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"Jonathan Hardesty is a classically trained artist living and working the Dallas/Ft. Worth area."

New Painting, Weekend Demo, and Question & Answer thursdays. Wednesday, July 29, 2009 |

Hi Everyone! There are a few exciting updates that I want to talk about. The first one is a new painting that I've completed called "The Dressing Room".

This is the largest painting that I have ever done...it is 42 x 72.

I also have some other updates as well that you can see on this video. Enjoy!

Dallas "Reverie" Workshop Monday, April 6, 2009 |

Hey Everyone! This past week there was a fantastic workshop here in Dallas hosted by ConceptArt.org and Massive Black.

Reverie, the ConceptArt.org & Massive Black Internation Art and Design Workshop, was a multi-day training event, designed by professionals and educators in the fields of video games, toys, comic books, film, illustration, and Fine Art. These events draw students and professionals from around the globe and throughout the USA and Canada who attend with the purpose of improving key creative skills, sharing ideas, and learning together under the guidance of world renowned professional artists and designers.

For those of you who may not know I have been involved with conceptart.org for a long time. Actually at the bottom of this blog you can see a link to my "journey" that shows my progression from the first works of art I ever created (besides those I did as a kid) to my most recent professional work. Conceptart.org has provided me with help, information, and inspiration for a long time now. It was the professionals on that site who recommended that I seek out classical training in the early stages of my learning. Were it not for them I truly feel I would still be struggling with the basics.

So it was truly a joy for me to be invited to hang out with all my old friends and heros at conceptart.org and massive black. I was also able to meet up and paint with a friend and mentor of mine, William Whitaker while I was at the workshop. Bill encouraged and instructed me when I was fresh out of the atelier. I had no idea how to work as an artist and he gave me some valuable information that helped launch my career. He is a great friend and it is always fun to see him paint. You can check out more of his work at http://www.williamwhitaker.com/:

His Student Emily was also there painting as well.

There were so many other friends and great artists that I saw at the workshop but these two were the ones that I hung out with the most. Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment because I wanted to paint next to them all day. We were all painting a fantastic Croatian model named, "Lipa". She was like a statue and I was able to paint her from a great spot.

The lighting scheme in that room was artificial light with a little bit of natural light. As the afternoon wore on the artificial light started to take over until everything was pretty orange in nature. As I expected, when I took my painting outside in natural light the colors looked much different! That's always something you want to watch out for when painting. Make sure the conditions you are painting under are going to be optimal viewing conditions for the individual who will be buying your work. At this workshop we had no choice and it was still a blast...but Bill and I were both glad to get back to our north light studios. Below you can see the finished version of the painting.


Here are some other great painters and friends I was painting with at the workshop. It was awesome to hang out with all of them!:

Kevin Llewellyn: http://www.kevart.com

All of these photos were taken at the workshop by Phil Holland. He is a phenomenal photographer among other things.

workshop: Dallas, TX Friday, March 20, 2009 |

The ACH invited me to do a workshop for them this past January at one of their monthly meetings. I find it to be a bit of a challenge to focus on a good painting (in this case I was doing a portrait of my wife) while at the same time doing my best to offer knowledge that would be beneficial to those listening. In doing so you are using two compeletly different parts of the brain. But the harder part that night was trying to find a pallette to use. The location of this workshop was far from right around the corner so once I was there, there was no going back. I was pretty sure I had everything in tow only to realize that although I had my paints, I had nothing to put them on. Fortunately I'm not one to toss something aside even when I may not need it again so in the trunk of my car I found the cardboard piece I used for the design of the wood pallette I work on regularly (to quote Violet in "A Series of Unfortunate Events", "There's always something"). It actually was not too bad to work with. The paints seeped into the cardboard a bit and made for some dry brush action, but everyone got the jist of what I was doing and seemed to enjoy my pain and suffering!! Below are some pics that kept me laughing for a while. Enjoy!

diverge workshop Monday, March 16, 2009 |

I was invited to join the Diverge Workshop (http://www.divergeworkshop.com/) a few weeks ago to do a live demo! It was a concept artist/illustrators extravaganza.  There were a ton of fantastic artists there doing live demos.  You can see the line up of teachers at the diverge website:


I was invited at the last minute to provide some traditional flavor to the mix.  I set up in the theater room right next door to the main event and had a small but dedicated crowd of artists hanging out in my room.  There were a lot of great questions  I did a portrait of my wife (She is my most trusted and reliable model) over a two day period, 2-3 hours each day. It is always awesome getting together with like minds. Sometimes working by yourself out of your home can make you a hermit of sorts so getting out on these excursions is welcomed and appreciated!

