Saturday, November 17, 2012

Student Aylssa Moffitt, with the help of instrcutor Brianna Lee, is spot on in her Academic Drawing Class.  

Drawing is the foundation of Art and is an essential practice for every artist. I have a firm belief that anyone can learn to draw and "talent" is really just another word for "dedication and passion"! - Cheryl Kline

Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

 Congrats to our Kline Academy Student, Marilyn Rothman on her group exhibition at...

DanielakArt and The Women’s City Club of Pasadena 
are pleased to present

Ferial Nassirzadeh Wine, Cheese and Bread
A Celebration of Food & Wine, Cafes & Restaurants


The Women’s City Club of Pasadena
At the Historic Blinn House (built 1905)
160 N. Oakland Avenue

(Free parking behind the building off Madison Avenue)
Pasadena, CA  91101
Club Phone: 626-796-0560

Margaret Danielak, Curator of Exhibitions

DanielakArt Information: 626-683-9922 - Email

Art Viewing Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am to 4 pm
                       Events Listing and Calls to Artists Listed on Blog:                       


Uncovering a Time Capsule of Art in Paris

We just came across an amazing story in the art world. A magical Parisian apartment, abandoned shortly before World War 2 was recently re-discovered after it had gone untouched for the better part of a century.

via The Telegraph, photos by GETTY.

Discussing the finds in the dusty apartment, a blogger mentions, "There is a further twist to the story. In the apartment a painting of familiar style was discovered of a beautiful woman in pink. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece of treasure. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon."

via The Telegraph, photos by GETTY.

She continues, "With some expert historical opinion, the ribbon-bound love letters were quickly recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover. The art world went a bit nutty for the whole story and the painting was later sold for $3 million at auction."

Art can be so magical sometimes that it grips the world and at the same time the heart. I think this is another great example. 

You can find more on this story here and here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When undertaking an art study such as life drawing, there are a few, not so obvious, but basic tips that help foment important habits that become a foundation for each new level of skill.


The experience of sketching and drawing the human figure has many components.  The most basic tool is the pencil.  Graphite or charcoal each have their properties and characteristics.  Each one ideal in specific situations.
Graphite is easier to control and, for most people, gives a certain confidence.  It doesn't powder, is less messy and can be sharpened in a pencil sharpening device.  It works beautifully in sketching out ideas and rough concepts in smaller sketchpads and is a terrific instrument for fine drawings.  In a figure drawing class, where one is exploring value depths, very few graphite pencils can go truly black.  If not careful with keeping a light touch and sharpening often, it can leave a reflective shine, flattening areas while also increasing the danger of slicking the drawing surface losing the texture of the paper underneath. The graphite pencil also encourages one to hold the tool always as a writing instrument with the wrist being the only radius to arc and pivot from. 

Charcoal can leave charcoal marks on other than the paper, can flake off in the softer varieties, can be dusty and most often, must be sharpened with a razor.  However, it creates a great matt line and rich dark values increasing the gamut in range of light to dark. Sharpening with a razor one can chisel a fine custom point and long side for a variety of marks. The point is for refined and delicate lines and the side is for laying in wide swatches of darker value. There is also a stronger sense of tack that is picked up from the paper when using charcoal. Texture from paper lends a bit of tactile feel that can slow a mark down for refinement or, with increased pressure, allow a bold, value layered swipe all in one stroke.  The analogy towards painting is clearer in using the charcoal pencil as a brush with a point and a broad side


Drawing, also, requires a little bit of muscle training that directly influences how smooth the strokes you put down are. Drawing from the wrist, only, doesn't allow for complete freedom of an arm swing that places a nice fluid and clean gesture line on your paper.  Holding the pencil as if holding a brush to paint begins the habit.  The pencil is held underneath the hand, wrapping the fingers around it as if holding wand  The thumb and index will hold it in place. 

Drawing with the pencil held this way, in a life drawing class, allows the pencil to become a part of you, an extension of your arm.  Experiment by creating a foot long arc on your paper using just your wrist or even pivoting from the elbow and then again from the shoulder. The freedom of the stroke will be unencumbered in the latter. Drawing from the shoulder also trains you to sweep the strokes in a painterly manner.  Also, it exercises hand/eye coordination, where later one is using a brush that is longer than a pencil.

