Marvin Mattelson’s Online Virtual Portrait Painting Class for Fall 2020.

Marvin Mattelson class demo painting of Erin.
Marvin Mattelson’s Online Workshop Demo Painting of Erin.

The above image is my demo painting of Erin, created during my online virtual August 2020 two-week portrait painting workshop.

I received an inquiry today regarding my virtual online portrait painting class for this upcoming Fall Semester. I wanted to share my answers with anyone who may be considering taking a class or course of study to up the level of their work. I’ve included his questions followed by my responses:

How does your course differ from the many other painting courses?

Most teachers, in all schools, take one of two basic approaches, either the provide specific steps (rules and regulations) to follow and memorize (rote learning) or a more “creative” or intuitive approach based on doing what feels good or “floats your boat”. 
Neither of those is all that helpful IMHO.
My teaching is based on conveying an understandIng of the underlying principles based on how artists of the past created paintings that appear even more alive than reality. 
Additionally I fully demonstrate every step in my process with a full explanation of what I’m doing and most importantly why. It’s like the Bible says, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for life.“ 
In my studio I have installed multiple high quality PTZ cameras which follow every action I take. You can see every brush stroke I make, in great detail, and how each color is first analyzed and then mixed on my palette. And, unlike watching a video, I will answer any questions that arise along the way. My approach is what’s termed, mindful learning. 
With regards to critiquing my students work, I have a computer running photoshop in which I can show them exactly what to do to correct problems and to move forward. I also have a wide range of graphics I incorporate into the lessons, as well as the ability to overlay important info and quotes. 
My goal was to create an educational experience that would take learning in a live classroom to an entirely new level.

Detail of demo painting from August 2020 online Virtual Portrait Workshop, by Marvin Mattelson
Demo portrait detail by Marvin Mattelson

Does this course focus more on photos and digital interaction as opposed to models? 

Since live models are not possible in Covid times, you will be working from high resolution photos, which I will provide for you to download. Classes that utilize Zoom models are working from very poor quality images taken with cell phones. I will also share what it takes to create high quality photos on your own. 

Will the skills learned in this class be applicable to people who are more illustrators than painters of what they see in front of them?

What you learn in this class can be applied to any area of the arts. Once you understand how to create the illusion of three dimensional form in space, you can choose to incorporate this knowledge to whatever degree you choose. You can go from full-form to flat, or anywhere in between. Former students of mine inhabit the fields of fine art, illustration, animation, concept art, matte painting, graphic design, advertising, etc. These underlying principles can be universally applied in every aspect of the visual arts. 

Detail 2 of demo painting from August 2020 online Virtual Portrait Workshop, by Marvin Mattelson
Demo portrait closeup detail by Marvin Mattelson

Here are comments from this past summer workshop’s participants:

I am so glad that I took both Marvin’s Drawing and Painting workshop this summer! It was a great opportunity. Marvin is a very generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise in drawing and painting. He teaches his proven methods of drawing and painting that you can carry with you in your artistic journey. You can start at any level and learn what you need to take you to the next level. He also has developed very successful way to do an online class with the best equipment available. It was truly a high quality online class experience and I hope to do another workshop soon. Thank you so much for the fabulous workshops!

Becky Bahas

This is a workshop that I have been meaning to attend for years, but never seemed to be able to coordinate, between the travel and time off etc. I am so glad I thought of checking out your plans for this workshop during our lockdown times.  When I saw that you placed the workshop online I jumped for it.  But you didn’t just add a camera to your “conventional” workshop. You thought this one out in a detailed way to make an amazing learning experience, including your demonstrations and even your Met tour.  The fact that the zoom recordings were available to review, allowed me to increase the workshop virtual time, by rewinding and reviewing much of the realtime workshop hours.  And since we used a reference photograph instead of a live model, we were able to continue working after (and before) workshop official times. This increased the value of the workshop even more.   

Regarding your basic methods, on top of your masterful world class portraiture expertise, you have developed methods that will always be of value, long after the workshop.  In school, objective and logical subjects were always easier for me to absorb. And you have been able to take fine art and treat its principals with logic in order to reduce the “subjective contamination”. Exactly what I always look for!  

Abbe Mendlowitz

Can’t believe it’s been over a week since we finished the workshop and I am still trying to catch up with all the things I didn’t have time to do then.

