top of page

Learn To Paint ~ Find the Artist in You!

Learn to paint in oils and acrylics!

Hi! I am an artist who wants to teach you how to paint. Paint a seascape, landscape, people, animals and home portraits in oils or  water-based oils. Learn about drawing, composition, value, color mixing, how to create depth in a painting and more! I'll walk you through step by step to help you move through the painting. As artists, if we paint from our hearts, the end result will show. I'd like my clients to feel a connection with what they're painting. So, prior to class, I ask that you choose a subject meaningful to you. This will result in a keepsake you can cherish and proudly hang in your home or sell!

Painting is my passion. I can't imagine life without paints and brushes. When I'm at my easel, I'm taken to another place where nothing matters but creating and watching a blank canvas come to life. It's my meditative time and my refuge especially when life takes a path of uncertainty. I'd love for you to have this same experience.

Most of the people I've taught have never painted before. If you don't have paints or brushes, I'll start you out using mine. You'll just need to bring a canvas and the desire to paint. After the first lesson, I'll provide a list of supplies to have ready for your next lesson.

A minimum two-hour lesson is necessary the first time we meet to allow introducing you to your tools, sketching in your subject and applying the first layer of paint. After the initial lesson, you decide how often you'd like to paint depending on your schedule and budget. The cost of painting lessons is $30/Hr. It will take several lessons to complete a painting, so it is a commitment. However, if you love painting, you'll want to stay with it. You might compare it to taking piano or guitar lessons. It would take more than one lesson to become proficient. Lessons are prepaid and a 24-Hr. cancellation notice is required.

Please go to my Contact Page to request more information. As soon as I receive your inquiry, I'll email or call you to discuss the painting process and schedule a time to paint. I'll be happy to answer any questions or concerns. See Reviews from my previous clients and their paintings below

I also offer private art lessons remotely from my home to yours. If you'd like to consider painting from the comfort of your home, please email me and or send a message by filling in my contact form. I'll respond to you with a phone call to discuss how to prepare for the lessons.


I offer gift certificates and will customize them at no additional charge.


Kit's Painting

My weekly painting sessions with Eleanor have been the highlight of my year! She is extremely talented and so incredibly patient while teaching. Eleanor provides great instruction but also encourages you to follow your own artistic vision. I would highly recommend lessons with her to any budding artist! I've taken lessons with others in the past and Eleanor is the most artistically talented by far with an incredibly warm and sweet disposition. You will not be disappointed. ~ Kit E. Calabash, NC

David Pope

"Eleanor has been a great teacher showing me how to use color, balance, the art of telling a story and most of all the use of light to make a painting come alive. She is extremely kind and patient. She has a terrific ability of scale and space in a painting. I enjoy our friendship and spending time with her. I had not painted in years and now have the interest to paint again thanks to her. I am painting daily at home now and really enjoying it. Her artwork is wonderful!” ~ David P. Wilson, NC

Dr. Tracey's Painting

Taking painting lessons with Eleanor was a terrific decision. I had no experience with painting and I was very nervous. Eleanor made the entire experience approachable and fulfilling. There are three things to know about Eleanor. 1) She is a fabulous artist, 2) She is a wonderful teacher whose clear guidance and patience make learning easy and enjoyable, 3) She is one of the kindest people you can ever hope to meet. I am truly thankful for my experience with her. ~ Dr. Tracey L. Wilmington, NC

Jennifer's Seascape Painting

"I selected our beach walk on Figure Eight Island as my subject. It really is an amazing piece of art and both my husband and I are thrilled! I couldn't be happier with my lessons as I now have the skills to create my own gorgeous works of art for years to come. I highly recommend Eleanor as a fantastic teacher and inspiring artistic mentor!” ~ Jennifer A. Wilmington, NC

Sandy's California Coast Painting

“It was a pleasure working with Eleanor, a true artist. I had only used acrylics and was nervous about trying oils. She was so helpful, encouraging and patient. I learned about the importance of values, color mixing, creating color charts and much more. Thank you, Eleanor for a wonderful experience!” ~ Sandy G. Wilmington, NC

Audrey's Sunset Painting

"Eleanor is patient and knowledgeable. I learned many techniques during my lessons that have had an empowering effect. Now I feel confident working with oils. Something I appreciated was her self-paced approach. I never felt rushed or held back. In terms of personality, Eleanor is bright and kind. She was fantastic about keeping me focused. I wanted to get a solid understanding of painting that I can apply on my own which I have. I hope to work with Eleanor again." ~ Audrey S. Wilmington, NC

