Atelier (pronounced uh - teh - lee - ay) is a French word meaning studio or workroom. It sounds nice and many artists use it.  They incorporate it into the name of their studio, business name, etc.

    There are also Atelier schools which teach classic art much like the old masters, and are quite expensive! The average cost is $40,000 per year. I am currently taking advanced atelier lessons via Zoom and am loving every minute of it! My instructor lives in Spain and I am meeting people from all over the world.

    These classes focus on all the proper steps the masters used to create such classics as the Mona Lisa, classic portraits, etc. Over the next couple of months I will also be taking a workshop with the owner & originator of the school recreating a John Singer Sargent painting called "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose". ( It is recommended that students copy paintings of the masters to learn their techniques). Some museums also allow artists to come in and copy the artwork on occasion, but the artist must apply and be approved through the museum's process first.  Some museums allow it, others do not.  If you are ever interested in doing this, you must contact each museum and ask. 

    The New World Art school requires each student to complete a series of 10-15 drawings using the plates from the book "Cours de dessin" by the french painters Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome, plus 3 Bargue Master drawings and 6 Bargue dramatic poses.  Then they go on to create 14 color mixing plates, then 4 monochrome paintings, studying values, composition, lines and edges. Then we create 3 paintings in full color oils: landscape, still life & portrait.  We also have the option to copy a painting of one of the masters (our choice). This is an intensive course, but  I'm learning so much.  They are also considering adding a course in advanced portraiture which I can't wait to sign up for!

    I have photos of some of my drawings here for you to see. Enjoy!


   As you can see, these drawings are increasingly difficult to do.  But they are not all the drawings I had to do.  I started with simple facial features, plus other body parts, hands, arms, feet, etc, until I gradually worked up to portrait poses.  The one above of Homer was my final drawing in order to graduate the Bargue course.  There are many more drawings in the book and I will practice them of course, but I was also anxious to move on into the painting arena!  

     There we start out with a monotone bird, then a monotone landscape and portrait, to learn the all important value system.  Then we will create our own color grids.  This is also important in order to thoroughly learn color mixing without creating mud!  This may all sound tedious, but it's very important for anyone seeking to paint like the masters!  

    I will do ongoing posts about my progress and will of course show some of my work.  But I can tell you this,  my work has improved already.  I have had several comments and compliments to that effect which makes me feel good that I am on the right track.  My goal by the way is to do high quality portraits.  I have come up with an idea that I think will be very well accepted, but I will save that for another post!

    Onwards and upwards as they say!

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