Martin Close started as a designer & illustrator, developing techniques for creating 3D renderings of plans using ink and watercolours. After opening his first art gallery in Marlow, UK, Martin discovered a passion for oil painting and became an understudy of a London based portrait artist - who was highly regarded for his commissioned portraiture of royalty and the Vatican. Martin went on to continued his classical studies at Lavender Hill Studios in London working under Scott Pohlschmidt, Ann Witheridge and Nick Bashall.
An enthusiastic and motivational teacher, Martin continues to innovate his teaching methods and study the atelier techniques. His experiences on this journey have led him to found the CAA and bring the atelier teachings to the wider south coast. Martin's works, which include a personally commissioned portrait of Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, still focus on figurative painting and contemporary realism with oils. Now an experienced artist and teacher, Martin continues to push himself in order to keep growing as an artist and his current works include a collection of local atmospheric sea and landscapes.
Anastasia will be running a portrait workshop this summer at the Classical Art Academy in Southbourne, Bournemouth Dorset. Spaces are limited please contact for more information.
Anastasia Pollard studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Florence Academy of Art. She is a member of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters where her work has been included in the annual exhibitions.
Pollard won The William Emlen Cresson Scholarship, Silvia & Miron M Walley Memorial Scholarship and was successful in the Linda Lee Alter Awards.
Anastasia has been honoured to be selected to exhibit in the BP Portrait Awards in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2017 when her painting 'Corrine' featured on the main banner and front of the guide.
Dhanraz initially studied at the Classical Art Academy and has now become one of our tutors. Focusing on figurative drawing and portraiture techniques in oils he has become a well respected artist in his own right with many private commissions and collectors. Many of our students feel a strong connection with him as a tutor knowing he was once just like them a student trying to learn how to draw and paint. Dhanraz feels that having studied the programme at the Classical Art Academy it helps him empathise with the students!
For the past 6 years I have undertaken the task of making props and set building for Big Little Theatre School. I thoroughly enjoy adding another dimension to my work and have created a number of pieces ranging from a juke box to the tree from the Garden of Eden.
Last year presented me with the opportunity to compete for a place on a national TV show in which I was shortlisted from 11,000 down to the last 60 entrants, from which 10 were picked for the show. My brush with fame ended there but this has spurred me on to consider entering more national competitions and I am looking forward to celebrating student’s successes as well as my own.