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Latest Workshop News - 1st to 3rd of June 2018

Sonia Jacka – 3-Day Portrait Workshop - 1st to 3rd of June 2018

The workshop will be held at my studio at No. 1 Devon Air Close in Noordhoek.

Should you need accommodation, we do have a chalet (sleeps 4) and a cottage (sleeps 2) on the property. R200 per adult per night.

Please visit

Download information HERE

Workshop 2018"Workshop 2018


Portrait Workshop (5 June 2015 to 7 June 2015)

Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop    Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

I would like to thank everyone who took part in my Portrait Workshop. The group was amazing!  Everyone was enthusiastic to learn and was keen to open themselves up to a new experience. The participants were helpful and friendly towards each other.  It was a privilege to spend the weekend with everyone. I hope the little bit that I added to each one's artistic journey has encouraged them to continue to explore portraiture. I wish all a very successful and exciting journey into their art careers.  

Below are some comments from the participants:

Thank you for an inspiring weekend! We had such a good time.
I really enjoyed being in the company of artists who take their work and developing skills seriously. You showed me the importance of acquiring in depth knowledge, especially within my focus area. The workshop was well structured and had more than enough challenges for all levels of skill. The atmosphere in the studio was warm and this encouraged students to move out of their comfort zones. From a teacher's perspective, I loved the way you made the students feel safe with more than enough to learn for all levels. You were generous in sharing your knowledge. I would love to come again.

Just want to say how much I enjoyed the weekend.
I thought the introduction through the structure of the head and techniques for measuring (most useful), then Asaro head & the skull, then palette and live model was really perfectly structured and logical, and the inspirational videos book ending the weekend lovely. You were a kind and thoughtful teacher and I enjoyed that we were all at different levels as I could learn from watching others as well. Peter was a superb host and cook.  So really, thank you, a worth-while experience which more than lived up to my expectations.
I hope to do another course with you.

There were many parts of your workshop that I thought were very valuable and helped me get some structure to the process of painting portraits and seeing the tools and techniques that you use was very informative. I found the workshop to be very helpful, in particular head construction, the colour pallet session and live model painting session. The videos were wonderful. I learnt a great deal over the week end.
And I loved your energy and enthusiasm – it was contagious and appreciated your generous sharing of knowledge, so painstakingly acquired over so many years.
Overall, I thought you hosted a wonderful workshop and really appreciated your time and effort!
I would be grateful if you would pass on my thanks to Pete for his hard work and splendid catering.


It was a FABULOUS couple of days and you did a wonderful job of planning and running the workshop – very professional but friendly. Your enthusiasm is very infectious and it is lovely to be with such a good artist who gives of her time and expertise so generously. To be in your and Peter’s home was truly an added bonus (just loved your menagerie – wish I had the space for animals) and I can only say again - thank you both for the workshop, notes, and really good lunches – all very much appreciated and enjoyed.
Although there was a lot of info to absorb in a short time your notes have helped a lot, and I shall be using the Asaro method from now on for my portraits. I particularly liked the colour mixing morning – it was relaxed, very informative and was a good buffer between the intensity of the drawing hours. The workshop certainly came up to my expectations and more.


I just wanted to say a big thank you to both you and Peter for opening up your home to all of us. I felt very welcome and I thoroughly enjoyed the course.
I feel energised following the workshop but now I must keep up the momentum and keep drawing.  It was lovely to have cooked meals and to be seated around a table allowing us to socialise outside of the studio. I assume that you checked everyone’s car boots to ensure that they didn’t kidnap Peter on the way out.
I enjoyed all aspects of the course. Showing the videos was very inspiring and the artists make painting look so easy.
I was very privileged to have been able to attend the workshop and meeting the other ladies was wonderful. They were a nice crowd.
Many thanks again and please keep me on your mailing list for any other workshops that you may run.


Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend. I really enjoyed everything. We learned a lot and your hospitality was wonderful! There was not a part that I did not like. If I have to choose a favourite part, I will go with the painting of the model as well as drawing the skull.
Thank you again for everything. Hope to see you soon again.

I thank you for the wonderful workshop this past weekend where the only thing I had to think of the whole day and night was art! Lot of info and lots of fun. I learnt so much!!!
Thank you for sharing.

Many thanks to you and Peter for hosting us. We all had a fabulous time and came home filled with enthusiasm and loads of new information!
Your location is perfect for these kind of art workshops!
Painting the model from life (trying to remember all you had taught) was my highlight and having to stop my lowlight!
You did a great job Sonia!

