The Figurative Core™ • Full Time Study
Creative Training for Serious Artists of Any Level of Experience
A complete program, designed to make you a better artist.
If you think you have something to say with your art, we can help you develop the skills to do so.
Featuring both in-studio and online study options.
The Teaching Studios of Art® introduces The Figurative Core™, a monthly program designed to train artists in the traditional techniques of drawing and painting, and in developing an original and creative vision.
The program is primarily taught by Rob Zeller, author of The Figurative Artist’s Handbook and the Director of the Teaching Studios of Art, with assistance from other faculty of the Teaching Studios.
The program provides a firm foundation in Still Life, Portrait and Figure Drawing and Painting. Additionally, we encourage creativity on the part of each artist by assigning creative projects from the very beginning.
We can help make you the best artist you can possibly be.
BUILT ON THREE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
1. Good drawing skills are the basis of all compelling art. An artist should be trained in solid academic drawing techniques in order to be able to express themselves effectively.
2. Good painting skills are built on good drawing skills. An artist who wants to work in a 2D medium, be it oil paint, watercolor, or some other wet or dry media, on paper or on canvas, should then be able to convey their vision in a convincing manner. This takes training.
3. Creativity and originality are just as important to develop as technique. Making original work that expresses one’s own unique, personal voice is challenging. Creativity needs to be worked on from the very beginning to effectively be integrated into an artist’s training. If it’s worth saying, it’s worth saying well.
The Figurative Core™ Program – The Curriculum
Designed to foster real artistic growth, The Figurative Core™ Program trains artists in both the foundational basics of drawing and painting from life and provides a framework to make their own creative figurative art work, simultaneously. The program requires students to work 6 hours, 3 days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, with a specific emphasis on a different aspect of and training each day. The program will be taught by primarily by Teaching Studios Founder and Director Rob Zeller, with assistance from other faculty. While we will not reveal the specifics of the curriculum here, we will provide a general outline.
Tuesdays -10:30am- 1:30pm This day will be focused on precision training of both hand and eye. Students will copy Bargue plates, Old Master Drawings and work from plaster casts of Classical statues. Upon approval from the instructor, students will then move on to painting casts in grisaille (monochrome) oil paint. As students progress in the curriculum, they learn still life painting and the fundamentals of composition. Students will work in both indirect and alla prima painting methods.
Tuesdays, 2-5pm. Old Master Copy continues the time-honored tradition of learning from the Old Masters by copying their great works. Students will choose an Old Master painting or drawing to copy. The instructor will discuss the proper use of brushes, mediums, solvents and varnishes, historical palettes and color schemes. Once a month, Art History will also be discussed, covering a different time period each lecture. Lessons will be also be given in such basics as stretching canvases, preparing panels, making mediums, and developing a working method that is both archival and safe.
Wednesdays 6 hours-10:30am- 5:30pm will be focused on working from the live model- both in portrait and figure drawing and painting. Working from the live model is key to any type of traditional training of the artist’s vision. Zeller will use the foundational basics he teaches in his book, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook, which will be the main Program textbook, in addition to a few others.
Art is not simply an imitation of nature, it transcends mere observation. It expresses something more.
Thursdays- 5 hours 10:30am- 3:30pm Being an artist means making art, plain and simple. That process should not be stopped during traditional training, but rather encouraged. While getting traditional training on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Thursdays will be devoted to fostering student’s creativity. Students will begin working out thumbnail sketches of ideas for composition. They will then do some color studies, and, finally a finished, original creative project.
Students may pursue any subject matter they wish, and work in a very traditional vein, or a more modern conception, as they see fit. The use of photography, collage or other mixed media in this class is permissible to make artwork. This is a day to put the traditional training into practice, in one own creative work. How that manifests itself is up to the individual.
Zeller will act as both mentor and consultant on Thursdays. It is important that students develop independent voices as they learn to put their training to use. Zeller will not micromanage student projects, but will be available on an as-needed basis.
Creative Student Work in this program
Rebecca began her painting “Nemesis” in this program and got it curated into an exhibition at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, NY. She worked with our instructors brought the piece from conception to 3/4, and then completed the painting on her own. That’s the goal with all of our students. One of the brightest young artists we’ve seen in a while. Congratulations again, Rebecca!
Chaya began her project as a study of the relationship of some close friends, but the work evolved into something much more meaningful on a personal level. The image was published in Nook Magazine in their April 2019 issue. Congratulations, Chaya!
Kristy has a son who suffers from a debilitating disease. She wanted to use her creative art to depict her own struggles with his care. Extremely personal work, but effectively universal.