Classical Art Atelier
  • Baroque Master Painting
    3-Day Easter Weekend Workshop
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3-Day Weekend Workshop Series in Classical Painting at venues in Dublin, Cork and Waterford
this April and May 2018.

In these workshops, artist and tutor, Brian Smyth, will focus on figure painting from the Baroque Era and portrait painting from life, introducing students to the academic painting techniques currently being taught at art academies in Florence, Italy, and beyond. Please see our list of workshops, dates and venues below.

Duration: 3-Day Workshop
Date: April 2018
Fee: € 300
Venues: Dublin, Cork & Waterford

An introduction to classical atelier ('studio') painting focusing on the reproduction of a painting by one of the Baroque Masters: Caravaggio, Velásquez and De Ribera.

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Duration: 3-Day Workshop
Date: May 2018
Fee: € 300
Venues: Dublin, Cork & Waterford

An introduction to the classical methods and techniques of portrait painting from life.

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Duration: 3-Day Workshop
Date: January 2018
Fee: € 300
Venues: Waterford

An introduction to classical painting techniques currently being taught at realist academices in Florence, Italy.

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"I would readily apply the term ‘classical’ to all well-ordered works which satisfy the mind, not only by an accurate, noble, or lively rendering of sentiments and objects, but also by their unity and logical arrangements; in short, by all those qualities which enhance the impression by creating a final simplicity."

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)


Read what our students say

Great course. Thanks Adrian. Veronica McKevitt
I loved the class. It has given me a new lease of life, and I am seeing everything in a new light. Deirdre Falconer
A super workshop…with excellent tuition and hand-outs. I can recommend highly. Thank you so much. Margaret M. O'Brien
A fantastic weekend of learning. I really enjoyed the was exactly what I wanted. Thanks for the reading material. Paula Shanahan
I really learned a lot at the weekend workshop and definitely want to do more of your classes. It was very well planned, with just the right balance of theory and practice, and the notes to take away will be very useful. Eileen O'Carroll
I have to say that this was an excellent course. What impressed me most was the amount of preparation put into it. It was so good to see the course objectives clearly stated and with defined timelines. I think you set the right balance between 'tell' and 'do'. Also good support to all on the practical work. Thanks again, I'm inspired to keep practising! Carol Prowse


As well as our main studio in Waterford, we also run courses and workshops in most of the major arts centres in Dublin and the south of Ireland.

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Start learning the methods and technqiues of the Old Masters

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The Atelier Method

Traditionally, the training a young artist received followed a set course, usually lasting four years, under the supervision and tutelage of a master artist at his atelier (or ‘studio’).

In the first year, the student apprentice copied master drawings and plaster casts using charcoal on paper. In year two, he would transfer his skills to live models. In year three, he would continue the same work but now using a black-and-white palette of oil paint known as grisaille, which allowed him to become acquainted with this new medium. Finally, in year four, he would use full palette of colour. This became known as ‘the atelier method’.

Until the mid to late nineteenth century, classical methods and techniques continued to be the standard by which art was taught and judged, and art academies modelled their tuition on this traditional atelier training.

Classical Drawing

Classical drawing is not so much a style but rather an approach to drawing that favours order, beauty, harmony and completeness. It follows principles that emerged from ancient classical civilizations and relies on methods and techniques that render subject matter in a realistic style. Perfected and codified during the Renaissance, these skills and ideas around design, line, value and form became the bedrock of artistic practice for many centuries.

Classical Realism

Although Modern Art triumphed over the academic style, many of its greatest figures - Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso - were classically trained. In the 1960s, Classical Realism - a new style based on the old tradition - emerged, and since then there has been a growing resurgence of interest in these traditional methods and techniques of drawing and painting.

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