Archives for May 2019

NYC Realistic Portrait Painting Workshop • August 5-16 2019

Marvin Mattelson’s Realistic Portrait Painting Workshop At The School Of Visual Arts In NYC: August 5-16; 9am To 5pm.

This coming August I will be teaching my annual two-week portrait workshop at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The dates are August 6 – August 15, 2019. This workshop is designed to accelerate your growth as an artist. My methodology is based on the time-honored approach that dates back more than 500 years. I teach the same mindset that guided artists such as Rembrandt, Velasquez, van Dyck, and Paxton. It’s not about the technique, or the medium, or the colors. All of the above will not make you a great artist; just like wearing Air Jordans will not make you into a superstar basketball player.

The finished demo of Bradley

It’s all about the decision-making if you want to take your work to a higher level, creating paintings that have depth, space, light, and air surrounding the figure. This workshop is not only for portrait artists but for all artists of every genre. It’s been said that if you can paint a portrait you can paint anything.

The initial drawing

This is not a cookie-cutter approach where all the students come out with paintings that look exactly the same. In the same way that the aforementioned artists have their own unique and easily recognizable styles, you should be able to have your work be specific to you, looking like your hand was holding the brush on the best day you have yet to experience as an artist.

The wash-in underpainting

Many people, both artists, and teachers will tell you that it will take years of study for you to be the best artist you can be. Not true! It will take years of practice, not study. Perfect practice with-in the framework of the mindful approach to painting which you will learn in this workshop.

The first lay-in of color

All ideas, techniques, philosophies and methodologies will be fully demonstrated and explained in great detail. These two weeks will transform you as an artist. As my student Dorian Vallejo stated, “Marvin Mattelson changes the lives of those students who pay attention!” In addition to the 10 days you will be painting the live model in the studio, we will spend the intervening Saturday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I will take you on a tour of some of the greatest portraits ever painted and point out with great exactitude how those artists are utilizing the same exact strategies and methodologies that you will be learning in class.

The refinement of the color transitions

There are two ways to approach a painting, the direct, or alla prima, method or the indirect, or layering approach. During the workshop you will learn the latter. By building up the painting with layers you have far more control and the ability to subtly adjust the various aspects of the painting to enhance the illusion of three-dimensional reality. By the nature of the fact that oil paint is translucent, you have the ability to paint far more lifelike skin tones than if you paint directly since all skin is translucent. You can see the progression in the demonstration painting I have posted here of my model Bradley.

Once again, the final portrait

These 11 days have changed the lives of numerous artists. My students say they will never look at art or the world in the same way. Registration is now open. You can register for the workshop and find out more information by clicking here for the School of Visual Arts website.

I’ll be attending the Fine Art Info Session which will take place at the school on Wednesday evening, May 8, 2019, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at 136 West 21st Street in room 418F, 4th floor, if you’d like to stop in and say hello and find out more about my teaching.

NYC Realistic Portrait Drawing Workshop • June 3-7 2019

Workshop drawing by Jess Goldstein

Marvin Mattelson’s Realistic Portrait Drawing Workshop at the School of Visual Arts in NYC: June 3-7; 9am to 5pm.

Next month at the School of Visual Arts in New York City I will be leading by annual portrait drawing workshop. It’s a five-day workshop that runs from 9 AM to 5 PM. My approach to drawing is more about strategic thinking as opposed to merely technique.

I’ve included a few examples of my students’ drawings done during last year’s workshop.

Workshop Drawing by Christine McBryan

That’s not to say that I don’t cover technique, because without technique you really wouldn’t have a drawing. But the way that a lot of drawing is thought these days, it’s really about copying what’s in front of you and if you want to obsessively copy the world around Perhaps you should save yourself a lot of time and buy a camera because what you get by copying is flat and static images. Beautiful and lively art comes down to the choices that you make. Every line every tone can be utilized to convey something far beyond just copied.

Michelangelo said, “An artist paints with his brains, not with his hands.” I think that this is all too overlooked in today’s teaching of art. I see a lot of schools were all the artists come out with work that looks exactly the same. This is something I just don’t understand. A methodology that dictates specific rules to be applied in every singular situation seems to be the antithesis of expressing oneself.

Workshop Drawing by Sandy Caracciolo

The point of this workshop is to train you to see objectively what’s in front of your eyes, whether from life or from photos and most importantly, to understand how to convey the experience of what you’re seeing. If you can become aware of the underlying structure, the spatial implications, and your emotional intent, you can make a far more convincing and engaging drawing. Interestingly my approach can pay huge dividends within a very condensed period of time.

Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” What I’m teaching I would refer to as a contextual shift. Contextual shifts can happen in a moment. We’ve all experienced circumstances that once they occur, change our perception forevermore. To illustrate this I’ve included two drawings by one of my students from last summer, Sarah Van Dorn. Sarah has dabbled in art, mostly abstraction, and had never taken a realistic drawing or painting class previously. I’ve included the first drawing that she did and the last strong that she did during the week. You can see the results are stunning and exemplify what artistic transformation is about. That’s the goal of the workshop.

Sarah Van Doren’s first drawing of the week.
And Sarah’s final drawing four days later.

All ideas, fundimentals and techniques will be fully explained and demonstrated.

Registration is now open and you can click the link to the School of Visual Arts’ website. to register or find out more information. I’ll be attending the Fine Art Info Session which will take place at the school on Wednesday evening, May 8, 2019, from 6:30 – 8:30 at 136 West 21st Street in room 418F, 4th floor if you’d like to stop in and say hello and find out more about my teaching.