2 Week Oil Portrait Workshop with Marvin Mattelson
Oil Portrait Painting Workshop

Location: Susan Cone Porges' The Art Studio
Beachwood, OH

June 9 Thru June 21, 2014

Artist's Magazine Cover Article

Portrait Workshop In-class Demonstration

It might have taken a decade or two for me to learn, on my own, what Marvin delivered in two weeks.
Benjamin Franklin said it best: "Learn of the skillful; he that teaches himself has a fool for his master."

Brian Owens

Workshop Purpose
The goal of this workshop is to teach you both the strategic thinking and techniques that great master artists have utilized for centuries. You'll learn exactly what it takes to paint life-like illusionistic portraits and how to incorporate these methods into your own personal approach and style.

Award winning classical realist oil portrait artist, Marvin Mattelson will be conducting this workshop for artists who long to elevate their painting skills. He provides an opportunity for artists of all levels and styles to benefit from his thirty plus years of experience, both as a professional artist and as an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

He believes that the way painting is taught today limits all but the most precociously talented and clever from succeeding. If they paint well it's in spite of their methods, not because of them. Unfortunately, many artists with great potential are thwarted because they are not provided with the proper understanding and training.

Marvin has therefore created a refreshingly logical and clear strategy for all artists who want to improve.

Workshop Specifics
Marvin's approach to portraiture is based on the idea that creating an illusionistic painting requires far more than merely copying what lies before you. It requires the ability to understand and then purposefully modify what you see.

Special emphasis will be given towards enhancing the illusion of three dimensional reality on a two dimensional surface.

Sound strategies for getting a good likeness, modeling and turning the form, as well as finding an efficient and repeatable way to mix the subtle nuanced colors of life will be addressed in great depth.

The juxtaposition of objective observation and subjective interpretation are the keys to mastering a truly classical realist approach to painting.

Marvin feels the most effective way of teaching is by demonstrating and explaining each and every step of his methodology. He will spend approximately one half of the workshop sessions demonstrating the following:

• Transparent under painting technique.
• How to achieve accurate drawing and values.
• Preparation and use of his innovative flesh palette.
• Scumbling and wet-into-wet paint handling

Marvin will work one on one with each of his students during the class sessions when he's not demonstrating.

You will be sent a materials and supply list after completing your registration.

Included in the tuition, is the opportunity to have your portfolio personally critiqued by Marvin during the lunch breaks.

Daily Class Schedule
9:30 am - 12:30 pm...morning painting session/demo
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm...lunch
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm...afternoon painting session/demo

Special Lecture Series
There will be one daytime and four evening lecture sessions, during the two weeks of the workshop, included in the tuition.

Slide Lecture • Sun, Jun 15 • 2:30 pm
"Everything I know about Painting I learned at the Met" which outlines the historical precedent for the ideas that are laid forth in the workshop.

The following lectures begin at 5:30 pm.
Color Theory • Tue, June 10
Color Mixing & Palette Set-up • Wed, June 11
Modeling Factors: Turning the Form • Tue, June 17
Marketing and Promotion • Thu, June 19

Five Day Audit Option

For students who wish to experience Marvin's demos and lectures and not paint in class under his supervision.

Workshop Fees & Registration
Tuition: $1650 plus $100 model fee.
Audit fee: $825 for non-painting observers.

Lectures are open to non-workshop attendees at the cost of $35 per lecture or $150 for the full series.

To register or for more information please call Patty at 216.258.5424 pjoyce55@yahoo.com

Links to learn more about the program

Click on the following links to learn more about Marvin Mattelson, see some of his commissioned portraits, check out several of his workshop demonstrations, and look at his students' workshop paintings.

You can also read additional feedback from participants of Marvin's workshops and classes.

You can find out more about Marvin's unique point of view regarding art education, read his teaching philosophy and his thoughts regarding the painting process. You can also view his current teaching schedule for other workshop & class locations.

Who is Marvin Mattelson?

Marvin Mattelson is an award winning portrait artist whose paintings hang in collections worldwide, including both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.

Marvin has been teaching at The School of Visual Arts in NYC for over 35 years and his former students have achieved both critical and financial success in all arenas of fine and commercial art.

StudStudent Testimonialsent Feed

I learned more in two weeks with Marvin than in seven years and an MFA in art school.
Jenny Lyon Poggi

…The top reasons to attend a Mattelson workshop, in no particular order:

(1) Marvin’s color system makes mixing skin colors much easier and faster, but without any compromises – it’s also perfectly accurate and helps you to “see” the true colors on the model and understand what you are seeing. And yet it’s not (like the systems of other artists whose workshop I have attended) mysterious at all. It is perfectly logical and scientific.

(2) Adopting Marvin’s method of mixing and applying paints to a canvas made my own painting process much more efficient, accurate and fun. I have a limited amount of time to paint each week and this method gives me the most ‘bang for the buck’ during my painting time.

