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2019 Michelle Dunaway- Capturing the Expressive Qualities of the Alla Prima Portrait- Oil in Studio

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2019 Michelle Dunaway- Capturing the Expressive Qualities of the Alla Prima Portrait- Oil in Studio

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2019 DATES: SEPTEMBER 23, 24, 25, 26 (MON, TUES, WED, THURS) ***Waitlist only***



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Workshop Participants can put down a $400 deposit and pay the rest 60 days before the workshop starts!

Capturing the Expressive Qualities of the Alla Prima Portrait

This workshop will be a comprehensive study into painting the portrait “Alla Prima” in oils. Michelle will do a demonstration each morning while discussing the key elements that make up not only an accurate portrait, but a compelling portrait painting. The fundamentals of painting are key to achieving a solid effect of light and form in paint, but great portraiture goes beyond this and captures a sense of breath and aliveness in the finished painting. Students will paint after the morning demo and Michelle will give individual help to each student as they work from a live model. She will not only advise on the current painting, but will help students as a whole achieve the next desired level in their work. All of the techniques of painting will be covered from drawing, composition, color, value and edges, as well as how to bring a portrait to a likeness and ultimately capture a sense of life in the finished painting.

Supplies and Palette

My palette

NOTE * This is my palette and preference of brands.. Please do not feel the need to go out and buy a bunch of new paint if you already have something similar. The only 2 colors/ brands that I find essential as they do not have the same transparency or temperature in other brands are windsor newton permanent mauve and Rembrandt transparent oxide red. 

Any Brand:
Titanium White

Cad yellow Lemon
 transparent oxide yellow 
Transparent oxide red
 Cobalt blue light
Ultramarine blue deep
 Viridian green 

Windsor Newton:
 Cadmium yellow light
 Cadmium yellow medium
 Cadmium red scarlet
 Cadmium red
 Permanent alizarin crimson
 Permanent mauve
 Yellow ochre pale


Kings Blue  

Michael Harding : 
Cadmium Orange 
Kings Blue Light 

*When buying cadmium colors, avoid the ones that say " hue" they are imitation cadmium and do not mix flesh tones in the same way and will turn your color muddy. 

Make sure to get professional grade paint. Student grade paint is much less expensive because it is mostly filler and oil and very little pure pigment. It will also give you muddy color as you paint.
*I know paints are expensive but it's important to practice with the best materials you can . Just as a musician wouldn't practice on an out of tune instrument, we must practice with the best materials we can afford because our time is valuable. 

I paint on a smooth portrait grade linen
For travel, I use  Artfix L64C oil primed linen panels . I use the linen on gator foam or Hardboard from RayMar www.raymarart.com . 
 12x16” , 14 x18” or 16 x 20” is a good size . If you need a wet panel carrier, you can also get great ones through Ray Mar


The brushes I use are Rosemary and Co based out of England. They are excellent quality , handmade and very affordable. For convenience of ordering  I have put together 3 sets with Rosemary. A basic set, a professional set and an extended set with some new brushes that I have come to love in the recent years.


And the professional set which is a little more extensive in varying sizes

and some recent new additions to my brush collection in this extended addition set :

Other Supplies:
-You will need a container for turp . ***Please bring Only Gamblin Gamsol paint thinner in class It is the least toxic
-Walnut Oil medium This is non toxic, and the only medium allowed in class
-Paper towels
-Palette. I use a glass palette but you can use whatever palette you prefer. If you are traveling need a glass palette you can pick up a ready made frame at any drug store and use for your palette. Some friends of mine do this for travel and it works nicely as the frame holds the paint in and you can cover with plastic wrap at the end of the day