Terry's Paintings

"I thought I couldn't paint and I always wanted to. After taking a couple learn to paint art classes, I was ready to give up until I found Eleanor. She is amazing. After my first lesson with her, I knew I could do this. Her patience and expertise gave me the confidence I needed. I know I can only get better with her awesome instruction and can't wait for my next class!" ~ Terry M. Boiling Springs, NC

Alexandra's Seascape

"Eleanor obviously knows her stuff and was wonderful guiding my teenage daughter during her first ever lesson in painting with oils. My daughter is so looking forward to her next lesson!" ~ Patti M. San Antonio, TX

Katy's Airlie Gardens Painting

"I've had an amazing experience with Eleanor. Though I had no previous experience with oil paint, she inspires me to never give up. I’m extremely happy with the work I've created and couldn't have done it without her. I look forward to each and every lesson." ~ Katy K. Raleigh, NC

Bella's Seascape

"My daughter had her first private lesson with Eleanor this afternoon and we could not be more pleased! It was a real pleasure meeting Eleanor and getting to see her beautiful work in person!" ~ Kelley G. Wilmington, NC

Michael Drawing

"My son, Michael's drawing skills and technique have greatly improved since he's been receiving Eleanor's instruction. He finds the lessons challenging but has thrived under her direction. Eleanor is a patient and kind instructor and has helped Michael tap into a skill which we could not develop on our own." ~ Elizabeth W. Wilmington, NC

's Landscape

“Eleanor never let me give up on my painting. She definitely has a way of finding the artistic side of people. Having never painted with oils before, I feel confident that I can embark on my own projects with the skills Eleanor has taught me. I would love to paint with her again!” ~ Michelle L. Wilmington, NC

Cathy's Painting

"This was my first oil painting working remotely. Eleanor is a great teacher and was very patient with me. I learned a lot especially about mixing colors. Eleanor is kind and fun to work with. We're now working on my second painting! ~ Cathy M. Brule, Wisconsin

Dr. Li's Painting

"I had a productive and fun learning experience with Eleanor. As a mentor, Eleanor is meticulous and patient. Her attention to detail and focus on the fundamental skills are exactly what I needed. Still a lot for me to learn and I look forward to painting with her again soon!" ~ Dr. Li N. Wilmington, NC

Donna's Seascape

“I thoroughly enjoyed painting with Eleanor. She was very helpful, flexible with my schedule and patient teaching this 50+ year old beginner! I learned about mixing color, value, brushes and techniques. From sketching the initial drawing on canvas to cleaning brushes after. Every session was informative, professional and enjoyable. Eleanor is a talented and experienced artist who skillfully passes along her knowledge of the painting process. Money and time well spent." ~ Donna R. Lynchburg, VA

Alan's Painting

I have always had an appreciation for art. I decided it was time to start painting and I looked for someone to teach me. I found Eleanor’s website and was immediately impressed with her work. I was surprised at how she was able to get me from never having picked up a brush to completing my first painting in only a few lessons. Eleanor explained the importance of drawing, composition, values, and the painting process. I look forward to working on our next painting. ~ Alan B. Southport, NC

Darlene's Painting

~ Darlene, C. Wilmington, NC


~ Robert R. Wilmington, NC

More Reviews

First Name:  Katalina O.

Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  We are so lucky to have such a talented artist locally! I've taken other painting classes and they are always large and never gave me any one-on-one time. Eleanor's work is fantastic, truly professional and high-end. Taking a private class with her is for those who truly want to "discover" their hidden talent or even pick up a hobby for pleasure. Eleanor is so pleasant to be around, and she will give you personalized attention. She really makes sure you create something to be proud of. I have Eleanor's work hanging in my own home and it is truly unique, stunning. You can tell it was painted by a professional artist.


First Name:  Chuck M.

Location:  Sunset Beach, NC

Comments:  I’m a self- taught painter. I was getting to a point where I knew I needed professional help if I was to ever improve. Eleanor Davin was the artist I chose to help me. In just a few two-hour sessions she taught me far more than I ever expected. She explained the difference between quality and substandard paints, allowing me to work much easier than I was doing, with much better results. She even has simple techniques for mixing and blending colors. She has taught me proper order, organization and composition of the image to be painted. I have to admit, giving up old habits is hard for me, but Eleanor is incredibly patient and is working with what I have. If you’re a beginner or just want to improve or renew your painting skills, Eleanor Davin is an excellent instructor. She is a Five Star teacher and an amazing artist!


