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What Portraiture Means to Me

Whilst I incorporate various subject matter into my artwork, portraits are an opportunity to work with the familiar and the mysterious all at the same time. As artists, we are all curious, I think, and the challenge of representing the complexities of the human face and form are what keeps me coming back to the easel again and again.

I paint a little of myself into each and every portrait I create. So that whether I am working from life, reference imagery or my imagination, there is an urge to express what is deep inside in order to connect with the world around me. Each portrait becomes a part of my own unique experience.


What are you seeking to express when you create portraits? 


A deeper understanding of form?


Expression and emotion?


Exploring narrative?



There are endless possibilities and in this course I hope you explore all of the above and more in order to create portraits that express all that is inside of YOU.

Your Art, Your Way

I am so excited about my newest long ecourse that focuses on the elements that I feel are important to creating unique and expressive portraits.

Live class numbers are limited!

The live class will be offered two more times – Summer 2017 and November 2017.

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Course Content

This course incorporates video tutorials, prompts and written exercises that will enable you to explore different ways of portraying the human form – in particular the portrait.

Working from reference imagery and from life, you will tackle the fundamentals of portraiture and dig deep into further exploration in order to expand your own potential as an artist. By studying master artists, you can also analyze their choices and aesthetic style in order to discover more about the unique elements you can bring to your own art.

Whilst you will be working on techniques and skills, you will also focus on finding your voice by incorporating ideas and possibilities for individual study and development. Materials are wonderful to explore but at the end of the day, it is the artist that is key – your passion, your ideas, your experience, your creativity.

Inspired by my studies at Art College and my own growth and development as an artist in the years since, I aim to enable you to challenge yourself to create your art, your way!


Each Week:

You will draw and paint in order to create expressive and dynamic portraits.

You will expand your knowledge of portraiture by studying master artists.

You will work on exercises that will explore the things that inspire you as an artist.

You will find your own language and purpose in portraiture.

You will experiment with a focus on self expression.


Portraits – Your Art, Your Way…

Enables You To:

Stop worrying about perfection and just begin!

Paint from the heart

Expand your knowledge of art history and style

Delve deeper into your own art practice

Grasp techniques so that you can paint in your own style

Have enough ideas for portraits for future work for a while to come

Practice, Practice, Practice

Designed For:

Artists who wish to progress further in their art journey and to create unique art that represents their distinct aesthetic

Students who want an in-depth learning experience that enables growth and discovery

Students who wish to gain confidence in their own work

Students who love being challenged

Students who take responsibility for their own learning under my guidance

This course is aimed at students who have some experience with portraiture already. I would not recommend this class for beginners. I will be developing themes that I taught in both Drawn to Expression and Unearth Gather Create. Whilst these classes are not a prerequisite, they are a good introduction to my way of teaching and a good foundation for launching into Portraits – Your Art, Your Way!

Course Schedule

Live Class

Week 1/Lesson 1: Shadows and light

Week 2: Catch up Week

Week 3/Lesson 2: Proportion and Exaggeration

Week 4: Catch up Week

Week 5/Lesson 3: Colour and Expression

Week 6: Catch up Week

Week 7/Lesson 4: Composition and Narrative

Week 8: Catch up Week

Self Study

Lesson 1: Shadows and light

Lesson 2: Proportion and Exaggeration

Lesson 3: Colour and Expression

Lesson 4: Composition and Narrative

Live Class Registration

Gillian is offering only two more live classes of Portraits – Your Art, Your Way! The next live course will be offered in June 2017 and the last class will be offered in November 2017. Spaces for the live classes are extremely limited and fill up very quickly. Be sure to sign up for Gillian’s newsletter to stay informed regarding registration dates and times.

Investment for the Live Class:   £145

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Register Now

Self Study Registration

Gillian’s very popular new course Portraits – Your Art, Your Way is now available as a self study course! Wait no longer! You can register now and receive almost instant access to all of the course content. Work your way through the course at your own pace. The self study course is also available as part of a bundle package together with Gillian’s other courses.


Investment for the Self Study Course:   £125

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Register Now

What Students are Saying


“I was highly impressed by the amount of content in the course, it was like a college semester worth of information!”

Amber Walker

 “I was in art school as of last year and everything I learn from you is just as valuable if not more than art school. What you are teaching and how you teach is one of the greatest gifts to give someone who has never been to art school and/or can’t afford it. It’s my dream to create an online school teaching art to kids and adults because of those reasons I mentioned. So I admire you and you have been an inspiration.

Jennifer Perry

Watching you paint and draw is immensely useful. I learn so much. And I love the way you write about artistic expression.

Sharyle Doherty

I love everything about her style – her teaching – just everything!!!!!

