london atelier of representational art

Foundation in fine art Learn the grammar of drawing

Foundation in fine art
Learn the grammar of drawing

Technical proficiency underpins and supports creativity. LARA teaches technical proficiency through the development of draughtsmanship and a practical understanding of the materials and methods of the artist. These skills give LARA students creative self confidence.

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Course overview

  • 1 Year Full-time (4 terms)
  • Start at any point in the calendar year
  • Forms the first year of the Full- Time Diploma (optional)
  • Master Drawing
  • Receive tailored tuition
  • Term Dates

lara foundation in fine art

The London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA) was founded in response to continuing demand from students for a structured approach to learning. LARA teaches fundamentally important aspects of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture from life, through the 'Sight-Size' method, and uses a specific approach designed to teach the essential concepts of proportion, line, gesture, form and light. Inspired by the Atelier Method of instruction, LARA offers unique training in representing sustained poses of no less than one week and up to one month, giving students optimum time to observe and understand the figure. LARA's philosophy supports a return to discipline in art. By employing traditional, time-tested methods, LARA seeks not to return to the past, but rather to build upon it. We provide students with the opportunity to explore distinctive aspects of their chosen subject through the development of draughtsmanship, direct study of works and a 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.

 

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Olly Maughan, Tutor

The atelier system of learning

The atelier system is a time tested, 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.  Each task must be completely mastered before moving on to the next.

The sight-size method

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.

 

We teach the grammar of drawing. It’s the fundamental language that must be learnt.

 
Life models The source

Life models
The source

LARA's figure models are experienced at holding long poses for several hours at a time, sometimes over several weeks. This allows students plenty of time to study the figure in depth.

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Casts & Still Life Learning the principles

Casts & Still Life
Learning the principles

Cast drawing gives you an intimate understanding of the process involved in creating highly believable, naturalistic images. Still life painting is an opportunity to represent form as a combination of shapes with specific colour values.

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Foundation

in drawing

The one year foundation course is a proven means to improve your drawing skills. Whether you need to brush up your drawing before a degree course, hone your abilities after a degree, or improve a portfolio for industry, it is a suitable option for any starting level. LARA has welcomed mid-career artists, recent graduates and those developing portfolios for film, computer animation and concept art onto the one year course.

The drawing skills taught at LARA, and the ability to truly observe and understand how to see, will only improve your confidence and ability in whatever artistic discipline you pursue. Until relatively recently figure drawing has been the back bone of a western art training, whether fine art, graphic design or architecture. Our predecessors recognised the challenge of drawing the human form and how truly resolving the difficult drawing issues raised helped immeasurably in other aspects of their design training.

To achieve the LARA Drawing Certificate we expect students to meet our high standards when completing each assignment. The quality of the drawings you produce will determine how quickly you progress through the curriculum. Each assignment needs to be completed to the highest standard, with each of the fundamental elements of the exercise understood before moving on. In many cases you will be required to repeat an assignment, but we envisage students completing the assignments within a year. Depending on your speed of progress you may wish to stay longer to complete certain projects. 

 

Core modules

Draw

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

Figure drawing is the basis of all good draftsmanship and drawing from life is the backbone of LARA’s process.

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Portrait Drawing

Portrait Drawing

Portrait drawing is an integral part of the LARA curriculum and students are encouraged to hire models throughout the program.

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Cast Drawing

Cast Drawing

Cast drawing informs all aspects of the curriculum and is where students learn foundational principals that apply to all aspects of their work.

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Gallery

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  • tutors

    James Napier

    James Napier (Director) studied art at Central St Martin’s School of Art in London followed by a degree in Architectural Design from Kingston University.

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    "Art is a vocation, it chooses you, you don’t choose it."

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    Luca Indraccolo

    Luca Indraccolo graduated from LARA in 2010. In 2009 he moved to London to complete his student career at LARA and currently works in London and his work has been exhibited extensively.

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    "mastering the technique of painting is just the beginning. deciding what to do with it is the hard part."

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    Sally Jane Fuerst

    Sally Jane Fuerst graduated from LARA in 2010. Her work blurs the line between the classical and the contemporary, but painted with the skill and discipline that comes with years of atelier training.

