David Jon Kassan

David Jon Kassan (born 1977 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is an internationally recognized contemporary American painter, filmmaker, and philanthropist best known for his life-size representational paintings, which combine figurative subjects with abstract backgrounds or “tromp l’oeil texture studies, ”Of this dual representation strategy” Kassan notes, “my effort to constantly learn to document reality with a naturalistic, representational painting technique allows for pieces to be inherent contradictions; paintings that are both real and abstract.”

Kassan is a much sought after drawing and painting instructor because of his steadfast commitment to the age old discipline of working from life and creating compelling expressions of the human condition. He has given painting/drawing seminars and lectures at various institutions, and universities around the world. In 2013, he founded the Kassan Foundation in hopes of giving grants directly to underprivileged talent in both the visual and musical arts.

Kassan works can be seen in many public and private collections worldwide. He is represented by Gallery Henoch (Chelsea), New York, NY and The Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Culver City, CA. Kassan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

“I’ve been using PanPastel now for the past 6 years, I started using them for the basic block ins for my charcoal drawings, because they offer the artist a painterly expressive approach to handing an otherwise linear approach. In the past year or so, I have begun to use different colored PanPastels for my initial block ins for my Premier Coup or Alla Prima studies, because they offer the artist a multiple of color dry set-ups in which you can really build up beautifully rich texture and pure color oil paint strokes. No more melting into an underpainting’s wash. PanPastel has really changed the way I make paintings and drawings, it has given my realist work an expressive foundation on which to build on.”




16 x 17″
PanPastel & General’s White Charcoal Pencil
David Jon Kassan

Premier Coup – An Approach to Direct Painting

In this 40 minute completely instructional video, David Kassan takes you through the different steps that he uses to create an all in one sitting Premier Coup painting of the human skull. David shows how he uses PanPastel for blocking in for his underpainting.

Premier Coup is a one shot, first strike approach to direct painting that requires an artist’s full concentration and completely deliberate responses to the subject, within a limited time.
The intensity of Premier Coup painting has a rich history dating back to William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri and Edwin Dickinson. To encourage a full understanding of the process, David completely vocalizes his thoughts on how he uses value, texture and brushstroke to turn form as he paints. Included is a rich discussion of the anatomy of the skull and facial bones as well as all of David’s materials (palette, brushes, mediums, paints, etc):

Watch the trailer: click here.                  

Drawing Closer to Life DVD

This 3 hour DVD documents a day in David Jon Kassan’s Brooklyn studio as he develops a charcoal study of Henry Williams Oelkers. Follow along as David vocalizes his complete thought process and approach as he develops this drawing. The essence of this DVD is developing an understanding of how to translate and interpret what we see into drawings that capture the subtle character, emotion and insights into the model’s personality.  

For information on purchasing this DVD: click here.

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