From antique to life: drawing and painting inside the historic art school

Six-day practical and theoretical summer course

Courses and Classes

● Fully booked

24—29 July 2017

‘Oil painting from the life model’ Academic Programmes course attendee, 2017

© Royal Academy of Arts, photo by Evan Hutchinson.

An intensive, expert-led summer course exploring the traditional teaching methods pioneered by the Royal Academy Schools, including working from antique classical casts as well as life models, exploring drawing, watercolour and oil painting.

Led by Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes for the RA Schools, and using the RA’s unique teaching facilities and Collection, participants are offered access to the first ever week-long summer course within the historic studios of the RA Schools. This is a rare and exclusive opportunity to experience working in the purpose-built Life Room and painting studios, both of which carry a palpable echo of the RA’s creative and practical history.

“I can recommend nothing better… than that you endeavour to infuse into your works what you learn from the contemplation of the works of others.”Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA

Participants attending this unique course will follow in the footsteps of such historic artists as JMW Turner RA, John Constable RA, William Blake RA and John Everett Millais PRA, who entered the RA Schools as probationary students. The series of classes offered will echo and quote from the linear educative approaches – firstly drawing from the antique on day one, followed by the nude model on day two, before engaging with the historically perceived pinnacle of artistic ambition with classes in painting with watercolour and oils throughout the rest of the week. This will be experienced in the same double-height, vaulted, sky-lit studios that have inspired generations of art students at the RA.

Beginning with the traditional teaching methods of the RA Schools as an entry point of focus, participants will be introduced to drawing from the antique using examples from its historic cast collection. Drawing in pencil, chalks and charcoal from these will naturally evolve into the advanced study of drawing from both male and female life models. Following on from this, an extended period of both painting from nature via still-life setups will be taught in watercolour, as well as approaches to oil painting from the life figure. Technical approaches will include observational drawing, rendering, tonal and colour work, compositional organisation and a variety of physical applications towards surface painting.

The practical course will be complemented by additional experiences that include a tour of the RA archive and collections, private state rooms and exhibition visits at the RA and further afield. Highlights from the RA archive and treasures from its collection will be visited and discussed and participants are invited to attend a series of lectures that are rooted in both related and historic subjects such as anatomy, the history of the RA Schools, the history of life drawing, and the roles and influences of women at the Academy.

The course will last six full days and is designed to provide one-on-one tutor feedback and maximum teaching time, to study directly from the RA’s unique teaching collection with exclusive access to its world renowned specialist facilities and expert staff.

For more information about the course timetable, and for any enquiries, please contact Mary Ealden, Academic Programmes Manager - mary.ealden@royalacademy.org.uk / 020 7300 8079

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

24—29 July 2017

The RA Schools, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts

£2,400. Includes all materials, light refreshments and lunch each day and a drinks reception at the end of the final day