Kovalenko graduated from the Lvov Art Institute in 1956, where he studied under the tutorship of the famous Ukrainian artists N. Bendrik and V. Lyubchik ( Ilya Repin's school). He began his art career as an impressionist painter. In his later works Kovalenko attempted to revive the traits of the Grand Academic Style. He has created a series of paintings dedicated to Russian history. In his career, Kovalenko has had twenty five personal shows in Russia, France, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. Kovalenko’s works are represented in collections of the state museums in Ukraine and Russia.