Drawing And Painting From Observation

Drawing And Painting From Observation

5.0 (7)
5 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
3 years in business

About this pro

I will help you develop yourself as an artist. My approach is focused on ideas and skills, while being fun and creative. I am a British trained artist with a background in theatre, storytelling and drawing and painting from obsevation. I currently teach at Carnegie Mellon University.  I have plenty of experience teaching adults, children and teens. Recently I have been teaching students online at CMU and privately and have found working on ZOOM with students to be very successful. 

I take payment for each class through any of these easy methods: 

- Square-up (credit or debit card)

- Venmo 

- Paypal

- Zelle

I am a professor in the arts and have been teaching for over 14 years, I teach figure drawing, painting and design at University. I have a BFA in Theatre Design and and MFA in Production Design for Film. My drawing practice has taken me around the world and I have been drawing and painting in Jordan, Berlin, Sydney and London. I attend international drawing and painting workshops in Europe, my most recent one being at the Royal Drawing School in London.

I have experience in teching students from beginner to advanced of all ages. (During Covid-19 all of my classes are being held on Zoom). 

My website is: narellesissons.design

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7 Reviews


  • Luke Chamberlen

    The class focused on drawing hands and feet from observation and then bringing them together to compose a large portrait. I enjoyed the fact that, you could shape your hands and feet in different ways based on your own desire. This made each piece unique and have its own sense of character. Using charcoal as a median was also an exciting new utensil i learned how to use. The art class provided a new angle on how to go about an artwork and i would highly recommend it to those who wish to develop there art skills.

  • Sofia Neves

    The drawing and painting from observation lesson with Narelle was so much fun. I got to learn many new skills and work with a new medium. We worked with charcoal and drew our hands and feet in different positions. We then put it all together to create an imaginative creature. I learned how to blend to create shadows and highlights to achieve more realistic effects. The lesson was great for people of all abilities and fun to do with family or friends. I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to develop their art skills.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Super teacher and I've enjoyed her work.

  • Lesley Hamilton

    Very impressed with Narelle's work, she is a wonderful teacher.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I works with individuals and I help develop their own work and style. I give exercises and feedback and encourage growth with constructive discussion. My style is focused while also relaxed, so that we can enjoy the work as we progress.

I teach both drawing and painting. I work in oil and acrylic on canvas as well as in pencil, charcoal and pastels on paper when we are drawing. I mostly work from observation, but also can work from the imagination and from memory. Online tutorials in my sessions includes: composition, tone, value and color palette as well as looking at other artists...I am also open to other skill training that the student may want to explore. We will be working from still life and life as we work on various exercises. Please feel free to ask any questions as I would be happy to answer - Narelle

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

MFA Royal College of Art

BFA Central St Martins School of Art and Design

I currently teach figure drawing and painting at Carnegie Mellon University. I stay current with workshops and classes in drawing. I have attended the Royal Drawing School, The Royal College of Art and The Berlin summer drawing programs in the past 5 years. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My standard pricing is $25/half hour, but also welcome groups at a special per person discount.

How did you get started teaching?

I attended Art School in London in the 1980's which led me to a life-long career in the arts.

I started as an adjunct teacher at Bard College is 2005 teaching performance from the point of view of art and storytelling. I am currently a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where I teach Design, Drawing and Painting to our BFA and MFA design students.

What types of students have you worked with?

- Children

- Teenagers

- University students

- Adults

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

During the pandemic I have been teaching students online and one of my favorite classes has been to teach painting to new Americans who have settled recently. The group is all women and they are benefiting from developing their painting skills.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Look for a teacher who is going to give you individual attention and will help you develop your skills and imagination in a way that you feel comfortable.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Discuss learning objectives and goals, that can be skill level as well as bigger ideas. I would also discuss other artists that inspire and the direction in which the student would like to go as they consider their own path. You might also discuss the ideal number of classes, frequency and if you have time for on your own practice between meetings.