(3) This workshop is like getting a semester of knowledge in a couple of weeks. Marvin is very generous with his time and information, including evening workshops on art history (tying his methods and instruction into renowned artist’s work), marketing, color theory, etc. The students also pick up great information on drawing in general, and photography for artists, although Marvin also teaches workshops on those subjects separately.

(4) Marvin does not teach a particular ‘style’ of painting; he is teaching good, sound, time-tested basic art theory and practice, which can be applied to any style, and much of which can be applied to other media as well.

(5) Marvin demonstrates by creating his own painting alongside the students (on alternating days). The ability to watch an accomplished artist and how he applies paint to the canvas taught me as much as what I heard. And (unlike some other teachers) he explains what he is doing, and why, as he goes along.

(6) Being able to paint from a live model is invaluable. Most of us by necessity have to paint a lot from photographs, but the subtlety and accuracy in skin color that his students can achieve from life at the class just can’t be duplicated in working only from photos. I still keep my workshop paintings handy when I am painting from photos, to remind myself of what skin looks like “in the flesh”

(7) At many other workshops, you may learn (as I had) how to paint a 2-hour “alla prima” portrait, but I wanted to learn how to take the paintings to a further level. Marvin’s class is perfect for that – by stretching the class over 2 weeks, it gives the paint time to dry between sessions so that the benefits provided by this “indirect” method of painting can be seen. Only after I had taken Marvin’s workship did I understand where I wanted to “go” with my portraits and how to get there. I look back at my older work now and wonder why I never “finished” them…although I keep them around as reminders.

(8) This is not a “gimmick” system (no “happy trees” here). What is taught and demonstrated is solid, from the foundation to the top, even though you can also pick up methods, and equipment, that make the application of this knowledge much easier.

(9) The workshop is great fun, with good music, lots of humor, and a ‘good time had by all,’ as they say. Anyone is welcome to contact me through my website at mattellrod.com for more recommendations for Marvin’s workshops.
Matt Ellrod

So few people have the ability to operate at the level you do artistically, but even fewer have the skills and desire to teach others how it's done. You took what you learned about us as individuals and you developed custom, innovative teaching methods using them to push each of us to new levels. You understand how people learn and seem to genuinely thrive off of your students' progress. Selfless with your wealth of knowledge, you jumped at any opportunity to share what you know with your students. After only six days, every one of us walked away with more knowledge than we could have ever hoped to achieve in that timeframe and for that amount of money.

This workshop was, without a doubt, the best investment I've ever made in the development of my skills as an artist. I cannot thank you enough for everything you taught me this week, Marvin. You are a spectacular teacher and person, and I will be counting down the days until I can study with you again.
Mary Beth Lumley

I'm so pleased with everything that you taught me. It works so beautifully. I can't thank you enough. I'm totally jealous of all the people who got to put up with you for however many days it was in Santa Fe. I hope they appreciated your incredible genius, and strange sense of humor. I do.
Elsie Hammerlich

Marvin teaches a system of oil painting that is not only ideal for portraits but is readily adaptable to any subject. His complete explanations during demonstrations reveal his years of experience as a university art professor. Class time was well-planned with demos followed by adequate time to implement the principles and techniques.
Parrish Hirasaki

In my 20 years of painting & education, I have never had such a comprehensive & informative class. I now understand why I am doing what I'm doing. The great thing about Marvin's class is that he can teach a beginner all the way to the seasoned artist in the same class. I have never had such a fabulous teacher!!!
Claire Bradford

Wow, it took me till today to 'come down' from the high I was experiencing from last week! When I show people the before and after portraits they have all gasped in amazement that so much could be accomplished in such a short amount of time.

I feel like my brain was a dry sponge, and now it's filled with the knowledge you gave me of how to do a truly lifelike portrait. Your color palette is amazing. I can't imagine ever using any other colors!!

Thank you so much for such a wonderful experience, and I truly enjoyed meeting you! Your dry wit kept me cracked up all week long. I hope I can participate again in the future.
Susan Carter

Marvin’s principles were refreshingly objective, and could be easily pieced together to form a larger whole. It soon became clear that his instruction would be the cornerstone of my painting education.

The beauty of Marvin’s teachings is that he never lets his own individual propensities overshadow his objective understanding of light, color, and form. By learning to depict earth’s natural forms as convincingly as possible on the two-dimensional canvas, one thereby acquires an entire visual language with which to communicate.

Marvin’s guidance has freed me. Without it, I may very well have been faced with decades of pursuing and assembling the technical knowledge that Marvin commands. He has provided me with firm ground upon which I may walk my own path, and for this I will always be grateful.
Joseph Daily • Best of Show Award • 2005 Portrait Society of America
Best of Show Award & People's Choice Award Winner, Portrait Society of America 2005

Link to additional student feedback.

No motion capture or audio recording is allowed during the workshop or lectures!
Film and/or digital still cameras are permitted.

© Marvin Mattelson 2002
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