Inspiring Mastery: Portrait Painting with Desiree Crossing

Year 10, 11, and 12 Visual Art students were treated to a remarkable incursion led by Perth artist Desiree Crossing. Crossing is known for her sumptuous oil paintings that blend classical techniques with contemporary flair. She exhibits regularly across Australia and internationally; her work is held in private and government collections worldwide. Desiree has been a finalist in many of Australia’s most prestigious art awards, including being the recipient of the Baldock Family People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Lester Prize for Portraiture. She has also undertaken two artist residencies in Italy.

Students explored different painting techniques throughout the day and focused on creating oil portrait paintings. Crossing guided them through the underpainting process, helping them understand how to lay the groundwork for their paintings.


Next, students delved into the world of portraiture, focusing on capturing skin tones realistically. Crossing showed them how to mix colours and add depth to their portraits through various exercises and demonstrations in tonal value and temperature.

The highlight of the day was watching each student put their skills to the test and bring their portraits to life through intricate and considered brushwork. Overall, it was an inspiring day filled with learning and creativity. We thank Desiree Crossing for sharing her expertise and inspiring our students to explore their artistic talents.

We look forward to seeing our studious artists’ continued growth and creativity.

Tanisha Burtnyk