The Classical Atelier, at the Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle WA, began as a sanctuary for those who love beauty and the great traditions of drawing and painting. This program continues as a vibrant community where students acquire the foundational skills necessary to become artists.
The grand masters of art knew the secret to enduring success depends on not only inspiration, but also disciplined application of vast artistic knowledge. Today it is commonly assumed that the aesthetic principles established by the masters inhibit the artist’s uniqueness or self-expression. However, fluency with tools and technical training liberate the artist to fully realize his unique vision.
Atelier training features an apprenticeship-like course of study in which students receive intensive mentoring from an artist over a period of years. This teacher is committed to giving the student a secure foundation of knowledge upon which the artist could lay the building blocks of his or her artistic future. In an atelier program the artist gives each student new information only as he or she is able to apply it, and theory is always linked to practice.
The results represent the focus, determination, and skill of students who have put in long hours, held themselves to the highest standards, and set aside every distraction in order to master the basics of artistic expression. By so doing, these students ensure that their future works will be limited only by their imaginations.
The Aristides Classical Atelier Program at Gage Academy of Art offers students who plan a career as a professional artist the opportunity to study classical drawing and painting techniques. Information is presented in a variety of formats intended to enable students of all levels the ability to grasp difficult concepts to later incorporate into their personal artistic work.
During the first year of the atelier, students are immersed in the academic method of drawing. They are taught how to sight and measure the subject in order to reproduce it accurately. Exercises are designed to improve the students drawing skills, with an emphasis on contour, proportion, gesture, anatomy, modeling, and the shape of light and shadow.
Once a student has acquired the requisite drawing skills, they begin to learn the art and science of painting. Painting projects are designed for the first-time painting student. The emphasis is on drawing accuracy, handling the paint, and the careful observation of light and shadow. Students go on to use a limited and the full palette while completing increasingly complex projects in cast and still life painting.
Students attend figure drawing class every morning for three hours and afternoon individual studio time for an additional three hours five days a week. Your instructor, Juliette Aristides, will attend twice a week to carefully monitor your progress by providing individual critiques, facilitating peer critiques, leading group discussions, and demonstrating concepts. First time atelier students can expect to draw for the first year unless special plans have been made. Please contact your instructor with any questions or requests.
New students are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Analytical Drawing class. Analytical Drawing introduces you to all of the design systems that are employed in the Atelier Program. Every student will be expected to complete one cast drawing and cast painting before moving on to still life work. In addition to classroom work, there will be reading assignments and occasional take home projects.
During the course of the year, in addition to the atelier instruction, students are encouraged to attend lectures at the Academy in art history, anatomy, historic methods and materials and technical demonstrations. Atelier students should address requests for additional areas of study to their instructor.