To fit, to envelope, encase

We believe art students want to receive clear, practical instruction on the principles and methods of drawing and painting.

Our aim is to create an environment in which to train artists in the classical techniques of drawing and painting but not to impose uniformity. We teach the grammar of seeing, drawing and painting in mass, while fully supporting each students’ artistic style.

All students begin with a ten-session foundation course consisting of

1) Proportion

2) Line and volume

3) Chiaroscuro

4) Colour

Each stage naturally builds upon the previous skill set, training the student to see 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.  We work exclusively from life with no measuring tools, only your hand and eye.

Initially students begin with still life and cast drawing as a way of training the student to see proportion, draft accurately, and to construct an image through light and shade using mass.   Progressing onto the figure model where they are challenged to apply these fundamentals to the figure human, is initially under artificial light to emphasis and simplify the light and shadow masses.

Only then do students move onto the next stage of oil painting and colour.  Beginning with a limited palette, students tackle still lifes before progressing to figure and then portrait.

The school consists of three main study rooms.  Students begin in the cast drawing and still life studio.  When students are ready to move onto the figure model, they move into a studio with artificial light creating strong, constant and simple shadow shapes.  Our biggest studio for the more advanced students has strong natural north light.

By the end of a full year of study, students are confident to accurately draw and paint still life, the figure and the portrait.