Drawing can be an end to itself or part of a deeper experience and foundation that carries over seamlessly into painting.  In any case, it is an avenue of expression that    opens the creative doors and enriches the spirit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Visions of Eden" Event a Raging Success!

Cheryl Kline, Gary Blackwell and Brianna Lee
We want to thank all who came out to view our "Visions of Eden" Student/Faculty Exhibition last weekend.  The crowds turned out in record numbers, leaving standing-room-only for a good portion of the night on Saturday.  Sunday was a busy day with Brianna Lee's live demo, many came back to watch this master artist at work and for a second look at the artwork featured at this year's event.

"Visions of Eden" was the 5th year celebration of the opening of Kline Academy.  Each year, Kline has transformed the art studios into two Fine Art Galleries surrounding an intimate garden oasis, just North of Culver City.  Endless streams of trays of delicious hors d'oeuvres were circulated and an open bar served wine and blueberry-pomegranate lemonaid.  

Marilyn Rothman
It is this annual event that showcases the wide range of work created at the Academy by both students and faculty.  Everything from classical nudes rendered in oil to more modern abstract lunch trucks and figures in acrylics were on view for the masses.  Paintings and drawings were seen, contemplated, explained and sold before the evening was through.

"Visions of Eden" celebrates each artist's individual utopia. The act of painting can be an Eden to the artist: specifically, the journey through the creative process driven by inner desires and the creative spark. It also references that which has been lost, yet remains in our memory and lingers. Whether it's the exploration of a masterwork or the pilgrimage the eye takes along the skin of a model, the journey is internal and personal, and the act becomes paradise itself.  This is our Eden and the works of art that grace the walls are relics of our time spent there.

Brianna Lee giving a drawing demonstration.
In these works of art you can see the classical approach taught at the school.  

From the Palisades Post...
 'What makes us unique is that we teach skills and techniques that have historically only been passed down from master to student,' Director Cheryl Kline says. 'This is not the education provided in schools and universities. We have people come to us with master's degrees in art and say they were never taught how to paint. Our motto is that their frustration ends at our front door. That's why I only hire people who I myself would want to study with.'  

Kenny Harris dropped in.
Kline Academy opened in 2007 with only 10 students. Even in the midst of a depressive economy, Kline Academy has grown to over 100 students with 10 professional artist/instructors. Contact: (310) 927-2436.'

It was our pleasure to share our 'Eden' with all those who attended. 

Cheryl Kline and Regina Lyubovnaya greet visitors.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

     Quick Sketch is a great way to understand form in a simple approach.  Based on gesture and shape one learns to interpret and design what they see. Many are the uses of this discipline from laying in a figure and simplifying elements for composition to drawing more efficiently for storyboard and concept projects in the game and film industry.  All require efficient figure drawing skills and Quick Sketch can facilitate the editing process of the human form.

     The principle tool of exploration is the line, and in Quick-Sketch the path your line takes has a definite purpose. One path is the gesture; The life of a drawing. Think of gesture as blood coursing through the entire body as one or a river flowing over all forms in it's path. The line that explains the gesture also serves to unite the forms in one or 2 flowing strokes. Curve and flow is found within the body's structure (use of the median line) while the silhouette helps enforce and set the stance and attitude by means of the big shape.  

     Time is the opportunity to hone observational skills. The Quick-Sketch approach keeps the figure simple, minimal using clean shapes in the space of 2-3 minutes.

Or, in 5 minutes to 20, vignette a part of the body or simply practice simplifying construction by means of gesture and shape.

      Another important value of Quick-Sketch is in setting down simple comps with minimal shape and value to describe the pose, invaluable as a tool to use for thumbnails before tackling the final image in another medium. Using, for example, a charcoal pencil and inexpensive paper one works out the light and dark pattern, where it's possible to explore different paths and focal points for the same subject. It saves re-dos and distressing of the surface of a final piece as issues can be worked out at the Quick-Sketch stage.

The principles of the Quick-Sketch can help capture the energy and establish a cleaner workflow of a longer study.

     Quick-Sketch springs from the basics of human proportion and drawing concepts of design but emphasizes efficiency 
 and hones the skill of editing information while still explaining the figure in 20 minute or less poses.

