Course Code OC2003118
Tutor Carl Randall
Course Dates Tuesdays, 20th April - 22nd June 2021
Days 10
Times 6.15pm - 8.45pm
Experience Level Beginner+
Fee £300
Location Online

This 10-weeks long ONLINE course taught by Carl Randall will be exploring processes behind portrait painting. Using a simplified, structured, and step-by-step approach, students will learn the skills and techniques necessary to create convincing portrait paintings. Creating portraits that have a convincing sense of shape, form, tone, and colour is difficult to do, and this course looks at various techniques that artists can use to do this. By interpreting the human head into its abstract elements (shape, tone & colour), you will gain confidence in how to paint portraits in a structured and methodical manner. The course offers a balance in applications of paint: some lessons in which a more academic, graphic and illustrative approach is required (techniques often used by the Old Masters); and others that are more contemporary, which focus on thick paint, texture, gesture and brush marks.

What level is this course?

This course is suitable for students at our Beginner + level.

  • Beginner +

    Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

Other course levels include:

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

  • Intermediate

    Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

  • Advanced

    Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

About Your Tutor


I am a British figurative painter whose work is based on images of modern Japan, and more recently London. A graduate of The Slade School of Fine Art, The Royal Drawing School London, and Tokyo University of Arts Japan, I have won several awards including the BP Travel Award at The National Portrait Gallery, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, The Nomura Art Prize Japan, as well as several other awards. I have had several solo exhibitions in London and Japan, with group exhibitions at Christies New York, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Jerwood Gallery, The Mall Galleries, The National Portrait Gallery, Tokyo Art Award, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and has participated at art fairs in Switzerland, Turkey and Taiwan. My work has been the featured on the BBC World Service, and can be found in the collections of University College London Museum, Tokyo Geidai Museum Japan, Foundation Carmignac Paris, and The Royal Collection. I was invited to be artist in residence in Hiroshima City to paint portraits of survivors of the Atomic Bomb, and at the Formula 1 Races Japan. My display of sixteen Japan paintings at the National Portrait Gallery in 2013 was accompanied by ‘Japan Portraits’ – a catalogue illustrating paintings and drawings made during his 10 years in Tokyo. ‘London Portraits’ are a series of 15 paintings made upon my return to the UK after 10 years living in Japan, of people who have contributed to their fields in British society and culture. Each sitter was asked to choose a location in London for the background of their portraits. I have been invited to give talks at University College London Museum, The London Art Fair, CharterHouse School, Cambridge University, The British Council in Tokyo, The National Portrait Gallery London and The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation (talk chaired by the Head of Undergraduate Painting at The Slade School). In Tokyo, I was Adjunct Professor in Fine Art at Temple University Japan and painting and drawing tutor at Suidobata Art Academy. In London, I have been invited to give painting and drawing workshops at The Art Academy, Heatherleys School of Fine Art, and The Royal Drawing School.


What will I need

Students need to ensure that they have all the  materials  and technical equipment needed available from the first lesson.

The lesson will be facilitated through Zoom platform. Please ensure your computer/laptop/smart phone is set-up prior to the first lesson.

Materials required: List of materials for individual lessons is included in this Daily breakdown. 

  • Graphite pencils (2B or 4B), compressed charcoal, paper, erasers.
  • canvas or canvas boards of various sizes or painting paper
  • for your first lesson you will also need a piece of paper of the same size as your chosen board
  • brushes -Very small brushes needed as well as larger; soft brushes (sable) as well as harder (hogs hair).
  • palette knife
  • tear-of palette or an old white tile/plate
  • painting medium -A painting ‘medium’, such as ‘Oil painting medium’, ‘Glazing medium’, Linseed oil, Liquin (thinners such as Zest-it and Turpentine are not ‘painting mediums’, though they can be used a as a substitute if necessary).
  • Thinners to clean your brushes
  • paints of various colours – Tutor’s recommended colour palette for painting skin (students are also welcome to use their own specific palette, if it works for them):
  • Titanium white
  • Ivory black
  • Yellow ochre
  • Cadmium red
  • Alizarin crimson
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt umber
  • One of these greens – Terre Verte, Sap Green, Italian Green Umber.

Further Details

  • Please ensure that at all times you follow our Code Of Conduct.
  • Please note that the Art Academy cannot be held responsible for student’s technology and/or connectivity. If for any reason (including technical) students are unable to take part, we will not be providing compensation. We are not responsible for any subsequent cost accrued from high data usage.
  • Students will be required to upload their work onto the Art Academy ‘Padlet’ account (a free online sharing and teaching and sharing platform). This will allow the tutor and other students to see work you produce, and for group discussions to occur. Details of this will be sent to you nearer the time of the start of the course. The tutor will show you how to use it, if you are not familiar with it. Access to a digital camera will be required for this (mobile phone is fine), in order to take photos of your work and upload it onto Padlet.
  • Students unable to attend any lessons are treated the same as if it were in-class. Sadly, there is no feasible/practical way of adequately catching up. For similar reasons as stated above (privacy and copyright), tutors are unable to forward course materials to students, as a substitute for missed lessons.

  • Please note that many lessons are sequential, meaning that missed lessons may affect students ability to fully complete a project.

  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is not disturbing the class.

  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • If you would like more information or advice on courses at the Academy please contact
  • For further details please see our Short Courses: Regulations & Policies page.

Code of Conduct

Code Of Conduct 

We aim to foster a productive environment. We do not tolerate the following:

  • Screen-shotting or screen-recording at any point of the course (without expressed permission from the tutor or owners of the work)
  • Deliberate disruption of the session/conversation
  • Harassment, bullying, intimidation

We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and bullying, which we define as:

  • Negative comments about race/ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, physical appearance, citizenship, or other protected categories (alt: Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, xenophobic, antisemetic, Islamophobic and classist behaviour and language)
  • Intimidation or threats
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Any activity meant to convey or cultivate hostility
  • Ad hominem insults or other attacks
  • Encouraging the above behaviour

Please also avoid the following:

  • Interrupting the tutor and fellow students without cause


If you violate the code of conduct we retain the right to eject you immediately from the lesson. Future participation will be discussed and you will be notified of the appropriate course of action.


Places Available!

Fee: £300.00

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