Painting from Life

Dan Gheno

Dan Gheno, The Man Who Would Invoke Kali Yuga, 2018, oil on canvas, 45 x 32 inches

Class Description

According to Dan Gheno, “This internet course is designed to provide students feedback on their independent projects done at home. Students can choose to do self-portraits, depict friends or family members, landscapes, still lifes, work from photos or your imagination and/or continue doing something you are already involved with at home. If you need or want some specific direction, we can discuss possible self-generated projects or problem solving assignments generated by me. For instance, if you want to work from photographs or old master reproductions, we should look at a range of images to discuss which ones may work and why others may not and what you should aim to get out of the project.  I won’t be doing Zoom mainly because I prefer to do one-on-one teaching as in the regular class. When someone is ready to show me some work, they can send it via email and I will offer feedback as work is sent to me. “

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 drawing and painting, 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, including at 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. He taught at the National Academy School from 1989 to 2017. He is Professor Emeritus at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut, after teaching there from 1987 to 2005. To learn more, please visit

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