I meant to write as soon as we finished but the days just seem to have blown by. I still need to find the time to write a proper recommendation of both courses. They were amazing, and for me who had been completely apart from producing art for so long it was a great reintroduction in the best way possible.  

For now, I am glad to tell you that I have managed to keep painting, even if only a couple of days a week, and have started a portrait of my son Nicolas. Will send pictures soon but so far I think it’s the best thing I’ve done!

Irena Moreno

Thank you again for an incredible workshop. It was a truly amazing educational experience. I can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you put into making the virtual workshop the best it could possibly be.

I’m not sure if you remember, but back when I completed the painting of my mother in your foundation class, I told you that I was learning an insane amount, but that I absolutely didn’t want to be an oil painter, and was still very committed to the graphic novel/comics path. However, you planted an extremely powerful seed in my mind, especially by way of exposing me to amazing painters/illustrators/draftsmen such as Leyendecker, Paxton, Cornwell, Escher, Raeburn, Sargent, (and Mattelson!), etc. In the year and a half since then, that seed has grown tremendously – this led me to switch majors so I could focus my entire efforts on picture making. The more I dig into myself to seek what it is that I truly want to create in life, the more clear my place at the easel becomes, and the more grateful I am to have such an incredible mentor on this journey.

Noah Klavens

 If you’re interested in attending or would like more information, please contact me at fineartportrait@gmail.com for specifics.

Until next time…

Drawing the line: A Virtual Portrait Drawing Workshop

July 13 – 17, 2020 • 9 AM – 5 PM • Online learning @ sva.edu

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

G. K. Chesterton

I’ll be leading an intensive 5 day drawing workshop starting Monday July 13, 2020.

Drawing Workshop: This starts one week from today, so please register quickly if you’re interested.

https://sva.edu/academics/continuing-education/fine-arts/drawing/realistic-portrait-drawing-from-photo-reference-20-cu-fic-2148-a

This is not a typical drawing workshop where you may pick up a trick or two. Throw out all the typical rules and regulations. The purpose of this workshop is to transform the way you think about drawing and making art.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wayne Dyer

My teaching is rooted in mindful learning, allowing you to contextually assess the situation at hand and make appropriate decisions based on your artistic intent. The actions you take are unique to you.

Most art courses are based in rote learning – the memorization of steps to take and rules to follow. When decision making is based on somebody else’s blueprint, the best possible scenario is that the work of the student winds up looking just like their teachers’.

In this workshop you will learn to truly see what’s in front of you and how to make it appear three dimensional on a flat surface. Understanding how to achieve this end gives you the flexibility to control the effect your drawing has on the viewer. It’s all about decision making.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have chosen to migrate my workshops to online learning. I instituted this new approach over the last six weeks of school (due to the manditory closure of all of the school’s buildings) and I discovered it offered advantages which enabled me to teach even more effectively. 

The core of my teaching approach is to convey true understanding (through mindful or conceptual learning). This allows students to relate new information to prior knowledge. I demonstrate each step, while explaining my every action and answer whatever questions arise. It’s the best way for visually oriented people to learn and is the antithesis of rote learning (rule following), which is the way most art is taught. 

My main emphasis is on the important roll that stratigic thinking plays in the creative process.

An artist paints not with his hand but with his mind.

Michelangelo

The purpose of this workshop is to create a contextual shift in the way you approach drawing – to be more mindful. 

Summer 2020 Workshops
Until the current pandemic is under control, and personal safety can be 100% guaranteed, my teaching will be conducted online exclusively. These classes will be unlike any you have ever experienced. There is limited space available. Register quickly to secure your spot. This summer in addition to the one-week portrait drawing workshop, I’m also leading a two-week portrait painting workshop.  

Painting Workshop: Starts the first week in August. https://sva.edu/academics/continuing-education/fine-arts/online-courses/realistic-oil-portrait-painting-from-photo-reference-20-cu-fic-2221-a

There are many approaches to painting.

What should be the first object and principal aim of a painter? The first aim of the painter is to make it appear that a round body in relief is presented upon the flat surface of his picture; and he who surpasses others in this respect deserves to be esteemed more skillful than they in his calling.

Leonardo DaVinci

In the fall, I will be teaching my Continuing Ed class through SVA on Saturdays. I will also be offering other classes outside of the SVA environment, on other days, assuming there’s an interest. Let me know if this is something you would like to participate in.

