Next month at the School of Visual Arts in New York City I will be leading my 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.
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.
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.
All ideas, fundimentals and techniques will be fully explained and demonstrated.
Marvin Mattelson is now conducting his classes and workshops online in Full HD 1080p through his Fine Art Portrait Academy. For further information, or to register for an upcoming offering, please follow this link to his teaching page.
Until next time...