During this five-day intensive workshop, Michelle will lecture, demonstrate her painting techniques and provide one-on-one instruction as students paint from life.

The class will focus on Alla Prima painting, covering everything from composition and colour mixing of skin tones to more advanced techniques such as colour temperature which gives the visual illusion of the subject receding or coming forward in space. The beautiful intricacies of edges and brushwork will be a main focus as a way to lead the eye through the composition, making punctuations in paint and resting spots for the eye. This tool can be observed in nature and portrayed in paint to evoke emotion in the painting. The class will do three paintings over the five days; a figure painting, a head study and a two-day pose that covers advanced techniques for capturing a likeness and placing the sitter in an environment. Michelle will also do a slideshow of her work, including step-by-step photographs of her more elaborate finished studio work, while discussing things to keep in mind when taking a study back into the studio to make a completed work for the gallery.

Beginners to advanced students are welcome as Michelle will work on one with each student to help them achieve their next level in painting and give students specific guidance to meet their individual artistic goals.

Materials Required

Note: This is Michelle's palette and preference of brands... Do not feel the need to go out and buy a bunch of new paint if you already have something similar. The only 2 essential colours/brands (as they do not have the same transparency or temperature in other brands) are Windsor Newton Permanent Mauve and Rembrandt Transparent Oxide Red. The two combined with your flesh tones produce magnificent results, and Michelle will show you how to use them.

Michelle's Palette

Le Franc

  • Titanium White

Windsor Newton

  • Cadmium Yellow Light or Pale
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium or Deep
  • Cadmium Scarlet
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Permanent Mauve 


  • Transparent Oxide Red
  • Transparent Oxide Yellow
  • Cobalt Blue Light
  • Ultramarine Blue Deep
  • Viridian Green
  • Transparent Oxide Brown

Michael Harding

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red
  • Kings Blue Light
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Ivory Black 

*When buying cadmium colours, avoid the ones that say "hue" as they are imitation cadmium and do not mix flesh tones in the same way and will turn your colour muddy. Also, avoid student grade paint, most most of it is made up of imitation hues and student grade paint is much less expensive because it is mostly filler and oil and very little pure pigment.


  • 3x panels of smooth portrait grade linen
  • Size is up to you, suggested between 12x16” (min) up to 16x20 (max)
  • Michelle prefers Ray Mar Art panels in L64C or Claessens C13 oil primed on either gatorfoam or hardboard; you may paint on whatever surface you wish although some kind of Linen (rather than cotton) is best for the techniques Michelle will be sharing
  • Inexpensive cardboard wet panel carriers for travel are also available through Ray Mar Art
  • EAFA recommends Jackson's Art linen panels


  • Gamsol paint thinner
  • A container for paint thinner
  • Walnut oil for medium

*Please use only Gamsol. It is the least toxic. Do not bring Turpentine, odourless Turpenoid or natural Turpenoid. The art store will tell you its the same and it's not. Gamsol is the only solvent allowed in class, and walnut the only medium as it is also non toxic.


  • Paper towels  
  • Easel; you can bring your own portable easel or use the the school's
  • Palette; Michelle recommends a glass palette but you can use whatever palette you prefer such as paper or disposable


  • A variety of Rosemary and Co flats and filberts 
  • If ordering, the Basic set is very affordable and will give you the basics of what Michelle uses, the Professional set is a little more extensive, or you can order brushes individually; see Michelle's extended brush collection for recent additions
  • You are welcome to also use whatever brushes you currently have; Michelle suggests a variety of hair for different effects and at least a few long flats as those are mostly used to sculpt the form in the painting

About Michelle

Michelle Dunaway is an Internationally known American artist who’s paintings are revered for their bold brushwork yet sensitive portrayal of emotions that capture the human experience. Her artwork has been featured in numerous publications including International Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur, American Artist, Southwest Art, Art of the West, and American Art Collector along with inclusion in several art books. Michelle’s work has received many awards and honours including: The Award of Exceptional Merit at the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition in 2010 for her painting ‘The Daughters of Jane Seymour’. Finalist in the 2012/13 Art Renewal Salon Competition as well as being invited to be the featured artist at the 2014 California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition. Most recently Dunaway received the award of Exceptional Merit in the 2016 Portrait Society competition. Michelle receives invitations to teach, lecture, and give painting demonstrations at various schools and events internationally. She exhibits in galleries nationwide and her paintings are in private collections throughout the US and Europe. 

“To me, the extraordinary resides in the everyday moments of life. Those moments when we stop, pay attention and feel gratitude. All of us experience such moments and they transform us for the better. These instances of human life, personal reflection and inspiration are what I love to capture in paint."








10.00am - 17:00pm


(flexible start date)


Michelle Dunaway




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