Drawing for Absolute Beginners (four hours)

Employing a technique that dates back to the days of the Renaissance art academy, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to accurately draw what you see in four basic lessons—even if you have little or no experience. I guarantee you’ll be amazed by what you achieve after only one class!

Finesse Your Technique: Getting the Perspective on Perspective (one hour)

It took mankind 30,000 years to discover the method for accurately depicting three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. This course offers a new way to think about perspective, explaining this seemingly complex topic in totally comprehensible language. The only prerequisite is putting aside the notion that perspective is incomprehensible.

Finesse Your Technique: Introduction to Color Mixing (one hour)

Mixing color is one part knowledge, one part experience, and one part magic. But the magic can’t happen if you don’t have those first two. The components of color, tips for getting the right color, and how to choose your palette are just some of the topics covered in this introductory, yet extremely in-depth course.

Finesse Your Technique: Light and Shadow (one hour)

The interplay between light and shadow is what creates the illusion of form on a flat surface—your paper or your canvas. How light and shadow behave is a branch of physics, and although artists don’t need to be physicists, they do need to understand how light affects their subject. Because the whys and wherefores of this important subject are often ignored, this class can be of benefit to even quite accomplished artists.

Finesse Your Technique: Facial Features (six hours)

Each one-hour session focuses on the fine points of rendering one specific facial feature: Session One, Eyes; Session Two, Ears; Session Three, The Nose; Session Four, The Mouth; Session Five, The Neck; Session Six, The Facial Features and Emotions. Includes a thorough discussion of the underlying anatomy of each, common mistakes many artists make, and how to avoid drawing based on preconceived ideas.

Finesse Your Technique: How to Do Hair (one hour)

There are 100,000 hairs on the average human head, and no artist in history has ever drawn or painted every one of them. Discover how to make rendering hair less intimidating by viewing it as simple sculptural forms, and acquiring an awareness of how light acts on hair of various colors and textures.

Finesse Your Technique: Forms in Nature (one hour)

There are few straight lines in nature; rendering natural forms such as trees, rocks, water, and clouds requires depicting a great many irregular and nebulous shapes. Learn to make sense of it all and see the bigger picture without getting bogged down in details.

Finesse Your Technique: Focus on Water (one hour)

We think of water as essentially colorless and constantly in flux, but even waves crashing on the shoreline and ripples in a pond have a structure. Once you’re able to understand water this way, and anylize the underlying pattern in how it moves, rendering it even out in the field will become far easier than you ever thought possible. 

Finesse Your Technique: Light for the Landscape Artist (two hours)

Time of day, time of year, weather, and even geographic location affect atmospheric light, and therefore every aspect of your artwork. While no class could ever hope to cover every outdoor lighting situation possible, you will come away from this one with a solid comprehension of why natural light looks and acts as it does. 

Exercises in Art (one hour, continuing)

Each week, participants are given an assignment geared toward improving their technique, expanding their creativity, or stepping outside their comfort zone. The class consists of three sections: an open critique of students’ independent work, a review of the responses to the previous week’s assignment, and, time permitting, a quick sketching segment.

Private Drawing or Painting Instruction Available

THE SIX-HOUR ART MAJOR--as featured in Time Out New York!

This entertaining and informative seminar offers mini-versions of the essential courses included in the typical art major. Learn art history and art appreciation, try hands-on drawing exercises that demonstrate the thought processes and techniques behind making a piece of art, and discuss developing creativity. View more than 250 works of art as you cover everything from art technique, to how to look at art, to the history of Western art and exploring the essence of creativity. No previous art experience needed!


What to Look For When You Look at Art (two-, three-,  and six-hour versions available)

Learn the basic principles of how to approach, analyze, and appreciate great works of art the way an artist would. Included are discussions on viewing art as both a physical object and the expression of an idea, art in the context of its time, and the elements of composition. An abbreviated version of this lecture is included in The Six-Hour Art Major.

