Francis Giacco - portrait weekend workshop here in November

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 5.49.49 PM.png

We are excited to offer the opportunity of a weekend workshop with Archibald prize winning Francis Giacco here at the Atelier on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November 2018, 10am-4pm.

In this ‘structure, form and tone’ portraiture workshop, you will spend the Saturday developing an understanding of the features and forms that make up the human face. On the Sunday, you will be using that understanding to develop a portrait in either graphite or oil paint, working from life on both days.

The focus of this workshop will be modelling form, carefully modelling the portrait over an extended period of time. All aspects of this process will be discussed and demonstrated with individual instruction given.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 5.49.56 PM.png

Some experience with drawing and painting is desirable but the workshop is suitable for all levels.

About Frank

Australian artist Francis Giacco is an an Archibald Prize (1994) winner with Homage to John Reichard. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the UNSW and is a longtime teacher at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney. His classes provide a structured and logical approach to the tradition of classical drawing and painting techniques.



  • 2B Pencils

  • Kneadable eraser

  • A2 Pad of cartridge paper


Brushes - suggested:

  • Two or three round brushes eg (0 - 6)

  • Flat brushes eg (0 - 6)

  • Small round brush for detail

  • Hog hair brushes (for scrubbing in backgounds, texture etc)



These can be purchased from the school or bought in art stores. (a fine/smooth weave canvas by preference.) Gesso board is also acceptable.

- canvas or board can be prepared by toning the surface with a raw umber or grey tone (#4) on the surface before the class. This can be done with acrylic or oil paint by applying a thin coat of paint and wiping it back with a sponge or cloth.


The following colours are essential –

Cad Yellow

Yellow Ochre

Vermillion (or Cad Red light)

Alizarin Crimson

White (Titanium)

Raw Umber

Blue – eg Cobalt or Ultramarine

Earth Red – eg Burnt Sienna, Light Red

Ivory Black

The following colours are optional:

Viridian, Lemon Yellow/Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna,  ‘Earth’ Reds- Transparent Red Oxide/ Venetian Red/ Indian Red, Burnt Umber

Michael Harding, Langridge, and Old Holland paints are of the highest quality, but they are more expensive. Windsor & Newton is acceptable. If you have other brands, use them if you have them (not Winton ‘Hues’ or Mont Marte).

Other materials -

Odourless solvent contained in a jar with a sealable lid. A jam jar is fine. No other type of solvent is acceptable for use at the studio.

Plumb line (string with weight tied to the end)

Wooden palette (or similar, suitable for mixing oil paint- no water colour palettes)

Palette knife

Linseed oil

Small mirror

Small garbage bag (for painting rubbish)

Paper towel

Rags (old T-shirts are good) 

On the day:

The studio doors will be open from 9am on Saturday 10th November and 9.30am on Sunday 11th November. Aim to arrive after the opening and before 10am when the workshop will get underway.

Easels will be allotted by raffle. Take a number from the Policeman’s helmet when you arrive. No favouritism, so no need to get here super early. Everything is down to chance. Donkeys are available if you prefer to use them (first in, best dressed)

Lunchtime will be from 12.30 pm until 1.30pm. You will be provided with a ‘Subway’ sandwich, wrap, or salad lunch on both days. Please choose and indicate your choice from the menu provided when you arrive on Saturday morning. Feel free to provide your own food if you wish.

Tea and coffee will be available through the day. The workshop finishes at 4pm both days.


Your place is secured when you pay either a non-refundable deposit ($200) or the full amount ($395) for the workshop. This can be paid at the studio either in cash or by EFTPOS. You can also pay by bank transfer. Bank transfers can be made with the account details we’ll provide when you contact the Atelier either by email ( ) or by using the ‘Contact’ page on this website.

Please don’t leave your booking until the last minute, Frank’s workshop is filling fast!

Nick Leavey