12-week Portrait Fundamentals

Member: $210 (with member discount coupon) Non-member: $280
Thursdays 7-9:30pm ET (Boston Time). April 7 - June 23, 2022

learn drawing with Yong Chen

Portrait Fundamentals is the first program in the portrait series. Overall, you will be introduced to the fundamental techniques and the basic workflow of portrait drawing/painting with references. It includes the following four parts.

Part one - basic portrait drawing

In the first three weeks of the program, we will use photo references to study children's facial structures and proportions. Through the class demonstrations, step-by-step in-class practices, homework and critiques, you will learn

  • how to do composition studies
  • how to use different measuring techniques to determine correct facial proportions
  • how to discover the connection between large shapes and details within the face
  • how to represent forms and create a realistic facial likeness

Part two - shapes in portrait drawing

During the second three weeks of the program, you will learn about balance and value and how they are used to bring out the personality in a portrait. Through the class demonstrations, step-by-step in-class practices, homework and critiques, you will learn

  • how to perceive the shapes of light and shadow
  • how to analyze and compare the values present
  • how to simplify complex shapes
  • how to discover the personality of a child from photo references
  • how to use composition and visual elements to bring out your understanding and expression

Part three - how to finish a portrait

In the third three weeks of the program, we will learn how to draw or paint a realistic portrait using your prefered medium. You will learn

  • the steps used in the whole portrait creation
  • how to discover the shapes of light and shadow to highlight the contours of the human face
  • For those who wish to paint a portrait, you will learn how to mix skin tones for different parts of a child's face and ow to analyze the value and temperature of colors

Part four - making a portrait with your own reference

In this last part of the program, you will use a photo of one of your family or friends to complete a drawing or painting.


The format of the 12-week classes will be fully interactive using a step-by-step approach. At the end of the program, you will have a better understanding of the complete process of portrait drawing and painting using your favorite medium/materials, and will be ready to take on your own children’s portrait project and enjoy it.

If you have to miss a class, don’t worry. The full videos of our Zoom class meetings will be uploaded to the class website for your easy review and learning.

When you have completed your homework assignment, upload it to the dedicated class review area. Class members are encouraged to give suggestions and technique reminders to each other. There will also be homework coaching sessions where Yong will give suggestions for individual improvement.


Scheduled class time is based on Boston, Massachusetts’ time zone (EST). 

Classes will be held on Zoom. Both audio and camera are to be on during the class. Please be sure both are working.

Refunds will only be honored for email cancellation requests made 3 days (72 hours) in advance of the first class, using the email yongc@yongchen.com. Refunds will not be generated for any reason after this time. No refunds will be honored for no shows, forgetting, technical problems, etc. 

Screen shots containing images of class members or the professor may not be reproduced in any form, as it is against the law.

Recommended equipment for the Interactive learning experience: Adjustable Mounted Holder for iPad/phone

Available from Amazon using this link: https://amzn.to/2DLIVHK