Masterclass - 2019 Spring Logo.png


4 Week In-Person Course (Melbourne)

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

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 locks. Portrait work can be intimidating, but with a little guidance, 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 when I was 19 and I 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 elevate 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 darn good at one thing. Let’s get you on that path.

limited to 10 students only

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 fulfil your snack needs. As well as relaxing tunes, a calming space and other lovely participants keen to learn and make new friends!


The dates for this season’s sessions are: November 5th, 12th, 22nd & 29th, 2019
Time: 6pm - 9pm


Second Story Studios
A/222 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066


students testimonials


“Vanessa is such an amazing artist. These sessions were so relaxing and lots of fun. Vanessa shares all her skills & tips to produce a fabulous piece of artwork. Having no idea about drawing, I am amazed at what I produced at each session. Highly recommend Vanessa’s classes.”

- Maree Mullen

“Just amazing! I wish I could find a drawing I did before starting this class and compare them side by side with the one I did in class because the difference couldn't be greater. This class totally surpassed all my expectations of what could be achieved by someone who isn't a professional, and from looking at the illustrations around the room it looked like everyone had been drawing for years. Thanks so much to Vanessa for sharing the tips and tricks you've learned over the years because these techniques really work! A very enthusiastic 5 stars, I'll be back again to do your other classes.”

- Karina Lyndall

“I really enjoyed the class. Great atmosphere and I learned so much. I would definitely recommend to aspiring artists of any experience level :)”

- Chloe Hogan-Weihmann

“Omg it was the best decision to take this master class! Vanessa is an amazing teacher with her knowledge and her great tip I created a beautiful portrait! At first I was very sceptical if I can draw a realistic portrait in only 4 classes as absolute beginner that I am! I send her a msg to ask her and she kindly reply to me that everybody can do it! She teach with a way that gets you from zero to proficient so fast! She was right! She is a self taught herself and she can understand how people learn! From a person never done this before I can tell you try it! There is an artist inside us we don’t know about! If you don’t try you will never know Thanks to Vanessa I can create art! I already book more courses with this beautiful and talented girl!”

- Konstantina Exintari

Having no idea about drawing,
I am amazed at what I produced at each session.
— Maree Mullen

student work

Take a peak at some of our students work below, both during and after the course. A number of our students were complete beginners before starting the course - something to keep in mind if you’ve never drawn before!


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 on arrival and a selection of refreshments throughout the night.

How many people are in each session?

Class will have no more than 10 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.

Secure your spot today

If you have any questions about the Masterclass
please don’t hesitate to email Vanessa at