How to start a portrait painting

How to Start a Portrait Painting > Classical portrait painter Eddie Filer joined Eric Rhoads for the following episode of Art School Live. Watch as Eddie explains how he starts an oil portrait painting, including the block-in stage, the brushes he uses, and ways of painting the head.

“The goal of any artist is to not have any technique,” Eddie has said, “but to get to a point where ‘it paints’ and you’re not thinking about it.”

Additional Portrait Paintings by Eddie Filer:

Portrait painting of Toni Morrison, by Eddie Filer
Portrait painting of Toni Morrison

Portrait painting of a man by Eddie Filer

Portrait painting of a man by Eddie Filer Portrait painting of a man by Eddie Filer Portrait painting of a man by Eddie Filer

About the Artist: Eddie Filer, Jr. has been an active artist for over thirty years. While classical portraiture is his main focus, he pursues other forms of painting and creates in other media, such as photography and sculpture. He prefers oil paint to other mediums because of its slow drying time (which allows for adjustments to be made on wet-on-wet painting). Eddie has taught art in public schools and gives painting workshops. He believes in teaching detailed drawing fundamentals. A native of Galveston, Texas, Eddie currently resides in Texas City with his wife of 29 years and their two children.

Eddie has also been on the faculty of Realism Live, a global virtual art conference hosted by Eric Rhoads and Streamline Publisher, the parent company of Realism Today.

  • Visit to learn how to paint portraits and figures in the style of contemporary realism, and much more.
  • Join us for the next annual Realism Live virtual art conference and study with the world’s best realism artists.
  • Become a Realism Today Ambassador for the chance to see your work featured in our newsletter, on our social media, and on this site.


  1. Hi Eddie, love your work….nice to see you and hear you talk!
    I am in Coconut Creek Florida

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