Beginner: Drawing Class at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Living Room - Pencil Drawing - Simon LevensonBeginner: Improving Your Drawings

Limited to 10 students.

This drawing class is for you if you are relatively new to drawing and want direction on how to proceed. This class is for beginners and for people who consider themselves beginners.

Each student receives personal instruction and technical advice based on their drawings during the session. 

The Class:

1) We will begin with a short Q & A session where we answer some common questions:  Do I begin with one tiny piece or do I try to get the whole image on the paper? How do I make sure things fit on the page? How do I draw more in proportion? etc…

2) Together, head into the galleries to work on our first drawing exercise. I will sit with each student to discuss their work and make sure the lesson is understood and effective.

3) We meet briefly to discuss our work, ask any questions and get our next exercise.

4) We set out to draw again. And again I visit with each student to talk about their work.

5) Finally we meet to discuss what we have learned and answer any final questions.

Students should bring a drawing pad, a drawing board, a 2H pencil, a HB pencil, a 4B pencil, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me.


What others are saying:

“ Wonderful. Simon is a great instructor. He really hones in to the individual and their drawing giving very specific comments and encouragement!” – Laura

“Simon takes an easy, encouraging approach to it, and his thoughtful guidance and feedback is so helpful. I’ll definitely keep coming back!” – Susan

“…super-helpful instructions helped transform a pitiful outline into something a passerby actually stopped to compliment on! And the group critique at the end was also very enjoyable.” – Nancy N.


Please note: this event is not affiliated with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Museum admission is not included in the event cost. Museum tickets are suggested only and you may pay as much as little as you wish.

Intermediate: Drawing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Simon Levenson -  Drawing Class at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Intermediate: Drawing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014, 6:00 PM

Metropolitan Museum of Art – Group Entrance
5th avenue at 81st street New York, NY

2 Members Went

Intermediate: Improving Your Drawings* This Meetup is structured as a drawing class. It is limited to 10 students.This class is for you if you have drawn for a while and would like help making progress with your work by adding solid artistic knowledge.Each student receives personal instruction and technical advice based on their drawings during …

Check out this Meetup →

Drawing Class

Beginner: Drawing At The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sketching at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Simon Levenson

Beginner: Drawing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014, 1:30 PM

Metropolitan Museum of Art – Group Entrance
5th avenue at 81st street New York, NY

10 Members Went

Beginner: Improving Your Drawings* This Meetup is structured as a drawing class. It is limited to 10 students.This class is for you if you are relatively new to drawing and want direction on how to proceed. This class is for beginners and for people who consider themselves beginners.Each student receives personal instruction and technical advice…

Check out this Meetup →

Drawing Class

Commissions for Office near Carnegie Hall

Commission a Painting

Commissioning a painting is a great way to acquire artwork for your specific needs. I have worked with patrons throughout the country to provide original oil paintings that suit their budgets and size requirements.

Recent Commission of “Madison Square Park” for offices above Carnegie Hall

So, how does this process work? Communication.

Step 1) Typically patrons contact me communicating something to the effect of, “We like your work, we see most of it is sold, we were wondering if you had any paintings of (their interest)”  i.e. Madison Square Park, Tribeca, etc.. You can use the commission form to the right to begin this contact.

Commissions Installed - West Village - New York City

Portrait Commission – West Village – New York City

Step 2) We have a phone call or email to discuss their specific commission. The patron explains their interest in more detail. For example, “We have an office on Union Square and have a large space where we would love to have a painting.”

Installed Commission - 37"x54" Oil on Canvas 2010

Two recent commissioned paintings of Madison Square Park – Private Client.

Step 3) I provide several samples – usually in the form of photographs of locations around the area discussed – of compositions I am drawn to along with the price and size of the canvas we are to work on. When the location, size and price are agreed to a contract is drawn up. It provides the payment schedule, the time schedule and other details about framing, shipping and insurance.

Commission of White Street, Tribeca

“White Street” Tribeca – New York – Private Commission

I welcome inquiry’s for commissions from new patrons. Fill out the form below with a brief description of you interest and I will email you to begin the discussion. If you have any questions not answered here feel free to send those along too. Thank you. Simon Levenson

Aviva Stone – Series Available

A series of 9 – 8″x8″ charcoal drawings of the locally famous figure model Aviva Stone. This series is available as a single piece. Each image is matted, framed and signed. If you have any questions or would like to inguire about the price, please fill out the form below. Thank you.

