Making Memories into a Masterpiece




Amanda Burns-Elhassouni

Amanda Burns-Elhassouni is a contemporary realist painter, illustrator, portrait artist, and mixed media explorer for over 20 years with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. She is the creator and artist at Burns-Elhassouni Studio, her body of work: drawings, paintings and mixed media pieces are taken from her photographs of travels to places such as Morocco and inspiration from everyday life. She also specializes in commissioned portrait painting and drawing as well as projects for clients who want a special moment, place or occasion captured in a fine artwork.  Amanda has shown in numerous exhibitions at galleries, museums and venues throughout the United States.


As an undergraduate student, Amanda taught art to kids ages 5-18 through various outreach programs within Washington D.C. and at Corcoran’s Children’s Workshop summer arts program. Since starting her own studio, she has branched out to teaching privately and to small groups of children in her home in South Orange, New Jersey, along with the South Orange Maplewood Adult School Summer Program and through Renaissance Art Studio in Millburn, New Jersey.


"With my unique ability to capture moments, people and places,

I will make your memories a masterpiece!"


Most of us have captured wonderful, sacred and unique moments in our life  through a photograph. Why not take that moment and make it into a beautiful piece of art to be displayed in your home and that you will treasure forever. I love doing this type of work simply because it has such special meaning to the person who receives it. Many times these commissioned artworks are done as gifts for loved one's and friends. They are unique and cannot be duplicated in a store, becoming heirlooms that can be passed down to other generations as a piece of family history. 



Fill out my inquiry form below with as much detail as you can provide and I will promptly respond.


Fine Art Portraits



Each of my clients is special to me. I pride myself in making sure that you will not only be thrilled with the artwork but the experience as a whole. They say you are only as good as your client's happiness, so here are some testimonials to provide you with their thoughts and experiences. 

"I was very fortunate to come across Amanda. Her name was given to me by another artist who recommended her for a project I was looking to have done. I have used Amanda on a total of 3 different art pieces. All have been jaw dropping amazing and simply perfection. She is so easy to work with. She has painted portraits of family and has made their memory shine through her work. I could go on and on about her amazing talent. I was truly blessed to have found her and plan to continue to use her artistic talents later on in the future. Again, I could go on and on with how amazing she is!"
- Jessica Tippins
"Amanda has an unusual and exceptional ability to capture the spirit of her subjects. She is gifted in rendering and composition but even more so in her ability to translate the essence of what she portrays in her pieces. She is passionate about producing meaningful work that enhances the lives of her customers. I have worked with her for years and am amazed at her range, her attitude and her talent. You will never regret Commissioning Amanda and you will cherish any and all work she does for you."
- Nicole Athey
"Your work is more than a piece of art. You capture every single detail with exceptional love. I loved working with you and your time to deliver the product.
Definitely recomended and will continue to work with you for future orders."
-Paola Laino
"Its always such a pleasure to work with someone who is truly passionate about what they do. Amanda is one of those people. Her passion shines through in her artwork. She really takes the time to ensure the client walks away with a lasting memory. 
Every time I look at the painting of my father in laws boat, I am taken back to moments in time that truly just make me smile! Thank you Amanda for sharing your talents with all of us! xo
- Lonna Sullivan
"I had a great experience working with Amanda. We moved to CT from South Orange and I wanted a painting of the pond as a memory for our new house. I commissioned Amanda to do this based on the recommendation of other local families. She was so easy to work with!
Amanda kept in touch with me during the whole process to make sure the painting was exactly what I wanted. It couldn't be more beautiful and our whole family smiles when we look at it. I highly recommend Amanda for anyone looking to commission a painting."
-Melissa Zeman Wachsman






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Art Lessons

by Ms. Amanda

UPDATE: Spring Session 2020 will move to live stream online class via Zoom for as long school is closed! 

