Realism portrait of a man
Alex Kasyan, "Portrait of Myles Johnston," 2020, pastel on paper, 14 x 11 in.

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, Alex Kasyan.

Born in 1984, Alex Kasyan is a realist artist whose portraiture is animated through a soulful point of view that transcends geography. His fascination with painting people began at adolescence and since then, his focus and fascination with art has appreciated with each day.

Kasyan remains ardently committed to the practice of representational painting and drawing rendered with a high sensitivity of tones, shapes, design and colour. His collections of paintings and drawings all stem from his love and devotion to human anatomy, painting, drawing and the exploration of light.

Kasyan studied Illustration at Dawson College and was hired by a publisher to illustrate posters and books. In 2007, Kasyan left Montreal to paint and draw in New York City where he attended classes at the National Academy of Design, the Water Street Atelier under Jacob Collins, the Grand Central Academy, as well as the Arts Students League under Nelson Shanks.

Kasyan’s artworks are executed in oil, pastel, charcoal and graphite. In his eyes, realism is art created in its purest and most truthful form. When he paints or draws a subject, he recreates them and gives them a second life. His passion for representational painting and drawing comes from the satisfaction he receives when he makes his subjects come to life on canvas.

Realism portrait of a woman
Alex Kasyan, “Portrait of Julia Haney,” 2020, pastel on paper, 14 x 11 in.

Through Kasyan’s works you can sense his appreciation and fascination for the human form, anatomy and the way light illuminate his subject matter. His paintings are characterized by his level of sensitivity and his refined approach in tone and color selection which breathe life into them. His graphite and charcoal drawings are distinguished by the thoughtful hatching he uses to separate the contrasts in tones of the chosen subject matter.

Kasyan has taught painting workshops at Stewart Hall and Dawson College in Montreal. Since 2010, he teaches realist painting and drawing in his Montreal studio. Kasyan has exhibited his works at Museum of European Modern Art in Spain, was part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition in Mall Galleries in London, and was selected as finalist and semi finalist in competitions worldwide.

Realism portrait of a man
Alex Kasyan, “Portrait of Morgan Wolman,” 2021, pastel on paper, 17 x 16 in.

Connect with Alex Kasyan at

Related > Browse portrait and figure workshop videos in the style of contemporary realism here.

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