Portrait Painting Essentials

Become a
Master of Accurate
Portrait Painting

Bring portraits to life with precision and confidence.
Step-by-step instructions transform your art from
a drawing to a piece with personality.

Portrait Painting Essentials Course

What You Will Learn

  • How to draw portraits using graphite and charcoal

  • How to pose a live model and paint what you see

  • How to paint an oil portrait with a limited color palette

  • How to paint a loose portrait over an acrylic underpainting

Portrait masters Dimitra and Elli Milan teach new skills in each video lesson, sharing critical components of creating stunning portraits. The course starts with foundational principles of portrait drawing, including two distinctly different techniques to create an oil painting portrait. This process empowers you to express your artistic voice through portraits.

Course Structure

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: Drawing Facial Proportions

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: Drawing Portrait Profile

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: Charcoal Portrait Drawing from Life

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: Painting Portrait in Acrylics & Oil

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: 8 Brush Stroke Oil Portrait (Part 1)

Portrait Painting Essentials


Subject Matter: 8 Brush Stroke Oil Portrait (Part 2)

Video lessons are about 25 minutes long and include 2 drawing and 2 painting projects. Each project will take the artist 6 to 8 hours to complete.

What You Get

  • 6 Video Lessons with Step-by-Step Instructions
  • FREE Reference Photos to Inspire Your Portraits
  • Lifetime Access to Watch Anytime & Learn at Your Own Pace
  • Connect with Our Artist Community on the Milan Art App

Meet Your Instructors


Elli Milan

Founder, Instructor

As the founding owner of Milan Art Institute, Elli has been a professional artist since 1996. Elli sold more than 10,000 pieces of art throughout her thriving career. She has transformed the lives of thousands of artists from around the world—helping them find their voice and turn their love for art into a profession. She is passionate about the role of an artist in contemporary culture and is a leading voice of the current Art Renaissance.


Dimitra Milan

Professional Artist, Instructor

Dimitra generated over a million dollars of artwork sales before she turned 16, and her paintings are collected worldwide. She is pioneering a new age of artist influencers on social media, spreading beauty around the planet. She is a mentor at Milan Art Institute and teaches this oil painting portrait course with passion because she loves equipping artists with the tools to change the world with their art.

What Artists Are Saying...

review 5
review 17
review 1
review 2
review 3
review 4
review 6
review 7
review 8
review 9
review 10
review 15
review 13
review 11
review 12

Our Student's Work

Examples of our student's artwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know this school is reputable?

Milan Art Institute is an art academy that turns your artistic passion into a profession. Thousands of students worldwide have taken the Mastery Program and are living the creative careers of their dreams. Taught by professional artists with over 50 years of combined artistic experience, you’ll learn everything from foundational skills to marketing your brand.

Visit MAI Facebook page to read reviews from students and see their artwork and growth from the classes at MAI.

I have no experience with oil painting or drawing. Are these videos for me?

To get the most out of this course, artists should first take the “How to Draw in 15 Minutes” and “Oil Painting Essentials” courses. The portrait painting lessons draw on those foundational skills.

I have been painting for years; are these classes too basic?

Our classes are taught by professional artists who want to empower you to learn unique and innovative techniques inspired by the old masters. Elli and Dimitra put their spin on concepts like color theory and color temperature to give your paintings more depth than you’ve seen before.

What supplies will I need?

When you register for the course, you’ll get a confirmation email with a supplies list, which includes:

  • Oil paints, various colors both opaque & transparent
  • Brushes: small, medium & large brushes
  • Glazing medium (Galkyd or Liquin)
  • Solvent to clean brushes
  • Canvases
  • Graphite pencils
  • Erasers
  • Charcoal

What do I do if I don’t have enough art supplies?

You may not need every supply listed, but they’re commonly found at art supply stores. You can also purchase complete kits curated by Elli and Dimitra directly from the Milan Art store.

I don’t have too much time now. Can I access the information later?

Once you purchase the course, you’ll have lifetime access. You can watch it whenever you have time and revisit lessons as necessary.

About Milan Art Institute

Shine Your Art.
Change The World.

Milan Art Institute brings passionate hearts and creative minds together to actualize creative visions. The founders, John and Elli Milan, have been working as successful collaborative artists for over 25 years and have made a living during that entire period solely through art.

Their daughter, Dimitra Milan, became a professional artist and, before turning 16, had generated over a million dollars through the sales of her artwork. The family’s works are featured in galleries around the world. And now, the Milans are sharing their insights about the art industry with everyone through their comprehensive online painting and drawing school.

Beginners and professionals come to master skills, learn new techniques, and join an ever-expanding community of artists. The purpose of the Milan Art Institute is to enlighten and educate a worldwide audience about the transformational power of the visual arts.