About studio

About the studio and the teachers:

Leon Okun’s studio is a unique environment where one can learn traditional European academic methods of painting and drawing. The studio is composed of two instructors; Leon Okunand Varvara Agabekova. Both Leon and Varvara are graduatesof St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts in Russia. Leon and Varvara have different approaches to painting and teaching, which allows students to try different approaches to painting. Both styles represent the 260 year old tradition of St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. Leon and Varvara are both working artists, which serves as a source of example and inspiration to the students. Leon and Varvara are the only representatives of traditional European academic painting in southern California.


The mission of the studio is to provide an environment where the students are exposed to a systematic approach of the European academic painting and drawing. We encourage each student to develop as independent artists with a personal style of painting. Students of all level are welcome to the program.

What we do and how we do it:

We work from life, portrait, still life, and plein air. We start from simple assignments and advance to multi figured compositions.

Why choose this studio?

*Patient teachers who have a lot of experience working with beginning students.

*In-class demonstrations

*Dedicated and friendly body of students!

*You will be proud to put your work in an art show or a gallery.

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