Art Classes



“Drawing Concepts” (April 16th thru May 21st)

Held at the Artists of Yardley, in Yardley Pa. This class runs from 1 to 3:30 am every Tuesday for 6 weeks starting April 29th thru June 3rd. For more information and to sign up, please visit Please see class description below.

Drawing is a skill which can be honed to an individual’s personal vision. Any artistic concept, whether it be a simple sketch in pencil or a complex composition in another medium, can be realized through the process of drawing. This class is designed to teach students the basic principles of drawing using a combination of observational and conceptual exercises. Students will learn various techniques such as sight-size/comparative measuring, methods of shading, concepts of perspective and more.

”Drawing Concepts II” (April 16th thru May 21st)

Held at the Artists of Yardley, in Yardley Pa. This class runs from 10 to 12:30 pm every Tuesday for 6 weeks starting April 29th thru June 3rd. For more information and to sign up, please visit Please see class description below.

Would you like to make your drawings appear more realistic than ever before?  What if you could produce images using simple drawing materials that looked like paintings or photos? This class will explore those possibilities. By blending and layering different mediums such as pencil, charcoal, ink, colored pencil and pastel, we will discover ways to render color, texture and form, making our subjects appear to pop right off the paper. We will focus on a variety of subjects, including still lifes, as well as the human figure. For each project, emphasis will be placed on gauging accurate proportions first, followed by value tones and colors. This class goes well beyond the basics and students can expect to produce highly finished works of art. Many of the same concepts taught in this class can be applied to painting.



(All of the online content below will be posted at the start date of each class. Once it has been posted, it will be available for students to access anytime at their convenience enabling them to watch the videos whenever they want and work at their own pace.)

Spring II semester 2019

“Portrait Drawing I”  (Available now!)

This course offers five hours of video content during which I will discuss and demonstrate ways to construct the head and face as a series of simplified planes. Through a number of studies, students will learn how to observe and conceptualize the head from various angles using a variety of pencils and blending tools.  In the first few classes, emphasis will be placed on measuring techniques to establish accurate proportion paired with an examination of the underlying structures which make up the forms of the face.  In addition, students will learn how to work with light and dark values to increase the illusion of depth and three dimensional form in their drawings.

This course offers five hours of in-depth video demonstrations and lectures for the incredibly low price of $325. For a supplies list and syllabus click here!

To sign up for this class, go to!

“Portrait Drawing II” 

This class builds upon the lessons taught in Portrait Drawing I. Through video demonstrations I will tackle a variety of topics including a thorough analysis of the skeletal/muscular facial anatomy of our subject as well as shading techniques using a combination of charcoal and pencil to add more depth to the drawing.  But we won’t stop there!  I will also cover rendering the subtleties of skin texture and hair to push the level of realism well beyond a typical “study”.  Watch and follow my video instruction, most of which is filmed in real time, in order to capture every mark put on the paper. Because we will be doing a single drawing for the entire course, I can explain my process very thoroughly starting with an accurate linear construction followed by shading techniques which will emphasize the specific anatomy of our portrait model. These are real skills which can be easily learned if you have the patience and motivation.

For a supplies list and syllabus click here!

Summer I semester 2019

“The Principles of Line and Value in Drawing” (June 14th, 2019)

In this five hour course, we will examine the qualities of line and value in drawing. Through video demonstrations, I will cover how we can use line weight to create the illusion of form, conceptualize volumetric shapes, and construct a more balanced composition. As I discuss these different principles, I will show many examples of Old Master drawings and study their approach to line. Once we understand the various aspects of line, we can then begin to examine value tones (light and dark variants) as they apply to shading different forms, creating depth and atmosphere, and designing a composition. Each element plays a very important role in drawing as well as painting, and should be thought of as part of the basic artistic alphabet. Once these fundamental principles are grasped, an artist can use them whether he chooses to work in a traditional or conceptual manner.

Portrait Painting Master Class” (June 17th, 2019)

In this course I will explain and demonstrate measuring techniques to establish accurate proportion, how to map out the skeletal and muscular anatomy of the face, ground preparation, transferring a drawing to the painting surface, underpainting, color mixing to represent the flesh tones specific to the model’s complexion, glazing and more! Through video demonstrations students will learn a variety of techniques which will result in a life-like portrayal of human form and expression. In addition, we will discuss how to nail a great composition and bring more emotion into the painting with specific lighting and color choices. These are all things which I have struggled with over the years, and through trial and error I have developed a systematic approach that works! This class shortcuts a lot of the problems that beginners and even experienced portrait painters face. You will learn in a few hours what I have spent DECADES learning!

Summer II semester 2019

”Color Concepts” (July 22nd, 2019)

In this nine hour course, we will explore different methods of observing color through a series of drawing and painting exercises. Through video demonstrations, I will introduce the gray scale, and progress, through specific exercises, to working with a full range of colors in a variety of mediums. Students will learn about the relationship between warm and cool colors and how these play into creating the illusion of light and atmosphere. Layering applications on different surfaces (including pre-toned papers and prepared grounds) will be explored and students will acquire a thorough understanding of color concepts through observational exercises.




I offer private instruction for individuals as well as small groups of three students or less and will travel to a location of your choice to fit your busy schedule. The advantage of a private lesson is the one on one instruction which allows for a more rapid progression of a particular skill or methodology. Students interested in this option have the freedom to work on whatever skill they want to improve upon at their own pace in their home or studio. I offer private lessons in drawing, mixed mediums, painting, pastel, or whatever skill you wish to learn or improve upon. If you have a specific interest, please let me know.

Individual Rates:

One and a half hour lesson = $80.00

Two hour lesson = $100.00

Two and a half hour lesson = $120.00

Small group rates (two or three students):

One and a half hour lesson = $115.00

Two hour lesson = $135.00

Two and a half hour lesson = $155.00


These prices are based on typical class time frames. Longer lessons are certainly available. Please let me know if you are interested in something more in depth. Discounted rates may be offered for multiple lessons paid in advance. There may be an additional fee for significant travel.



“David Rivera is quite simply put, one of the best instructors I have ever had the pleasure of studying with. Over the time I spent working with him, I watched as my skill set and technique developed from amateur to truly refined. David takes the time to really teach how to construct a drawing or painting with clear and concise direction. I highly recommend taking lessons with him if you want to master your ability in fine art. Apart from his phenomenal teaching, David is also incredibly knowledgeable concerning the history behind fine art. Not only will one gain valuable tools to approach art, but one will also gain insight into how fine art developed into what it is today. David Rivera is a true professional and always approaches fine art with a confident attitude in whatever mode he may be working in.”

-L. Lorenzo

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the workshop with David Rivera teaching the ‘Secret Techniques of the Old Masters’. Their grisaille method is an exciting way to prepare an image. The 15th and 16th Century artists produced radiant pieces of work using a limited number of pigments. The underpainting executed in a shade of one color, usually grey, molds the form and it’s tonal values, which gives the illusion of sculptural relief.

“This new method that stresses good drawing and tonal values, was in direct contrast to my older ‘Alla Prima’ method of painting. Subsequent color glazes over the underpainting created a luminosity that I’d never experienced before. Guided patiently by Mr. Rivera, we were discovering the genius of oil paint – their potential to create really brilliant detail in jewel-like colors.”

– Jadwiga Wroblewska-Jedrzejczyk

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