David Gray
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5-Day The Portrait from Life | David Gray | September 20th


In this five-day workshop David will take you step by step through the process he uses in creating his professional works. From initial underdrawing though final glazes learn to build your painting in a series of layers that will help you effectively translate the observed model into an elegant and refined portrait.


Course #: 8451
Workshop Dates: Wednesday-Sunday, September 20-24, 2017
Time: 10AM-5PM, (includes 1-hour lunch break)
Days: 5 Days
16926 Saticoy Street
Van Nuys, CA 91406

In stock

SKU: 8451WE17 Categories: , Tags: ,

Product Description

Supply List

Bring an adequate selection of good quality brushes. I prefer a selection of filberts in both hog bristle and sable (or soft synthetic) in numbers 1 through 10. A few very small rounds for detail work are also recommended.

Some brands I have used and recommend are:
Sable or soft synthetic:
Trekell Legion Synthetic Mongoose
Trekell Red Sable
Rosemary & Co. Eclipse (synthetic) – I prefer the long filberts
Rosemary & Co. Pure Red Sable
Robert Simmons Sapphire (sable/synthetic blend)

Chungking Hog Bristle:
Trekell Hog Bristle
Robert Simmons Signet Series

You will also need a soft synthetic hair flat or filbert brush for oiling out. An inch or so wide will be fine. This should be an inexpensive brush. It does not need to be of high quality. Something from Loew-Cornell or the like will be fine.

Any good quality paint such as M. Graham, Michael Harding, or Gamblin will be just fine. Stay away from student grade paints.

You may use your own selection of paints if you are comfortable with a particular palette. But still try to bring some alkyd white. Otherwise I recommend the following:

Titanium White
Akyd White – I recommend Winsor & Newton Griffon (alkyd) Titanium White
Naples Yellow (optional)
Cadmium Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Light
Terra Rosa
Transparent Red Oxide
Raw Umber
Ivory Black
Quinacridone Violet
Ultramarine Blue
Pthalo green

I recommend size 12 x 16 (but bring what suits you). This will primarily be a head study. You will only need one canvas. I recommend a smooth weave linen or cotton, well stretched and primed. Oil or acrylic primed panel is also suitable. Please tone your support with a warm neutral color such as raw umber. Tone your support enough in advance so that it will be BONE DRY for the class. I always have one or two students who neglect this point. It’s important.

Also, bring something with which to do one or two color studies. I like to use a scrap of primed linen taped to a board. A small, inexpensive canvas panel is also suitable.

A note about toning the canvas or panel: “Toning” your support is simply staining the stark white with a little oil color. Rub some oil color on your canvas or panel along with some mineral spirits. Then wipe it off with a paper towel or rage (I prefer a cotton cloth) until you can’t wipe off anymore. That’s it. The goal of toning is simply to kill the stark white of the primer.

Liquin Impasto Painting Medium (From Winsor & Newton. Please note this is a thicker gel consistency of Original Liquin. It comes in a tube.)
A Palette Cup
A Small Amount of 1:1 mixture of Walnut Oil and OMS (an ounce or so should be more than enough)
A Palette – Either a glass palette, disposable sheets, a hand-held wooden type or whatever you prefer. If you are not familiar with using a hand held palette do not bring one “to try it” for this class. It takes some getting used to. We’ll be learning enough new things as it is. Stick with a glass palette or the disposable sheet type. Please try to avoid white or overly dark palettes. A gray or tan color is to be preferred.
A Trowel Shaped Painting Knife (for mixing), the blade being 1 ½ -2 inches (or thereabouts) in length.
Rags or Paper Towels
Brush Basin/Cleaner
Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS) – I prefer Gamsol by Gamblin. This solvent dissolves very slowly into the atmosphere, making it safer to use than other solvents or turpentine. Please do not bring a product you bought at the hardware store. Bring something made for artist use.
Vine Charcoal (medium hardness) Note: We will NOT be using compressed charcoal for this class. Bring ONLY vine or willow charcoal.
¼ inch flat or filbert brush to manipulate your charcoal
A fan brush to soften your charcoal lines.
Kneaded Eraser
Measuring Tool – I prefer a long knitting needle.
Mahl Stick — If you are looking to achieve very fine detail and a refined finish a maul stick is essential.

