The Classic Self-Portrait

with Kerry Dunn

Photo of Kerry Dunn

Join artist and teacher Kerry Dunn for a masterful overview of oil painting techniques as you create a classic self-portrait. Read More…

  1. Class Overview
  2. Meet the Instructor
  3. Ratings & Reviews
  4. Materials
  5. FAQs

Class Description

Delve into the relationships between shapes, objects and hues that you see in the mirror without struggling to recreate the scene in front of you with each new session. First you'll make a value exercise depicting layers of light and shadows surrounding a ball before advancing to a self-portrait consisting of oil paints in a double primary palette (a warm and cool version of each primary, plus white). Along the way you'll learn to how to seamlessly blend wet and dry paint and incorporate valuable details that bring your portrait to life.

Learn More about The Classic Self-Portrait

The Classic Self-Portrait
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Lesson Plan


Lesson 1. Setting Up

  • Meet Kerry Dunn and learn how to set up your tools and studio for a comfortable and efficient work station.


Lesson 2. Underpainting in Grisaille

  • Develop an underpainting with Kerry's expert tips as you learn to establish lines, angles, shapes and major shadows.


Lesson 3. Light on the Ball Exercise

  • Explore varying layers of light and shadow in an elegantly simple exercise that you'll apply to all of your future paintings.


Lesson 4. Light & Shadow

  • Shed preconceived notions about what you "should" paint and paint what you truly see as you block in light and shadows.


Lesson 5. Expanding the Value Range

  • Kerry helps you develop a strong eye for defining value ranges in your portrait, working through challenges as you go.


Lesson 6. Introducing Color

  • Rediscover color in an entirely new way as Kerry walks you through theory and various techniques.


Lesson 7. Blocking & Adjusting Color

  • Take color a step further as you block in and define your color, working more in-depth with flesh tones, shadows and light.


Lesson 8. Blocking in for the Final Pass

  • Continuing to define your painting, working with edges and learn how to re-work areas that have dried.


Lesson 9. Defining the Details

  • Approach your portrait with new eyes as you correct, adjust and highlight various areas in a final pass.


Lesson 10. Reviewing the Process

  • Learn how to apply the techniques you've learned to future projects, and gain inspiration on how to bring your portraits to life.

"Very impressed with this class. I love the way Kerry organized this course, He makes it very easy to follow and understand his thought process from beginning to end."
- wgb06201660588

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Student Projects

Light & Shadow Exercise by Kerry Dunn
  • Photo of Kerry Dunn
  • by Kerry Dunn
  • Light & Shadow Exercise
Completed Self-Portrait by Kerry Dunn
  • Photo of Kerry Dunn
  • by Kerry Dunn
  • Completed Self-Portrait
Portrait in progress by Kerry Dunn
  • Photo of Kerry Dunn
  • by Kerry Dunn
  • Portrait in progress
starting my underpainting by billiefaye
  • Photo of billiefaye
  • by billiefaye
  • starting my underpainting

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