Masterclasses & Workshops

Some Thoughts on Painting the Head from Life
By: Cian McLoughlin
3 Jul 2021 - 4 Jul 2021
Fee Application Deadline
€180 June 13, 2021
Sorry, we are no longer accepting applications for this workshop.

10am to 4:30pm

This masterclass will be broken into six sections, each covering a different aspect of painting the head from life. Cian will conduct a demo at the beginning of each part and participants will then apply the principles as they work on their own versions. Individual feedback will be given at all stages throughout the masterclass. There will also be short videos and slideshows across the weekend.

Other aspects covered throughout the class include:
Impasto, wet into wet painting, mark making while building form, composition, blending/modelling and thoughts on figuration, abstraction and semi-abstraction. The technical implications of working with larger amounts of material (paint, mediums etc) will also be addressed. Observation and different techniques for looking at the subject. Different ways of assessing what’s observed – detail and ambiguity. Working tempo, rhythm and speed. Head as portrait and head as object (Portrait vs head). Ways of assessing your own work as it progresses. Revision, repetition, destruction and rejection of work.

Cian McLoughlin is a Dublin based artist. A graduate of architecture, he went on to complete a Masters in Film Studies in UCD before dedicating himself full time to painting. His work is largely focused on portraiture and urban landscapes. To date he has had five solo shows in Dublin one in New York with the J Cacciola Gallery.

He has featured in many group exhibitions including at the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the RUA, Art Miami, Art Toronto, King’s Palace London and the Annual Exhibition in the RHA where he won the Niccolo D’Ardia Caracciolo RHA Gold Medal in 2013 and showed as an invited artist in 2016.

His work is held in many Irish and international private and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish National Self Portrait Collection, Crownway Investments, MCD, Tyrone Productions, the Gate Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre, the Westbury Hotel, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Dean Hotel, Mercury Engineering, Dept of Arts and Heritage, the American Irish Historical Society, the Croke Park Hotel and the Ireland Funds.

His previous body of work, Tronies, was a series of abstract heads reinterpreting the tronie genre of head paintings from the Flemish Baroque and Dutch Golden Age. The first of these tronies was exhibited in the Hennessy Portrait Awards 2014 in the National Gallery of Ireland. In May 2015 this body of work was the subject of a talk he delivered, also in the NGI, titled ‘Defamiliarization: Portraits and Tronies’, as part of the Sean Scully Lecture Series on Contemporary Art. In November 2017 the Molesworth Gallery hosted a solo show of this series with 20 tronie paintings and drawings exhibited for the first time together. In 2019 the National Gallery of Ireland purchased one of the series for its permanent collection.

His current body of work concerns large paintings on the subject of crowd behaviour. The first of these was exhibited by Robert Upstone Ltd at the Saatchi Gallery in London in Nov 2019. A further two works were exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland in Autumn 2020 and the full series will be exhibited in the Molesworth Gallery in Dublin in June 2021.