Home / Education / Ateliers

Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism




49a Whitmore Square, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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

The Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism is a new school, created by Rob Gutteridge in 2016 in Adelaide, the capital city of the state of South Australia, Australia. It provides atelier training in realist art with a focus on painting and drawing the human figure. Rob Gutteridge has been an artist and teacher for more than 40 years. His school developed out of the growing need expressed by local aspiring realist artists and students, for traditional skill based classical training in painting and drawing.

At the Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism (RGCR), students are taught how to make accurate and beautiful realistic drawings and paintings. They learn the techniques, develop the skills, and acquire the knowledge of materials required to achieve the high technical standards associated with classical realism in drawing, painting and sculptural anatomy. The range and depth of the school's courses are coordinated in a purposeful study program, making it unique in Australia as a place to immerse oneself in a complete curriculum in classical realism. 

Subjects include: Bargue drawing, sight-size and comparative drawing, cast drawing and painting, master copies, life drawing and painting, anatomy, oil painting materials and techniques, portrait, and still life.

The RGCR is an atelier style school, "atelier" being the French word for studio. It denotes both a location for learning, and a practice-led form of teaching. 

Rob Gutteridge has designed an integrated curriculum of subjects and lessons based on the training methods of 19th Century French academies. Through a sequence of exercises, students move from simple to increasingly complex tasks. It is a methodical, thorough learning process. The emphasis is on teaching competency and proficiency in each task, before moving on to the next. In this teaching model, learning is an accumulative process. There is no rush or time limit to complete a Level or a Subject. Students proceed at their own pace. Quality is the only measure of success.

Rob Gutteridge uses the term "classical realism" in the school's name as a way of connecting two opposing philosophies of art that are at the core of academic training: the idealisation of classicism and the factual nature of realism. It corresponds to the conceptual and perceptual basis of RGCR training methods, as well as the tenets of art history they are linked to.

Rob Gutteridge's visual investigation of the human figure, through drawing, painting, and sculptural anatomy places the figure at the heart of his school. The overall educational aim is to fully equip and enable students to make realistic drawings and paintings to the highest standard. For this to happen, students need depth and breadth in their education. At the RGCR, the accumulative, step-by-step teaching model provides depth, and the range of twenty subjects provides breadth. All this takes dedication and time to achieve. 

Teaching certain subjects requires specialist knowledge - artistic anatomy, and écorché (anatomical sculpture of a flayed figure) for example. Both are taught at the RGCR. In Australia, training in artistic anatomy has been hard to come by, and teaching écorché became extinct. Rob Gutteridge is self-taught in both fields, reviving a studio practice dating back to the Renaissance and before. A student with anatomical knowledge brings understanding to their perception of the human figure. Consequently their drawings and paintings are enriched and improved. Implicit in this is the idea, confirmed by neuroscience, that knowledge alters perception.

RGCR is unique in Australia for a number of reasons. It offers:

A comprehensive, coherent, sequenced educational programme in classical realism, designed to organise student learning from the simple to the complex. This facilitates a logical, easy transition from novice, to intermediate, to advanced levels of learning and professional practice.

The human figure is the central theme and motif around which subjects are organised and taught.

Flexible tuition based on year round enrolment on a monthly basis (no terms or semesters).

In-depth, comprehensive course in classical écorché (anatomical sculpture of a flayed figure).

A comprehensive 4-subject program in human anatomy for artists combining perceptual drawing, conceptual drawing, and sculptural anatomy (écorché).

Analytic figure drawing: constructive, conceptual figure drawing of form and structure exploring the architecture of the figure.


An aspiration in the current inception phase of the atelier: the Director's Mentorship - at the completion of the entire program, and at the discretion of the Director, a student will be invited to work alongside the Director to be mentored by him for 1 year. The mentorship is full time, and tuition is free.

Founded 2016
Course languages English
Accreditation Certificate of Excellence: for each of Levels 1-4
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 26
Accommodation No

Part time: AUD 240 / month

Full time: AUD 7710 / semester

Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism

49a Whitmore Square

Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia

Robert Gutteridge

Director/Principal Teacher

3 years ago Rob Gutteridge opened the first ARC Approved atelier art school in Australia and the southern hemisphere, in Adelaide, South Australia. 

Rob Gutteridge is the founding Director and Principal Teacher at the Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism in Adelaide. Over the last 45 years Rob has held 28 solo exhibitions and contributed to more than 80 group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. He has received prestigious international scholarships and artist-in-residence positions to: the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture (1980) USA; The Thomas Laird Memorial Travelling Art Study Award (1992) France: Atelier Internationale de Seguret, France; Rimbun Dahan Year-Long Visual Artist (2011) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; artist in residence at Red Gate, Beijing, China (2012). Rob has received federal and state funding grants to undertake international study and art travel opportunities. He has been a visual art lecturer at the University of SA, SA School of Art, various S.A. TAFE campuses, and Adelaide Central School of Art where he was Head of Drawing and Printmaking for several years. He is an Associate member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art (London, UK). He has won numerous prizes, most recently for drawing at the SGFA Open Drawing Exhibition at the Menier Gallery, London, UK (2017). His work is held in national and international collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia. He continues to paint and draw, teach, travel, undertake professional development, and exhibit. Most recently he was accepted into the Summer School of the Ilya Repin Russian Academy of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia (2018), where he studied the Russian approach to academic figure drawing and painting.

Eugene Lee

Studio Manager

Eugene is a full-time student at the Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism. In 2020 she relocated from Singapore to study at the RGCR in South Australia. Coming from a contemporary art background, Eugene is interested in the diverse visual languages of painting and drawing. Learning classical realism is one way to hone her skills as well as getting to know the rich visual language of the artists from the past. Eugene is responsible for all aspects of school maintenance and management.

Cast Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

To a Distant Shore by Rob Gutteridge

Evening Storm by Rob Gutteridge

Rob Gutteridge: Cast drawing

Rob Gutteridge: Reclining figure

Rob Gutteridge: Discus thrower

Rob Gutteridge: Beneath the clouds of Modernism

Rob Gutteridge: Seated figure

Rob Gutteridge: Night falls

construction drawing- hand

Rob Gutteridge: Angela

Self portrait: Through the grace of art I have found a place in the world

Student Bargue Drawing

Student Bargue Drawing

Student Bargue Drawing


Anthea Jones: Bargue drawing

Master copy from a Russian Master drawing

Teaching facility