History and Philosophy

LARA (The London Atelier of Representational Art) was founded in 2008 in response to the continuing demand from students for a structured approach to learning the fundamental skills of drawing, painting and sculpture.

At LARA all work is undertaken from life, using the sight-size technique. Students first learn 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.

Atelier Method

The atelier method is a highly-structured and systematic curriculum 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 experience work together, each learning from the other, and the tutor tailors their critiques to each student’s individual requirements. This is an extremely effective way of quickening 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.

“Mastering the technique of painting is just the beginning, deciding what to do with it is the hard part”

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