Our painting program is largely based on the in-depth study of historical painting techniques.

Learning and understanding the methods used by the old masters, their purpose, and application of material is very important for aspiring contemporary artists working in the figurative tradition.

A methodological application of these painting techniques with systematic material and art history research allows our students to continuously progress in their development as artists.


The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with a variety of painting techniques and materials that will enhance their understanding of the human form structurally and spatially. In this course we acquaint students with both direct and indirect painting in oil from life.

To enroll in figure painting students must complete the prerequisite figure drawing courses and cast painting.



Students use our collection of antique casts to study classical approaches to painting in a semi-monochromatic palette. They will learn to observe the principles of light, shadow and illumination. We concentrate on the fundamentals of chiaroscuro and sfumato to analyze the subtleties of tone and color in both shadow and light.


In this course, students get familiar with the classical landscape. The aesthetic ideals of historic landscape help contemporary artists to build their understanding of composition, atmosphere, and value. Comprehension of the atmospheric effects of Claude Lorrain, J. M. W. Turner and Albert Bierstadt are imperative to depicting nature accurately. Building on these principles our students develop their skills from plein air studies along with work done in the studio both original and master copy based

Portrait painting is an intensive program designed to provide a comprehensive grasp of the structure, resemblance and essence of the sitter. We focus on the anatomical proportions, volume, and scale of the subject. Students will use chiaroscuro, sfumato and other light modeling techniques learned from the cast drawing/painting courses and apply them to their work from a live model.


Students will study the principles of composition used by artists throughout the history of painting. They will learn precise systems and strategies developed during the Renaissance and beyond such as the rule of thirds, the golden mean, and focal points. After years of experimenting with these principles, our academically trained instructors provide students with adaptations of these theories discovered through their own work. In understanding these critical elements students learn to make informed compositional decisions.

This course consists of a collection of still life themed projects. There is a strong emphasis on drawing, compositional skills, and painting techniques that the students will learn through in-depth demonstrations. These demonstrations will cover the topics of classical painting, color theory and materials used throughout the centuries. Students will learn to assemble their own still life displays using symbolism and allegory to create themes that are unique to their personal interests. In this course students will use gouache and oil paint.