Figures & Portraits – Drawing & Painting

From simple charcoal warm-ups to finished paintings and drawings, in this course, you'll explore a range of multi-media - watercolour, charcoal, pencil, ink and wash, and oils.

After watching demonstrations, you will practice a different technique each day. You’ll do exercises to improve eye-hand coordination, recognize proportions, learn simple measurements, perfect faces, hands, and feet, and learn foreshortening tricks. There will be a session with a live model.

For beginners and improvers alike.

  • Full days - Monday to Friday - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Suitable for ages 18 to adult
  • Beginner, Intermediate
  • Join waiting list

Course Info

Throughout the course, Pauline offers one-on-one instruction as well as demonstrations.

She will push students beyond their comfort zones but will also encourage and support them. Be prepared to be creatively energised and inspired!

Day One

The Figure in Charcoal
From quick warmups to finished charcoal images, you will learn to draw more accurately with this method of ‘seeing’.

Pauline will show you how to switch easily between left and right brain thinking. You’ll be drawing more accurately and confidently within an hour.

Different drawing exercises will teach you new memory techniques. There will be a life model available for the final two hours.

Day Two

‘Making Faces’
Pauline’s favourite drawing technique without any references. It will be a fun and creative day of drawing and creating portraits.

Let’s examine your individual styles, and then Pauline will encourage you to develop those talents and your uniqueness

Day Three

Watercolour Figures and Portraits
Anyone can learn to create magic colour with Watercolour – the Adair method. Pauline will dispel the myth that watercolour is the most difficult medium to learn!

Day Four

Ink & Wash Figures and Portraits
Long after she’s put down her brushes, the special ink Pauline uses will continue to work its mesmerizing effects. Fascinating!

Day Five

How to tackle a 3-hour Portrait in Oils
From drawing to completion – in just three hours. A simple oil painting technique for painting quick portraits requires a little practice, but Pauline will show you how.

Suitable for beginners to improvers

Please bring the following on your first day of class:


  • 20 – 30 sheets of blank newsprint (flat, not rolled or folded)
  • Willow and compressed charcoal assorted sizes
  • Kneaded eraser
  • White chalk or white pastel
  • Rigid drawing board (approx. 55 x 40 cm)
  • Smaller drawing board (approx. 45 x 35 cm)
  • Three bulldog clips
  • Tissues
  • One full sheet of cartridge paper (flat)


  • HB or H pencil (hard).
  • One whole sheet (flat) 300 gsm rough watercolour paper
  • Watercolour paints
  • Brushes
  • Tissues
  • Watercolour palette or china plate

Colours I use:

  • yellow ochre
  • cadmium yellow
  • cadmium red
  • alizarin crimson
  • cerulean blue
  • burnt umber
  • cobalt or ultramarine blue
  • optional – burnt sienna

Ink & Wash (optional) – this is Day 4, but if students wish to continue with watercolour and skip the ink, this is fine.

  • Parkers Quink ink – black (available from Officeworks)
  • Brushes as above (I use my watercolour brushes)
  • Tiny containers for decanting ink and an eye dropper.
  • One whole sheet 300 gsm medium or smooth watercolour paper (flat not rolled or folded)

Oils – Limited palette

  • Ultramarine blue
  • Cadmium red & alizarin
  • Cadmium yellow & yellow ochre
  • Titanium white
  • Burnt umber
  • Small, stretched canvas or triple primed MDF board no larger than 30 x 25cm
  • Rags
  • Odourless turps/thinners & 2 small jars
  • A coloured pencil, preferably red or brown
  • Oil painting palette

Other equipment

  • Paper towels
  • Two water jars
  • Table easel – Stand easel if available

Happy Camper Reviews

Pauline Adair
Course Tutor

Pauline Adair

Pauline has worked as a figure artist for over thirty years, receiving numerous awards. An experienced art teacher, she regularly conducts one-day and two-day workshops on the Sunshine Coast. Pauline taught a similar course in multimedia figures and portraits over seven years at the annual Art Societies Summer School in Canberra.

Artist Statement
“I was born an inquisitive and creative child….. I love to learn and discover something new every day. It’s my duty as an artist!

I give myself new challenges daily…. If the mountain is too small I wouldn’t be bothered climbing it!

I am basically self-taught…. the discipline which helped me the most, was approx. 30 years of weekly life drawing and painting. I’d love everyone to enjoy a journey like the amazing creative one I have been so blessed to experience.

Each and every person has their own individual beauty, outside and inside….. they are in themselves great masterpieces of creation! Painting people is how I celebrate humankind and each person’s uniqueness, and I paint people as a tribute to our Creator.

As I live and breathe, I am amazed by how very different we all are. There’s my inspiration, right there!

I have always been an admirer and devotee of the Impressionist style of painting… and note why the style of painting was developed as a reaction to the invention of photography, as photos were thought to devalue the artists’ skills. Indeed.”