Esmeralda Acosta - Quick-Sketch Instructor, Kline Academy

Monday, July 23, 2012

News from Color Workshop at Kline Academy!


  This weekend was the Color Mixing for Skin Tones workshop at Kline Academy. Students did such a great job and exclaimed how much the color wheel has opened their eyes to color mixing, so I thought it might be a great opportunity to explain the top 5 Reasons to Use a Limited Palette:

This limited Palette, also known as the "Zorn Palette" after artist Anders Zorn, contains the following colors: Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ocher and Titanium White. Here are 5 great reasons to stick with a Limited Palette:
  1. 1. Using a limited palette creates a natural color harmony in your painting. Virtually all colors of the spectrum can be mixed- from blues, violets to greens, yet they are made up of only three colors plus white!
  2. 2. Learning to mix colors (such as green) using primary colors (blue/black, yellow/ocher, cadmium red) instead of relying on pre-mixed tubed colors such as olive green, you will greatly expand your understanding of color theory.
  3. 3. You will begin to realize how many neutral colors exist in nature and thus acheive more accurate colors in your paintings
  4. 4. A chart (picured above) will aid you in analyzing the colors you see. Color is very logical and this chart helps you (see) the mixtures
  5. 5. Once you gain control over a limited palette, you gain an understanding of when it is appropriate to add a more intense color, such as Ultramarine Blue, and also how to control the chroma of a color.

                                                                 Photos from the Weekend Color Workshop

Does Color elude you? Learn to approach color in a logical, step-by-step manner in my classes at Kline Academy. Current and Upcoming Classes at Kline Academy with Brianna Lee:

Figurative Painting with focus on Color: Friday 10am-2pm Starts in August

Figure Drawing and Painting (live model): Saturday 2pm-5pm Starts in August

Tuesday Cast Drawing 10am-2pm Ongoing

To Register, Contact Kline Academy of Art at (310) 927-2436

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The How-To's and Why of Cast Drawing

Written and Illustrated by Brianna Lee

Cast Plate by Charles Bargue

First, lets start with a little bit of History.

Cast drawing is a tradition that originated in the École des Beaux-Arts academies in Paris, established around 1648. Here, young artists would apply to participate in 4 years of rigorous art training. 
Before students were allowed to approach drawing a live model, they would begin by learning to copy prints, drawn by other artists, of classical sculptures. This was the best way for the student to learn about contour, light and shadow. A popular series of plates were created by artist Charles Bargue (see left). 

    Once proficient at copying the plates, the student was then allowed to draw from plaster casts of famous Classical Sculptures. Once they had a mastery over form, the student was then brought in front of a live model. 

Ecole De Beaux Arts Students working from a Live Model
Bargue Drawing by student    

Why should you learn Cast Drawing? Well, to put it simply, it will teach you to see the errors of your ways. 

We all have bad habits when we draw. We make things too long, too wide, too big, too small, too round, too square. The number of ways you can make an error is as varied as Nature herself. 

Cast drawing using the Sight-Size approach can help you understand the way you perceive the subject and help reveal your tendencies towards one habit or another. Essentially, what we are doing when we draw from observation, is translating. Cast drawing can help you learn to translate better. And drawing from Classical casts teaches you a lot about design, anatomy and enables you to carefully study the true nature of an object. Even for the abstract painter, there is much to learn from Cast Drawing.

Think of your artistic skills as tools in a toolbox. One tool does not fix everything. But it serves a special purpose and does that task very well. Sight Size Cast drawing is one of those very special tools every artist should have in their toolbox. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Congratulations to our Kline Academy Abstract Painting instructor Scott Yeskel,  who will be showing at the Sue Greenwood Fine Art Gallery this month.  Scott teaches Abstract Painting Monday evenings from 6:30-9:30 pm and Tuesday mornings from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.

Sue Greenwood
sgfa | sue greenwood fine art  
330 n coast highway, laguna beach, ca 92651

Thursday, May 31, 2012

David Leffel is coming to Kline Academy!


This is a rare chance for you to work with renowned painter, David Leffel in a 4-day Portrait Workshop.  Space in this extraordinary class is limited and highly prized.  By narrowing the size of our class, we ensure David has plenty of time to give individual attention to each student.  Call now to reserve your easel.

