resurrecting time tested skills traditionally passed from one generation to the next
LARA is a well resourced and highly professional atelier, established in 2008 in response to the rarity of rigorous, representational art education. We are unique in the UK in our approach to teaching the most fundamentally important aspects of art: drawing, painting and sculpture – from life.Enquire now >
The Atelier System
The atelier system is a highly-structured and systematic curriculum which is passed on from tutor to student. It emerged around the seventeenth century and later became the most common method of training painters. Students of differing standards and experience work together, each learning from the other and with the tutor tailoring his critique to that of a student’s individual requirements.
This is an extremely effective way of hastening the process of learning and getting results. Tasks are assigned like building blocks and each task must be completely mastered before moving on to the next.
Simply put, the artist first sets a vantage point where the subject and the drawing surface appear to be the same size. Then, using a variety of measuring tools (which can include strings, sticks, mirrors, levels, and plumb-lines) the artist draws the subject so that, when viewed from the set vantage point, the drawing and the subject have exactly the same dimensions. When properly done, sight-size drawing can result in extremely accurate and realistic drawings. It can also be used to draw the exact dimensions for a subject in preparation for a painting.
Professional painters will in time, develop an ‘eye’ that precludes the need for measuring devices and plumb-lines, but the observation method itself is not abandoned – instead it becomes second nature.
"Art is a vocation, it chooses you, you don’t choose it."
James Napier, Tutor
LARA’s philosophy supports a return to discipline in art. By employing traditional, time-tested methods, perhaps best described as the grammar of drawing, LARA seeks not to return to the past, but to build upon it.
What you learn at
LARA provides students and professional artists with the opportunity to perfect their skill. To explore distinctive aspects of their chosen subject through the development of draughtsmanship. Direct study of works and practical understanding of the materials and methods of the artist.
By this means and through the resulting identification of clear artistic objectives, students acquire creative self-confidence, and visual understanding with subtle and precise powers of description. Thus giving the student the confidence to execute their ideas, in order to become a representational artist or pursue any alternative visual medium.