Star Student - A peek into Rosso Emerald Crimson's classroom

By Jemima Armfield

Rosso Emerald Crimson is an award-winning portrait artist who brings intimacy and character to her colourful paintings.

Students of Rosso's online course How to Paint A Stunning Portrait are demonstrating some real talent through their assignments - Rosso's passion for her subject combined with the practical advice she gives her students make her a top class tutor to learn from.

We've highlighted the work of one of Rosso's first students who has created a beautiful portrait 'Autumn, Blown'.

Rosso is not only a fantastic portrait painter, but a very generous teacher, sharing her unique techniques with her students. Even as an experienced painter, I learnt lots of new methods of indirect painting and although I would have some reservations about recommending the course for a complete beginner, this is not because of Rosso’s teaching but because of the complexity of the subject matter and the time required between painting sessions. Obtaining feedback from Rosso as you progress through the course is extremely valuable, and she is kind and encouraging and her advice is well considered. Thoroughly enjoyable whilst being very informative! - Julie

A peek into the online classroom

Rosso's student Julie C has been been a great student in Rosso's online class. Here is a peek at the assignments she has submitted in the online classroom.

Lesson 1: Research and preparatory studies

During this lesson students are taken on a tour of Rosso’s art studio, taking a detailed look at her works of art and the influences behind them.

For your first assignment you will be tasked to choose a reference image. You can either find a portrait on the internet or ask a friend/family member to pose for you. When choosing your image make sure that it is not too static, and consider its composition.

The next step is to sketch the image and carry out a colour study.

Assignment 1: Julie C

For her first assignment Julie submitted two jpgs of her preparatory drawings: "I prefer the second one - but I would probably do it with an autumn theme and leaves, rather than flowers. It seems to have more movement than the second one, 'Flower Girl'. What do you think?"

Feedback from Rosso: Hi Julie, I love both but my favourite is the one with the hair flowing looking at the viewer. I really like how she engages with the viewer!

Julie: Thank you Rosso! Glad we agree on the preferred one.

Sabine (classmate): I love both. They would be two very different feels to it

Natalia (classmate): Personally I get more drawn to the first one too

Lesson 2: Preparing to paint

Assignment 2: Julie C

For lesson 2 Julie attached two images of the prepared wooden board. It was primed with gesso 3 times, sanded, then raw umber and buff titanium acrylic applied with a rag.

Feedback from Rosso: That looks to me like an inviting panel to paint on Julie! What size did you opt for?

Julie: It's a cradled wooden panel that I've gessoed myself. It's 40cm x 60cm (don't want to work too big on this - I haven't got the storage space!) x

Lesson 3: Sketching and blocking in

In this lesson Rosso will teach how to scale up from preparatory sketches. This will include grids, drawing/transferring, freestyle and sketching onto panel.

Assignment 3: Julie C

For her third assignment Julie submitted the first pass of her portrait. "Even though the reference is that dark on the shadow side (in fact, probably more so than I've made it), I'm wondering if I should lighten it as it's reading very dark. What do you think? "

Feedback from Rosso: Wonderful! Leave the constrast so high for now, it's always easier to make dark tones lighter, but not the other way around. I'd make this decision at the end of the second pass ;) I love the subtle variations in the light areas!

Want to see the final piece? Why not join Julie in Rosso's online classroom and see what you could achieve with tuition from an award-winning portrait artist. Join the art class today

Recommended course

How to paint a stunning portrait taught by Rosso Emerald Crimson

Award-winning portrait artist Rosso Emerald Crimson takes you through every stage of painting a portrait with oils, from equipment to inspiration.

View courseAll Art & Design courses

Jemima Armfield

Digital marketing manager, content creator and head of tutor relations, I'm here to make sure everyone is getting the support they need throughout their studies at Learning with Experts.

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  • Royal Horticultural Society - Approved Centre 2023-2024
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