Oct 12 - 15 2022


9:30 am - 4:30 pm



1012DK: Portraiture – Four Days, Four Ways

Portraiture with Deb Keirce & Maria Bennett Hock
All Levels (with basic experience)

October 4th is the last day registrations will be accepted

Supply List Here

This workshop is jam packed with information. Two instructors will walk you through the details of 4 different approaches for creating realistic portraits.

Day 1, capture a likeness, drawing along quickly in pencil sketches with Debra. Pencil sketches are used by many artists to make decisions about composition before they start painting. More importantly, Debra will show you step by step the easiest way to create a drawing that looks like your subject. This same concept will be used on the following days as you paint your portraits. It’s important to learn how to get a likeness on paper quickly, when working from life because your model will move and lighting can change, so Debra will walk you through a number of different scenarios from photos and from life in this exercise.

Day 2, paint wet on wet with Maria from a photo. Most commissioned portraits rely on photographic references. Often, it is not practical to paint a portrait from life. For example, pets and children cannot sit still for the time it would take to finish a painting. Maria will show you how she paints alla prima, in one sitting, from a photograph. She will demonstrate how important it is to lay down accurate value shapes and talk you through each part of her process. Then you will work on your own paintings under her guidance. Day 3, Maria will walk you through the direct process of painting a live model. This involves posing the model, setting the up the lighting, working with the model throughout the sitting, and noting subtle color nuances that are not depicted in photographs. Maria will point out the information you can only get when painting from life. Then, in the afternoon, she will guide you through your own painting of a live model.

Day 4, Debra teaches drawing and painting in layers from photos. This is called indirect painting. Her painting layers are thin and they dry before each is applied, so as to make rendering details easier. Her method is very different from Maria’s thick, loose paintings. Most people prefer either loose direct or tightly rendered indirect painting. By experiencing both in this workshop, you can explore which style suits you best. Students will work and paint along with Debra for the entire day.

Each day will be chockfull of learning, so plan to take notes and ask lots of questions. These two instructors have over two decades of experience to share with you.

Workshop Teachers


Debra Kierce paints themes that resonate deeply with her. She honors the golden age artists of the 17th century with traditional renditions of still life, landscape and portraiture. Their classical realism teachings are the foundation for her oil painting process. She embraces the vintage and surreal. There is beauty in the aging and broken people, places and things around us. Oddities are worthy of contemplation. Travel across America inspires Debra.  The vistas, faces and history of her country are a joy to paint. Keirce’s miniature fine art and hidden painting series offer atypical ways to interact with her art. Centuries ago, paintings were often in cupboards or under curtains until people leaned in to view them. She finds that some art is more precious when you put effort into seeing it close up and personal. In these ways, Deb offers art that is visual and experiential. If you love her oil paintings they love you back.


Maria Bennett Hock uses portraits and figures to tell stories.  She works in an impressionistic style that shows color, value changes and bold brush strokes.Having lived and worked all over the world her love for depicting peoples emotions is what drives her.  She is intrigued by the stories the faces and figures tell.  She interprets, rather than copies the images before her to evoke that emotion and tell that story.   Early adulthood was filled with raising children and a successful career as a graphic artist; Maria Bennett Hock then turned her attention to oil painting specializing in portraits and figurative work.  In 2011 she decided to paint every day to hone her skills.  She has stayed true to that vision.  Maria favors an impressionistic style that shows value changes and bold brush strokes.