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Academy of Realist Art (ARA)



901 Lawrence Avenue West, Third Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada

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ARA has locations in Toronto, Ottawa, and Boston

The Academy of Realist Art (ARA) is one of a select few private institutions in the world that teaches drawing and painting in the old master tradition. We model our curriculum and teaching techniques on the 19th-century European academies with the aim of helping students achieve the highest caliber of skills possible. The foundations we provide can help professionals and amateurs alike achieve exceptional results well beyond their expectations.

ARA's highly successful, step-by-step process teaches students at all levels, from beginner to advanced, to develop realist painting skills. When completed, our four-level program, which is available on a full- or flexible part-time basis, will enable the graduate to approach the most challenging drawing and painting projects with confidence and skill, regardless of their chosen style and medium. Individual instruction is offered in a friendly, supportive and pressure-free group setting where students can learn at their own pace. The only pre-requisites are an interest in drawing and painting, and a willingness to try.

Our progressive curriculum is designed to build on achievements gained at each stage. These stages include:

  • Charles Bargue drawings in graphite
  • Charcoal cast drawings
  • Monochromatic and color cast paintings
  • Full colour still life paintings

Students at all levels also receive instruction in working from the live model throughout the program. Life drawing and painting classes are offered several times a week to accommodate different schedules and needs.

Currently our certificate program is offered in Toronto, Boston, and Ottawa. ARA also offers a number of highly-popular workshops, running from 2 days to 2 weeks where participants can develop high level skills in a range of academic styles and media, from Old Master techniques and red chalk drawing to portrait, figure, still life and landscape painting.

ARA also offers instructional DVDs on Drawing the Figure, The Bargue Drawing Companion, and the newly released In the Studios of the Old Masters. Visit our website to find out more.

Founded 1997
Course languages English,Spanish
Instructors Fernando Freitas, Juan Carlos Martinez, Ryan Gauvin, Marc Colangelo, Mark Daniels, Esteban Rodriguez
Part-Time Instructors 4
Full-Time Instructors 2
Students 120
Accommodation Yes

Part time: CAN 285 / month

Full time: CAN 585 / month

Academy of Realist Art (ARA)

2968 Dundas Street West, Second Floor

Toronto, Ontario, M6P 1Y8, Canada

Self Portrait by Esteban Rodriguez

Rose by Esteban Rodriguez

Wonderland by Nicholas Jennings

Still Life Painting

Cast Drawing