Home / Education / Ateliers

SCA Atelier Forma Vera

Approved K-12 Atelier



P.O. Box 18001, Louisville, KY, United States

  • Details
  • Faculty
  • Instructor Works
  • Student Works
  • Other Images


The Atelier Forma Vera of Sayers Classical Academy offers a strong introduction to classical drawing, painting, and sculpting within the context of a holistic, classical education. Atelier training begins in kindergarten classroom for enrolled students and continues through high school, ending in a Senior Capstone Art project. 

"For our school, art is a core curriculum. Atelier training makes it possible for all to learn to use the attribute of creativity endowed to every human being."  -Sandra Lawson, Founder and Director of Sayers Classical Academy

For the grammar stage (Kindergarten through fourth grade), students are learning the basic elements of drawing, such as line, shape, and value. They are learning to build drawings from shapes, find lines, and work from large ideas to small ideas. Grammar stage students practice close observation of nature by drawing outside frequently. Beginning color theory is also introduced and practiced with color pencil and watercolor projects. Grammar stage students participate in weekly art history discussion with a featured artwork of the week. Fourth grade students are introduced to portrait drawing and figure drawing. 

For the Logic Stage (Fifth through Eight Grade) classical drawing concepts are solidified and enhanced with more challenging projects. Some of the logic stage drawing projects include: Still Life, Plein-Air Landscape, Hand Drawing, Master Copies, and Portrait Drawing. Logic Stage students engage with art history each week, discussing an artwork that is congruent with the world history, literature and geography classes. 

For the Rhetoric Stage classes (Ninth through Twelfth Grade), classical drawing and painting skills are challenged with traditional atelier projects, such as Charles Bargue plates, cast drawing, drawing with chalk and charcoal, and oil painting. All freshmen are required to complete a Bargue plate before moving on with new subjects. Oil painting skills are encouraged through projects such as painting a sphere in black and white, to warm/cool studies, to full color paintings. Starting in eleventh grade, students begin to learn basic sculpting techiniques. Seniors complete a capstone project, working on a long-term sculpture project on the subject of their choice. Rhetoric Stage students also enjoy an extensive art history education, with a two year in depth study of world art history and a one year study of American art history. 

In addition to the classes taken during the school year, the SCA Atelier Forma Vera offers optional summer camps and classes. Some of the summer class offerings are: Introduction to Classical Drawing, Introduction to Oil Painting, and ongoing studio time with the instructor. 





Founded 2017
Course languages English
Part-Time Instructors 2
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 170
Accommodation No

Full time: EUR 5725 / year

SCA Atelier Forma Vera

P.O. Box 18001

Louisville, KY

Holly Davis

Dean of Visual Arts

Holly Davis is passionate about classical atelier training in the K-12 setting for the way it provides an opportunity for every student to be engaged with art and nurtures the student in goodness, truth, and beatuy. Mrs. Davis studied oil painting with local artist Susan Howe for four years, but began to pursue classical training after finding and reading the books of Juliette Aristides. She has studied under Mandy Theis as a participant in the 2018 and 2019 Da Vinci Initiative Summer Teacher Atelier. 

"Porter's Creek"

Tree Study in Watercolor

Cast Drawing in Charcoal/Chalk


After Chardin

Rhetoric Stage Bargue Drawing

Warm/Cool Grids and Value Studies

Rhetoric Stage Drawing

John Ruskin Master Copy

Fifth Grade (Logic Stage) Still Life Drawing

Third Grade Sphere Drawing

Grammar Stage Observation Drawing

Oil Painting Class

Oil Painting Class

Rising Freshman Cast Painting

Color Theory Practice

Rhetoric Stage Bargue Plate

Rhetoric Stage Graphite Drawing

Third Grade Observation Drawing


Vermeer Master Copy


Oil Painting Class

Outdoor Sketching