I was also able to meet a fantastic artist named Michael Mentler.  I have seen his work for some time and we have conversed online and via email...so it was great to meet in person.  You can check out his work at:


Great Job Tony! You worked hard on the workshop man and it showed. We took a couple of pics, including one special guest from Gotham City!!!  

ClassicalArtOnline.com: Up and Running Wednesday, March 4, 2009 |

Classicalartonline.com, at its basic level, is a website that allows a student to study directly under me via the internet in the traditional classical atelier style.

At the beginning of 2008 I was receiving a lot of emails from individuals living outside the United States. A lot of people wanted to study with me but they could not move to America for various reasons, which I understood. In March I gave a workshop to test out the idea of classical studies online and it worked out really well. Everyone improved greatly during that month and I learned that, not only was it possible to give online studies, but it was actually exceedingly advantageous to study online. Students had 24 hour access to ask me questions in the "blog" or "thread" I had created. There was documentation of everything I said to all of the students and video demos explaining each step. Those were things I would have killed for when I was studying. Personal guidance is extremely rare in art education...even in some classical atelier schools. Often times schools have 100 students and everyone receives 5 minutes of attention a week.

In the 1800's and early 1900's artists had to travel long distances to get proper training. Often times an artist would have to leave their family and live in Italy or France. This website is my idea to help all of these problems. I provide pdfs as well as other materials throughout the process. Students get to see video demos created by me...of me ACTUALLY doing the work. The students can interact with me directly in their instruction blogs and I have now added the ability to have live video painting demos where students can ask questions while I paint live. It's fantastic to now be able to offer that proper training to people in the comfort of their own homes.

ClassicalArtOnline.com is a year round training program. The workshop I gave in March was a one time thing but CAO will be open perpetually. Each student is taught individually so they can begin anytime independent of others and work as long as they need to in order to complete their training. The curriculum that I use is a modified version of what I learned from my teachers. It is essentially an alla prima version of Florence Academy of Art's program with some other minor changes. I have taken great efforts to only provide my students with, what I think are, the useful parts of that training. Things must make sense to me before I accept them. I expect my students to feel the same way. My training is therefore structured around giving students the core concepts not spoon feeding them a"style" or "way of doing things".

If you visit the website at http://www.classicalartonline.com/ you can download a pdf that contains the curriculum and also an explanation of each stage and why it is important. You can also see some screen shots showing you what the website looks like on the inside as well. You learn to draw what you see by first copying master drawings (learning the principles in a 2d environment where the light doesn't change). Then you draw plaster casts from life (learning to simplify and draw what you see in a 3d environment). The next step is to complete some cast paintings (Introduction to paint, brushes, etc...on a limited palette so that students do not feel overwhelmed). Then you begin to work in full color on still life paintings and then work your way up to portraits and other more advanced paintings. So the training takes you one step at a time to the ultimate goal of painting in full color. Each section is introduced separately so that you will have time to grasp the core concepts. When all of this is thrown on you at once it can be quite overwhelming. In my opinion that is why a lot of students quit their art training...because they feel overwhelmed and confused.

The school is 200 dollars a month to enroll. Right now I have some slots open but more people are signing up every day so just keep that in mind. If you need more info or want to sign up just let me know. This would be my only caution to you. This program will most likely take you 2-3 years to complete fully (working hard). It is a serious training regiment meant to whip you into artistic shape. It is a difficult program and does not work out for those who are not serious about learning. If you are serious about learning than you will find a wealth of information and training to help you on your artistic way. If you want to book your spot you can contact me here:

Classical Art Online: http://www.classicalartonline.com/

About Jonathan Hardesty:

"Born in Dallas, TX in 1980, Jonathan’s first artistic endeavour began at the University of Pennsylvania where he started basic drawing and figure drawing courses. His drive for more rigorous and traditional training led him to apply to the classical realist atelier, Pantura Studios, to study under masters Hans-Peter Szameit and Sanna Tomac (Who both attended Florence Academy of Art). Jonathan’s work is now included in various collections throughout the United States and has been exhibited in invitational shows both nationally and in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Jonathan teaches exclusively in his online classical atelier Classical Art Online:


Classical Art Online is the first website dedicated to teaching traditional, or classical, art methods to a small group of students in the same manner as a traditional atelier.

You can see more of Jonathan's work at http://www.jonathanhardesty.com

Since he first picked up a pencil Jonathan has been logging his artistic growth on a website called "Conceptart.org". The name of his blog is "Journey of an Absolute Rookie: Paintings and Sketches". To view his amazing progression from untrained to professional artist click below.

Jonathan's Journey from Amateur to Professional Artist