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    "LARA has given me the skills necessary to realise my artistic vision. Now the question isn't "Will I be able to paint it?". Instead, the question is "What do I want to paint next?"."

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    Luca Indraccolo

    Born in Naples, Luca Indraccolo left Italy at the age of 19 to start his advertising career ending up as a creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi London.

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    "Mastering the technique of painting is just the beginning. Deciding what to do with it is the hard part."

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    Ed Haslam

    Ed Haslam spent three months studying at LARA. His paintings explore the boundaries of perceived reality, touching on the enigmatic horizon of the human disposition.

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    "I have loosened my paintwork and for that matter, shape work, to be more organic and psychological. Yet underneath it all is a framework that would not exist without the fundamental practices learnt at LARA."

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    Tom Greenwood

    Tom came to LARA as a student in 2010, after working as an analyst in investment research. After four years of part and full-time study at LARA he now works as a privately commissioned portrait painter, based in London.

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    "lara's greatest strength is that it teaches everything a painter needs to know, without being prescriptive about personal style or taste. technical ability should free the artist, not constrain them"

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    Anastasia Pollard

    Anastasia Pollard has been teaching at LARA since it’s conception and played an important part in LARA’s development and reputation of excellence in drawing and painting.

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    "Students learn as much from each other's critiques as from the tutors. It's the atelier way."

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    Sofia Welch

    After struggling to find the classical training she craved in a highly conceptualised educational environment, Sofia found the London Atelier of Representational Art.

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    "Studying at LARA enabled me to acquire the fundamental visual skills, and gave me the confidence in both my work and myself, to pursue a career I had always dreamed of."

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    Radoslav Topalov

    ​Being interested in art since an early age, Radoslav started his career as an illustrator at the age of nineteen. During that time, he studied at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, later to receive his bachelor's degree in fine arts.

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    "It is hard to say what makes someone an accomplished visual artist, but mastering the craft of creating pictures is surely a step in the right direction."

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    Andrew Gow

    Andrew Gow is a portrait painter based in London. He started his training at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he graduated Cum Laude, with Honours, winning the Peyzer Prize for painting.

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    "the rigorous analytical observation and craft of classical drawing and painting learnt from the academic atelier method taught at LARA is an invaluable quality foundation, no matter what creative direction you end up pursuing as artist, craftsperson or designer. "

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    Olly Maughan

    Inspired by the Boston School impressionism Olly continued his training under Paul Ingbretson in New Hampshire USA.

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    ""

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    Charlie Pickard

    Interested in Figurative Art from an early age, Charlie Pickard left school knowing that he needed rigorous training in the fundamentals of art making for him to reach the level of expression he desired.

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    "Art making is fundamentally a creative endeavour. We must not forget this as we embark on our academic training. Every method learnt must be valued not only on how accurate an effect can be obtained but also on how much freedom it allows"

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    Christabel Blackburn

    Christabel Blackburn is primarily a figurative artist whose recent work goes further, to explore relationship between people and spaces. Since leaving LARA, she has shown in various exhibitions including a solo exhibition at the Hare Gallery, Dorset and the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.

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    "The teaching is excellent"

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    Giles Lester

    Giles Lester is a British painter and sculptor based in London. His work in all media revolves around direct observation of the human figure. Giles received the Talos Prize for best newcomer in The Society of Portrait Sculptor's FACE2014 exhibition and was shortlisted for the Tiranti Prize and the Founders' Sculpture Prize in 2015.

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    Harriet Spratt

    Art always took priority at school for Harriet. She did a year's Foundation Course at UWE and then graduated from Newcastle University with a joint BA Honours in Fine Art and History of Art. Harriet then made the decision to do the 3 year diploma in Fine Art at LARA. In 2015 Harriet's work was chosen for inclusion in the Royal Institute of Oil Painters exhibition and she won 3rd prize in the Winsor & Newton Oil Painters Awards 2015.

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    "I knew, instinctively that LARA was where I wanted and needed to be; learning the skills required to produce the work I had always wanted to"

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    Helen Masacz

    Helen Masacz is an established figurative painter who has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, the Saffron Gallery in Battle and at the Mall Galleries in London.

