ONSITE: Drawing Portraits from Photographs (only offered a few times per year)

This course will teach techniques for drawing lifelike human portraits in charcoal. The rich blacks and subtle nuances achieved with charcoal on paper create pieces with beautiful depth and striking contrast. While you will have the freedom to interpret your image however you wish, instruction will be geared toward realism and the process of accurately depicting the subject of your reference.

Special Notes

  • We will be working directly from a reference photo in this course. It is extremely important that you have a good one! Images should be portrait-style (chest/shoulders up). When composing your photograph, try to avoid "fish-eye" effects (from shooting to close), photographing from too far away, or photographing in low light. Avoid harsh shadows on the face. If you do not love how your subject looks in the reference photo, you will not love your drawing. When choosing your image, look for detail! We can only draw what is visible in your image; it is difficult to "imagine" the details. The image should be high quality and high resolution. Avoid pixelated or blurry images. Choose a pose that flatters your subject! You will need a digital version of this photo, as we will be cropping and editing in class before printing to scale. It is highly recommended that you bring a personal laptop to each class to reference your image. For cropping and editing purposes, any basic image-editing software should be sufficient for working with your reference photo. If you have drawing materials that you wish to use that are not on the materials list, please feel free to bring them to class. Paper will be provided.

    This studio is not wheel chair accessible from the interior due to two steps, but is accessible through an exterior door.

    Classes are confirmed one week prior to the start date. In order to help us confirm classes, please register as early as possible.

    This is an On-site course. Students must follow current Covid-19 protocols, as outlined on our website. For more info visit On-site courses do not come with studio access outside of class time. Paid open studio access is available through our Studio Access Program: if interested please visit
About the Instructor

Hailee Manipole

Hailee Manipole is an artist living and working in the Richmond area, known for her realistic charcoal portraiture. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017 with a BFA in Communication Arts and a minor in Craft and Materials Studies.
After graduating, Hailee spent the summer in Washington, Maine, teaching drawing and metalsmithing classes at a youth summer camp for the arts, where she realized her love for teaching. Hailee held a graphic design position in an office for a short while after that; it didn't take long for her to realize that the 9:00-5:00 life wasn't for her! In early 2018, she left her office job and started working as a free-lance artist. This initially meant taking on a lot of logo and graphic design jobs, but Hailee's realistic charcoal portraits quickly gained popularity and became the bread and butter of her practice, now known as HM Portraits.
While she's most experienced in drawing and jewelry fabrication, Hailee has dipped her toes into just about everything, from needle felting and photography to concept design and animation. She loves clean lines, dirty hands, and beautiful typography, and never passes up the chance to learn something new.
You can see Hailee's work in portraiture at or on Instagram at @hmportraits.

Instagram: @hmportraits

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ONSITE: Drawing Portraits from Photographs (only offered a few times per year)

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Class Details
March 28 - May 166 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Day: Tue
Tuition: $255.00
Member Tuition: $229.50
Additional fees apply
Instructor: Hailee Manipole
Level: Intermediate