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Drawing Studio

The Drawing Studio

Phil Sylvester founded the independent art school, the Drawing Studio, in 1990, after teaching ten years at Oregon School of Design. The Drawing Studio offers drawing and painting classes for adults taught by Phil. Classes meet evenings and weekends and are designed for anyone from true beginners to experienced artists who want to get their work rolling again.

Sylvester’s method emphasizes loosening the student up so she/he becomes more comfortable experimenting and inventing technique. “I believe humans are naturally designed to draw, perceptually, neurologically, muscularly, kinesthetically, the works. However, obviously, many of us feel we can’t. We assume we are missing something, talent, the right techniques, whatever. Thirty years of experience have taught me that what holds us back is actually our very assumptions, our preconceptions about how drawings come about, what the steps are, what is behind being able to draw.”

Sylvester designs exercises to suspend those preconceptions so that students can begin experimenting freely without fear of failure. Once the process is underway, students quickly realize that growth as a drawer is dependent solely on breadth of experimentation and practice. “Essentially, I demystify drawing so that students personally experience that progress in drawing is made through regular human scale efforts rather than through abilities available only to a select few.”


Upcoming Classes and Registration
The upcoming class list and class registration for The Drawing Studio is online at Click the button below to proceed to the class list / registration area. For those who wish to register in person please email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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More About The Drawing Studio

Best of PortlandThe Drawing Studio was selected for Willamette Week Magazine’s best of Portland issue for 2014. In its article, Willamette Week wrote:

“Phil Sylvester is the freedom fighter of the Portland art world. For more than 30 years, Sylvester has taken people who believe they are imprisoned by their utter lack of artistic talent and showed them how to smash their chains. Sylvester—who studied math at Reed College and architecture at Princeton University—discovered early in his own art career the need to subvert the logic of formal drawing techniques. At his school, The Drawing Studio (3614 SE Division St.,, Sylvester teaches his students to reject the preciousness of a finished work and instead savor the joy of the act of drawing. The student works that do emerge from the two-hour intro sessions are not mere sketches by artists in training. They are bold and whimsical, risky and searching—proof of the creative vigor within all of us, and of Sylvester’s gift for letting it run free.” - Brent Walth

The Drawing Studio—Welcome

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