Aviva Stone, 9 - 8"x8" drawings, Charcoal on Acid Free Paper 2007

Aviva Stone Series Installed

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Flatiron, Oil on Board, Cover, City Journal Spring 2009

City Journal Cover

On the cover: Simon Levenson’s Sunset(2009), one of a triptych of oil paintings of the Flatiron Building in New York City. For more information about Levenson’s work, consult or call Bottoms Fine Art at (805) 695-0888. Courtesy of the artist.


Illuminated Manuscript Show at The Morgan Library

There is a fantastic show at The Morgan Library on Madison Avenue in New York City of; The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, “the most important and lavish of all Dutch manuscripts as well as one of the most beautiful among the Morgan’s collection.”

I have long been a big fan of illuminated work from the middle ages and rennaisance. This is, as is stated above,the most lavish of the Dutch masters. The work is incredibly intricate and small but contains worlds of imagination, devotion and visual political rhetoric. For instance the last page of the manuscript has god granting Catherine, the commissioner of the book, entrance into heaven.

The book that is on display, (the pages have been broken up so they can be viewed one by one) is what is called a “book of hours.” It symbolizes the prayer ritual one should do during each hour of the day and each day of the week. In the morning upon waking, pray this prayer, in mid morning this one etc… on Friday pray this one and on Saturday this one.

Every border of this enormous volume is unique. No two are alike. As with all books from this date 1500’s and earlier, the work is highly inventive. The patterns in the background work is both extremely graphic and appears to my eye very modern. These patterns could be fabrics walking through the fashion district in New York City today, if the wearer were lucky. The compositional design is freer than any work that came after it until French poster work of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The only limit to how images are laid out and presented to the viewer is the imagination of the creator.

The level of craft is unmatched today. That is right, I am saying that there is no one in any field on the earth today who is as capable of creating such a piece of work. If anyone reading this believes otherwise I would love them to send me information on such items that are being created today.

A trip to The Morgan Library is always worthwhile but this show, along with the two other shows that opened the same day, Rome After Raphael and Flemish Illumination in the Era of Catherine of Cleves make the trip even better.

New Gouache Section

I have been working with the medium of Gouache recently and I have to say I have been having a blast with it. I have been adding oil pastel, charchoal, pencil and ink. This is the most recent endeavor as I plan for a show in September at Bottoms Fine Art  Gallery in Santa Barbara, California.

Gouache, Pencil, Charcoal  on Board, 10x17, 2009

Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages

The Metropolitan Museum has put on another amazing drawing show. This one is called; Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages.

So many things about this show had a great influence on me but I will try to name just a few. The first is the intimacy of the work. Viewers must lean nose-close to the glass encased books to absorb all the rich details and incredible craftsmanship on display. It is hard to comprehend, to my modern mind, the level of graphic knowledge, creativity and daring the artisans practiced. Perhaps the sum total of our current knowledge is less than a fraction of what has been lost since the masters worked.

As an artist who loves to draw, I was overjoyed with the fact that drawing and writing, held such an important place in the Middle Ages. Drawing reached an amazing height in Renaissance, Italy but was not considered an art in itself. It was more of a trade secret closely guarded, where masters worked out problems for sculpture, architecture and painting. It is a modern notion that a drawing can be a masterpiece in itself and hung on a wall as a piece of art. Yet in the Middle Ages, drawings held a very important place in book and print arts, illuminating and illustrating stories, from creation tales to astrology. It is so moving to connect through the love of this craft with those from so long ago.

Finally, the inventiveness in both technique and subject matter is quite frankly “wild”. There is no limit to the unbelievable graphic daring to the images. Note the picture of the descendants of Jesus. This reminds me of Americana art, Folk art, African art, or Naive art. As far as subject matter, the show is filled with wild astrological imagery mixed with religious work which was a surprise to me. But as a student of basic anatomy I fell in love with these wonderful images. Which reminds me of something I read by DaVinci, claiming that the sixth sense, was where the other five senses met up and were processed and this sense was called the common sense as it was made of all the others.

The images show a completely different world, and understanding of the world. I was transported in my imagination to monks quarters where they toiled by candle or day light creating the masterpieces that many hundreds of years later still speak to your eyes like a whisper does to your ears. What I would give to flip the pages of these amazing books often containing almost five hundred pages but only revealing one in this special show.