Take care, stay safe and be well. Hope to “see” you soon
MM

Fall Continuing Ed Oil Painting Portrait Classes at the School of Visual Arts with Marvin Mattelson

It’s been a very busy summer for me. I completed two portraits and went down to Bermuda to gather reference for a series of paintings I’ve been commissioned to paint of  Bermudian architecture.

First of all, I wanted to share my latest commission with you, a portrait of Robert Cripps, the retiring Chairman of the Board of Velcro Industries. I feel like I’m learning so much with each painting I complete, and I love sharing my newfound knowledge with all my students.

Robert Cripps Portrait by Marvin Mattelson

If  you want to take the next step forward in your artistic evolution or maybe you just feel stuck, refocusing on the core principles that I teach can be a big boost to your progress. By constantly reviewing these principles I continue to deepen my understanding and this is what fuels my artistic growth.

I’ll be teaching two Continuing Education classes at the School of Visual Arts during the fall semester. If you or a friend are interested in attending, please don’t wait until the last minute to register. The classes start a week from this coming Saturday and Sunday, on September 21st and 22nd. If you’ve already signed up, thank you, and I look forward to seeing you soon. 

Marvin Mattelson demoing at SVA

All principles are fully explained while being clearly demonstrated.

I hope to see you in a class.

“Portrait Painting: The Real Deal” is a Featured Workshop this week!

SVA CE website home page

 

Two-week Workshop • August 6th-17th

The School of Visual Arts @ NYC

I’m proud to announce that this week my August oil portrait painting workshop, “Portrait Painting: The Real Deal”, is featured on the School of Visual Arts’ Continuing Education home page. (See above.) In my opinion, all workshops are not created equal. This workshop is about transforming the way you see and cultivating the understanding that merely copying what’s in front of you will not result in a great life-like work of art. Many instructors (as well as students) feel that if you can pick up a trick or two then your time spent in the workshop has been a success. Don’t count me among them. I believe that in two weeks time you can experience a contextual shift in the way you approach making art and that the level of your work can grow exponentially as a result.

Here is a comment from a former workshop attendee, the outstanding sculptor, Roger Owens.

This workshop is an unusually dense and thoughtful course of instruction – well worth taking twice – even for copious note-takers like myself. I processed the information differently and more completely the second time. It exceeded my expectations and my expectations were very high. It might have taken a decade or two for me to learn, on my own, what Marvin delivered in one week. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Learn of the skillful; he that teaches himself has a fool for his master.”
Brian Owens

Here is a link to more student feedback.

Due to my heavy work schedule, I now limit myself to teaching just one oil portrait painting workshop each year. If you miss this one, then you’ll have to wait until August 2019. It’s going to be an incredible workshop.

 

Portrait Painting: The Real Deal

Portrait of Sydnie
Location: The School of Visual Arts @ New York City
To register online:
http://www.sva.edu/continuing-education/fine-arts/portrait-painting-the-real-deal-18-cu-fic-2221-ce
Course Number: FIC-2221-CE
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 9:00AM – 5:00PM Aug 06 – Aug 17
310 East 22nd Street
8.50 CEUs, 11 Sessions
For more info or to register by phone call: 212.592.2050

Course description:
There’s more to painting a great portrait than capturing a likeness; it’s about creating the illusion of life. Portraiture should reveal the character of the sitter and exude a lifelike essence. Whether you are just starting out or very experienced, whether you choose to paint from live models or work from photo references, what you can learn in this course has the potential to transform your art. Taught by an award-winning portrait artist, you will learn how to analyze, interpret and vastly improve your ability to capture a convincing and telling representation of your sitter. Based on the idea that logic, not frivolous rules and superficial techniques are at the core of the greatest portraits ever created, a mindful approach that is both broad in scope, yet simple to comprehend will be taught. Working from live models, you will discover a simple and straightforward way to draw accurately and easily replicate any color you see, particularly the subtle translucent tones of the human complexion. You will also learn to model form and simulate the effects of luminosity, depth, and atmospheric space. All the information covered in this course will be fully demonstrated and explained by the instructor.

NOTE: A Sunday afternoon field trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art is included. Please bring a notebook and pen to the first session. A complete supply list will be sent to you prior to the start of the workshop.

Marvin Mattelson Summer 2018 Workshops in New York City

 

Continuing Ed Classes at the School of Visual Arts

This summer I’ll be teaching two workshops at the School of Visual Arts in New York City: a five-day portrait drawing workshop and an eleven-day portrait painting workshop.

