Masterclasses & Workshops

By: Benjamin Sullivan
25 Jun 2018 - 28 Jun 2018
Fee Application Deadline
€450 May 27, 2018
Sorry, we are no longer accepting applications for this workshop.

Working from a model, in a sustained pose, students will be led through a 4-day course exploring all aspects of Sullivan’s approach to portraiture. Day 1 will focus on drawing, with the aim of making a detailed portrait on paper which will be the basis for the painting to follow. Day 2 will start with transfer- ring the preparatory drawing to the canvas after which students will proceed to a monochrome underpaint- ing. Day 2 & 3 will be spent painting in oils over the underpainting to create a convincing portrait. Practical demonstrations and individual tuition will be provided throughout the course with the aim of improving skills and understanding of painting.

Benjamin Sullivan was born in Grimsby in 1977. He studied painting and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 2000. He lives and works in Suffolk.

Sullivan’s work has been widely exhibited, including at the Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery. Among other distinctions, he has received a Carrol Foundation Award, the Kinross Scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 2007, he won the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize.

He was elected a member of the New English Art Club and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2001 and 2003 respectively, becoming the youngest person to be elected to those institutions. In 2009, he was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

His work is to be found in numerous public and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Scottish Academy, Parliament House, Edinburgh, and several Oxford and Cambridge Colleges. In 2009, he became artist in residence at All Souls College where he undertook a large commission depicting the College staff. The resulting work, The All Souls Triptych, was displayed at the Ashmolean Museum in 2012 and now sits in one of Hawksmoor’s twin towers at All Souls College. In 2014, Sullivan was appointed Artist in Residence at the Reform Club. In 2016, Sullivan won third prize in the BP Portrait Awards before winning rst prize in 2017 for ‘Breech!’, a painting of his wife breastfeeding their infant daughter.


As part of the RHA School Access Programme, two free places on RHA School Workshops, Courses, Life-drawing sessions and Masterclasses will be offered. One to an artist currently enrolled at any of the third level art colleges in Ireland. The second free place will be offered to an artist of merit at any stage of their career. This additional free place has been made available through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Artists and art students who wish to be considered for these places should include a CV, three images of current practice and a cover letter providing a short statement indicating how they would benefit from attending any of the RHA School activities as part of their online application.

Queries about any of the RHA School classes, workshops or masterclasses should be forwarded to the Academy Co-ordinator, Kate McBride. Phone: 01-6612558 or email:

Image:  Benjamin Sullivan, Breech! (detail), 2017, Image courtesy of the artist.