Portraiture & Facial Anatomy Workshop


Portraiture for Artists Course: Reconstruction Exercise


LOCATION: Somerset House, London, UK
COST: £595
DATE: To Be Announced.


Portraiture & Facial Anatomy for Artists is an intensive three-day workshop covering the form, construction, and expressions of the human face. The course is offered as a companion to the Anatomy for Artists course, and is run from Scott’s central London studio.

The workshop starts with a detailed analysis of the skull, covering the structure, planes, proportions, and landmarks. This foundation is used to accurately locate and build the features of the face. Each feature is examined in detail to understand its construction and how cartilage, fat, and muscles influence its form. Reference is drawn from classical portraiture, forensic science, plastic surgery and the latest computer graphics research.

Portraiture for Artists Course: Bargue Feature Drawing and Construction

Sessions follow on the muscles of expression and how these influence the forms and features of the face. A lecture is dedicated to Paul Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System (FACS) – a comprehensive catalog of the range of human expression. Other lectures include the effects of age and weight on facial features.

Frequent exercises reinforce the lessons and give the artists practice in constructing faces, features, and expressions. A culminating exercise gives students an opportunity to apply all the lessons to a detailed facial reconstruction over-top of a skull. Here students each get a cast skull to build a face on. They start the reconstruction by cutting, and placing a set of tissue depth markers to determine the depth of skin, muscle, and fat in various regions of the face. Next the eyeballs are built to scale and located, then the facial muscles are added. From here features are constructed and the face slowly emerges as the component parts are put into place.

Artists leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of the construction, variation, and expressions of the face which allows them to make more believable portraits – whether in traditional art, concept art, digital sculpture, or animation rigs.

Portraiture for Artists Course: Skulls with Facial Anatomy

the facial reconstruction exercise in progress.


The workshop runs daily from 10am – 5pm, with an hour break for lunch. The daily breakdown of the course is as follows:


  • The Skull In-Depth
  • Planes of the Face
  • Feature Construction


  • Portrait Construction
  • Age, Weight and Gender Variations
  • Facial Action Coding System (FACS)


  • Portrait Construction (continued)
  • Muscles of the Face



“Scott’s workshop was not just inspiring and great fun, but also very intense and rich in practical knowledge. In three days I’ve learned more about the human face than I ever had before. I would join any workshop he does without hesitation.”

Pia Auteried
Disney’s BlackRock Studios

“Scott’s course gave me a thorough knowledge of the anatomical structures of the face, and a mental picture of how all the complicated structures of the face interact and proportionally compare to each other. Every concept artist and character artist should take this course.”

Senior Character Artist
Blitz Games Studios


Studio view over the Southbank - London eye

The portraiture workshop will be held in Scott’s studio on London’s Southbank. The studio is easy walking distance from the Bakerloo, Jubilee, and Northern Lines and a 10 minute walk to the Tate Modern Museum and other Southbank galleries. More details here.