Western Art History: The Big Picture (three hours)

Not just another “art’s greatest hits”, full of dates and “isms”, this lively, informative talk traces the development of Western art from its very beginnings 100,000 years ago to the advent of modern art. Special emphasis is placed on the various purposes art has served throughout the ages, and the auspices under which it was made. An abbreviated version of this lecture is included in The Six-Hour Art Major.

Before and After the Renaissance (three- and five-hour versions available)

Discover the sometimes surprising origins of the art movement that gave the world some of its most recognizable masterpieces, such as da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel—many of which are entirely unrelated to art. This concise, informative lecture also discusses the late work of Michelangelo and Raphael, and how their contributions to the Mannerist movement of the 16th century helped bring the Renaissance to an end.

Florence: Birthplace of the Renaissance (ninety minutes)

Google "Florence, Italy," and you're bound to come across the phrase "Birthplace of the Renaissance." Take a historical art tour of one of the world's most beautiful cities, starting with the Etruscans who gave the region of Tuscany its name, and view the many art treasures on display there.

West Meets East—An Introduction to Chinese Art (two hours)

Even art enthusiasts often know very little about the art of this important civilization. Discover treasures of Chinese art, the history and philosophies behind its creation, and the frequently compelling personal stories of the artists who created it. Special focus on the culture’s unique artforms. 

Elizabeth I: Portraits as Propaganda (45 minutes)

Elizabeth Tudor ascended the English throne at the age of 24, despite the near-impossible odds stacked against her. A woman surrounded by hostile male sovereigns, she became adept at using her gender and marriageability to her advantage. This talk covers the role Elizabeth’s royal portraits played in crafting her image, and in communicating messages about her place, and England’s, on the world stage.

The Tudors: Portraits as Propaganda (90 minutes)

The Tudors ruled England for less than 120 years. Yet they remain one of the most famous royal dynasties in history, and a source of endless fascination. Learn the part the clothing they’re shown wearing, and other subtle symbols that appear in the family’s royal portraits played in communicating their power.

“The Place Of the Muses”: A Brief History of the Museum (one- or two-hour version available)

It would seem as though museums have always been around, but in truth, they’re a fairly recent phenomenon. Beginning with the early proto-museums of the Renaissance, this compact yet comprehensive discussion traces the development of public art institutions, from the “wonder rooms” of the Age of Exploration up through modern times—including the discovery of ancient world’s only known museum in 6th-century BC Mesopotamia.

Seeing Things Our Way: Art as Propaganda (one-, two-, five-, and eight-hour versions available)

Visual art has been employed as propaganda since the days of the early Greeks, often in works that few people now would suspect were intended as such. Learn about how one ruler’s desire to legitimize his position helped to kick-start the Renaissance, and American art’s possible role in the Cold War of the 1950s. Special emphasis is placed on the cataclysmic events of the 20th century, and its demand for art capable of mobilizing multitudes—to fight, to survive, to obey.

Themes in Propaganda (four hours)

Part One—"Definitions” explains the basic terminologies and methods of propaganda, and gives examples of their deployment from ancient times through the present.

Part Two—"Spread the Word” examines the role propaganda has played in promoting religion—the terminology was invented by the Roman Catholic Church—focusing on the Protestant Reformation of the early 16th century and its aftermath.

Part Three—“Coveting Thy Ruler’s Goods” demonstrates how the trade in luxury goods bestows not just profits but prestige. The demand for Greek art during the Hellenistic period, sixteenth-century France, and Ming Dynasty China are cited as examples.

Part Four—"Presentation is Everything” shows how three less-than-legitimate dynasties—the Tudors of England, the Gonzaga of Mantua, Italy, and the Qing of China—fashioned their public image.

Andy Warhol: Life and Art (3 hours)

Andy Warhol, one of the rare artists to achieve “household name” status, and the scene that developed around him remain a subject of enormous fascination. And yet, why he’s ranked among the most important artists of the 20th century remains a mystery for many people. The answer lies in his almost clairvoyant understanding of American culture and attitudes, playing out in full force more than fifty years after he proclaimed that canned soup could be art.