...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.
Replicating the human head is the most demanding and challenging of all artistic endeavors. Although my workshops are specifically geared towards portrait painting, the methodologies I teach can be successfully utilized with any subject matter, any style and any medium. If you can paint a convincing life like realistic head in oil, you can achieve any artistic goal you set!
My workshops and classes provide artists of all levels with a uniquely simple and logical approach to painting portraits and figures in oil. The instruction will emphasize the mind-set and methodologies that have guided master portrait artists for over five hundred years. I teach time-honored practices that lie at the heart of the world's great masterpieces.
People wonder why artists can no longer paint like the Old Masters. The reason is perfectly clear; painting today isn‘t approached in the same way as it once was. Today, artists are distracted from the truth, focusing on the superficial aspects of technique instead. The answer is quite obvious to anyone who seeks it. Fortunately, living in New York has provided me with unlimited access to many of the worlds greatest paintings. What I have discovered, by analyzing these masterworks, is that although they may be stylistically diverse, all great representational artists share the same mindset. I therefore maintain that the key to painting well is more a function of strategic thinking, rather than the result of using some secret exotic painting medium, flamboyant brushwork or having a potpourri of colors on your palette.
As a result, I now eschew the vast majority of today's commonly accepted practices and beliefs, which I feel serve only to confuse, rather than clarify, the issue of learning to paint well. If you’re not satisfied with your paintings, maybe you want to consider a different point of view. I don't teach slick techniques and gratuitous effects. Nor do I teach arduous, lifeless, mechanical copying, I focus on creating realistic imagry in a way that will ultimitely enhance your ability to express your true artistic vision.
Successful painting is more than merely aping what is in front of you; it requires the ability to understand and interpret your subject. By working from a live model, students will rigorously engage with the principles of portrait painting in the classical tradition. Strategies for capturing a likeness, handling paint, emphasizing the effects of light and atmosphere, modeling form and mixing lifelike complexions will be covered. Every step from preparing a canvas to applying the final highlight will be thoroughly demonstrated and explained. NY workshops and classes include a field trip to the Met while my "outside of NY" students will be treated to my slide presentation: “Everything I know about Painting I Learned at the Met!”
My painting classes center around the unique palette arrangement and color choices I’ve developed. Color is but one aspect of what makes a painting work, but it is the most readily apparent, particularly with regards to portraiture. My palette gives me the ability to replicate the life-like flesh tones indigenous to each unique sitter I paint, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity. I believe that by using my palette, any artist, with practice, can create beautiful, believable, realistic and translucent skin tones.
However, my workshop goes far beyond merely conveying how to replicate accurate life-like flesh. The color aspect needs a framework to support it. Color is important but is much more effective in the context of illusionistic space. The ability to create depth, structure and the effect of light are what’s at the heart of all great portraiture. I don't, however, teach a preconceived or formulaic way to arrive at these things. I champion keen observation and intelligent reasoning, based on true understanding, as the ideal way to make the most appropriate decisions, particularly when working in life painting classes. Working from live models is a key factor in artistic training. Once you can understand how to portray the three dimensionality of the model you can in turn adapt this perception to your portrait paintingss, even if you are working from photos.
In addition, I will cover how to achieve more accurate drawing, as well as the thought process for developing value structure, mixing accurate colors (in addition to flesh), creating a sense of atmosphere and bringing your subject to life. Most importantly, all aspects of my teaching are thoroughly demonstrated and explained by me. I don't delegate the important task of critiquing my students to assistants. If I'm not demonstrating or lecturing, I’m working one-on-one with each of you.
My principles are broad based and can be utilized with any type of painting style: loose, tight or whatever. It is the knowledge that supports informed choices. The answer is not in some magic medium or mystical ritual. Painting mastery is a state of mind and, coupled with a great worth ethic, there is no limit to what can be achieved.
I believe the most effective way to teach is by showing people what to do while explaining each and every step. I will be demonstrating the following:
•Techniques for achieving great drawing accuracy
•Transparent under-painting for building luminosity
•Preparation and use of the Mattelson Flesh Palette
•Scumbling as well as wet into wet paint handling techniques
•Modeling three dimensional form
Whether you chose to take a class or a workshop, the same material is covered in both. The advantage of taking a class that meets once a week, is that it allows you to mull over and contemplate what you've learned, while the advantage of a workshop is that it offers day after day reinforcement. All my classes and workshops center around the same core material. Longer duration workshops give me with the opportunity to work longer on my demonstration paintings and my students also have more time to work lon their paintings, too.