Figurative Art Schools
Workshops in figurative art
Studio Escalier – France
STUDIO ESCALIER is an independent, private, studio art school and international arts colony. Designed and directed by artists for artists, it is dedicated to the contemporary classical study of drawing and painting from life.
We are of interest to those who wish to place working from the human figure at the center of their artistic training, or those who have achieved enough as artists to openly re-evaluate, question, investigate and improve how they work from life.
Now offering courses in the heart of Paris as well as in Argenton-Chateau, France, we are an international point of contact for professionals, emerging artists and beginning art students alike, attracting members of many different figurative schools and traditions.
We receive artists from New York City to New Zealand, and all points in between. (Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Seattle, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Los Angeles; France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia).
Academy of Art Barcelona – Spain
Barcelona Academy of Art is the first Spanish school which aims at teaching drawing, painting and sculpting using a complete curriculum and teaching methods stemming from the classic- realistic tradition based on the Renaissance and brought back to life by the main Realistic academic Ateliers of the late eighteenth century (in particular, by great painters such as Gérôme, Bonnat and Carlos Durán).
LARA is a well resourced and highly professional studio, established in 2008 in response to the rarity of rigorous representational art education. Unique in the UK in its approach to teaching the most fundamentally important aspects of drawing, painting and sculpture from life.
Influenced by the Atelier Method of instruction, the unique emphasis of this course is the practice of working directly from the life model. A continuous pose of no less than a week and up to a month under unvarying light, gives optimum time to observe the figure and understand how to “see”. Working with tutors 6 hours a day and using the “sight- size” method we aim to teach essential concepts of proportion, line, gesture, form and light to best master expression of the human form.
The Ravenswood Atelier – Chicago, IL, USA
As a school of traditional art, we offer a highly structured program adhering to long-tested methods of analyzing and interpreting nature. Our step-by-step curriculum is rooted in 19th century practices of French academic artists whose methods we employ and whose lineage we are honored to share. As alumni of the Florence Academy of Art, we strive to preserve and pass on this heritage.
Read about my studio visit to Ravenswood.
The Angel Academy of Art offers an intensive programme in traditional drawing and painting.
One of the very few such institutions in the world, the Angel Academy offers a curriculum designed to produce the highest calibre of professional artists, equipped to be leaders in the emerging renaissance of classic, realist painting.
The Mission Statement was written in 1995, and has changed only slightly over the years. We may not refer to it often, but it remains the guiding principal of our school, and underlies our philosophy, curriculum and teaching, and all of our decision-making: To provide the highest level of instruction in classical methods of drawing, painting and sculpture for students wishing to pursue careers as professional artists in the Realist tradition.
Philosophy The Florence Academy of Art is a small and dynamic center dedicated to the training of young artists through the combination of intense observation with advanced craft skills. The curriculum derives from the classical-realist tradition rooted in the 19th century (most particularly exemplified by the French Academies in the teaching of master painters like Gérôme, Bonnat and Carlos Duran) but also addresses the creative and professional position of the artist in a contemporary environment.
The Wackers Academy is a private art academy specializing in figurative drawing, painting and sculpting. The academy, located in a beautiful building in Amsterdam West near the Vondelpark, has been running since 1983. Full time and part time students will be taught by professional, working artists in figurative drawing and painting. Each teacher has his or her own way of teaching and the atmosphere is personal and inclusive. You will learn the art of life drawing, landscape, still life and portraiture. This will increase the basis of your education and be the starting point in creating your own style.
Swedish Academy of Realist Art – Simrishamn, Sweden
The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA), was founded in 2006 as Sweden’s first school of fine art dedicated to traditional, realistic drawing and painting. SARA is located in the picturesque, seaside town of Simrishamn, situated in Österlen, famous for its culture and beauty. SARA offers a three year full-time program as well as evening classes, open life drawing sessions and workshops. The smaller student body allows for intensive individual instruction within an intimate and supportive atmosphere, which often leads to rapid student development.
Students follow a prescribed, step-by-step curriculum. They complete a variety of artistic exercises designed to help them acquire and master certain fundamental skills such as accurate drawing, correct values, edge quality and colour. These skills give students the necessary tools to express their ideas and visions through the medium of realistic painting and drawing.
SARA’s highly specialized education attracts students from around the world. Typically, 30 – 40% of students come from countries outside of Sweden. Therefor, the language of instruction is English.
London Fine Art Studios – London, England
London Fine Art Studios forms part of a long line of ateliers dedicated to teaching the classical techniques of drawing and painting. It has the endorsement and support of the de Laszlo Foundation, which is testament to the quality of teaching and calibre of artists.
LFAS provides a thorough introduction and development in the craft of drawing and painting, from foundation through to the more advanced levels of portraiture, figure, gesture and anatomy, still life and landscape. Each year we offer a full programme of courses from short intensives to full time tuition. There are classes in painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking as well as a sketch club and study groups.
Above all London Fine Art Studios ensures that the pillars of representational art remain central to the professional training and development of every artist.
Gage Academy of Art – Seattle, WA
Gage Academy of Art is celebrating more than 20 years as a vibrant extended-learning and contemporary art center, providing community based artistic development for artists of all ages and abilities. Featuring year-round programs that engage and inspire, Gage is home to public art events, lectures, youth programming, and exhibitions.
Laguna College of Art and Design – Laguna Beach, CA, USA. BFA and MFA programs are specifically figurative and they pride themselves on preparing their students to be well-trained representational painters and draftsmen.
Vitruvian Fine Art Studio – Chicago, IL, USA
Courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, anatomy…
Read about my studio visit to Vitruvian.
Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio – Whidbey Island, WA
Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (formerly Fall City Fine Art Studio) is located in on Whidbey Island in Langley, Washington. We are dedicated to providing education in high quality representational art for artists at every level. In a pleasant and well equipped environment, we offer classes and workshops led by nationally recognized instructors/artists.
WIFAS offers drawing and painting from the still life, figure and landscape – studio and plein air. Our classes and workshops are small and intimate, allowing for more individual attention and a personalized approach. Workshops and classes are offered in Langley as well as some workshops at the Georgetown Atelier. We will have a shuttle to pick up students from the ferry in Clinton, if needed.
Figurative Art Teachers
Members, get yourself listed here if you’re keen to be known as a teacher of figurative art
Andrew Ameral – San Francisco Bay area. In depth lectures and sculpting the écorché figure in clay
Joanne Beaule Ruggles – San Luis Obispo, CA and elsewhere.
Brian Smith – workshops and lectures on all aspects of figure drawing, figure painting and figurative abstraction
Drop us a line. We welcome your suggestions for figurative art education.
“I don’t know if I can convey the postman as I feel him … Unfortunately he cannot pose, and a painting demands an intelligent model.” Vincent Van Gogh