Getting Started with Portraiture in Oil: Feb 10

Register online now

Dates: Includes 2 Sessions: February 10 and 24

Time: 11 AM -3 PM (with a lunch break)

Instructor: Helen Hubler

Tuition: $120 (Pay to Bower Center)

Materials fee: $ 20 (Pay to instructor at first session)

Materials provided: oil paints, turpentine and paper palettes, some paint brushes and, misc supplies

Student supplied: Bring a canvas (recommended size - 16 x 20 or 18 x 20). Bring an 8 x 10 photograph of someone who interests you and you want to paint – photograph must be large enough and clear enough to be well seen from which to work.

Optional: Bring your own good brushes. Good brushes are important for producing accurate paintings.

Registration: Call 540-586-4235 or come by the Bower Center Tues-Sat between 11 AM to 4 PM to register or online:

Learn oil painting basics: How to get started, how to put paints on the palette, how to mix color with brush and palette knife. How to map in the face with charcoal and paint.

Learn the Cezanne method: Daubing paint not only on the subject, but throughout the canvas’ background to help get a more unified painting

Learn what colors to mix to get flesh tones and what colors to mix from the eight colors that will be used.

Learn a few “tricks” to get accurate, meaningful portraits to achieve your goals and get a good likenesses.

About the Instructor

I have been drawing and oil painting for over 52 years. I began to do both at the Art Students’ League in NYC in 1963, and I have been at it ever since! I am still growing and still challenged and still responding with enthusiasm to what I see. I teach painting and drawing, exhibit extensively (often receiving awards), have work in many private collections throughout the country, and continuously paint portrait commissions.

I graduated from Simmons College (Boston, MA) in 1962 with BS in Psychology and Science. I married and moved to the New York City area in the fall of that year. We lived first in Brooklyn, then Manhattan and from 1973-1992 in Harrington Park, NJ (a suburb of New York). I began to study oil painting and drawing seriously in 1963 (though working full time at the Rockefeller University initially as a lab technician) and attended The Art Students League and The National Academy of Design for seven years. I was on an Art Merit Scholarship at the National Academy of Design. In the years that followed, I began a disciplined regimen of oil painting, doing oil painting and pencil drawings several days a week, first at a studio outside my home and then in my home (while my two daughters were growing up).

I have always loved Art Museums (which I frequented in New York, many cities of the United States and Europe); and I have learned a great deal about Fine Art through museums and extensive reading.

I have given oil painting and drawing lessons in my home, and I taught one private student in her home for a period of ten years! I spent considerable effort showing my work (including some of the places listed above) during the time I lived outside NYC. I got illustration jobs in 1983 –1985, including doing the pen and ink drawings for two W.W. Norton books. I illustrated one children’s book for a Hawthorne, NJ publisher as well. This work was a result of my portfolio of pencil illustrations and a direct result, I believe, of a wonderful course in drawing design that I took at The School of Visual Arts. My portfolio of drawings are very detailed and delicate, different in style from my oil paintings. Many of these were recently framed and are already sold.

In 1978, I began to work full time. After six years as an itinerant parochial elementary school art teacher, I happily became a commercial artist. I learned – on the job – to design ads and brochures as well as to do paste-ups and mechanicals. Weekdays I worked for a New Jersey industrial ad agency and weekends I did paste-ups for “The Bergen Record” (a large NJ newspaper). When in 1992 we moved to Virginia, I went to work for “The Roanoke Times” as a direct result of my NJ newspaper experience. Several years ago, I learned to do graphic design on computer at “The Roanoke Times.”

During all the years of my working life, I managed to paint one day a week. Soon after my husband and I relocated to Buchanan (farmland outside of Roanoke, VA), we put a studio onto our house. This allowed me to oil paint every Monday! In August of 2001, I stopped working full time and have been able to work on oil paintings several days a week ever since.