Online Portrait Art Classes & Workshops  

Classical Realism Portrait Painting & Drawing Courses

Online Portrait Painting Class with Marvin Mattelson
Online Oil Portrait
Saturday Class
Sep 18 - Dec 11
Online Portrait Drawing Workshop with Marvin Mattelson
Online Portrait
DrawingWorkshop
Aug 2 - Aug 6
Online Portrait Painting Workshop with Marvin Mattelson
Oil Portrait
Online Workshop
Aug 9 - Aug 20

...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.

- Dorian Vallejo

Welcome to Marvin Mattelson's Online Fine Art Portrait Academy, where the goal is to create art that appears more real than reality. You can either click the above links or scroll down this page, to learn the specifics of each course. Marvin's teaching is based on his life-long analysis of classical paintings in museums and auction houses. He has concluded that the greatest realist artists shared the same strategic thinking, which is what makes their work truly come to life. To be a great artist first you need to learn to think like one, and that emphasis is what makes Marvin's teaching so unique.

You can read more about his teaching philosophy, as well as feedback and comments from numerous past students. Forced, by the global pandemic, to switch his teaching from traditional in-class to online learning, he quickly discovered that this new technology, enabled him, to not only replicate his innovative approach to educating artists of all levels, but it actually enhanced his ability to present the information even more effectively.  You can learn about his hi-tech state of the art digital learning classroom here. Now, artists from around the globe can benefit from his teaching with a front row seat and follow every movement of his brush.

Online Portrait Painting Class with Marvin Mattelson
Class painting by Tim Dosé

Marvin Mattelson's
Online Oil Portrait Painting Class:
Makin' it More Real than Reality

12 Saturday Sessions*
10 am - 4:30 pm
Sep 18 - Dec 11, 2021
Tuition: $900
Class size limit: 15 students

Marvin Mattelson believes that history's greatest artists did far more than simply copy their subject matter. His unique approach to teaching students how to paint realistically is based on the idea that if you want to create a portrait that is more real than reality, one that conjures up the illusion of life, you need to know how to and what to modify when depicting your subject matter.

I learned more in one semester of Marvin's class than years of study at other places. I still recommend his class regularly. Just recommended it to a coworker the other day.

Art seems to vacillate between two polarities, the impressionist ethic of painting what you see – the visual impression – vs the academic ideal of painting what you know. What makes Marvin's teaching unlike any other, is his core principle of balance. He believes that the true path to your creative destiny can only be reached by melding your ability to observe objectively with your capacity to interpret subjectively.

Sadly, the central focus of the majority of realistic teaching today results in either perfectly rendered, but lifeless works, or paintings whose brushwork supersedes their subject matter. Marvin believes these are both woefully misinformed and that the principles he sees manifested by the masters in their greatest works are rarely in evidence. In his class you will learn how transform your canvas, using the very same mindset employed by the greatest the greats. 

Marvin learned early on, during his 40 plus years of teaching, that although a demonstration may be worth a thousand words, pairing it with simultaneous explaination, of the reasoning behind every decision, provides the most effective result. In addition, by employing the latest in high-definition 1080p live-streaming technology Marvin's students can, for the first time ever, follow his brush from palette to painting in never-before-seen detailed close-ups.

All fundamental and technical aspects are covered in easy to understand and comprehensive detail. Marvin's methodology is rooted in both sound logic, and strategic thinking. This is a mindful (not a mechanical or rote) learning experience. He breaks down the entire process into simple steps. Since the essence of portraiture is the ability to capture a likeness, the initial focus is on developing greater drawing accuracy. Next, you'll learn how the power of value structure enables you to model and turn the form, as well as to create the effect of light and air. Drawing and values set the stage for color. Being able to manipulate the colors you see, and not slavishly copy them, is the ultimate weapon in the artist's arsenal. Color mixing – which seems to be the biggest struggle for most – can be approached methodically. There are far more efficient and repeatable ways to achieve the color nuances that abound, particularly those of the human complexion, compared to the random and unreliable chore of hunting and pecking, betwixt and between warms and cools.

