The Atelier Tradition
We have a maximum of ten students a year that we accept onto our Full-Time Course. Full-time students are those studying between 3-4 full days a week.
The tuition is intensive with minimun one tutor per ten students. Following the Atelier Tradition, the tutor works in the studio alongside the student, so that one can learn both from individual critiques and through example and demonstrations. These demonstrations are key to the training and are done both during and after class.
Students follow the Foundation Course, spending more time pushing their cast drawings and figure work. In the first term students spend half the day working from the figure in charcoal both on gesture drawings and developing onto longer chiaroscuro studies. The other half of the day the student works from plaster cast drawings and still-life painting. We are teaching the student the grammar of drawing and painting, while fully supporting and encouraging individuality and uniqueness in each student’s artistic style. The teaching approach is in a sequence, each stage leading naturally to the next, so that one learns to see and paint in mass rather than line, with an emphasis on gesture and proportion. These basic steps are indispensable to take ones painting knowledge to the next level of accomplishment. By the end of the year, students are confident to draw and paint the portrait, figure or still-life.
We work exclusively from life, with strong natural north light to create constant, clear shadow shapes. The first term the student follows the foundation course. Working from the figure model, students get to grips with the concept of gesture and proportion. Working from plaster casts, students learn the importance of light and shadow shapes, how to construct an image through light and shade, using mass. In the second half of the term we introduce still-life painting. Once the student has understood the simplicity of proportion and gesture, and understood the importance of light and shade – chiaroscuro in creating form, the student can then fluidly move onto oil paints and colour.
Most but not all of the Full-Time students at the Lavender Hill Studios are post-graduates, though we do also have some undergraduates. Many have studied with us on the Evening Course, while working full-time and have slowly persuaded their work to let them go part-time, so that they can dedicate more hours per week to studying. Many have studied or are studying at the major art schools in London. They go to them for the degree and the philosophical, the come to us for the PRACTICAL. Currently we have students from Goldsmiths, City and Guilds, Chelsea College of Art, Central St. Martins. This is not to disregard these institutions, but we do teach very differently from them. Where they are teaching about the concepts and philosophies on art, we are teaching the visual language of working from life and craft side of drawing and painting. We also have professional artists studying with us. They come to us one day a week to keep up their craft, and to stop mannerism slipping into their work.
The Student Body
There is a good student body, who meet for sketch classes, museum visits and socials. During the holiday times they are able to use the studio spaces to hire their own portrait models and work on their own projects. As a studio we organise group outings to see special exhibitions. Our most exciting trip so far was to Madrid to visit the Prado, Thyssen Collection and Sorolla’s house. We have also have guest lecturers visiting including Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik and Henry Yan.
We understand that many students can only support their studies through part-time work, so our program remains flexible to enable students to study as much as they can, the days they can. We would like to meet you and show you around the studios, and let you see its unique ethos and atmosphere before you start your studies. For further information please contact us.
Monday – Friday 9.15am – 4.00pm, cost £1000 – £2500 per term, please contact us for further details.
Acceptance based on portfolio review and informal interview.