Painting from Life, Portraiture and Composition

Dan Gheno

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Dan Gheno, Legion of Super Villains (3): Rand and the Puppet Master (detail), 2015, Oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches.

Class Description

Designed for all levels, this class focuses intensely upon the human figure. Students may work in any media, using the figure and portrait to investigate the potentials and problems of light and shade, color, composition and anatomy. Dan Gheno places emphasis on well-structured figures, but he is open to all aesthetic points of view. He encourages the development of each person’s individual style. This class works from the nude and clothed model, with poses generally lasting three weeks.

About the Instructor

Most of Dan Gheno’s paintings are metaphorical in content. He says, “I’m fixated and focused on the human figure and the concerns of humanity’s form, its anatomy, its environment, and its psychological concerns. I normally utilize the model as an actor, and I most often see the model as a player in a metaphorical tableau, depicting various states of mind, sometimes reflective of the communal human condition, sometimes directly autobiographical.”

As a traditional figurative artist, Mr. Gheno explains, “I have a fascination with the Old Masters and a love of volumetric drawings and paintings, but I also frequently enjoy combining these interests with formal, abstract concerns that acknowledge the flatness of the canvas, and a fondness for painterly, expressive application of paint.”

Mr. Gheno exhibits regularly, both nationally and in New York, at locations that have included the Museum of the City of New York, the National Academy Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Caro Gallery, the Limbo Gallery, the National Arts Club, the University of Hartford Art Gallery, Westmont College, and Union County College.

Mr. Gheno is a member of the Pastel Society of America. His awards include a Rome grant from the Creative Artists Network. His artwork and writings have appeared in various magazines and books, including American Artist, Drawing Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine, Oil Highlights, Pastel Highlights, Portrait Highlights, The Best of Pastels II, and on the cover of The Best of Sketching and Drawing. His work was included in the book Painting the Town from the Museum of the City of New York. He was the art critic for the Santa Barbara News and Review in the 1970s. Mr. Gheno is the author of Figure Drawing Master Class, Lessons in Life Drawing, recently published by North Light.

Mr. Gheno’s work is included in several public and private collections, including the Museum of the City of New York, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the Griswold Museum, Connecticut. Mr. Gheno studied at the Santa Barbara Art Institute. At the Art Students League of New York, he studied with Harvey Dinnerstein; at the National Academy of Design School, he studied with both Harvey Dinnerstein and Mary Beth McKenzie. Mr. Gheno has taught at the National Academy School since 1989. He is professor emeritus at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut, after teaching there for eighteen years.

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