The downside of traditional classical training was that it required an extraordinary investment of time and money. I joined an atelier as a full-time student, and within months had to take my coin jar to the grocery store to buy food.
In the end it was worth it, but I believe classical training can be more affordable and more convenient so more artists can benefit from it. I started Classical Drawing Academy to make a rigorous classical training program available online.
Classical Drawing Fundamentals
The Classical Drawing Fundamentals course is a ten-week introduction to classical drawing. This course will help you:
- Know your materials better
- Feel more confident when starting a drawing, painting or sculpture
- See your subjects with greater clarity and understanding
- Get more predictable and consistent results
- Expand your vision for what you can achieve as an artist
- Feel connected to a community of fellow artists
The Classical Drawing Fundamentals curriculum is based on proven training exercises that date back to the Renaissance, when artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci created timeless masterpieces. The legacy of these great masters has been passed down from teacher to student through the atelier tradition for hundreds of years, and is the foundation of this course.
Module 1: Setup
- which supplies to use
- how to prepare your paper
- how to sharpen your pencil
- how to position your subject
- how to position your easel
- how to set up lighting
- how to stand
- how to use your pencil
- how to use your eraser
Module 2: Block-In
How to accentuate gesture through framing and the positioning of individual elements, to direct the viewer’s eye and strengthen the emotional impact of your drawing.
How to accurately represent proportions to bring the viewer into the world of your drawing by making it more believable.
How to begin adding the appearance of volume to the subject of your drawing by defining the boundaries of both form shadows and cast shadows.
Module 3: Rendering
How to delineate the darkest part of each shadow shape, then render shadows and reflected light accurately to avoid distracting the viewer’s eye from other areas of your drawing.
How to define the lightest areas of the drawing, to establish the full value range that will be present in your drawing.
How to “turn the form” from the core shadows to the highlights to fully realize the illusion of volume, and add detail to bring your drawing to life and captivate the viewer.
Module 4: Personal Project
How to develop a concept for a still life drawing that communicates an idea or evokes an emotional response in the viewer.
Lighting & Composition
How to make your subject, including its shadows and highlights, part of a strong, deliberate and purposeful composition that supports your concept.
How to sketch large shapes that use contrast to grab attention from a distance and invite the viewer in for a closer look.
How to set the stage for a believable presentation of your subject.
Add three-dimensional form and exquisite detail to your drawing to create an immersive experience for the viewer.
Includes These Bonuses
#1 How to Photograph Your Work
Whether you want to post pictures online or print and sell reproductions, taking an accurate photograph of a drawing can be a real challenge! This bonus content shows you how to use a digital camera or smartphone (plus lights and a tripod if you have them) to photograph your work, and how to use the image editing software that came with your PC or Mac to color correct photos for publication or reproduction.
#2 How to Print Your Work
Business-savvy artists know they can supplement their income by selling copies of their work. Prints also make excellent gifts. This bonus content shows you the best type of printer and paper to use at home. It also shows options for using a local or online service bureau to have your work printed on canvas (also referred to as a giclée).
#3 How to Frame Your Work
A great frame gives your drawing a finished, professional look, grabs attention, and makes your drawing pop! However, framing can be fraught with uncertainty. This bonus content helps you make sense of the many options available for framing your work. It shows you how to frame your work yourself, and how to get significant discounts of up to 65% off custom framing without compromising on quality.
What do I get and how much does it cost?
Classical Drawing Fundamentals is a 100% online course that you complete in your own home or studio, on your own schedule. The course takes ten weeks, and has a structured curriculum that organizes all aspects of the classical drawing process into two main steps to give you absolute clarity on how to use concepts like composition, perspective, and lighting.
Every concept taught in this course gets reinforced with at least one drawing exercise for integrating the concept into your skill set. New concepts make use of skills you have already learned, so you build mastery as the course progresses. Each lesson has a comments area where students can discuss the material in the lesson and post homework to exchange feedback.
Three bonus modules are included with the course:
- How to Photograph Your Work
- How to Print Your Work
- How to Frame Your Work
These modules each contain multiple lessons featuring text, video and photographs to teach you the material. A comment area is included for discussing each lesson in the bonus modules.
Certificate of Completion
Students who complete the coursework for all four modules receive a Certificate of Completion. The certificate is a personalized PDF file suitable to be printed for framing.
The cost of the ten-week Classical Drawing Fundamentals course is a single payment of $997 or three monthly payments of $397. Compare this to eleven weeks of study at The Florence Academy of Art in Italy which costs $5,625 not including airfare or room and board!
When you register for the course, you are sent login information via email to access the first lesson. Subsequent lessons are released on a pre-set schedule over ten weeks, and the bonuses become available at the end of the course. You have access to the course and bonus material for one year.
Classical Drawing Fundamentals
Pre-Registration Sale PRice $149 (price will increase after september 2017)
Christopher Tsongas has studied drawing, sculpting and artistic anatomy at two of the world's best classical training academies, The Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy and Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington.
Who can benefit from classical training?
Any artist who wants to revolutionize their ability to draw! Drawing skills are essential to painting and sculpting, so artists who paint and sculpt will also benefit.
You want to learn a step-by-step system that helps you integrate and apply what you've learned in other classes.
You draw, paint or sculpt for enjoyment, and want that work to be even more fulfilling.
You want to compete more favorably for gallery representation, make more sales, and get more commissions.
Frequently Asked questions
How is classical training different from other drawing classes?
Before I discovered classical training, my experience with drawing classes was that they taught some helpful techniques and made me practice drawing. However, those classes did NOT teach a proven, step-by-step process I could use to draw any subject from start to finish.
Classical training teaches you a repeatable process based on the fundamentals of how we perceive the world around us. It uses specific, time-tested drawing exercises to teach each skill needed for every step of that process.
What will I draw while taking the course?
In the second and third modules you will draw a series of simple exercises that each focus on a particular skill or concept. You will follow step-by-step examples and sometimes draw from a digital photograph.
In the fourth module, you will draw a “still life” which is a drawing of a collection of objects of your choosing. You will start by drawing a small value study, then create a fully realized finished drawing.
Starting with simple exercises and a still life will allow you to focus on learning concepts and integrating skills that you will be able to apply later to progressively more difficult subjects, including the human figure.
Do I need to purchase art supplies for the course?
You will receive a list of exactly what is needed for the course after you register. Plan on spending up to $150, depending on what you already have on hand. Any supplies not available to you locally can be ordered online at www.dickblick.com.
How much time should I dedicate to the course?
To finish the course in ten weeks requires 12-15 hours per week of work. However, you have access to the course for one full year after you register, so you can work at a slower pace if needed.
What if I have another question?
Please email email@example.com or visit the contact page.