top of page

Facilitated by George Van Hook

Class Size:  limited to 14

Fee:  $350

To Register:

  1. Email to express interest

  2. Send a check payable to MacCenter (44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington, Vermont  05201)

Note: after March 1, deposit is non-refundable

If needed, there will be snow day make up classes.

Description of Course:

We can all acknowledge that the human figure is the basis of Western Art since the Renaissance. With that in mind, we will be offering a two-day workshop on painting the head as a portrait.   We will be working from a live model both days. On day one we will go over the basic concepts of form for the head, understanding the simple planes and features that make up the shape. The morning will be spent doing quick sketches of the head, either drawing or painting, until we are familiar with the design. In the afternoon we will do several longer studies of the head in full color.  On day two we will quickly refresh these ideas, and then will work on longer poses, changing positions so we have more variety. In the afternoon we will concentrate on the same topics, but will add in how to handle the various parts of clothing that make up a portrait, and will focus on how to create expressions in the face. While this will not be a complete class in portrait painting, it should give the participants a sense of how to approach the painting, and for advanced students a chance to refine their abilities. It is suggested that the student has some familiarity with painting the human head prior to taking the class. 



George Van Hook was born and raised in Abington, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Philadelphia. He began painting very early and was able to participate in the vibrant artistic culture of the region. His early 12 year tenure in northern coastal California afforded year round plein air painting. George has spend many summers painting coastal New England, especially mid-coast Maine and North Haven Island where his wife’s family owned property adjacent to the famous Boston artist Frank Benson.

Van Hook thinks of his paintings as primarily a visual response to the selected environment, be it landscape, figure or still life. “I want the color to be beautiful and the drawing firm and secure”, he says. The paintings are a marriage of external and internal forces – what emerges on the canvas should be a reflection of both the beauty of the world and the artist’s most inner response.
Van Hook, a nationally recognized artist has won numerous Plein Air competitions and awards from around the country for his oils and watercolors. George teaches Plein Air workshops around the country. Please visit his website at:


Workshop Materials List:

I always tell my students to bring everything and anything that they are comfortable with using. This is their workshop, and I will accommodate myself to their needs. HOWEVER, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIES! 

Oil and Watercolor Paints – Both. Suggest large tubes of professional quality paint:

  • Ultramarine Blue

  • Cobalt Blue

  • Alizarin Crimson

  • Cadmium Red LIGHT

  • Cadmium Orange

  • Viridian

  • Cadmium Yellow MEDIUM

  • Cadmium Yellos LIGHT

  • Titanium White



  • Hard and soft pastels

  • Paper in smaller sizes, to allow you to work quickly (8x10, 9x12, 11x14)

  • Several of each size in a paper of your choice



A wide selection of bristle flats. # 2,4,6,8,10 should be sufficient. For watercolor, a wide selection of sable brushes, both flat and round.



a large selection of panels in smaller sizes, to allow you to work quickly. (8x10; 9x12; 11x14) Several of each size, if you can get them. Watercolor: several sheets or blocks of 140lb cold pressed paper, of a good quality.

Paint Medium:

thinner, lots of rags, etc. please bring what you normally use, and we will go from there. Pastels can be used also.


Places to Stay in Bennington:

Knotty Pine, Hampton Inn, Best Western and Paradise Inn

Portrait Workshop
April 6 & 7 from 9:00am to 4:00pm

POrtrait Painting - George Van Hook.png
bottom of page