First Name:  Eric T.

Location:  Fort Myers, FL

Comments:  "Years of Experience" Eleanor helped a raw beginner like me understand the lead up to actually putting paint to canvas. Composition is key. Details are key. Without Eleanor’s knowledge and patient advice these pearls slip away! Thank you, Eleanor!

Name:  Karen T.

Location: Saint Louis, MO

Comments:  "Excellent Art Instructor"- I learned things about the color and values I never knew about. She's very understanding and very knowledgeable, Eleanor is very patience with you too. Eleanor is an excellent teacher. I really enjoyed my lesson with her and plan to have many more.

Name:  Margaret M.

Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  "Eleanor, I learned so much from you while taking classes in oil painting. You are so patient and made me feel at ease. You are so gifted! I have recommended you to others for lessons and your paintings are just beautiful! I look forward to taking more classes."

Name:  Lisa L.

Location:  Loveland, CO

Comments:  "Awesome Tutor!" -  On my first meeting with Eleanor, I had an instant connection! She was very friendly and very knowledgeable! Super easy to follow with her instruction and I can't wait to continue my training with her!

Name:  Susan D

Location:  New York, NY

Comments:  "Excellent Session" - I learned how to make my drawings even better. I learned shading and how to get to the next level. Eleanor helped me make my drawings more professional and filled the missing pieces. She was kind, patient and we had fun!

Name: Ling T. 

Location:  Sandy, UT

Comments:  I learned how to start an oil painting, including underpainting with background, hard and soft edges, mixing colors together and more. Eleanor is patient and thoughtful.


First Name:  Trish E.

Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  "Confident and knowledgeable tutor"- I learned so much in my first drawing class. Eleanor truly made me feel that I can do this! Her studio is calming and peaceful. Her patience and instructions are wonderful. She is a delightful person, and it is obvious that she loves what she does!

First Name:  Bobbie S.
Location:  Wilmington, NC
Comments:  I’m really enjoying my oil painting lessons. I feel I’m learning so much about technique. It’s like attending a compressed art school :) Even better, you have a finished product! Thanks so much, Eleanor, for being so patient with me as I learn to paint.

First Name:
 Cathy E.

Location:  Leland, NC

Comments:  "Knowledgeable and Encouraging" - Eleanor teaches and shares her expertise without making one feel awkward or judged. She emphasized artistic techniques as well as the basics and I enjoyed the lesson very much.

Name:  Heather C.

Location:  Novato, CA

Comments:  "Kind and Knowledgeable Teacher" I had my first lesson with Eleanor and felt that she understood my unique challenges. She gave me great advice and was super responsive. I look forward to continuing with her and highly recommend that you book with her as well!

First Name:  Andrew H.
Location:  Wilmington, NC
Comments:  Eleanor was great!! She helped me learn at a great pace. She is very talented and very experienced. If you are looking for an awesome instructor, she is who you are looking for. "Your painting classes have been amazing. Before your classes I had no idea I was even capable of such talent."

First Name:  Jill G.

Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  I loved this workshop! Eleanor is a very good teacher. I have never painted and I felt so at ease and had such a good time. I am so proud of my painting! Thank you, Eleanor!!! 5 stars!!

First Name:  Judy H.

Location: Wilmington, NC

Comments:  Eleanor, thank you for the painting workshop I attended. With no art experience I was skeptical I could do it. I had a wonderful time, made friends and now have a lovely picture that amazes my family. It was great fun and you made the time so relaxed.


First Name:  Carolyn G.

Location: Wilmington, NC

Comments:  Your workshop was so helpful and motivating. After playing around with paints for a long time, I see that there is so much I can learn from you. Thank you.

First Name:  Lee M.

Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  Eleanor is a gifted, knowledgeable and masterful artist. She is an extraordinary art instructor and has redefined the art of teaching. I have learned so much.


First Name:  Sharon F.
Location:  Wilmington, NC
Comments:  I am totally blown away by your amazing talent. WOW, WOW, WOW!