Suzanne O’Mullan

 “Wonderful content, superb teacher, fine art instruction without any the worry of my skill level, but thorough & comprehensive…Artfully & Thoughtfully Done!

Lynne O’Neal


You will use simple drawing materials such as charcoal, conte and pastels, and acrylics. I also give a short demonstration in oils. However, the purpose of my demonstrations is not to make you a slave to the materials I am using but to encourage you to work with the materials that best enable you to create the portraits you wish to create. So you can use anything you like!

The Materials List is filled with suggested items only based on the demonstrations. If you have studied on one of my courses already, it is likely you will already have most of the materials. The materials list is available after registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this course different from Unearth Gather Create and Drawn to Expression?

Each and every lesson in Portraits – Your Art, Your Way is new and unique to this course. Whilst there may be some crossover in terms of materials and the fundamentals of portraiture, this course seeks to delve much deeper into anatomy, expression and artistic development. It stretches you even further to help you grow in your practice. If you have studied on any of my previous courses, you will know that I love talking about materials and techniques, but even more, I am inspired to teach ways of creating art that are unique to every individual through ideas, practice and experimentation. This course goes deeper into expanding your practice (and mine) to bring about even more individuality and expression to your work.

Is this a drawing course or a painting course?

Both! Drawing exercises are used for practice, as a way of creating beautiful finished pieces of art but also to prepare us for our painting exercises.

Why are class numbers limited for live courses?

Students in a live course have the opportunity to post their images to a private group for feedback and critique. I aim to be available to all students for the duration of the live course and give feedback as often as I can. This is only possible with a set number of students. A lot of learning happens within this group! Students learn as much from my comments on the work of others as they do on their own. It takes time for me to look at all of the images, answer questions and offer feedback.

How is course content delivered?

The course content is made available to you on a password-protected website via videos, reading and written assignments to encourage you to practice your own creativity. For live courses, you receive access to the content slowly over a series of weeks. For self-study courses, you receive access to all course content to work through at your own pace. For short courses, you receive the course content via downloadable PDFs and videos.

Upon purchasing the course, you will be sent a confirmation via email. You will then be sent the link to the classroom site and password. If you have registered for the course and have not heard anything within 24 hours, please check your spam and junk email folders. If you still have not received confirmation, please contact me at

How long will I have access to course content?

Upon purchase, you will have lifetime access to all content (as long as the site can be maintained). Videos are downloadable to enable offline access and long-term study. To download a video, simply click on the URL link to open the video in a separate window directly on the Vimeo site. Below the video and to the right, you will see the download button. Simply click on the download button and select the location on your computer where you would like to save the video to commence the download.

Can I download the course videos and how do I download them?

Course videos are downloadable to enable offline access and long-term study. To download a video, simply click on the URL link to open the video in a separate window directly on the Vimeo site. Below the video and to the right, you will see the download button. Simply click on the download button and select the location on your computer where you would like to save the video to commence the download.

What do I require to access and participate in the course?

You will need a PC, laptop or tablet and a high-speed internet connection. The videos are filmed in high definition (HD), although you can choose to switch this off and view them at a lower resolution. You may be able to use a mobile or tablet to view some of the course content but the course is rich in visuals and there is a fair amount of reading, so mobile devices may find it difficult to load all of the content. I cannot advise on particular technical resources you may have, so please be sure that you are able to access the type of equipment needed. Generally if you can watch YouTube videos or Vimeo videos and your computer or device loads content quickly and efficiently, then you should not have a problem.

Do I need to be online or access the course at particular times?

No! The beauty of the internet and the ecourse format is that no matter where you are in the world, you can follow along at your own pace, accessing the course content from anywhere at any time.

How do I connect with you as a tutor and the other students?

You will have the opportunity to access a private Facebook community page where you can connect with other students. If you register for a live course, I will be available to critique work and offer (gentle) constructive feedback for the duration of the course.

You may also connect with other students of each course by using  a certain # and posting your images on Instagram. Specific information is included in the FAQ for each individual course.

Can I share/sell the artwork I make while taking your courses?

Of course you can! If you share your images, I would appreciate it if you could mention the course for those who might be interested in finding out more about it.

Can I share content, lessons, videos or images from the course site?

The short answer is no. I respectfully ask you not to share any content (videos, images or text) from this course to any site, website, Pinterest or in any of your own workshops. I put a huge amount of time and effort into each and every aspect of my teaching to keep it original and true to the work I do. Of course, you can always direct interested people to my art school site and my individual course offerings.

Should you require further clarification or have additional questions, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this page.

This all sounds great! Where do I sign up?

Hooray! I’m so excited to have you participate! Use the button below to be taken the page outlining which courses are currently available for registration.

Register for an Ecourse

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