Making Memories into a Masterpiece
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.
INTERESTED IN HAVING A CUSTOM ARTWORK MADE BY ME?
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."
"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
by Ms. Amanda
Virtual Fall Session 2020 via Zoom
(If you are registered I will email details for class meetings and materials needed)
Character Building and Graphic Novel Booklet Creation
Eight Weeks: 4:00 - 5:00
1st -5th grade, Mondays: Sept. 21st - Nov. 23rd
(No class 9/28 & 11/2)
1st -5th grade, Tuesdays: Sept. 22nd - Nov. 17th
(No class 11/3)
$155 (suggested materials list will be emailed but pencil, pen & paper is all that is really needed)
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. Thank you!
**10% discount on the second sibling sign up for class.
You will have the chance to explore storytelling and characters while building a graphic novel booklet one page at a time. 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). Then, using the graphic novel format you will create a cover page, as well as pages of panels with drawings and story in sequential order, inking and coloring just like in your favorite graphic novels. If you like to draw and create your own stories, this class is for you!
Everyone moves at a different pace in this class. 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. Teaching them virtually, I go over a portion of what we are working on that day and chat with each of them individually to see where they are and help them with the next step in their process of making characters, covers, and the booklets themselves.
Along with their character ideas and story development, there is also exposure to a variety of age-appropriate graphic novels used as examples of layouts, styles of drawing and materials used. I suggest the use of pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers and a ruler on 9x12 drawing paper to create their characters and booklets. I will provide a suggested material list upon signing up for the class and send a recurring Zoom link for our class.
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