First Name:  Allison M.
Location: New Bern, NC

Comments: I highly recommend Eleanor as an instructor! She is extremely talented, knowledgeable and patient. I've enjoyed all of our lessons together learning and practicing the art of oil painting.

First Name:  Erica R.
Location:  Wilmington, NC
Comments:  Eleanor, your attention to detail and perfection turned a simple picture of Bailey into an AMAZING portrait that my mom is going to love. It was such a pleasure working with you and you truly have a talent like no other.

Thanks for everything!!


First Name:  Sandy - URL:
Location:  Austin, TX

Comments:  If there are calories in eye candy, then let me get fat. Eleanor, your work is absolutely beautiful.

First Name:  Kathy W. 
Location:  Raleigh, NC
Comments:  Oh my gosh, Eleanor, your paintings have taken my breath away!!! What a beautiful talent you have. Your admirer, Kathy Ward.


First Name:  Christy P.
Location:  Raleigh, NC

Comments:  Eleanor’s print of Fort Fisher made an exceptionally romantic wedding gift for my niece. She became engaged on the shore by the rocks that are in the painting. Eleanor’s bright and beautiful prints are a special gift idea that I would recommend to others.

First Name:  Reenie C.
Location:  Annapolis, MD
Comments:  We absolutely love our painting of St. Mary’s Church and the Carroll House in Annapolis you created for us. It’s gorgeous...the detail incredible...a new family heirloom. Thank you.


First Name:  Marilyn M.
Locaton: Wilmington, NC
Comments:  Eleanor did a home portrait for me to give to my son as a gift. She was so accommodating and helpful during the entire process. Everyone who has seen it agrees it is a gorgeous watercolor. The attention to detail is amazing. My son was thrilled with it.


First Name:  Kim D.
Location:  Raleigh, NC

Comments:  Working with Eleanor was a pleasure. She was available to answer any of my concerns in a timely fashion and she delivered my house portrait in the time frame promised. Most importantly, I love the portrait!

First Name:  Lori J.
Location:  Apex, NC
Comments:  I adore the “Night on the Town” print that I have in my guest room. Everyone comments about it upon entering that room. My newest favorite is Beach Umbrellas. Glad we met in Wilmington!


First Name:  Sarah S.

Location:  Raleigh, NC

Comments: “Its A Beautiful Day” sang to me. It evoked my nostalgic feelings for the shore, and I felt an immediate connection with it. Thank you, Eleanor!

First Name:  Meredith H.
Location:  Raleigh, NC

Comments:  As a gift to my husband, who is about to deploy to Iraq, Eleanor created a digital picture that incorporated a real photograph of us with an image of our dream house. The final product was simply amazing - it had so many small details that showed Eleanor’s talent.


First Name:  Kristy P.

Location's:  Ithaca, NY

Comments:  My husband contacted Eleanor to do a painting of our house that we just sold and I thought we would grow old in! I loved that house. The painting is just gorgeous. I love everything about it and my husband said Eleanor was very easy to work with.

First Name:  Cheryl P.
Location: Wilmington, NC
Comments:  You have quite a talent! I hope I can help get the word out what a fine artist you are!

First Name:  William & Patricia D.
Location:  Raleigh, NC
Comments:  We are the parents of the Huskie, named Sheba on your page with other pets. Sheba is now 11 1/2 years old and spry as a five year old. Thank you for displaying her picture.


First Name:  Temple R.
Location:  Wilmington, NC
Comments:  How talented you are! Magnificent images, these! I think you should prosper wherever you may go. I just wonder if enough golfers have seen “The Seventh Hole” piece. They would go crazy! It is charming, as are all of your compositions. Everything is just lovely.

First Name:  Lisa B.
Location:  Raleigh, NC
Comments:  Eleanor, Just wanted to thank you again for the picture you did of our dogs, Brandie and Sadie. We love the portrait. You did such a wonderful job. It looks just like them! Everyone who sees it is amazed at how well you captured their personalities.

First Name:  Mitzi D.
Location:  Wilmington, NC

Comments:  Eleanor did a fantastic job on the wedding portrait that she painted of my daughter’s wedding. I would highly recommend her to anyone interested in a painting of their wedding. She was so kind and thorough making sure the portrait details were exactly right.

First Name:  Kyle S.
Location:  Wilmington, NC  
Comments:  Very knowledgeable and experienced artist. Highly recommended!

bottom of page