(If you are registered I will email details for joining and materials needed)

Character Building and Graphic Novel Booklet Creation

Eight Weeks: 4:00 - 5:15

1st -5th grade, Mondays: April 6th - June 8th
(No class 4/13 & 5/25) 

1st -5th grade, Tuesdays: April 7th - June 2nd

(No class 4/14)

$200 (all materials included)
* 5 students max each session, therefore registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Full payment is due upon signup. Please fill out the registration form (one for each child if you are signing up more than one - indicating second sibling in notes to me) and I will email an invoice for payment online, Venmo is available @Amanda-Burns-Elhassouni, cash or check. Thank you!

**10% discount on the second sibling sign up for class.


We'll talk about our favorite graphic novels and why we love them. Students will begin with exploring characters and their story: the who, what, when, where and why of their character(s) and learn how to make it into a graphic novel/comic format. In order to decide how they want to tell their character's story, emphasis will be on developing the character first. 

They will do a variety of character drawings. I'll pose questions such as who they are, what is their personality and physical traits, when does this character exist, where do they live and why are they interested in this character? Once they have them drawn, inked and color added, they will start developing and drawing their story. Everyone moves at a different pace, so some students may make several characters and stories, while others will pour over the details of one. It depends on each student and their creative process, but they are supported through it with reference materials for inspiration and lots of one on one guidance from me and even their peers. It's a very small social setting, so allows them to get comfortable with one another and their environment.

Along with their character ideas and story development, there is also exposure to a variety of age-appropriate graphic novels used as example of layouts, styles of drawing and materials used. I will give them lots of materials to explore as well. They will use pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers on paper to create their booklets and two-page story spreads. We have a party and art show the last half of our last class to celebrate and share their creations. I will send an invite and parents are welcome to attend as well. It's a fun way for students to share with their loved ones what they created in eight weeks!


Previous Class Offering...

Book Cover Illustration: for a different book each week!

Have you ever read a book and visualized characters and their world around them differently than how they are portrayed on the cover? This class is about showing your way of illustrating what the book characters and world look like. 

Each week students will make their own cover illustration for a beloved children's book (picture, chapter books & graphic novels). Some they might know, some they might not, but I will start by reading the title and description of the book, so they can get a sense of the story and what it's about. I will not show the books cover illustration until the end of class, as not to influence individual creativity.

Students will spend time brainstorming ideas on a sheet of paper, then moving to the final piece to sketch out their drawing and use whatever materials they would like (pens, color pencils, markers, paint sticks, watercolor brush pens) to finish the illustration. I am there to help with the process by asking questions for brainstorming ideas and ways in which to express ideas with different techniques and materials.

It will be loads of fun creating their own characters, how their imaginary world will look and giving their own expression of what this book is about. It's an exploration into books, concepts, characters, imagination and art materials. Also, encourages students to read some of the books they might not have read before introducing them to new books and genres.

Experience and Teaching Style   


I am a contemporary realist painter, portrait artist, and Illustration explorer for over 20 years with an MFA in Illustration from Academy of Art University in San Francisco and  BFA in Fine Art from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. As an undergraduate student, I taught art to kids ages 5-18 through various outreach programs within D.C. and at Corcoran’s Children’s Workshop summer arts program. 


Now, I teach drawing and mixed media techniques to small groups of kids in my home in South Orange, NJ to give a more personalized experience and a better one on one interaction with my students. I also teach private lessons through Renaissance Art Studio in Millburn, NJ and Intro to Graphic Novel with the SOM Adult School Children's Summer Program. Since I love drawing and intrigued by pattern, color, shapes, and design, I like to combine these things in my projects and give examples of artists work that has inspired the lessons I teach. 


I think art should be fun while learning about materials, techniques and the students own personal gifts in art making. We all have our own unique view of the world and I like to make sure each student can express themselves freely while also learning fundamental elements of drawing that can expand their unique vision.

Book Cover Illustration 1st - 5th grade

Intro to Graphic Novel Creation, two-page informational graphic story on how to make a double page comic story. 

Two Page graphic novel story, 3-5th grade

Two page graphic novel story, double page spread and character turn-around, 3-5th grade 



Burns-Elhassouni Studio

347.628.8156 / amanda@burnselhassounistudio.com


South Orange, NJ

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