Aristides Atelier at Gage Academy of Art

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Aristides Atelier at Gage Academy of Art

Gage Academy



St. Nicholas Building, 1501 Tenth Avenue East, #10, Seattle, Washington, United States

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The Aristides Atelier at Gage Academy of Art (, based on the teaching methods of the 19th-century tradition, offers serious art students the opportunity to study classical drawing and painting techniques with master artist Juliette Aristides. Information is presented in a variety of formats intended to enable students of all levels to easily grasp even the most difficult concepts.

Intended for long-term students, the Aristides Atelier is designed to provide fundamental drawing and painting skills with a strong emphasis placed on accurate observation of proportion, shape, tonal value and color. Students work through the curriculum in a step-by-step progression. Aristides Atelier students are also encouraged to take additional classes in perspective, anatomy, composition, painting techniques and color theory; and, with the help of the instructor, put it all together to achieve a high degree of skill in observation, theory and craft.

Year at a Glance
During the first year in the atelier, students are immersed in drawing and design, learning how to sight and measure subjects in order to reproduce them 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 students acquire the requisite drawing skills, focus turns to 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. Students eventually progress to using a limited and then full palette while completing increasingly complex projects in cast and still-life painting.


  • Three hours daily figure drawing (Juliette Aristides attends the studio twice a week to monitor progress and provide individual critiques, facilitate peer critiques, lead group discussions and demonstrate concepts).
  • The development of an impressive body/portfolio of work
  • Development of a strong artist résumé through inclusion in Gage exhibitions and competitions
  • 24 hour access to a dedicated studio space
  • Free open studio drawing
  • Open access to lectures
  • First-year students receive one free sculpting class of their choice

Curriculum Progression
It was common practice in the 19th-century 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 had a similar experience, creating a common language and high level of competency from the beginning of training.

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.

Cast Painting
Cast painting is a monochrome oil painting that carries the lessons of the cast into the medium of paint. Learn to address the problems of painting: dividing light and shade, blocking-in, handling the materials and finishing without the complication of color.

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. In the spirit of the Greeks, students seek to understand nature thoroughly, and reconstruct it to convey the power of life. Learn to creating a strong block-in, understand the gesture, separate shadow from light and concentrate on understanding and rendering form.

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.

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. Students are introduced to color through studying several limited palettes, including how to mix neutrals and the concept of color keying.

Juliette Aristides

Juliette Aristides has led the Aristides Atelier since 1999. She is the author of three books published by Random House: Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier, Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice and Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice. She frequently contributes to The Artist's Magazine and has had her work featured in national and international magazines such as American Art Collector and Gulf Connoisseur Magazine. She also teaches workshops across the United States and in Italy; and has shown her work in numerous solo shows and dozens of group shows nationally and internationally.

Juliette began her studies in the studio of Myron Barnstone, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, then at The Atelier in Minneapolis in the tradition of Richard Lack. This work was followed by two years of instruction at the National Academy in New York with Jacob Collins, while also receiving instruction from Carlos Madrid. She spent a year working with a small group of students at Jacob Collins' studio prior to becoming a founding member of the Water Street Studio in Brooklyn, New York.

"Craftsmanship is the foundation of self-expression, not the lack of it. I have a simple belief that the goal of learning to draw and paint is attainable by anyone who is willing to pursue it. It is as accessible as learning to write or play a musical instrument. Not everyone, however, has the desire and discipline to learn traditional drawing and painting skills--and these skills are not offered to the average student. Students should be given the tools to fully express all they see and feel."
- Juliette Aristides

Founded 1990
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 10
Accommodation No

Part time: USD 4000 / year

Full time: USD 8355 / year

Aristides Atelier at Gage Academy of Art

St. Nicholas Building, 1501 Tenth Avenue East, #10

Seattle, Washington, United States


Student Master Copy After Eduard Charlemont

Student at work

Student at work

Student at work

Student at work

Hall Walker

Soldier by Juliette Aristides

Perch by Juliette Aristides

Talia by Juliette Aristides

Family by Juliette Aristides

Biography by Juliette Aristides

Gage Academy

Gage Academy

Figure Drawing by Juliette Aristides

Figure Drawing by Juliette Aristides

Figure Drawing by Juliette Aristides

The Spanish Pitcher by Juliette Aristides

Still Life by Juliette Aristides