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Instructor: Paul David Elsen

Date: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Time: Zoom online class 1:30pm - 3:00pm

​Cost: $20  

Classes are non-refundable

​Class Description

A stand alone course, but your experience may be enhanced if you took the drawing class first. Using the same basics we will paint the portrait in the "alla prima" method (painting directly onto the canvas with minimum preparatory work to get started). Painting materials and best practices which so many artists find confusing will also be discussed in as clear terms as possible.


Using provided references of dramatically lit portrait photographs, you'll learn to or improve your  basic layouts, contours, shadows, values and skin tone colors. Learning to observe, pick out shapes and relationships within the portrait, and handle the brush and paint are primary objectives.


When signed up in advance, I will provide references beforehand, and you can submit your own work for critique by me either at the end of each class or privately.

This interactive online session will consist of a live demo, time to work virtually together or alone, following by a voluntary art share and critique.

All levels are welcome

Required Materials

Palette of your choice

Painting panels or Ampersand hardboards (manufacturer gesso'd or prepared yourself), OR Canvas (in pad, stretched, or on panel), at least 11" x 14" minimum, and no bigger than 16" x 20" (12" x 16" or 14" x 18" are optimum for this class)
Odorless mineral spirits or linseed oil (if going toxin-free) for brush cleaning (and container(s) with lid(s))
Linseed oil and stand oil for painting (and glass or metal containers/cups with lids)
Bristle brushes in variety of sizes and shapes (such as filberts, and longs)
Synthetic or natural fine hair round, for detail work (medium and/or small size)
Fine sand paper to smooth canvas or board surface
Paper towels (I like Viva for their softness)

Any brand you usually like, BUT PLEASE USE ONLY PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS GRADE paints (no student grade lines, such as Winton, 1980, Bob Ross, or the Studio series by Utrecht or Blick, or any others sold at cheap prices. These use chalk, filler, less pigment, poorer quality pigments, etc).  Also please NO colors labeled as "HUE", even from good brands.

(Pure) Titanium White
Ivory Black

Raw Umber
Burnt Sienna
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Yellow Medium
 * Windsor & Newton Naples Yellow
Cadmium Red Light
 * Venetian/English Red
* Indian Red or Mars Red
Ultramarine Blue
 * Cobalt Blue
Cerulean Blue
Viridian Green
 *Terre Verte Green

 [* these are good optional colors]




Contact Paul David Elsen at

About the instructor:

Paul David Elsen is an award winning, commissioned artist who works in oil paint and drawing. His work has been exhibited at The Heckscher Museum of Art, The Huntington Arts Council Gallery, The Art League of Nassau County, as well as the National Art League.


Mr. Elsen went to The High School of Art & Design, studying painting under the renowned realistic portrait oil painter and illustrator Max Ginsburg, and took drawing with the late Irwin Greenberg. While at the school he participated in the now-famed "Old Hat Club", an early morning painting group run by those teachers which used live models, with the expectation of realistic rendering (a rarity in the 1970's and '80's). Many top artists on today's scene were also involved in those sessions, and Paul David is proud to consider himself as part of the contemporary Realism Renaissance movement, which in part sprang from that group.


In more recent times, Mr. Elsen has continued to develop his skills, having studied with Howard Rose, Robert Silverman, Dominique Medici, Ricky Mujica, Paul Bachem, and again with Max Ginsburg.


Mr. Elsen has a wide ranging knowledge of art history ranging from the Old Masters to illustration, with special affinity for Rembrandt and Velazquez, and for later 19th Century artists such as Sargent, Zorn, Waterhouse, Mucha, and Klimt.

Click here to see samples of his artwork.

Ann painting.jpg
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