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person painting portrait of seated man

Realistic Portrait Painting from Life

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
9:00AM - 5:00PM
Aug 05 - Aug 16
8.50 CEUs,
11 Sessions

Marvin Mattelson Portrait artist

Do you want your portraits to come to life? Illusionistic realism takes more than just copying what's in front of you; you need to understand what to emphasize and what to play down, if you want to make your canvas come alive. This course will present, to artists of all levels, a uniquely simple and logical approach to painting the portrait in oil. The mindset and methodologies that have guided master artists for more than 500 hundred years will be fully explained, and you will learn the time-honored techniques that have served as the backbone for some of the greatest paintings ever created. Designed to develop your ability to create a believable three-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional surface, regardless of how painterly or refined you paint, this course will allow you to rigorously engage with the principles of portrait painting in the classical tradition. Working from live models, we will explore techniques for drawing accurately, handling paint, emphasizing the effects of light and atmosphere, modeling form and mixing believable and lifelike flesh tones. Every step from preparing a canvas to applying the final highlight will be thoroughly demonstrated and explained.
NOTE: A Saturday field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is included. A complete supply list will be sent to you prior to the start of the workshop. Please bring a notebook and pen to the first session.


Student Work

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587