Portrait Illustration Masterclass

4 Week In-Person Course (melbourne)

Do you enjoy drawing but you’re find it impossible to reach that next level of detail? Perhaps you’re struggling to find time to work on your illustration skills, and just need a good excuse?

I know the frustration around sketching out a face and realising the nose is far too high or the hair looks more like straw than silky smooth hair. Portrait work can be intimidating, but with a little time, I promise you it’s easier than you think!

The Portrait Illustration Masterclass is a 4-week course jam packed with techniques, demonstrations and helpful tips to drawing a Realistic Portrait! I taught myself to draw from the age of 19 and 100% believe that all illustration skills can be learnt by anyone (yep, that includes you!). This course is created to introduce you to new methods, improve your drawing skills and lift your creativity to a whole new level. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a sketching whiz - this is the course for you!

You know whats better than being just ‘good’ at a bunch of things? Being really damn good at one thing. Let’s get you on that path.


register below for our 2019 SPRING SESSION

Here’s what you’ll learn

WEEK 1 - Eyes & brows
Eyes are the centrepiece of the face and the most crucial part of nailing the expression of your subject. We'll get straight into drawing the eyes & brows, making sure each detail comes through effectively. In this class we will also walk through all the art tools and products that are best used for portrait illustration work.

WEEK 2 - Other facial features
The mouth, nose, ears and chin are next, and where we really start to see the face come together. With a few simple techniques, we'll work closely on each facial feature and learn how to make them pop off the page.

WEEK 3 - Skin
Skin is my favourite part as this gives the face dimension and that super realistic effect! This week we learn about shading and I will share some of my secret sauce techniques that I have used in portrait artworks.

WEEK 4 - Hair
Hair is regularly claimed to be the hardest part about portrait work. Over the years I have learnt some super effective methods to simplify the process and draw hair more quickly & easily. In this lesson we will practice some of these and work towards a finished portrait.


In addition to this - there will be cheese, crackers and wine to fulfill your snack needs. As well as relaxing tunes, a calming space and other lovely participants keen to learn and make new friends!

ILLO 01 - sm.jpg


Art kits are available for purchase via ticket checkout or on the 1st night of the course. All materials that we will be using during the Masterclasses will be included in the kits - so you can take everything you’ve learnt and use all the same tools that you will no doubt grow to love! The kits are a collection of my favourite tools that I’ve tested and have found to be the best and most affordable for detailed illustration work. Plus a limited edition art print!

Art Kit materials include:

  • Graphite Pencils

  • Blending Stumps Pack

  • BONUS Limited Edition Art Print by Vanessa Vanderhaven
    (valued a $120)

  • High Quality Paper Pad (A4 size, 25 pages)

  • Mechanical pencil + lead refills

  • Tombow Mono Zero Eraser (fine tip)

  • Kneadable Eraser


You have the choice of attending either the Tuesday OR Thursday night sessions. For example, if you purchase the Tuesday night sessions, then you are confirmed to attend all sessions held on a Tuesday night only. If you are unable to attend a Tuesday night session, please let me know and I may be able to fit you into a Thursday session, and vice versa.





register below for our 2019 SPRING SESSION!


How long do the sessions go for?

Each sessions runs for 3 hours.

What do I get at each session?

All art materials and tools are provided throughout class, all you need to bring is yourself! You’ll also be greeted with a wine of your choice (red or white) on arrival and cheese, crackers & fruit throughout the night.

How many people are in each session?

Class will have no more than 15 students per session, this way I can spend a little time with each student discussing any areas they would like to improve on.

Can I bring a friend?

Absolutely! Take advantage of the Bring-A-Friend 10% Discount and bring along a buddy for extra fun times.

If you have any questions about the Masterclass
please don’t hesitate to email Vanessa at hello@creatorshandbook.co