The purpose of both workshops is to transform your ability to make art. Just imagine, for just one moment, that everytime you picked up a brush or a piece of charcoal you could download Anthony Van Dyke’s brain.

Great art is the function of sound strategic thinking. There is a profound underlying mindset that has served as the foundation for the creation of the greatest realist art in history. My goal is to provide you with the opportunity to tap into that mindset. Intrinsic talent is not sufficient enough if you want to excel. 

But worry not, you will get more than your fair share of technical information as well. In both workshops, you’ll learn how to see what’s actually in front of you and how to create the illusion of a three-dimensional reality. The painting workshop adds the dimension of color and there you will learn how to analyze color and how to easily identify and mix any color you see. Also, you’ll learn to create life-like flesh-tones as well as how to use color to unify your subject matter. 

All aspects of my curriculum are fully demonstrated alongside my running commentary. The above portrait of Sarah was my demo from last year’s workshop. At all other times, I’ll be circulating amongst my students while critiquing and giving feedback. 

I’ve heard it said that if you take a workshop you should be happy if you can walk away with a trick or two under your belt. If you’ve been privy to this way of thinking, my advice is to run – don’t walk – as fast as you can from the source of this misinformation. If it’s a teacher, shame on them. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The intent of my workshops is to transform the way you approach making your art. The important question is, are you willing to give up the rules and regulations you’ve come to believe are at the root of whatever successes you’ve experienced to date? 

Rules obfuscate the truth. As my former student, Dorian Vallejo said, “…one of the greatest teachers ever. Marvin Mattelson changes the lives of anyone paying attention. I know I wouldn’t be half the painter I am without his guidance. ”  

Whether you’re a portrait artist or not, these workshops will make a huge difference in the way you look at, think about and make art. 

Hope to see you there. Until next time… 

Realistic Portrait Drawing: Course Number: FIC-2148-A

http://www.sva.edu/continuing-education/fine-arts/realistic-portrait-drawing-18-cu-fic-2148-a

Realistic Portrait Drawing

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri 9:00AM – 5:00PM Jun 04 – Jun 08

310 East 22nd Street

4.00 CEUs, 5 Sessions

For more info call: 212.592.2050

Drawing lies at the heart of all representational art and unity is the key component. The purpose of this workshop is to develop your ability to approach drawing in a contextual way, where each small part serves the greater whole. We will start with exercises designed to sharpen your ability to see objectively. Working with live models, you will learn how to identify the specific proportions and structure unique to each individual. By weeks end, you will understand what it takes to achieve a full-fledged tonal portrayal of your subject, bathed in light and surrounded by air. Draftsmanship is an easily learned skill. The techniques and approaches you will learn can be readily adapted to any type of subject matter and style. All aspects of this method will be presented logically and coherently. Every step will be fully demonstrated and explained. 

NOTE: A complete supply list will be sent to you prior to the start of the workshop.

Portrait Painting: The Real Deal: Course Number: FIC-2221-CE

http://www.sva.edu/continuing-education/fine-arts/portrait-painting-the-real-deal-18-cu-fic-2221-ce

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 9:00AM – 5:00PM Aug 06 – Aug 17

310 East 22nd Street

8.50 CEUs, 11 Sessions

For more info call: 212.592.2050

There’s more to painting a great portrait than capturing a likeness; it’s about creating the illusion of life. Portraiture should reveal the character of the sitter and exude a lifelike essence. Whether you are just starting out or very experienced, whether you choose to paint from live models or work from photo references, what you can learn in this course has the potential to transform your art. Taught by an award-winning portrait artist, you will learn how to analyze, interpret and vastly improve your ability to capture a convincing and telling representation of your sitter. Based on the idea that logic, not frivolous rules and superficial techniques are at the core of the greatest portraits ever created, a mindful approach that is both broad in scope, yet simple to comprehend will be taught. Working from live models, you will discover a simple and straightforward way to draw accurately and easily replicate any color you see, particularly the subtle translucent tones of the human complexion. You will also learn to model form and simulate the effects of luminosity, depth, and atmospheric space. All the information covered in this course will be fully demonstrated and explained by the instructor. 

NOTE: A Sunday afternoon field trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art is included. Please bring a notebook and pen to the first session. A complete supply list will be sent to you prior to the start of the workshop.