Course Code WC1903050
Tutor Jennifer McRae RSA
Course Dates Saturday & Sunday, 30th & 31st May 2020
Days 2
Times 10.00am – 5.00pm
Experience Level Advanced
Fee £200
Location Art Academy London, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

In this masterclass, you will be painting from two models, with an emphasis on the visual differences between them. These individual nuances will help you to use comparative means to strengthen what you see, whether you are working on a portrait of one of the models or both (although duouble portraits are encouraged as they help the flow and are full of exciting challenges). The aim is to portray likeness and individuality in each model. The relatively short time of two days will be of benefit in freeing inhibition and embracing what is “there” and to work from life; it is very much painting the experience. You will work under the expert guidance of Jennifer McRae RSA, whose work can be found in a number of collections including the Royal Collection at the National Portrait Gallery. By the end of the course, you will have completed a single or double portrait.

What level is this course?

This course is suitable for students at our Advanced level.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

What should I bring?

Jennifer suggests to bring the following:

  • A variety of bristle, soft and synthetic brushes, both flat and round, with small to medium bearing in mind the detailed areas in the later stages
  • Suitable for either oils or acrylics
  • One tear off palette (9”x12”)
  • One palette knife
  • One bottle Zest-it (250ml)
  • A sketch book or loose paper suitable for water based or oil – which ever the student is using to correspond to
  • One stretched canvas or board for main composition, own preference of size (suggest no smaller than 16 x 12”)
  • Selection of acrylic paints (see detailed list below) – or Selection of oil paints if using (see detailed list below)
  • Painting medium: liquinpasto for thicker texture if that’s a preference (will build up layers faster and dry quicker. If smooth thinner layering liquin ordinary (there is also a fine detail version too.)
  • 3 Small jars for mixing as this will keep solvents cleaner –
  • Kitchen roll or cloth rags
  • Colours recommended by Jennifer: Paints: Daler Rowney Georgian and Windsor and Newton artist’s quality where possible; Old Holland, Schminke, Mussini are all good makes of paint to work with.
  • Titanium white Raw umber Olive green Rose d’or or similar cheaper rich pink Naples yellow A warm black rather than a blue based (Spanish or similar brown based black – can ask art shop for colour chart to select) Sap green Burnt sienna Indian yellow Yellow ochre Cerulean blue Violet plus the basic colours mentioned from the Art Academy packs. The colours above outwith the basics are recommended suggestions to pick and choose from by the student.


If you do not have your own materials you can purchase an Oil pack from the Art Academy.

You will need to bring your own painting materials to the class, which you can store at The Art Academy for the duration of the course. If you do not have your own materials, we recommend you order the one of the Painting Packs, below, at the time of booking, which will be available when you arrive for your first class. There is also a mini shop in the Academy that supplies the basics such as canvas boards, paints, Zest-it etc. (card purchases only).

The Academy is a white spirit and turpentine free environment and only odourless spirits, such as Zest-it or Sansodor, are permitted on the premises. These can also be recycled on site. If you are using oil paints you must bring 1 small jar with a lid to hold your solvent as this should be reused each week. If you want to dispose of your solvent please speak to your tutor as these cannot be poured down the sink and must be disposed of correctly. 

Please also bring an apron or old clothing to wear.

The Oil Pack contains:

A set of bristle brushes, both flat and round
One tear off palette (9”x12”)
One palette knife
One bottle of Zest-it (250ml)
One 10″x12″ canvas board
One 10″x14″ canvas board
Two 12″x16″ canvas boards
Eight Daler Rowney 38ml Georgian oil tubes of Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, Coeruleum Blue and Burnt Umber

Please note that pack contents are subject to change at the discretion of the Academy at any time.

About Your Tutor


Jennifer McRae is mainly a figurative painter based in Edinburgh. Jennifer works predominantly with oil, watercolours, canvas, paper. Jennifer’s work can be found in number of collections including National Portrait Gallery, Royal Collection and many others. 



Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

Art Academy Map

Refreshments and Facilities

All students have access to a common room and kitchen. Here you will find tea and coffee, a fridge, kettle, microwave and eating area.

There is a wealth of supermarkets, shops and cafes in the area as well as the world famous Borough Food Market just moments from our Mermaid Court location.

We are always striving to improve our facilities but due Mermaid Court being an old building we have limited disability access. Should you have any access requirements please speak to a member of the Academy team before booking the course.

Further Details

  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be purchased on our Materials Page or on the individual course page when you make your booking.
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of. Paintings that need to dry should be collected within a week. For clay sculptures that need hollowing and firing, you will receive a separate email when they can be collected.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
  • Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some images of our classes in progress. We will typically inform you beforehand if photography is taking place during your class; if you do not want to be photographed please let the photographer know!
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram 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.

From: £200.00