Rees Atelier

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Rees Atelier



1833 W Main St, Suite 115, Mesa, United States

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Rees Atelier is a large facility located just outside of downtown Mesa, Arizona.  With its 16 foot ceilings, large group working space, student lounge, and numerous student studio spaces, it is a comfortable working environment to learn.

Classes are broken down into Full Time (Apprenticeship) Program and Part Time (The Academy) Program.  While the content of each generally overlap, the primary difference is the number of instructed working hours for full time students (30+) versus part time (6) per week. Remote study is also available, as students can purchase the video/textbook content from the Academy Program and opt for remote critiques.  


FULL TIME PROGRAM (Apprenticeship)

Apprentices meet Monday through Friday from 10am - 4pm


Students will work from a live model every day from 10am - 1pm, and poses will range from 1 session (3 hours) to 10 sessions (30 hours), depending on the apprentice's block of study. For this 3 hour block each day, apprentices will be working alongside Tim Rees as he creates his drawings and paintings from the model.


Students will work on their individual block of study from 1pm-4pm



           Block 1    Bargue Plate Drawing

           Block 2    Cast Drawing

           Block 3    Master Copy Still Life Drawing

           Block 4    Still Life Drawing

           Block 5    Master Copy Figure Block In Drawing

           Block 6    Anatomy Drawings

           Block 7    Master Copy Portrait Drawing

           Block 8    Portrait Drawing

           Block 9    Master Copy Figure Drawing

           Block 10  Figure Drawing



           Block 11  Open Grisaille Master Copy Still Life/Landscape Painting

           Block 12  Closed Grisaille Master Copy Still Life/Landscape Painting

           Block 13  Closed Grisaille Cast Painting

           Block 14  Color Master Copy Still Life/Landscape Painting

           Block 15  Color Still Life Painting

           Block 16  Master Copy Anatomy Studies Painting

           Block 17  Anatomy Studies Painting

           Block 18  Master Copy Portrait Painting

           Block 19  Portrait Painting

           Block 20  Master copy Figure Painting

           Block 21  Figure Painting

           Block 22  Master copy Multi-Figurative Painting (optional)


           Apprentices must demonstrate sufficient ability in each block before advancing, and there is no set time frame on mastery of each subject.  Traditional study in this approach can take 2-4 years to complete each Program.



The Academy at Rees Atelier has been described as intense, sometimes stressful, challenging, and very, very rewarding.  It is intended for those who want solid classical training, but who are dedicated enough to put in the extra time and effort for a fast-paced program.  Rather than learning at individual speeds, students follow a set curriculum, and each week brings new information and new challenges, requiring a solid understanding of all concepts that came in the weeks before.  That said, students are encouraged to take each 10 week block as often as needed before advancing to the next level.  This formula of refined curriculum and high pressure typically yields incredible advancement in a short amount of time.  


Because the years are broken up into 10 week blocks, the program is designed to allow students to enroll in the program for a shorter amount of time, then take a break and practice independently, return home, travel, etc, and still be able to return into the program and pick up where it was left off.  


The primary mission of The Academy is to provide efficient training at a cost manageable to all ages and financial situations.  Students meet twice a week for instructed 3 hour studio classes, as well as an additional two uninstructed 3 hour studio sessions, and unlimited uninstructed live model sessions (up to 6 per week).  While this 30 hours of working time is comparable to other full time programs, the limited instructor interaction keeps the cost much lower.  Students must develop the ability to work independently, then come to class with thoughtful questions.  This was a hallmark of French ateliers of the 19th century.


Each of the two years is divided into three terms.  Each term must be completed within 3 months. Students typically attend two sessions per week over the course of 10 weeks to fulfill their term.  Sometimes students may miss a week and make it up with additional days in another week, or decide to use more sessions in a single week for additional instruction. Because of the reduced amount of instructed class time, students are expected to cultivate their ability to work and study independently, a critical requirement for a practicing professional artist.  The amount of time outside of class the student must commit will vary by the individual, but the average expectation is 5 -10 hours per week the first term, 10-15 hours per week the second term, and 10-20 hours per week the third term.  This volume of time is expected to help the student develop good working habits as a transition is made into a more professional role. Those who cannot make this time commitment are far less likely to succeed with the program.  Advancement to each successive term is contingent upon the completion of an at-home final assignment. 

 The enrollment of the program is limited to 10 students, resulting in ample individual teacher-to-student interaction.  All levels are grouped in the same studio, which allows new students to look to senior students as models or additional instruction.  Students are allowed to start the program at any time, and if need be, take breaks in between terms. This allows the student the possibility of integrating the program into other facets of life requiring a brief sabbatical.  One may leave for 3, 6, or 9 months and return to pick up the program where it was left off.


Additionally, it is important to consider that while the program is structured for advancement into painting after 9 months of drawing, this should be considered an accelerated path.  The traditional timeline to a program of similar design is one to two years, and as such many students may need to repeat one or several terms until they have gained sufficient mastery.  This is not a sign of one’s inability to grasp the concept or become an artist, but a mark of the grave and challenging nature of the program. It is simply a sign that the student may require more than the brief 10 weeks to understand and use all of the information presented.


For those not able to commit the time or intensity described above but want to increase their skill set and broaden their knowledge, The Academy offers an Audit Pathway. While students are still encouraged to complete homework and final projects, it is not required to advance through the program.  Students who have taken this approach are often delighted by all they have learned, though there is typically a frustration with the lack of ability to implement that knowledge into their work.



Founded 2017
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 11
Accommodation No

Part time: USD 550 / semester

Full time: USD 1575 / semester

Rees Atelier

1833 W Main St, Suite 115

Mesa, AZ, 85201, United States

Timothy Rees

Director, Head Instructor

Timothy Rees began his training in early 2009 briefly under Jeremy Lipking before pursuing independent study at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago, IL. In 2011 he joined the teaching staff at the P&C and began teaching workshops around the world. In 2012 he moved to Arizona and began teaching at the Scottsdale Artists' School. In 2014 he launched The Academy at Scottsdale Artists' School, a two year accelerated classical training program. The program was moved to Rees Atelier in 2017, where an additional full time program was added. He has won several awards, including the Palette and Chisel's Gold Medal Exhibition Peoples Choice Award, Beaux Art's Peoples Choice award (three consecutive years), and FASO's bold brush award, among others. He has also appeared in several publications, including features in American Art Collector Magazine, International Artist, and Southwest Art Magazine.

June's Ascension

June's Vivication

Spring Sonata

Dust and Drums, Dance of the Fulani

Dakota Rose


June's Liberation

Day Dream

Prunus Persica

Treasures of the Middle East

Catch of the Day

Fall Harvest


The Blue Robe

Mother's Nurture

Striped Kimono

My Naparstak

Through The World Together

Imagination and Wonder; The Foundation of Science

The Green Umbrella

Figure Drawing

Dakota Demonstration

Drapery Cast

Copy after Mona Lisa

Bargue Drawing

Bargue Drawing

Bargue Drawing

Bargue Drawing

Cast of Apollo

Failed Trick

Copy after Friant

The Son

Copy after Rembrandt

Shell Study No 1

Main Studio Working Area

Main Studio photo 2

Large Student Studio

Small Student Studio

Student Lounge