Full-Time Study in Bristol

LARA's highly structured curriculum will you teach you the fundamentals of drawing and painting. You will be trained to an advanced level in skills that are transferable to any visual medium

Date & Time

Five days a week | 9:30-16:30


LARA Bristol
Trinity Road
Bristol BS2 0NW
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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.

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.

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.

Foundation 150 days (3 Terms)

Whatever point you are at in your artistic career, this year will hone your abilities and teach you how to see. The three terms full-time Foundation Course is a suitable option for any starting level.

The first 3 terms of study at LARA focuses on the fundamentals of drawing.  These are the most important elements of any artistic development and the back bone of LARA’s process. Without a thorough foundation in drawing, most problems in your artistic development are all too often difficult to resolve. Invariably they derive from fundamental drawing issues such as proportion, value and shape. We can’t emphasise enough how important it is truly to master drawing before you move on to painting.

Each day students spend three hour sessions drawing, and eventually painting, from the nude model. Typically these poses are sustained long poses spanning a number of weeks, providing the student with ample time to study the figure in depth. The remaining three hours are devoted to a series of studio assignments, which begin with the initial cast drawing exercises, and lead to developing an accomplished finished painting by the end of the curriculum.

Please note the number of days is a guide, and depending on your speed of progress you may need to stay longer to complete certain projects.

Diploma 300 days (6 Terms)

LARA’s highly structured curriculum will you teach you the fundamentals of drawing and painting. You will be trained to an advanced level in skills that are transferable to any visual medium.

Depending on the student’s level in drawing they will move onto painting around terms 5-6, while continuing to draw alongside. Terms 7-9 will be spent concentrating solely on painting. Painting is the natural continuation of mass drawing training learned in the first year, with the addition of colour.

Working from both the model and still life, students complete a series of exercises which cover colour mixing, paint application, the achieving of textures and atmosphere in painting. Using a limited palette of 5 colours enables the student to keep focused on tone, temperature, mark making, and painterly qualities – those aspects that ultimately separate painting from photography – less to do with absolute colour than with overall mood.

Students learn to appreciate the impression and the whole statement of values belonging to the specific scene they are painting, whether it be a figure, still life or a portrait. The complicated problems of representing nature are solved by understanding the form as a combination of shapes with specific colour values, each of which relates to the whole. Preliminary colour studies are executed before the main work is attempted, the better to understand the broad effect and flow of light. A general colour ‘block-in’ or ‘ebauche’ is developed into a work that retains unity, with a strong sense of drawing, economy of detail and broadness of effect being stressed.

Typically a painting project begins with a studied drawing in which the accurate proportion and placement of the big masses is established. This is transferred to canvas and the drawing developed from a number of different angles: for instance, with an initial monochromatic, underpainting, or a simplified colour block-in. Regardless of the specific method a direct treatment is encouraged, striving toward a sense of the whole, where each individual component is assigned its proper importance in relation to the whole effect. Throughout the figure painting programme lessons learned in previous drawing exercises are sustained: Accuracy; proportion; capturing a lively and believable gesture; conveying a sense of anatomy, and designing a believable value scheme which describes the effect of light are key.

Advanced projects in the drawing programme allows a natural progression into working with oil paint. Initially, students begin with a “grisaille” palette, familiarising themselves with the medium and the problems of accurate value mixing and paint handling. They progress to working with the traditional limited colour palette, enabling an accurate and convincing colour impression, marrying a strong sense of drawing with the principals of direct painting.

Please note the number of days is a guide, and depending on your speed of progress you may need to stay longer to complete certain projects.

How It Works

Pay a £1,000 non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The balance of your term’s fees is payable four weeks before the start of term. Alternatively pay the full amount to have peace of mind and receive a discount for three terms.

We strongly advise you get in touch to confirm the terms you want study and recommend you attend LARA and try a short course before committing to the Foundation or Diploma.

Please note –

Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, and for a specific term.

Once fees are paid, they are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If any days are missed these are non-refundable and non-transferable

Learn from the best tutors

Nicholas Chaundy

"The beauty of sight-size is it allows you to observe the big impression without getting caught up in obsessive and unnecessary detail"

Arvid Antonsen

"One typically comes to LARA with raw, unrefined potential and leaves with well honed skills - a keen eye and a dexterous hand."

From: £3,500.00

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