Realistic Portrait Painting Online Art Classes

Having taken online classes from various teachers, Marvin’s are unique. He demystifies the underlying strategic approach of painting and drawing. Marvin demonstrates the actual process, step-by-step. There is no ambiguity, no time-lapse, no hidden technique. Marvin is devoted to imparting knowledge – to teaching.

- Daphne Miller
Online Portrait Painting Class with Marvin Mattelson
Class painting by Tim Dosé

Marvin Mattelson's
Realistic Oil Portrait Painting Class
The Keys to Understanding

11 Saturday Sessions*
10am - 4:30pm†
Starting Date: February 26, 2022
Tuition: $900
Class size limit: 15 students

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.

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 to create a truly lifelike portrait, one that exudes vitality, you need to go far beyond just mimicking what you see.

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.

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 overwhelms the subject matter. Marvin believes that the principles he sees manifested in the Old Masters works are rarely in evidence in the vast majority of contemporary realist paintings. In Marvin's class you will learn how transform your canvas, using the very same mindset employed by the masters of yore.

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.

Marvin learned early on, during his 40 plus years of teaching, that although a demonstration may be worth a thousand words, pairing it with a simultaneous explanation 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.

If you really want to learn to paint the figure, the methods you learn by studying with Marvin are invaluable. He is extremely knowledgeable about the craft of painting and breaks down something so extremely complicated into something simple and easy to digest. Studying with him for two years during my undergrad, gave me a solid foundation of information and a methodology to approach the figure. This way I know that no matter what I paint in the future, I have what I learned of value, hue, chroma, and different methods and techniques to create turning, space, and accuracy with my drawing to pull from. It gave me the confidence to push what I thought I was capable of and to take on bigger and more ambitious figure paintings.

- Sarah Vaccariello

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'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.

Marvin not only trained me to paint from life (something I had only done once before), he taught me to see life. He instructed me to look objectively, without cognitive bias, and then to draw and paint what I saw. He brought order and process to my painting, something I had never been taught. And he shared with me the tools to capture the illusions of reality, or as he calls them, the “weapons” to create life-like painting.

- Jessica Pester

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 to register.

*There are no classes scheduled for April 9th and April 16th. †Eastern Standard Time – Eastern Daylight Savings Time starts March 13

Marvin is now available for mentoring, coaching and portfolio evaluation. To arrange for a one-to-one session, please fill out the contact page form and he'll get back to you ASAP with the details.