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Tony Ryder Portrait Painting Workshop

Non-Symbolic Portrait Painting

August 6-August 17, 2018


Hours: 10:45-5:15 p.m 

Lunch: 1:30 p.m -2:15 p.m.

Non-symbolic painting represents what we see with our eyes, not substituting ideograms, like present day ‘emojis’. In learning to paint non-symbolically we develop an understanding of the building blocks of visual experience: the form of things, and the light by means of which we see this form. We become aware of the fact that in all of nature in general, and in the human figure and portrait in particular, there is a certain wonderfully beautiful kind of formal structure about which there has for centuries been a special knowledge and language.

We who practice the art of painting from life study this knowledge. 

Form painting is a way of painting that is one with the understanding of form and light. It is a methodical way of processing and representing our perception of the appearance of the model. Through the agency of light, a great quantity of information shines from the model. In form painting we learn how to format and sequentialize that information, and bring it into our painting one brushstroke at a time.  


In this portrait painting workshop Tony demonstrates form painting on a toned ground, beginning with a medium-value ochre brush drawing. He illustrates the block-in and refinement of the drawing. He shows and explains how he sees, mixes and applies colors. He explains and demonstrates the logic of the method of painting from dark to light. He describes in great detail the forms of the head, their fluid shapes, convex surfaces and how they fit together. He shows how he builds the painting from the drawing up, again and again with each form, unified by the perception of the organization of the form of the model and the coherent action of the light. 

9-day (54 hr.) class

5-morning (15 hr.) demonstration

2 weeks

Week one: 

AM:3 hour demo every morning, portrait painting on toned ground

PM: Students paint

week two:

AM: Students paint 

PM: Students paint 

Cost: $1380 Summer 2018 (10 Days)

BACAA Tony Ryder 2018 Registration Form (PDF)

Registration form/Terms and conditions must be signed and emailed prior to payment. 

Pay now via PayPal or Credit Card

(Payments include an extra handling fee)


For information about lodging, restaurants and transportation, visit 


Partial Payments are not accepted.

We do not accept cash.

All tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. 

Registration form/Terms and conditions must be signed prior to attendance 


Please send checks and packets to the BACAA BUSINESS ADDRESS:

969 G Edgewater Blvd

Foster City, CA 94404





345 Quarry Rd

San Carlos, CA 94070






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