Atelier School of Classical Realism

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Atelier School of Classical Realism



4920 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, California, United States

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The Atelier School of Classical Realism (ASCR), located in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, provides helpful formal training in realism tailored to the individual needs of each student.

The approach of the school is centered in the belief that realism in art is only as effective as it is convincing.

The curriculum at the ASCR explores the dynamics of realistic representation.

The core of the program is training in the techniques used to create illusions of three-dimensional space on a flat surface.

The ASCR teaching of art introduces students to the challenge of learning a new language, a visual language. They learn the structure that is required to genuinely and comfortably "speak" this visual language, plus gain the technical knowledge which serves as its grammar and vocabulary.

The founder of the school, David Hardy, feels strongly that students must build a solid technical foundation from which to work. "You can always leave out some of what you know," says Hardy, "but you can't put in what you don't know."

Giving students a clear understanding of the logic behind the techniques and methods of realism is also an essential component of the ASCR instruction. One can then become master of one's art instead of a slave to the happy accident.

That logical understanding of process, coupled with technical mastery, opens students at the ASCR to new possibilities in freedom of expression. Through learning creative control, they are freed as artists to be more effectively themselves, and thus share genuine beliefs and emotional responses through their art.

Students find the rigorous, traditional approach offered at the ASCR a bridge to now little-known techniques and principles inherited from the golden days of realism. Once learned, these methods help to effectively establish a beachhead in today's challenging art world.

Highly personalized guidance is directed toward encouraging individual growth. Advanced students are led into the fine-tuning of their drawing and painting skills, thus maximizing their accomplishments. Emerging and established art professionals alike are given career counseling.

The development of self awareness and self confidence go hand in hand with the study of drawing and painting at the Atelier School of Classical Realism; by so doing, sudents develop the wisdom and patience to choose carefully as they proceed.

New students attending the ASCR quickly become aware of two major features of the school:

The first is the feeling shared by the students of being at ease with each other, friends among friends. It is a collegial environment of mutual understanding and earned respect. Lunchtime blossoms into "catching up", comparing ideas and opinions, enjoying the weather, joking and having fun.

The second is the level of dedication at the ASCR to the study of the art and techniques of realism. The ASCR offers a positive environment of helpful criticism, encouragement and personal involvement, reflected in the deep personal commitment by the students to the pursuit of their studies. And it is evident in the professional commitment of the faculty to help the students meet their artistic goals.

Curriculum at the ARC includes instruction in cast, figure, portrait and still-life drawing, and cast, figure, portrait, still-life and landscape painting.

Extensive study of color theory includes mixing of color relationships, color harmony and color temperature (change of appearance of local color caused by the influencing from the color of the light source).

Both direct painting and Old Master techniques of layered painting with glaze are presented. Landscape painting is taught both on location in the field and back in the studio. Museum field trips are correlated with Atelier studies. Career counseling and business procedures are offered advanced students.

Admission is by portfolio review.


Classical painting and drawing techniques for today's artist. This course is presented each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday both in the afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 and in the evenings from 6:30 to 9:30, each class for 9 hoursweekly.

This is a complete professional foundation course, exploring illusions of depth, atmosphere, surface textures and color dynamics. Classical drawing procedures as well as direct painting and traditional layered glazing procedures are presented under the supervision of Living Master David Hardy. Subjects range through cast studies, self portraits and still lifes.

The study of COLOR TEMPERATURE at the ASCR is one of the most thorough and helpful being taught today. The dynamics of color as affected by pictorial lighting come alive for the student artist.

Advanced students learn direct approaches to PLEIN AIR oil painting followed by coaching in Old Master layered glazing techniques.

Critiques are given for figure drawings and paintings done in the Sunday and Monday Long Pose Figure Drawing & Painting Workshops.

Classes are small, with personalized guidance.

Tuition is listed in


To draw or paint the human head and do it well demands an effective knowledge of anatomy and proportion. But doing it extremely well puts any artist up there with the great masters.

This is an intensive two-year course of study. The course is presented during three trimesters, meeting every other Saturday from 9AM to 4PM with a one-hour lunch break midday. Limited class enrollment permits careful guidance in a pleasant, relaxed environment. Each student is permitted to progress at their own pace.

Working with oil-based clay on an armature at the very beginning, a skull will be constructed, onto which will be added cartilage, tendons and muscles. Additions will include ears, eyeballs, eyelids and lips.

A structured course follows, including copies from master drawings, working from plaster casts, doing self portraits and working from the live model. Additional independent studies are encouraged, with critiques of these available upon request.

Tuition is listed in


This is an exploration of landscape dynamics and procedures, taught by noted landscape painter Marshall Hasbrouck.

The emphasis is on realistic landscape rendering and studio work using sketches, color studies, and photos by students rather than on site plein air painting.

Some on site work will be done at selected Bay Area locations as weather permits.

This is an all day class that meets every other Saturday from 9 am to 4pm. Sessions take place at the Atelier School Classical Realism Atelier at 4920 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.

The course format consists of short lectures and demonstrations, with most of the time dedicated to hands-on practice with input from the instructor. Each class concludes with a critique and discussion of the day's work in a supportive spirit of learning how to paint effective images.

The course will cover such topics as composition, perspective, values and masses, color and the effects of atmosphere and changing light. Registered participants will receive a suggested list of basic equipment and supplies for getting started. Refinements in the gear can be made later as needed.

Tuition is listed in

Founded 1960
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Part-Time Instructors 2
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 20
Accommodation No

Full time: USD 400 / month

Atelier School of Classical Realism

4920 Telegraph Avenue

Oakland, California, United States

Dialogue by David Hardy

Preliminary drawing for Portrait of Carla by David Hardy

Lemons and Lace by David Hardy

Cala Lily Duo by David Hardy

Classical Bust by David Hardy

Pepper Perch by Dianne Boegel

Plaster Ear by Rachel Bridges

Preliminary drawing for Self Portrait With Django by Devin Cecil-Wishing

Drapery Study by Tole Clow

Kelp Grove by Marshall Hasbrouck

Here I Am, Pacific Tree Frog by Marshall Hasbrouck