Thank you so much for all the effort you put into the workshop and the very warm welcome you gave us all. I am sorry that I trailed the class a bit but, as they say, difficult to teach old dogs new tricks. However I am home with lots of information and in my own time will get my head round a lot of what we received. Your attention, hospitality and enthusiasm were amazing.
Very many thanks.


Ek het die hele kursus geniet en het baie geleer. Heel eerste nuwe ding was: die skerp maak van potlode. Tweedens was die teken van die koppe 'n baie groot uitdaging en het ons meer geleer van values en waarneming. Die kleurkaart was baie lekker om te doen en ek het net weer besef hoe belangrik is dit om een te maak en meer te eksperimenteer met kleur. Dan die hoogtepunt was om te werk van 'n model. Ek het dit baie waardevol gevind. Die akkommodasie en jul gasvryheid was puik! 

Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop    Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop
Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop    Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

Portrait Workshop

5th – 7th June 2015
R1800 per student, lunch included
Max 11 students


The workshop will be held at my studio at No. 1 Devon Air Close in Noordhoek

Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

For those of you who struggle with proportions, value, edge and shape and want to approach your portraits with more confidence, join me in my studio and come and learn the first steps to human head drawing.

  • This workshop is for anyone who would like to become more skilled and confident in head drawing
  • This workshop will be excellent for anyone interested in getting a sound foundation in portraiture.
  • You will learn about the bone structure and the planes of the head.
  • Studying a bit of anatomy will help you make quicker decisions in your portrait work.
Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

Friday 5th  

5pm until 8pm

We meet on Friday evening at 5pm which will give you the opportunity to meet the other participants.
You are welcome to bring all your art materials with you and leave it in the studio so that you do not have the hassle of bringing it on Saturday.
We will discuss the anatomy of the skull and the planes of the head by referring to the Classic Asaro Head.
We will end the evening with a glass of wine and snacks and watch an educational DVD.
Please remember to bring a notebook and pen.

Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

Saturday 6th

10am – 5pm

This will be our drawing day. You will practice head lay-ins; drawing from the skull; and the Asaro Head in profile, ¾ and frontal.
This will give you a deeper understanding of the structure of the head and how to navigate your way around the head.
Where bone and muscle turn away from the light, plane changes become visible. Where there is a plane change there will be a value change and we need to train our eyes to see these value changes accurately.
The Asaro head will teach you how to analyse the head in terms of simple planes. 
The skull determines the shape of our head and the location of our features. Part of the artist’s training is to carefully observe and draw the skull from a variety of angles.
If there is enough time, you can draw or transfer any of your skull or Asaro head drawings onto a canvas about 26cm x 34cm and paint it in burnt umber and white, with focus on getting the values correct. It must look like you have carved it out of wood or clay or “sculpted” it out of paper.

[Lunch will be served from 1pm to 2pm]


Sunday 7th

10am –1pm

We will explore different palettes and learn how to mix skin tones.
Monochrome Palette
Zorn Palette
Warm/Cool Palette

1pm – 2pm
Lunch will be served.

2pm – 5pm
Everything you have learned so far will be applied and you will paint or draw from a live model.


At 5pm we will pack up, enjoy a glass of wine and watch an educational DVD.

Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop Sonia Jacka Portrait Workshop

Devin Cecil - Wishing Classical Drawing Workshop
14th –25th July 2014

Devin arrived from New York to give a classical drawing workshop at my studio in Cape Town. He is a lecturer at the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York. Students came from all over to attend his workshop.  They came from as far as Namibia, Klerksdorp, Stellenbosch and, of course, Cape Town. We were very excited to meet him and to learn from him. The first week was devoted to cast drawing (the ear) and the second week we worked from the nude model.
The students started their day by having something warm to eat and drink. They got to work promptly at 9am and finished at 6pm Monday to Friday, with an hour break for lunch between 1pm and 2 pm, served in the entertainment area. Most days Devin started  the day with a demo. He demonstrated gesture drawing, how to measure proportions and angles, and the blocking in stage. He gave an in-depth explanation of how light actually works and what happens when it hits an object. He showed us how to flatten the shadows and how to turn the form. What to look out for and what not to emphasise or focus on, early on in the drawing process, especially in the shadows. He demonstrated how to sharpen your pencil and emphasised the importance of keeping it sharp while drawing; this proved to be a particularly valuable lesson. Everything was explained very carefully and clearly in great detail.  The students were riveted and enjoyed soaking up all the information that Devin shared with them.  Everybody worked very hard and was constantly helped and encouraged by Devin’s gentle nature.  He has unlimited patience!  Thank you Devin for an enriching and enlightening workshop; so much was learned by all.

