Classical Art Atelier

Charles Bargue Cours de Dessin

5-Week Online Drawing Course with Adrian Cooke

Charles Bargue Cours de dessin (or 'Drawing Course') still remains one of the most influential drawing courses in art education. Designed to instruct art students in the methods, techniques and 19th-century conventions for drawing, it was typically used to gain admittance into an art school or to raise the skill of an artist privately. Bargue's drawing course outlines a very methodical step-by-step procedure for drawing, using (i) his own drawings after plaster casts, (ii) master drawings, and (iii) academic figure drawings, as the material for the student to study and copy.

The careful study, the constant and repeated drawing of Bargue’s Cours de Dessin has given me more insight into figure drawing… What used to seem to me to be desperately impossible is now gradually becoming possible. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90)

Our online drawing courses uses Zoom video-conferencing platform for our live weekly classes, supplemented with downloadable study notes and image references, and one-to-one student support and feedback from your instructor.

Each class will include many demonstrations, guiding you in detail through the drawing process, interaction and discussion about the drawing method and techniques, and practical exercises which can be submitted by email for individual appraisal. This course is suitable for beginners, and for any professional artists who wish to fortify their skills and knowledge.

Course Description | Learning Outcomes | Booking Details | Gallery | Materials & Equipment List

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Learn the Methods of 19th-Century Academic Drawing Online

Charles Bargue Cours de dessin Drawing Course begins on Tuesday, 19th January 2021, from 7-8.30pm, and runs for 5 weeks.

This is the only available class time for this course at present.

  • Language: English
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Time: Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)

Bargue Cours de Dessin
Online Course

7.00 - 8.30pm
Starting 19th January 2021

Course Description

Learn the 19th-Century Academic Drawing Method


Originally commissioned by the French government in the 1860s, Charles Bargue’s Cours de dessin (or ‘Drawing Course’) was intended to preserve traditional art practices as artists began to break with the old academic style and adopt looser modern techniques. By copying the 197 lithographs in the drawing manual, it prepared students for cast drawing and later, life or figure drawing; thus, it loosely reflects the first year of traditional atelier training.

Starting with schematic lines and finishing with perfectly modelled form, you will work through several of the plates within his drawing course manual. This course was designed for art students who wanted to study accuracy, line and form, starting with with silhouettes and gradually moving towards more difficult drawings. The advantage of Part 1 of the drawing course is that the drawings are based on classical sculpture, where sculptors have already figured out how to simplify form. Cours de dessin teaches you how to slow down and take your time, working methodically on these are exercises.

This course covers topics including:

  • Historical Overview of the 19th-Century Academic Tradition
  • Developing Schema for your Drawing
  • Understanding the Sight-Size Method
  • Master Drawing Reproduction
  • Measurement and Observation
  • Value and Modelling
Learn the rules like a professional, so you can break them like an artist. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
  • Art Materials & Equipment
  • Desktop / Laptop / Tablet
  • Printer
  • Webcam
  • Internet Connection

You will need certain art materials and equipment to do this course. Please see Materials List below.

  • Live Demonstrations
  • Discussion / Q & A
  • Student Support via Email
  • Comprehensive Study Notes
  • High Resolution Images
  • Practical Assignments
  • Individual Feedback / Critique
Drawing After Casts

Copying the Antique

The first part of the course consists of plates drawn after casts, usually of antique examples. Different parts of the body are studied in order of difficulty, until full figures are presented.

Our 5-week course focuses mainly on Part 1 of Bargue's Drawing Course, learning the procedure for copying, selecting several plates of varying difficulty. We will also consider the historical context, aesthetics of the time, and its legacy - with great artists like Van Gogh, Sargent and Picasso taking their first steps in art with it. Each exercise is a skills project rather than an art project, intended to develop your hand, your tactile sense, and also your taste.

You will complete different exercises that will train your hand and eye and develop your understanding of essential drawing concepts:

  • Schematic design, proportions and placement
  • Line, contour, and shape, including line weight and direction
  • Value composition
  • Form drawing, rendering or shading techniques including hatching and veiling
Master Drawings

Learning from the Masters

The second section pays homage to the western school of painting with lithographs after exemplary drawings by Renaissance and modern masters. We will choose one or two of the easier exercises from this section.

Strictly speaking, Part 1 should be completed first, but our short introductory course also aims to give you an overview of the entire Bargue oeuvre.


Drawing Poses of the Model

The third part contains almost sixty académies or drawings after nude male models, all original inventions by Bargue, the lithographer. With great care, the student is introduced to continually more difficult problems in the close observing and recording of nature.

Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting... Drawing contains everything, except the hue. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will have learned:

  • Work with the sight-size method, and know how to measure accurately, also using comparative measurement
  • Understand and know how to apply the core principles of classical drawing – design, line, value and form
  • Learn and use various drawing tips and techniques from the Old Masters
  • Be familiar with the standard tools and utensils used in realist drawing academies
  • Have a greater appreciation of 19th-century neoclassical art and its place in history

Booking Details Bargue Cours de Dessin Online Drawing Course

There is only one class time available for this course at present: Tuesday evenings from 7.00-8.30pm.

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Learn the Secrets of Classical Drawing Online

Our 5-Week Bargue Cours de Dessin Online Drawing Course begins on Tuesday, 19th January 2021. Please see course details, important information, and terms and conditions below, or contact us to discuss, email or call +353 (0)87 660 9644.


Bargue Cours de Dessin
Online Course

7.00 - 8.30pm
Starting 19th January 2021

Course Details
# Bargue Cours de Dessin Online
Location Zoom - Online Video Conferencing Platform
Duration 5 Weeks
Class 90 minutes per week
Day Tuesday (evening)
Dates 19 Jan., 26 Jan. & 2 Feb., 9 Feb. & 16 Feb. 2021
Times Evening Class
7.00 - 8.30 pm
Only evening class available All times shown are Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
Instructor Adrian Cooke
Language English
Price € 100 EUR
Terms & Conditions

Please read this information before enrolling. By paying for this course, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions below.

  • Fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • You cannot switch between morning and evening classes. Once you have selected either the morning or evening class, you will not be able to change your class time.
  • All times are shown in Irish Standard Time (UTC+1). It is important that you know the correct class time as it relates to you. You will not be refunded for any confusion or mistake about this on your part.
  • Classical Art Atelier reserves the right to cancel any course or workshop at any time if the minimum number of students required is not reached. In such cases, your course fee will be fully refunded.

Materials & Equipment List


You will need a certain amount of art materials and equipment to help you do this course. Not everything on the list below is absolutely necessary - just make sure to have a basic supply of drawing materials, and the more specialist materials will be discussed during the course. Materials and accessories are available for purchase at Cork Art Supplies, where you will be entitled to a 10% discount when you enrol for this course. We also recommend Evans Art Supplies Dublin, Kennedy Art Supplies Dublin, Jackson's Art Supplies UK or Cass Art UK.

Pencils & Charcoals
  • Graphite Pencils
    from 2H to 6B
  • Nitram Charcoal
  • Kneadable Eraser
  • Plastic or Gum Eraser
  • Tombow Mono Zero Eraser (optional)
  • Cartridge or Bond Paper
  • Stonehenge Paper (White)
  • Easel (table, portable or studio)
  • Hard drawing board
  • Ruler
  • Masking Tape
  • Skewer or Knitting Needle
  • Mahlstick
Charles Bargue Cours de Dessin Online Course

Start Learning the Methods of the Masters

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