Upcoming Classes
& Courses

Drawing Portraits in Charcoal: M4 with Jess Mara

This is a 6 week course.

About Jess:

Jess is an Adelaide based figurative painter/drawer exploring ideas of Identity, place and motherhood. She is a lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art.

Jess completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts (honours) at Adelaide Central School of Art in 2006. The following year she was the recipient of the Hill Smith Gallery/ Malaysia Airlines Travel Award. Jess continues to exhibit with recent solo exhibitions, Bundled, Praxis, These Four Walls, floating Goose Studios. Group exhibitions and prize exhibitions including The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, NSW, The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award and the Royal South Australian Society of Arts -Portrait Prize. In 2019 Jess won the people’s Choice award for her painting Embrace (Self-portrait with son), The Kennedy Art Prize. www.jessmara.com Instagram- jessmaraart

Drawing Portraits in charcoal

This course is suitable for beginners, those who attended the previous portrait workshop and those with drawing experience.

Course Outline:

This course introduces participants to the fundamentals of drawing realist portraits. They will be guided through a series of exercises focusing on structure, placement, features, likeness and the use of tone to describe form.  Source images will be provided for these foundation building exercises.

We will then discuss setting up a subject in a studio setting for a quality photograph looking at lighting, mood and expression. Participants will complete a major portrait drawing over multiple weeks. Participants will have the opportunity to choose their subject and develop their own source image to work from for this exercise.

Material List:

1 A1 sheet cartridge paper (divided into 4 x A3 pieces); 2-3 sticks thin Willow Charcoal; 1 medium thickness willow charcoal; kneadable eraser (optional): eraser pencil: 1 medium Charcoal Pencil: 1 white Conte Pencil or white Charcoal Pencil.  1 graphite pencil HB: ruler: cotton rag: a paper stump: sharpener: baby wipes: 1 mid tone grey Canson Mi-Teintes paper 50 x 60cm. Your own drawing board might be helpful for working on and transporting your drawings.

Note: Participants will require their own photographic portrait reference to work from in the last 3 weeks of the course. This must be an A4 reference, (can be black and white), containing a clear image of your chosen subject (including head, shoulders and torso only with any background you wish to use.)  We will discuss possibilities in class.

To enrol in Drawing Portraits in Charcoal: M4, please contact the tutor liaison.

Viv Bishop



1 Jul 2024
10am - 12.30pm


St Matthews Homes’ Activities Hall
Get directions


$135 members; $180 non-members

Additional information

Jess Mara website: https://www.jessmara.com/index.html

Jess Mara Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessmaraart/?hl=en