New York Portrait Artist Workshop Demonstration – Day 3


Today, was the beginning of the end, or the phase I refer to as the initial finish later. As always, my priorities were: first drawing, then values and lastly color. I’m encouraged with how the likeness is coming together and especially the way that Megan’s spirit has begun to emerge. Since the base colors were established in the previous demo, I was able to introduce translucency and color-nuance and start the process of really bringing the portrait to life.






My last demo day for this workshop will be Thursday.

Until next time…

New York Portrait Artist Workshop Demonstration – Day 2


Yesterday I demonstrated my procedure for mixing up the colors on my palette. Today I laid in the color in a logical and methodical way and even had time at the end of the day to start the edge handling. Next up: the refinement stage. Below you can trace my steps, starting with the drawing correction and finishing up with the complete coverage of the underpainting.







Until next time…

New York Portrait Artist Workshop Demonstration – Day 1


Today was the first day of my Oil Portrait Workshop at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, my last workshop of the 2013 calendar year. After a brief introduction, I spent the day explaining and demonstrating my procedure for the wash-in, the painting’s foundation layer (see above). My mantra: work large to small.

Below you can see the steps I took:










For the next two days my lucky students will be working on their wash-ins. On Thursday, I’ll attempt my first color layer.

Until next time…

Marvin Mattelson’s Teaching Schedule • Summer 2013

Oil Portrait Painting & Drawing Workshops

Workshop drawing by Carol Katz

I’ve heard it said again and again that when you take a workshop, don’t expect to take away too much, maybe at best a few little tricks or oil painting techniques. Anyone who’s had that experience simply didn’t do their homework. My workshops are hugely different; they’re about transformation. My goal to change the way my students look at the world and think about making art. Carol Katz took my drawing workshop in New York last summer. (See above.) This is what she had to say about her experience:

A lot of people think they can’t draw. They think you’re either born with the ability to draw or you’re not and you can never learn. In reality, it’s something that can be taught to anyone with the right teacher and method. Just as a musician needs to learn the notes and the language of music, an artist needs to learn the language of art.

Through years of school, my teachers never seemed to offer the kind of art education that I knew I was missing. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I would know it when I found it. I took drawing, figure drawing and painting in college and for years after in many different schools, always searching for the education that eluded me – until I took Marvin’s painting class and drawing workshop.

I never seemed to be able to get beyond a certain level in my drawing. However, in one week Marvin’s drawing workshop brought me to a level that I’ve been striving for my whole life. It is by far the most awesome drawing course – and I’ve taken countless – and as an artist, I can honestly say it was a game changer for me and a life changing experience. I’ll continue to study with Marvin because I believe the sky is the limit studying with one of the most gifted artists and teachers around.

Class painting by Jane Cronk

Jane came to my class after a five-year hiatus from formal painting instruction. Her progress since September has been breathtakingly stunning. Nothing is more exciting to me than to witness these transformations.

This summer I’ll be leading three Oil Portrait Painting Workshops. They’ll take place in Cleveland, Atlanta, and New York City. I’ll also be conducting a Portrait Drawing Workshop in New York as well. These are appropriate for portrait artists of all levels, from experienced to aspiring.

The dates are as follows:

New York Portrait Drawing Workshop: June 3-7

Atlanta Oil Portrait Painting Workshop: June 10-27
Cleveland Oil Portrait Painting Workshop: July 15-27
New York Oil Portrait Painting Workshop: August 5-16

For more info please click on any of the above.

I will also be attending two information sessions at the School of Visual Arts on May 6 & 7, 2013. If you’re interested in meeting me and finding out more about my workshops here are the times and locations:

Summer 2013 Fine Arts Information Session – May 6, 6:30-8:30 PM
133/141 West 21st St. Room 602C, New York City.

Summer 2013 Illustration Information Session – May 7, 6:30-8:30 PM
209 East 23rd Street, Room 311, New York City.

Call the office of Continuing Education at 212-592-2050 for more info about the info sessions or about any of my New York offerings.

Hope to see you this summer and help you change your game!

New York City Portrait Artist Workshop-Demo Day #4: Grand Finale

Like all good things, the workshop has come to an end. The two weeks really flew by. It’s amazing how everybody bonded over the love we share for painting realistically. The rate of growth was truly astounding. I’ll try to share some of the student’s work in a future post. I know that my methods always produce great results, but it still never ceases to amaze me. It’s a great validation that the fruits of my life long search for answers is so universally effective. It’s always sad when it’s over.

Last Thursday I painted the final layer on my demonstration painting for my New York Portrait Artist Workshop. One of the main points I wanted to convey to my students was that the finishing is something that takes place at the end. That’s the biggest problem I see with so many working methodologies, too many try to finish from the get go rather than setting up the big relationships first, and play the smaller aspects off of those. I’m not saying that my approach is the only one that works, but it makes learning much less cumbersome. Trying to emulate the working methods of someone with great experience doesn’t necessarily make sense, because if an artist is good, it doesn’t mean their approach is universally applicable.

As my demo progressed the steps became much less discernible since I was constantly resolving smaller and smaller areas. My first step was to scumble over the larger areas to further unify everything:

Next I painted into the scumble trying to create greater variation of color and intensity and further develop the solidity the forms:

This is as far as I got. For the last poses I refined the eyes. I try to hold back on the important parts until everything else is in harmony. The worst thing is to have to repaint something you’ve spent a lot of time on because it just doesn’t work. Had this been a commissioned painting I would have spent several days more, but that’s the nature of demonstrations. I wanted to make the painting look as illusionistic as I could. When I finished, Myriam, the model, looked at the painting and said, “That’s me!” She had a great spirit and I wanted it to shine through.

If any of the participants are reading this, I’d love to have you share some thoughts.

Until next time…