Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist: David Jamieson

This is the fourth in a series of portraits called Teachers of a Self-Guided Artist. Check out the intro post The Self-Taught Myth to read more about it.


At the end of 2015, I had been painting mainly landscapes for a couple of years, and I wanted to get back into portraiture, but I felt really out of practice and wanted to refresh my skills.

I happened to come into contact with David Jamieson through my day job, and found that he was teaching an online course in portrait drawing that sounded like just what I needed!

Who is David Jamieson?

David Jamieson is an award winning artist, and an instructor at his studio: Vitruvian Fine Art Studio in Chicago.

Learning from David

I wrote a bit at the time about my experience taking David’s portrait drawing course. It focuses on the process of drawing a realistic portrait in graphite, so there’s no colour to worry about. You can concentrate entirely on proportions and values.

There is a lot to learn in this course, and pretty much every single pencil mark is shown in the videos. David’s instruction is clear and methodical, very easy to follow.

One of the most valuable things I took from the course is a solid method for the process of beginning the drawing, to ensure you get your measurements correct right from the start.

Here are three graphite drawings I completed shortly after taking David’s course.


Thank you, David, for putting together such a thorough and comprehensive guide to drawing portraits.

Here’s my portrait of David Jamieson. Oils on 9×12″ panel:

David Jamieson by Dan Johnson – 2020

Learn from David

David has several online drawing and painting courses available on vitruvianstudio.com, or if you can get to Chicago, you can study with him in person.

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