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Drawing Competition:
A Portrait Drawing Course

Conquer Your Portrait Drawing Limitations

Welcome to an exclusive portrait drawing course inspired by my transformative experience at the Nerdrum School. 

This is unlike any other drawing course. It’s an intensive deep dive into the essence of portraiture. What is drawing competition? It’s a 60 minute drawing session where colleagues gather around a live model, and compete to see who can make the best portrait in the time limit. The goal is not only to capture the likeness of the subject, but even improve upon it! Who decides the winner? The model of course! These are friendly, yet incredibly challenging competitions. There is only one winner, but everyone walks away with valuable skills.

Why I Love Drawing Competitions:


Photo by Bill Stutzmann.


Nic Thurman

I'm a classical painter shaped by years of mentorship—from foundational teachings with Jeremy Caniglia in 2014 to the lessons on kitsch painting with Odd Nerdrum from 2018 to 2021. 

On the quest for a timeless masterpiece, my journey has taken my work across the USA, Sweden, and Norway. Now I'm here to share everything I’ve learned along the way. 

I’ll be sharing all of the strategies, insights, and techniques I learned firsthand - so you can quickly enhance your skills in a fun community - and jump past the common pitfalls, roadblocks, and frustrations that come with striving to make a portrait that feels alive.  

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Course Features

Unlock Your Portrait Drawing Potential 


Intensive Practice

Engage in exercises designed to hone your skills in structure, likeness, and idealization, preparing you for the thrill of portrait drawing from life.


Materials Mastery

Gain insights into the specific drawing mediums that can transform your work, offering a different effect and quality that sets your work apart.


Tactics and Strategies

Learn strategies, tactics, and key measurements that simplify the portraits. Ensuring you make the most out of every minute.


The Final Challenge

Put your skills to the test in a course-ending drawing competition. Experience firsthand the excitement and learning opportunity of creating under pressure.

Drawing Competition:
A Portrait Drawing Course

Conquer Your Portrait Drawing Limitations - Learn to Draw a Masterful Portrait From Life in Just 60 Minutes

What My Students Say

“I am never going to see painting in the same way. I have been liberated from master copies, and am now just painting what I see. I have been unchained. Thank you, Nic!”

This course IS for you if you want to...

  • Learn strategies for capturing the essence of your subject in just one hour.

  • Go from detail-oriented and timid to bold and confident.

  • Discover insights from years of experience in drawing competitions with Odd Nerdrum.

  • Join a community of peers driven by the same goal.

This course is NOT for you if you want to...

  • Capture details to create a photo realistic image. 

  • Draw like a printing machine using a grid system. 

  • Stay in your comfort zone with drawing.

  • Work alone and never have fun with peers.  

My Promise to You

If you go through this course, learn the strategies, do the homework, and you don't come out of it feeling more confident in your drawing abilities... I'll give you a 100% refund. That's because I know how powerful it is. And that's how confident I am that this course can transform you.


  • Who is this workshop for?
    This workshop is perfect for anyone interested in classical painting, whether you're just starting out or looking to improve your skills. If you love the works of masters like Odd Nerdrum, Rembrandt, and Titian and want to learn how to create paintings like theirs, this workshop is for you.
  • What materials will I need?
    You don’t need any materials to get started with this workshop! I will provide you with all of the info you need to help you choose the best materials and create a studio space you love.
  • Do I need a large studio space to participate?
    Not at all! We'll teach you how to set up an efficient and inspiring studio space, no matter how big or small your area is. The workshop includes tips on optimizing your existing space to enhance your painting experience. I’m aware that most people have fairly small spaces so that will be specifically addressed in the workshop!
  • I'm a complete beginner. Will I be able to keep up?
    Absolutely! This workshop is designed to be accessible for beginners while still offering valuable insights for more experienced painters. The goal is to help you get the ideal studio setup and supplies.
  • Is there a refund policy?
    We believe in the value of this workshop, but we understand that it's important for you to feel confident in your investment. We offer a satisfaction guarantee, so you can enroll with peace of mind.
  • What if I can't attend all the live sessions?
    While attending live is the best way to get the most out of this workshop, we understand that life can get in the way. All sessions will be recorded, so you can catch up on anything you miss at your convenience.
  • How will this workshop help me improve my painting skills?
    Through step-by-step guidance on selecting and using high-quality materials, setting up your studio space, and overcoming mental blocks, you'll gain the knowledge and confidence to elevate your classical painting skills. Our goal is to help you create paintings that you're proud of.
  • Can I purchase materials through the workshop?
    We will provide a list of recommended supplies and where you can purchase them. We focus on recommending materials that will truly make a difference in your work.
  • Is there support available after the workshop ends?
    Yes! Participants will have access to an online community where you can continue to share your progress, ask questions, and get feedback from peers and instructors.
  • Will there be opportunities for one-on-one feedback?
    Group feedback sessions are part of the workshop, where you'll receive personalized advice based on your needs. For more in-depth one-on-one feedback, please check our additional offerings post-workshop.
  • Aren’t high-quality painting materials too expensive for beginners?
    It’s true that high-quality materials can be more of an investment, but they also make learning easier and more enjoyable, leading to better outcomes with less frustration. We'll guide you on how to choose materials that offer the best balance between quality and cost, ensuring you invest wisely as you grow in your craft.
  • I've tried painting before and didn’t do well. How will this workshop be different?
    This workshop is structured to build your skills from the ground up, focusing on understanding materials and techniques that align with classical painting practices. With personalized guidance and a supportive learning environment, you’ll find yourself making progress you can be proud of.
  • Can’t I learn all this from free resources online?
    While there are many free resources available, they can be overwhelming and inconsistent. This workshop offers curated, comprehensive content tailored to classical painting, combining technical knowledge with practical application, all in one coherent program. Plus, the live sessions and community support provide value that's impossible to find elsewhere.
  • Will I really see improvement in my painting after just one workshop?
    Yes, the focused nature of this workshop on materials and workspace optimization is designed to provide noticeable improvements in your approach and execution of classical painting. Consistent practice and applying what you learn will continue to drive your progress even after the workshop ends.
  • What if I don’t have a dedicated studio space?
    A dedicated space is ideal, but not necessary to begin with. We'll show you how to create a functional and inspiring painting area within the space you have, ensuring that your environment supports your painting journey, no matter the size.
  • How much time will I need to dedicate outside of the workshop sessions?
    The workshop is designed to be comprehensive within its scheduled time. However, applying the concepts outside of sessions will be essential to enhance your learning experience. The practical application is flexible based on your schedule and pace.

Your Journey Awaits

Whether you're aiming to overcome the limitations of detail-focused drawing or seeking to infuse your work with the power of foundational structure and emotional depth, this course offers a clear path to transformation. Inspired by the ethos of the Nerdrum School and guided by a mentor who's walked the path from chaos to clarity, you're not just signing up for a course—you're stepping into a journey of growth, community, and portrait drawing breakthrough.

Join us and unlock the potential to not just draw, but to capture life itself in your portraits.

Ready to embrace the drawing competition challenge and emerge with the confidence to tackle any subject?.

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