Below are some student comments and pictures of the workshop:

The Devin Cecil Wishing workshop has been the best decision I could have made for myself.
He proved to be an outstanding teacher and very gracious and pleasant man. The course was intense and extremely challenging for me. As a woman in my mid fifties, this surprised me as I have had many years of art and drawing. I have had various lessons and basic training in drawing. Most of the approaches involved working with Chiaroscuro (light and darks of the subject). With the training we received with Devin I realised I had only been taught half the principles. The introduction of form and how this influences the true reading of the subject was a vital addition to my skills. I cannot wait to get started on my drawing and painting again! I am feeling completely inspired for the first time in years. And I cannot wait to work under Devins' tuition again. He is a true Master of art. Even for those who might not desire to do extremely realistic work, there are definitely tools worth learning that can be extremely beneficial to each artist.


I really enjoyed the workshop as well as Devin's way of presenting the workshop. He was very helpful and always explained the technique until you understood it. I really enjoyed the individual attention as I am not a fast learner and was always a bit behind, so it definitely helped a lot.
Thank you Devin for taking the time to come to South Africa and share your knowledge with us.
Much appreciated


It is hard to explain the impact this workshop had on my understanding of drawing. I have been interested in this particular practise of classical realism for a long time and have studied it for a time as well, by books and DVD's, You Tube and so on. This workshop however was the first time that the veil was lifted in my understanding, Devin had a wonderful way of explaining the art terms and concepts that where always so mysterious.  For the first time I got to look behind the curtain and fog of the magic of art. Devin was able to not only explain the method but the reason and concepts behind the method in such a way that the drawing became a logical outcome.

Getting to know Devin during these two short weeks was an honor. This is plainly said, but said with the utmost respect. Devin is socially at ease with his students and has a unique way of tutoring. Observing his exceptional talent in teaching and explaining to both the amateur and advanced students is profoundly characteristic, and one can easily see the pure talent, not just in his remarkable artistic craftsmanship, but also in his love of sharing his artistic knowledge with less informed artists such as myself. His basic strategy of using the simplest elements to explain complex concepts, is extraordinarily fascinating, and even the most untrained artist will be able to understand and follow along. In a comfortable way, he would bring the students back to the artistic basics and simultaneously push the students ability beyond his/her own expectations. One can easily notice Devin's deep educational background. His social behavior is legendary, his lecturing, masterful! True characteristics of an artist who's future is limitless.
Sebastiaan Theart


Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop

Devin Cecil Classical Drawing Workshop


I was requested to do an article for "The South African ARTIST" magazine. Click here to see the article describing my demo.

Judith Carducci Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Noordhoek, Cape Town, 2012


The 3 day Landscape Workshop started on the 2nd of May. Unfortunately this coincided with the arrival of a cold front that hit Cape Town in full force.  Mother Nature was not kind when we were out there trying to capture her.  Easels were crashing down in the icy wind and those who painted in oils, discovered that water can mix with oil. The workshop was full (15 participants) and the group was amazing.  Everybody was enthusiastic and game for anything.  No matter what weather we were dealt, we kept the good spirits up and were willing to face hardship. On the other hand we somehow welcomed the cold, grey rainy days and consoled ourselves that this is what it is to paint plein air. Circumstances are not always perfect and we had to learn fast how to deal with the frustrations and challenges of plein air painting.
Our days started by meeting at the Enchanted Garden. We would then set off to our venue for the day. The first day was at Kalk Bay Harbour.  Judy started the morning by doing a demonstration.  We had a choice to either watch her demo, or paint along with her, or paint whatever inspired us. Judy was such an inspiration to all of us as we watched her paint the landscape with such skill and enthusiasm, explaining her approach every step of the way. After this we enjoyed a delicious lunch at “Live Bait” restaurant at the harbour.  After lunch we went back to the Enchanted Garden for a critique on the paintings that we had done in the morning and we stayed there and continued to paint the landscape in the afternoon. 
We had planned to paint at Cape Point Vineyards on the second day, but the weather was so bad that we stayed at the Enchanted Garden and continued to paint the landscape from there.  The weather improved slightly so at noon we went to Cape Point Vineyards and enjoyed a scrumptious picnic.  We stayed there and spent the afternoon painting the stunning landscape.
The third day was on Fish Hoek beach and we were delighted to experience a sunny day. After capturing the beauty of reflections on the beach, we had a tasty lunch at “The Galley” restaurant on the beach. From there we went back to the Enchanted Garden for a critique on our paintings and for some wine to celebrate the end of the workshop.
Despite the bad weather, some stunning and exciting paintings were produced.  As Judy said: “Good will, good humour and good food go a long way to bolstering peoples’ spirits”.   

