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Paying homage to academic painting, Sean Cheetham's portraits balance the realities of a harsh world with glimmers of hope.

Primarily a figurative painter, he is known for his technical prowess in achieving accuracy and harmony in his alla prima paintings which he credits to a deep understanding of drawing and his own system of mixing colors, which he uses adeptly to govern shadows, midtones and highlights.

In addition to having an exceptional ability to understand, draw, and paint the human form, Cheetham’s selection of subjects, typically in familiar urban scenes, contributes a truthful and often raw spirit that makes his work distinctive and a contemporary testimony of our time ...

Sean Cheetham / Artist profile film series
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... Sean is a contemporary oil painter whose training is steeped in traditional portraiture.  His remarkable skill at creating rich layers which capture the subtle nuances of his subjects harken back to the old masters, yet the work is undeniably fresh. He chooses to paint his friends, very often his wife, and portrays them with a gripping honesty that captivates the viewer. Sean has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2005, where he was included in the prestigious BP Portrait award show. His self-portrait "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams" was featured at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Sean Cheetham was born in 1977 in California and studied at the College of San Mateo, in California. He earned a BFA degree with honors from Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California. He currently teaches painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. He has a devoted following of collectors and art students that are inspired by his work and distinctive technique.


Long Beach Museum of Art, exhibited in Masterworks: Defining a New Narrative, Long Beach, CA, 2014
Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery, Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Finalist, 2013
National Portrait Gallery, BP Portrait Award, 2005


College of San Mateo, CA
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA (BFA with honors)

Coming soon

Available Work

Morgan Heights
oil on board, 45 x 30inquiry
Red Beard
oil on board, 12 x 9inquiry
oil on board, 30 x 45inquiry
Snow White
Oil on paper, 22kt gold, 10 x 8inquiry
Graphite on Bristol, 8.5 x 11inquiry