Optional (but strongly recommended):
A Container in which to store Your Palette and Paint When Not Painting– I have a plastic “Tupperware-like” container from Masterson that works perfectly.
Glass Scraper – If you are using a glass palette.
Pencil Extender – I like to wrap a little tape around my charcoal stick so it will fit into one of these.
A Small Hand Held Mirror – A great tool for seeing your painting in a fresh way and seeing your mistakes. I use one all the time.
A Pair of Close Focusing Binoculars – Such as the Pentax Papilio. Very helpful for seeing detail if you are positioned a bit away from the model.

Instructor Bio

David Gray’s initial art education at Pacific Lutheran University (BFA) have been strengthened by continued independent and occasional formal studies in pictorial expression and oil painting. The resulting work reveals a personal and contemporary expression of beauty and order which pays homage to the Classical Tradition in its craftsmanship. David’s award winning paintings have been covered by major art publications including Southwest Art, Art of the West, and American Art Collector. David also teaches several workshops per year in portraiture and still life painting throughout the United States and abroad.

LAAFA Policies


Students must be paid in full prior to the first day of class when enrolled in an Extension Course or Workshop, except those with a payment plan agreement. Please visit the Main Office at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the class, to complete any pending registration issues.

Payment Plans: A 3% Payment Plan Fee will be assessed, with a maximum charge of $35. The Payment Plan Fee, $20 Registration Fee, plus 50% of the total tuition owing must be paid on or before the first day of class. The remaining 50% of the tuition can be paid with a post-dated check (dated 1 month later) or with a signed Credit Card Authorization Form.

There is a $35.00 fee for all checks returned as N.S.F. (Non-Sufficient Funds).


LAAFA reserves the right to cancel any class, limit class size, change class times or substitute instructors for those listed in the schedule.

If a class is cancelled, students will be issued a full refund or may transfer with no fee to another class.

If an instructor must leave after a term has begun, and no suitable substitute is available, the student will be refunded a pro-rated amount.


All classes, uninstructed workshops, Visiting Artist Workshops and artist demonstrations are non-refundable. You may request to drop for credit (see next paragraph) or transfer into another class.

You have two weeks to evaluate each class and decide whether you want to drop for credit (a dollar amount calculated based on the receipt of request) or transfer into a new class. Requests must be submitted before the start of the third session, via email to accounting@laafa.org. A $25 Drop/Transfer Fee is assessed. Credit will be valid for a full year and is non-refundable. It can be applied toward any Extension Course, Workshop or Visiting Artist Event at LAAFA.

All artist demonstrations are non-refundable and non-transferable.


One free make-up session is allowed per quarter, per class. Please email us at accounting@laafa.org, at least 3 days in advance, with the course and date you wish to attend as a make-up. Make-up sessions aren’t transferable to future quarters.


  • If you arrive late, please enter quietly. If you have equipment to set up, please wait for a break to set up so that you do not disrupt the class.
  • The front row of benches is reserved for sitting individuals.
  • Economize your workspace to accommodate fellow artists.
  • Please refrain from talking to the models while they are posing. Photography is not allowed without the express permission of the model. The model may require a photography fee.
  • Please refrain from personal discussions while class is in session. Be sure to switch cell phone ringers OFF.
  • Don’t comment on others’ work unless it is solicited.
  • Animals are not permitted, with the exception of assistance dogs for the disabled.
  • Please clean up your work area and properly dispose of your waste after class. Use the Brush Cleaning Closet, not the bathroom sinks, to clean your hands, paintbrushes and other art tools.
  • No Turpentine or smelly solvents and mediums are allowed. Odorless Mineral Spirits is preferred.


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