Learn Drawing and Painting in the Academic Method

Build your skills progressively working through the proven system of the French Academic Method adapted to part time study. The courses take an individualized approach to fit to your creative goals. Full recommended program will take 2 to 3 years.


Develop your eye and your pictorial literacy

Learn to accurately depict nature using a variety of tools for seeing the information accurately. Gain the ability to realistically express various types of visual information which can be applied in any medium or style that you might want to settle on in your own expression. 

Photograph courtesy of Alan Cradick

Photograph courtesy of Alan Cradick

Learn about the tools and materials

From pencil and charcoal to brushes and palette knives. Learn the tools of the trade and use them to your advantage. Not all paper, canvas and paints were created equal. Learn the properties and differences to control your materials and produce desired results.


Develop your aesthetics

Use our many years of art history study and art practice accumulated by the instructors. Why do some things look beautiful and others don’t? Are there some objective ways to gauge good art and how do we establish an understanding of what we like?

Foundations Programme Structure

Introduction: Bargue Copy

This course offers an introduction to building solid drawing skills through copying master drawings. The copies that the students will work from are a series of exercises developed by Charles Bargue in 19th century France. We are not making “art” yet, but developing the hand, sense of subtlety and establishing the basics of vocabulary. Concepts like proportion, outline, shadow line, large shapes, simplification, shadow shape and half-tone will be explored and serve as the basics on which all further drawing and painting will rest. The goal of this course it to start building a verbal and visual vocabulary necessary for creating realistic drawings. The approach provides a clear process for how to draw anything, person, still life or a landscape, no matter the complexity of the subject.

Once or twice a week, 3 hours per session. $500  for 8 sessions. 


Intermediate: Cast Drawing and Painting

This class focuses on the foundation of good draftsmanship that is fundamental in representing any subject matter you wish to draw or paint. The training for the eye as well as drawing vocabulary started in the Introductory course will continue through the more complex  exercises in drawing from casts. Setting up the cast in relation to the light source, designing shapes and applying concepts such as values and edges will step up the challenge and prepare the student to more efficiently gather information from nature. Design and understanding of form are essential learning outcomes from this course.

Once or twice a week, 3 hours per session. $500  for 8 sessions.


Advanced: Portrait Painting

This class is the culmination of the student’s study at the Atelier once the student has completed several of the previous classes, including Bargue Drawing, Cast and Still life painting.  With the understangind of shapes, form and values developed in the previous stages, student now tackles a new set of challenges as we need to track movement and reconcile 3-dimensional information despite the shifts and moves of the model. Student will learn to mix flesh tones. The class will also review the anatomy of the skull and allow students to explore set up, emotion and compositional elements as well as the feeling of space around.

Once or twice a week, 3 hours per session. $500  for 8 sessions. 

Academic Figure Drawing

This course is dedicated to the live study of the human figure. Preferably taken in conjunction or upon completion of the Bargue course, in Academic Figure Drawing class we will apply the sight size method to the study of the live model. Various poses will be explored offering students shorter and longer set ups to hone in their abiliby to accurately represent gesture and proportion while integrating anatomical considerations to supplement and deepen the visual approach. 

Once a week, 2 hours per session. $450 for 8 sessions, price includes model charge. 


Advanced: Still Life Painting

This course builds on the cast painting exercises progressing into painting with color. You may choose from a variety of antique objects we have collected over the years in Italy and all over the world, bring your own items - or find inspiration at the local market picking fresh, seasonal fruit or vegetables. We teach you how to compose a beautiful set up and give you steps for successful completion. Students will be instructed on set up, choice of objects, composition essentials, color harmony, poetry, atmosphere which will be reinforced by master references. This course adds on interaction of objects and management of space.

Once or twice a week, 3 hours per session. $500  for 8 sessions. 


Intensive Workshops

Intensive workshops are opportunities for concentrated learning on a topic of choice as well as guest-artist workshops. Master Copy, Portraiture, Guilding as well as Sculpture and Composition are offered as 3-5 day intensives at various dates during the year. For latest workshop details, see Workshops.


“I learned more in two weeks from Tatyana than a whole year in art school” - Rachel Goolsby

“I am forever grateful for your teaching. I now paint every day; I have commissions; my classes are full, and I pass along what I have learned from you to my own students” - Sarah Jones

“Thanks again for the wonderful workshop over the last week. You are an excellant teacher and I learnt a great deal and couldn’t have wished for more. All I have to do now is put it into practice at my regular portrait and life art groups. And what an amazing studio you have built, just like the Paris salon studios. You really have achieved a lot in your three years here.” - John Hamlin

Student Policy

Payment is due prior to class start. Courses are booked for 8 weeks in advance. One missed lesson is allowed in each run of 8, each next miss is counted as a lesson unless the lesson is made up within two weeks. Two missed lessons are allowed in the run of 8 for those students coming twice a week (this excludes Figure drawing class as attendance is not enforced). This policy is a way to manage the small class size and limited number of students accommodated in each session - as well as ensure continued progress in student’s development. Classes are paused when Atelier closes for scheduled breaks.