Marvin will demonstrate and explain the following:

• How to achieve greater accuracy in your drawings.
• How to establish value relationships with your underpainting.
• Preparing and using the Mattelson Flesh Palette.
• The appropriate use of opaque and translucent paint layering.
• Proper use of materials and how to achieve technical virtuosity.
• Making your painting appear more real than real.

When not demonstrating, Marvin will work one on one with each of his students. His multi-camera high-resolution broadcast virtual studio enables him to critique and evaluate each students' work and provide pertinent feedback, a critical factor not available when watching canned videos. In a live classroom setting, an instructor has two options: he can tell a student what to do, and hope they understand, or he could paint directly on their canvas, showing them what to do – thus denying them the experience of doing it themselves. The online format allows Marvin to simultaneously explain what to do while showing them, on screen, freeing them to make their own adjustments. Now every student has the opportunity to profit from each of their fellow classmates' critiques, an impossibility in a large painting studio.

Marvin's teaching is not a simple cookie cutter approach. Every class and workshop is tailored to the unique needs and abilities of his attending students. Where appropriate, Marvin will reference a wide variety of digital slide presentations, including lectures on lighting, color theory, photo reference, and composition. During each course, Marvin leads his students on a virtual museum tour. He will meticulously analyzes and break down some of the greatest masterpieces ever created, explaining how they employed the very same concepts and methods which you are being taught.

This class covers the same basic material as Marvin's eleven-day painting workshop. The weekly format gives you the luxury of mulling over and processing the information at a more leisurely pace and also, you have the option to practice and work on your paintings between class sessions. Depending on your schedule, taking a once-a-week class with somewhat shorter hours may prove more manageable.

Regardless of your level of experience and acumen, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, this class is designed to be a transformational experience. For more information on specifics, please click on the following links to learn more about Marvin's teaching methodology and his virtual classroom. If you want to take your work to a whole new level contact Marvin Mattelson and register.

*There is no class scheduled for Saturday, November 27.

Online Portrait Drawing Workshop with Marvin Mattelson
Class drawing by Mary Beth Lumley

Marvin Mattelson's
Online Portrait Drawing Workshop:
Makin' it More Real than Reality

5 Daily Sessions
August 2 - 6, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuition: $550
Class size limit: 15 students

The essence of draftsmanship is having a well-trained eye. The ability to faithfully represent what lies before you is the major factor in achieving long-term success as a realist. The first step is in learning how to see without bias if you want your drawings to be more real than real.

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

The goal of this workshop is to teach you both the strategic thinking and techniques that great master artists have utilized for centuries. J. D. Ingres said that drawing is the probity of painting. Whether you are interested in creating finished portraits or just want to strengthen your skills your drawing ability will be transformed.

Marvin demonstrates and explains every step of his methodology while fully annotating his every decision and choice. He feels the most important thing is for you to understand his reasoning.

The remainder of the time in class he will work one on one with each student. Marvin utilizes the latest in live streaming technology for his online teaching academy, by using multiple cameras and computer interactions, students are able to view never-before-possible close-ups of his demos. A big advantage of on screen learning, as opposed to a live classroom setting, is that he's not limited to merely explaining how to correct your drawing. Now he has the ability to show you what to do while your drawing remains intact. Plus, each student now has the opportunity to profit from all of Marvin's feedback, not just their own. You can follow this link to read more about his virtual classroom.

Demonstrations include::

• How to achieve accurate drawing.
• How to create the illusion of form and atmosphere.
• How to use edge variation to enhance reality.
• How to bring your drawing to life.

Whether drawing or painting is your ultimate goal, you'll learn what it takes to create accurate life-like illusionistic images and how to incorporate what you learn into your own personal approach and style. A deeper understanding of the drawing process is the most crucial component. When approached logically, mastery over your drawing can be attained. If you want to learn how to draw well, you first need to transform the way you see and think. Marvin's approach is about more than mindlessly copying what 's in front of you. It's based on developing understanding and making purposeful choices.

Marvin has created a multi-camera high-resolution broadcast virtual studio, where he utilizes the latest digital technology to critique and evaluate students' work and present digital slide shows covering a wide range of subject matter, including lectures on lighting, photo reference, and drawing techniques and approaches.

Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting… Drawing contains everything, except the hue."

- Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

Marvin's approach to drawing is rooted in his 40+ years as a professional artist and teacher. His drawing methodologies are based on logical and intelligent observational analysis and are totally in sync with those utilized by 19th Century French Academics, such as Charles Bargue, J.L. Gerome and Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Marvin's ideas on how to utilize the Bargue Plates differs greatly from the standardized obsessive copying that is currently in vogue. The underlying principles that formed the foundation of these great draftsmen's techniques are implemented while you draw from high resolution photos during the workshop. In five short days your ability to perceive and convey the illusion of three dimensional structure will be transformed. To register please contact Marvin Mattelson.

Online Portrait Painting Workshop with Marvin Mattelson
Class painting by Noor Chadha

Marvin Mattelson's
Online Oil Portrait Painting Workshop:
Makin' it More Real than Reality

11 Daily Sessions
August 9 - 20, 2021*
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuition: $1250
Class size limit: 15 students

Marvin Mattelson's approach to portraiture is based on the idea that creating an illusionistically real painting requires far more than merely copying what lies before you. It requires the knowledge of how to modify what you see to create a portrait that is more real than real. You will learn how the great masters were able to create the illusion of three-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional surface.

Year after year of practice, my hands are increasingly able to paint what my mind envisions. I feel that studying with Marvin has truly equipped me with the knowledge and mindset to keep pushing the boundaries of my paintings. I am very grateful to have had the chance to learn from him!

- Noor Chadha

This workshop covers the same basic material as Marvins eleven-week Saturday painting course, but in a far more intense and immersive environment. The ability to pick up where you left off from the previous day, with no loss of momentum, combined with the longer hours, gives you the opportunity to truly reinforce the methodology and experience tremendous artistic growth. Depending on your schedule, setting aside two weeks, with minimal outside interruptions, may make the most sense.

Sound strategies for getting a good likeness, for modeling and turning the form, and for finding an efficient and repeatable way to mix the subtle nuanced colors of life will be addressed in great depth. You will learn how to think strategically, and make informed decisions regarding what to modify in order to create a more enhanced illusion of reality. Marvin will cover materials and their usage as well as best practices for archivally sound artwork.

The juxtaposition of objective observation and subjective interpretation are the keys to mastering a truly classical realist approach to painting. Marvin breaks down the painting process into a logical progression based on the student's specific intent.

Marvin feels the most effective way to teach is by demonstrating and explaining each and every step of his methodology. He utilizes the latest in high-definition live streaming technology for his online teaching academy. By using multiple cameras and computer interactions, students are able to view never-before-possible close-ups of his demos. During the workshop sessions Marvin will be demonstrating and explaining the following:

Demonstrations include:

• Transparent under painting technique.
• How to achieve accurate drawing and values.
• Preparation and use of the Mattelson Flesh Palette.
• Scumbling and wet-into-wet paint handling.
• How to make your painting more real than real.

Marvin will work one on one with each of his students when he's not demonstrating. Marvin has created a multi-camera high-resolution broadcast virtual studio where he utilizes the latest digital technology to critique and evaluate students' work. A big advantage of on screen learning, as opposed to a live classroom setting, is that he's not limited to merely explaining how to correct your portrait. Now he can show you what to do while your painting remains intact. Plus, each student now has the opportunity to profit from everyone's feedback, not just their own.

Marvin will also include digital slide presentations covering a wide range of subject matter, including lectures on lighting, color theory, photo reference, and composition, which he will reference throughout the course. He will lead his students on a virtual museum tour, where they will have the unique opportunity to closely examine some of the greatest paintings ever created. Marvin will analyze and meticulously break down these masterpieces while elaborating on how they inspired him to formulate his unique approach.

This class is designed for students of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros. For more information on specifics please click on the following links to learn more about his teaching methodology and his virtual teaching classroom setup. To register please contact Marvin Mattelson.

*There is no class scheduled for Sunday, August 15.

Contact Marvin mattelson