DATE:  Aug 31 - Sept 3
TIME:  10:00 am - 5:00 pm
INSTRUCTOR: David Leffel
COST:  $925 for 4 days

DATE:  Sept 3
TIME:  7:00 - 9:00 pm
INSTRUCTOR:  David Leffel
COST:  $50
This four hour DVD is a live demonstration filmed on location at the Kline Academy of Fine Art.  Cheryl Kline will take you step by step in her unique process of painting portraits from a photograph.  There are so many lessons in this DVD you will want to watch it again and again!

Secrets Revealed!

This DVD will teach you how to:
  • Find facial proportions
  • Set your composition
  • Draw your model on the canvas
  • Block in the basic shapes
  • Define the shadow patterns
  • Mix beautiful skin tones
  • Refine edges
  • Painting Hair
  • Painting Drapery
  • Finishing touches
and much more...

Regardless of skill level, this instructional DVD will enable the artist to approach their next portrait project with a step by step system which will bring more success to the development of their painting techniques and practice.  We wish you much joy in your art making.

$99.00 + 5.00 S/H

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two-Day Color Mixing Workshop

Instructor:  Brianna Lee
Date:  Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22
Time:  10am-4pm both days
Cost: $220

Does color elude you? Unsure where to begin when mixing color? Then this workshop is for you! 

Students will explore the essentials of color with this two-day color mixing workshop. Learn to create color harmony by using the “Zorn” Palette and take a practical approach to color.

The workshop begins with a guided color mixing exercise, where students create a color wheel and learn the benefits of a limited palette. The second day students will use this chart to guide them to recreate the colors of a Master painting.

Learn real-life application and how a color chart can guide you, whether painting luminous flesh tones or earthy landscapes! Many of our students upon completing the course, have expressed how much it has improved their abilities to analyze colors accurately. Call today and reserve your space!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cheryl Kline, presenting Iris Jacobs with a $25 gift card from Blick's Art Supply.

Congratulations to our student, Iris Jacobs! She won our Student of the Month and gift card for $25 with her beautiful painting of ballet shoes.  By the way - Iris is only 14 years old and already shows great talent! Kline Academy currently has all adult art classes but she is one of the few teens we have accepted into our program. This summer however, we will be launching our youth art program: Atelier des Beaux Arts focusing on fine art skills we currently teach to our adult art students.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kline Academy of Fine Art

presents a live, self-portrait
demonstration by David A. Leffel

David A. Leffel

This is a rare opportunity to watch close-up, as this masterful artist creates his self-portrait before your eyes!  David Leffel is not only an accomplished painter but an exceptional teacher.  With each stroke of his brush, Leffel explains his reasoning and gives solutions to achieving painterly results.  2 Hours, 2 Minutes


+ $2.50 s&h*

*California residents ad 8.75% sales tax

Spring into Summer:  Figure en Plein Air Workshop


Instructor:  Brianna Lee
Date:  Sunday, June 24 
Time:  9:30am-5:00pm
Cost:  $140
Learn the color of outdoor light on skin tones with a live model en Plein Air. You will be introduced to a limited “light” palette, ideal for creating luminous paintings. The workshop will begin with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by one on one instruction for each individual artist.
This is a great opportunity to explore the merging of two popular subjects: landscape painting and portraiture!  And late Spring is the perfect season to get out your plein air easels and enjoy some fresh air, beautiful weather and apply some paint to your canvases. You are encouraged to bring a lunch.  All skill levels are encouraged to join in, this will be lots of fun so mark your calendars and RSVP today!

Portable Plein Air Easel (or we can rent you one for $15)
Roll of Paper towels
Brushes: Filberts (Bristle and Sable)
Plastic bag (for oil rags)
Odorless Turps or Oil in a container (for cleaning brushes)
Oil colors: Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow
Yellow Ocher
Cadmium Red or French Vermillion
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue
Ivory Black
(Optional) Easel Umbrella
Portable Stool/Chair

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kline Academy Students at Beverly Hills Art Show

Congratulations to the two of our students who will be showing in the Beverly Hills Art Show, Howard Barsky (space 319) and Kamran Nikravan (space 337). The show will be open May 19 and 20 from 10am - 6pm at Beverly Hills Art Walk on Crescent Drive, just North of Santa Monica Blvd. We would love for you to come by and see their work. Read more...