former premier, Ted Baillieu, unveiled in the Parliament of Victoria and also painted Judith Poole, retiring headmistress of Abbotsleigh Girls School. 
Sally teaches portraiture and figure painting at the Julian Ashton Art School. She has a studio in Mt Kuring gai, Sydney, and is available for commissions.

Awarded Signature Status by the Portrait Society of America 2018.

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