The 2 day Portrait Workshop was on the 5th and 6th of May and it was also full (15 participants).  Eager participants arrived at the Enchanted Garden at 8am, enjoyed a cup of coffee/tea and then made their way up to the studio. Judy started her demo at 9am.  She patiently explained her approach every step of the way.  The focus was on what to look out for in portraiture, and how to construct an anatomically correct portrait. This results is an aesthetically fine likeness. When the model took a break Judy answered questions, and important topics such as value and anatomy were explained. At noon we enjoyed a delicious lunch and at 1pm we were at our easels filled with inspiration and ready to paint the models.  We were divided into 3 groups (5 participants to 1 model).  Judy spent the afternoon going from easel to easel giving each participant individual instruction.
On the last day of the Portrait Workshop we gathered in the studio for the last time and carefully observed Judy paint a stunning portrait of her model. Once again she explained in great detail every step of the way.  We were slightly distracted by the smell coming from the kitchen where Peter was preparing our lunch. At noon we swiftly found our way to the entertainment area and enjoyed a delicious lunch. At 1pm, fuelled with food and inspiration we painted our models and learned from the instruction and guidance we received from Judy when she came to our easels.  At 4pm we packed up and gathered in the entertainment area for a critique of our work, while we enjoyed some wine and tasty treats.  It was a great workshop. Judy was amazing and an inspiration to all of us. We had a great time learning from her.
On behalf of us all I wish to thank Judy most warmly and sincerely for giving us such a wonderful 5 days. It was really appreciated


Below are some messages that I have received. Thank you for all your kind words and thank you for taking part. Without you these workshops would not have been possible.

I just want to thank you for the enormous amount of time and effort you put into organizing and making last weekend ( Judith's portrait workshop ) so very special. Please will you thank your husband and family for the lovely lunches that you gave us and for your wonderful hospitality.
Judith was the most inspiring person---I certainly learnt a lot from her and will be looking out for the photos of her workshop which you took. I would be so grateful if you could pass on details and costs of her portrait DVD's if and where they are available.
Thank you again.
Peggy Hodges

I just want to say again a very BIG thank you to you and Peter for hosting such an amazing workshop.
You are a STAR!!!
I am so inspired, I went and got myself a French easel and have been out doing my thing!!

Thank you so much for all your wonderful organisation for a simply stunning weekend. I feel so inspired to paint and draw again which is lovely. The other day I had to sit at home affairs for the morning so I took my sketch book along and tried to draw people while I was sitting there. Good exercise. Judy was such an inspiration.

Thank you for all your efforts in organizing and running the recent workshop.
I really found it great and learnt a lot. It was lovely seeing you and Judy again.
Please thank Peter for his help and culinary talents too.

Thanks for all the fantastic organisation that you put into the weekend’s events. And please thank Peter for a delicious lunch….

Has your home returned to normal...having had hoards of us all over you for the wonderful Judith Carducci Workshops!!!?
I tackled my class this morning with a new, Slant’ !
Thank You for all your organization to make us all feel so welcome.. and well fed!
Ingrid McMahon

Sonia, have you had time to relax after your hectic few days? I really enjoyed attending the workshop with Judith, especially in such lovely surroundings. She was great, you were great. Thank you.

Thank you so much for organising such a lovely workshop especially in the difficult weather conditions.
Liz Goate

just to say a great big thank you for the Carducci weekend.
I think your organisation was terrific and what a delightful
home and setting.  Thanks again.

Just to thank you for organising the course. It was very well organised and the weather was NOT your fault but we all managed to paint inspite of it!!
I thought your house, animals and set up were absolutely fantastic!

Just to say thank you so much for arranging the workshop. You went to a lot of trouble to make it interesting and I think your choices of location was stunning and the Restaurants you chose were perfect. Although we didn’t enjoy the weather I thought it added to the whole allure and mystery of en plain air paintings. Braving the elements is all part and parcel of being an artist.



Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop

Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop
Landscape and Portrait Workshop