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Atilly-what? Part II

In Part I of this blog post, we said that to use the word "Atelier" means something very specific about the type of art instruction offered. So ... what type is that?

Many of us, even those with BFAs and art school training, think about the ability to draw and paint very differently than artists did in generations past. In fact, for centures, the ability to draw and paint was understood as a skill set. Something you learned and practiced under the guidance of a master artist Something you spent time understanding. You copied the artwork of the great artists before you, working hard to understand their methods and what made them successful. You studied perspective and anatomy, you spent time honing your craft, you excercised discipline.

Often, in today's art training, you focus only on "how you feel" and "self-expression" with no inclusion of skills-based training. In fact, many major universities have even gone so far as to remove Drawing 101 as a required course for a Fine Arts degree!

The Atelier movement at its core is a return to the methods and practices that created the great artists of the past: specfic instruction and training in the skill sets of drawing and painting. Yes, you CAN learn to draw and paint! If you are willing to put in the time and efforts that it takes, you can learn to draw and paint realistically, beautifully, and masterfully.

If this interests you, we have room in our Winter Term for YOU! Email us at to secure your own studio space in our Atelier.

Here is how the Atelier program works at Texas Hill Country Atelier:

Year 1: Drawing

The focus is on learning to "see" from direct observation so that you can learn to draw precisely and accurately. The first-year student utilizes primarily Bargue plates and casts to draw and render in graphite and charcoal. First-year students also draw from a live model weekly, because learning to draw the figure is the benchmark of all good draftmanship. If you can draw the human figure, you can draw anything!

Year 2: Grisaille

In year 2, students graduate into painting in oils with a restricted palette of ivory black, raw umber and titanium white. The focus is on learning to see value and tone while also learning basic paint handling techniques. The student moves toward full-range rendering of a sphere, still life, fabric and a master copy. Students continue to draw and paint weekly from a live model.

Year 3: Color

Students only begin to paint with color in year 3, starting with the limited Zorn palette. Topics include matching flesh tones, color theory, and pigment properties. Students will paint florals, drapery, a still life and a fully rendered self-portrait, while continuing to draw and paint from a live model weekly.

Year 4: Developing Your Personal Aesthetic

The fourth year at Texas Hill Country Atelier is an optional year and is a journey of discovery into the student's own personal aesthetic and voice. Guided by master artist Holly White-Gehrt, the student will develop and cultivate what moves them and brings them joy. Students prepare a proposal and create the corresponding body of work.

Come join the Atelier movement! We've got room for YOU at Texas Hill Country Atelier.


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