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Course Description

Heather McLeod will share her process for painting alla prima portraiture, leading students through the process of foundational portrait drawing and painting as students work to create an interesting and successful portrait. Students will first focus on drawing, negotiating facial structure and composition, before transferring the drawing onto canvas. Heather will review the basics of oil painting as students introduce color. Each class will begin with a short demonstration, followed by one-on-one instruction. She will discuss creating a likeness, composition, color and symbolism. Working with a live model as well as photographs as reference, students will create a portrait that is skillfully executed while including an interesting narrative for the viewer to contemplate. All levels welcome, and a basic knowledge of drawing is helpful.

AAN is able to provide scholarships/tuition aid through the Healing Through the Creative Arts Program. This program is made possible through funding from the Town of Nantucket Human Services Department. For questions or assistance please contact Elizabeth Buccino, Director of Education

Cancellation Policy

AAN depends upon student tuition to continue to offer classes and workshops. Due to our commitment to small class sizes and the hands-on nature of art education, we are greatly impacted by cancellations. Nevertheless, we do understand that plans change. If you need to cancel your reservation for a class or workshop, please note our cancellation/refund policy here and let us know as soon as possible.


All materials included in tuition.

Painting the Portrait in Oil, 18+

Heather V McLeod

Heather V McLeod is an artist exploring identity and the psychology by which we perceive others. Interested primarily in portraiture and representative work, Heather creates pieces with the intent of capturing the character of the figure portrayed. She plays with the use of symbolism and concealment to enhance the narrative and evoke a quiet yet humorous side to portraiture. Born and raised in the greater New York area, Heather received her MFA from The New York Academy of Art in 2021 and her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2016. In 2017 she was awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Award in Perugia, Italy where she lived and worked for a year. She is a recent recipient of two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants and The Leslie T. and Francis Posey Scholarship. She has been featured in a number of exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad and has been the recipient of a number of art related awards, including most recently AXA Art Prize Finalist.
Full Artist Profile