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    "I chose LARA because the quality of the tutors' work was of a high standard and I wanted to learn from the best."

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    Ione Hunter Gordon

    Ione moved to Florence at the age of 18. There she studied and taught traditional methods of fine art drawing and painting. She moved back to the UK in 2015 where she now lives and continues to paint. Her work has been exhibited throughout the UK, the United States of America and Florence, Italy.

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    "Art is a form of communication, therefore learning to draw is like learning a language."

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    Lewis Hazelwood-Horner

    Lewis Hazelwood-Horner finds inspiration in the art residencies he's occupied, for companies as diverse as James Smith & Sons, the umbrella makers; Holland and Holland, the gunmakers and Lobbs the bespoke boot makers.

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    "LARA offered me a solid grounding of technique based training which I couldn't find available anywhere else in the country. With the grounding of the sight-size method I can execute works to a much higher degree than I ever could before. The act of whole-heartedly giving my attention to a work until it's finished was only made apparent to me after studying at LARA."

  • tutors

    Lizet Dingemans

    ​Lizet Dingemans grew up in Helmond, the Netherlands. After studying Art and Illustration in the Netherlands she went to Florence which gave her the inspiration to continue her art career in London as a student at the LARA.

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    "LARA has helped me become confident as an artist."

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    Marc Dalessio

    Marc Dalessio is a naturalistic painter who has established himself as one of the foremost plein-air painters working today

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    "My painting is attempt at letting nature depict itself without overt interference of personality or ego."

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    Philip Borg

    Philip is a visual effects artist in the film industry. He has worked on many films, including "Kingsman: The Secret Service", "The Monument Men" and Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride". His personal work focuses on vintage style pin-up paintings and illustrations.

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    "My time at LARA was hugely important in terms of both technical improvement, personal fulfilment and for laying a way of approaching my work that has been carried through into everything else I do."

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    Robert Neil

    Robert Neil has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Painters, the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the BP Portrait Prize. Since 2012, Robert has also been the President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

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    "The community at LARA gave me the confidence that there were other like-minded artists with a similar outlook, which was unexpectedly empowering. "

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    Sam Kaprielov

    Sam Kaprielov was born and grew up in the USSR. Lives in London. Regularly exhibits his work in contemporary art galleries in the UK and abroad.

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    ""

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    Sharn Whitehead

    Sharn Whitehead graduated from LARA in 2013. In 2015 her portrait "Miss Goggins" was selected for the Judges Shortlist of the Wells Art Contemporary awards. Sharn has also worked on the production of Secret Cinema sets. She continues to live and work in London.

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    "I really wanted a solid grounding in academic drawing, in a disciplined environment, and LARA offers that with great teachers."

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    Simon Bacon

    Simon Bacon lives and works in Wivenhoe, Essex. His work is mainly abstract figurative and he mostly works in bronze. His pieces have been exhibited in several solo and group shows.

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    "My time at LARA was simply transformative. What I learnt there, and the encouragement I was shown by the tutors, gave me the solid foundations and confidence to develop my own voice. I am very grateful for the support the school gave me."

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    Stuart Elliot

    Stuart Elliot is an artist, writer and lecturer. He is the author of "Drawing the Nude: Anatomy, Structure and Observation", published by Crowood Press.

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    "If the goal is to make convincing representations of human bodies, then studying anatomy offers the opportunity to develop a far more critical relationship to form. Artists who know anatomy well can select, & edit information gleaned from the model or reference. Anatomy is a rich and interesting area of study and is an example of an intersection between art and a range of other disciplines."

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    Thomas Lumley

    Thomas Lumley was born and grew up in Yorkshire. He studied in Florence before having his first solo show entitled ‘Gods Country’ in London in 2006. He also won the Prince of Wales Drawing School Prize at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition the same year.

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    ""

 

Take the next step

how it works

You can either pay upfront for multiple terms (securing your place and saving up to £750) and study these consecutively. Or pay per term, either upfront or by paying a non-refundable deposit and the balance 4 weeks before term starts (see term dates). You can also pay multiple deposits to secure your place by simply changing the quantity box. If you have any questions just get in touch.

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about Foundation in Fine Art








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