Learn to draw and paint portraits

Lesson 13: Velazquez: Alla Prima!

The following 28-minute video features the Spanish master Diego Velazquez' Portrait of Francisco Lezcano, c. 1638, also known as El Nino de Vallecas.

Francisco was about 19 years old when he posed for Velazquez and was employed as a jester in the court of King Philip IV. He was a mentally disabled, hydrocephalic dwarf and as was the timbre of the times considered merely an amusement, not a human being but on par with domestic animals.

Velazquez painted him with both great empathy and a spectacular virtuousity.

In this 28-minute video lesson I used only four colors: flake white, yellow ochre, Indian red and vine black and tackled this subject as an alla prima (wet-into-wet in a two-hour session) on a small 8x10" panel.

Miss a lesson?

#1: Intro and Notes on Drawing

#2: Unity

#3: Elements of Composition

#4: Architecture of Design

#5: Beginning a Painting

#6: Color Harmonies

#7: Creative Process | Pochade

#8: Creative Process 2 | Watercolor Study of A Young Girl

#9: Getting the BIG Shape

#10: A Walk in a Frozen Wood

#11: Drawing Hands

#12: Drawing the Skull

#13: Velazquez: Alla Prima

Upcoming Zoom Classes

Video Workshops

Painting Velazquez

Painting Portraits in Oil | Foundation to Bravura

Portrait Painting - Foundation to Bravura

Learn the entire process of painting portraits in oil from the underpainting to finish.

In this three-session workshop you will learn how to paint a dynamic portrait in oil from a photograph.

The language of the photograph is different from that of painting. In this workshop you will learn the process of how to translate the photographic image into a painting that is much more than a mere copy of the photograph.

You will learn how to accurately block-in the big shape before fixing the facial proportions to establish both your composition and the likeness.

From there learn how to decide upon the dominant color harmony and design thrust in the Ebauche stage. This is the initial coloring-in of the painting that sets the timbre of the portrait.

Learn how to construct value structures to render three-dimensional form and the practice of spotting color notes mix accurate flesh tones that breath life.

Using both the brush, knife, fingers and brush handle you will learn how to exploit the full-bodied materiality of oil paint to create dynamic and expressive portraits with a powerful abstract structural surface (the patina).

The photographic reference will be supplied. If you prefer to work from your own photograph I will need to review it before the course begins.

The Zoom classes are recorded and made available to you so that you can refer back to them again and again.

Materials List

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10:00 - 12:30
Pacific Standard Time
June 18 to 20, 2021
3 Sessions


Limited to eight participants.