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Adult Programs | Aristides Atelier
"Craftsmanship is the foundation of self-expression."
-Juliette Aristides

Instructor: Juliette Aristides
Monday - Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm
September 16, 2013- June 13, 2014
AT1310 13–14 Annual Tuition: $7,395

To schedule a visit or to receive application materials, email or call 206.343.4243 x15, or 800.880.3898.

The Aristides Atelier is based on teaching methods of the 19th-century Academic tradition, and led by internationally celebrated artist, author and lecturer Juliette Aristides. Information is presented in a variety of formats intended to enable students of all levels to explore the most difficult concepts.

Intended for long-term students, the curriculum is designed to provide fundamental skills with an emphasis on the accurate observation of proportion, shape, tonal value and color. You are encouraged to explore studies in perspective, anatomy, composition, painting techniques and color theory; and through mentorship, achieve a high degree of artistry in observation, theory and craft.

Juliette Aristides
The Academic Method
During the first year of the atelier, you are immersed in the academic method of drawing. You learn how to sight and measure the subject in order to reproduce it accurately. Exercises are designed to improve drawing skills, with an emphasis on contour, proportion, gesture, anatomy, modeling and the shape of light and shadow.

Once you have acquired the requisite drawing skills, you learn the art and science of painting. Painting projects are designed for the beginning painting student. Emphasis is on drawing accuracy, handling the paint and the careful observation of light and shadow. You go on to use a limited and then full palette while completing increasingly complex projects in cast and still-life painting.
Atelier Student: Elizabeth Zanzinger
  • As an Aristides Atelier student, you are expected to attend on a daily basis, six hours a day, five days a week. Atelier instructor, Juliette Aristides, attends the studio 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 exclusively for the first year unless special plans have been made.
  • New students must complete one successful cast drawing and cast painting before moving on to still-life work.
  • In addition to classroom work, there are reading assignments and occasional take-home projects.
  • During the year, in addition to the Atelier instruction, you are encouraged to attend lectures at Gage in art history, anatomy, historic methods and materials as well as technical demonstrations. You are encouraged to discuss requests for additional areas of study to your instructor.
Atelier Student: Zoey Frank
Curriculum Progression
It was common practice in the nineteenth-century academies to prove one's ability to draw in general before being allowed into the life-drawing room. Students began by copying lithographs or engravings to learn technique and aesthetics. When found competent in copying, students would graduate to drawing from the antique. Drawing these plaster casts, students learned directly from great works of sculpture, the aesthetic translation necessary to transform life into a work of art. Only then would the novice be allowed to join the life-drawing room where all the experience gained in copying masters would pay off in tackling the complexity of real life. Everyone in the class had a similar experience, creating a common language and high level of competency from the beginning of the artists' training.

Atelier Student: Walker Hall
Cast Drawing
Cast drawing is a way of learning the design systems found in the art of the ancient world through emulation. Atelier students work from classical statuary under unchanging light conditions. The light and cast set-up is designed to enhance form and clarify value relationships, to gain rendering skills and a command of the materials.

Reading: The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed
Atelier Student: Bobbi DiTrani
Cast Painting
A monochrome oil painting that carries the lessons of the cast into the medium of paint. You learn to address the problems of painting: dividing light and shade, blocking-in, handling the materials and finishing without the complication of color.

Reading: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed

Figure & Portrait Drawing
Drawing the human form is the benchmark of a classical education and forms the focal point of the Aristides Atelier program. The goal is unflinching accuracy combined with a thorough knowledge of design. You are not simply copying nature, rather in the spirit of the Greeks, you seek to understand nature so thoroughly that you can reconstruct it to convey the power of life. The average figure pose is two weeks. Throughout the year you focus on creating a strong block-in, understanding the gesture, separating shadow from light and then concentrate on understanding and rendering form.

Readings: The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed
The Nude by Kenneth Clark
The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing by Anthony Ryder
Artistic Anatomy by Dr. Paul Richer, translated by Robert Beverly Hale
Atelier student: Ioulia Kouskova
Figure & Portrait Painting
Unlike figure drawing, which focuses on linear relationships, figure painting explores mass and form. The goal is to become comfortable handling paint and to understand the procedures necessary to begin and finish a painting. Students complete a drawing and transfer it to a panel or canvas, then create poster studies and an underpainting in either monochromatic tones or full color. The process ends with the final layers of paint to complete an intelligent painting.

Reading: Secrets of the Old Masters by Albert Abendschein
Atelier Student: Brett Downey
Still-Life Painting
The focus of still-life painting is one of composition (design) and color. This module of the Aristides Atelier begins with methods for creating thoughtful, interesting arrangements and continuing the examination of relationships between masses of value, color and intensity. Paintings progress from poster studies to highly finished areas of turning form. You are introduced to color through studying several limited palettes, including how to mix neutrals and the concept of color keying.

Reading: The Power of the Center by Rudolf Arnheim

More about Juliette Aristides.
Atelier Student: David Dwyer
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