6-week Intensive: Drawing, Painting & Art History – Part I
This course is specially designed for students with a strong interest in art. Intended to provide a rich and fulfilling stay in Florence, as well as daily fine art activity to substantially enhance your skill level, this six-week course will introduce students to the classical methods of training in the visual arts, enriching your visual vocabulary and providing a methodology that can be applied to other art disciplines.
Instruction by individual critique. Beginning – Intermediate – Advanced levels welcome.
In Florence, students discover the richness and beauty of Italian painting fused with academic draughtsmanship, and endeavour to discover how the masters created works of such universal significance.
DRAWING AND PAINTING A short distance from the historic city centre in a quiet Italian neighbourhood, students work from easels under natural north light, just like the old master painters of the past. Florence Academy faculty will guide them through the techniques of sharpening charcoal, blocking in the shadow shapes, and understanding how to translate three-dimensional forms into two dimensions. Instruction is designed to take students of all levels through a series of exercises aimed to develop their observational skills and accuracy in drawing and painting, whilst learning a methodology to translate and record directly from nature.
During the mornings, students immerse themselves in the study and practice of drawing; in the afternoons, they practice painting.
A brief introduction to copying from old master drawings to understand measurement, proportion and shadow shape, students progress to drawing from the plaster cast, and painting the still life, portrait and the figure. They will practice using charcoal, pencil and oil. The program is very similar to the one offered to full time students at The Florence Academy of Art.
Working from life is a unique and fulfilling experience, one that is fundamental to the training at the Florence Academy and central to a long-standing tradition. Working from a live model, students will learn how to approach the human figure, observing proportion, body type and gesture and important anatomical points. With pencil there will be a linear approach focusing on outline and shadow line to explain the form. With charcoal and oil paint, focus will be on mass and overall sense of light and atmosphere through comparison of light and shadow shapes.
During their free time, students may attend the Academy’s full time Anatomy course and Art History lectures during the period of the workshop. Students will be encouraged to sketch the main monuments and piazzas, or drawing in museums like the Bargello Sculpture Museum or the Museo del Duomo.
STUDIO PROJECTS IN DEPTH
I. Copy of 19th Bargue drawings & Old Master copies in pencil and charcoal
Students begin by copying 19th Century drawings produced by Charles Bargue by request of Jean-Léon Gérôme. Originally discovered in the archives of the Victoria and Albert museum by Florence Academy founder, Daniel Graves, and brought to use in the drawing program in Florence, the simplified forms of the Bargue drawings enable students to understand our process, focusing on outline, proportion, value and line quality. At this stage, students learn the sight-size method of measurement to view the subject correctly and reproduce it accurately. This method will be later applied to cast, portrait and figure exercises as students acquire the ability to translate three-dimensional form into two dimensions.
II. Cast Drawing, Portraiture and Still Life in charcoal and oil
The practice of drawing from classical statuary helped great painters of the past learn their craft. By copying plaster casts and painting portraits, students continue to develop observation and drawing skills whilst learning to work from nature. Ultimately, this practice allows them to confront one of the greatest challenges: the human figure. Emphasis is placed on describing form through the relationship of light and shadow, controlling values and rendering edges. In still life projects, strong emphasis is placed on design and composition.
III. Figure Drawing & Painting from Life
The figure is the centre of the Academy’s curriculum and will be at the core of our 6-week program. Students will be introduced to the human form through weekly pencil studies from life. Through these exercises they will learn how to observe and record nature, using simple line and shadow shapes. They will then progress to a two week study in charcoal and oil that will develop awareness of anatomy and focus on light and shadow to explain form. Models will pose for three hours per session, allowing time for students to make careful observations and produce an accurate drawing or painting.
ART SUPPLIES Students will receive a list of materials to purchase. On the first day of class, they will be accompanied to a local art supply store where they will enjoy a discounted price on hand-made charcoal from France, paper from Italy, and the sketchbook to record their impressions of their time in Florence.
ART HISTORY INSTRUCTION Renaissance artists placed man at the centre of the universe. Today, their master works inspire contemporary painters and sculptors for their ability to transcend time, and enter the realm of our experience. Students will look to answer how Renaissance artists found and translated the human figure, from static to contropposto to spiralling forms in space. They will step in close to observe their fondly worked surfaces, to understand how sculptors used texture and polish to create the painter’s equivalent of chromatics.
To understand how the Renaissance took root and flourished, students will walk through Florence, and visit its main sites. What was Florence like in the 1400’s? Who were its main political, religious and artistic figures? How were power, wealth and faith expressed through buildings and artwork. By visiting Florence’s principal museums and churches art will tell the story of powerful families like the Medici, religious orders like the Franciscans, and the merchant guilds.
Art History Highlights: Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, Giotto and Masaccio, Ghiberti and Donatello, Giambologna at the Loggia dei Lanzi. Visits to the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery and Michelangelo’s unfinished, Slaves, and David, the Bargello Sculpture Museum, and the Gallery of Modern Art (19th century painting) at the Pitti Palace.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND SUPPORT Throughout the students’ time in Florence, The Florence Academy administrative staff will be available to answer questions and provide full services and support. Students will be accommodated in double bedrooms in furnished apartments with other students on the program. These are within walking distance from the school building or short bus ride, and ten minutes from the historic centre of Florence.
COST PER PERSON EUR 3.785,00.
- Instruction, guided visits, activities and entrance fees as stated in your itinerary
- Student Services Support of Florence Academy office staff
What’s not included?
Transportation to/from Florence, Travel insurance, Visas, Airport transfers, Meals, Drinks, Optional excursions, Items of a personal nature including spending money, tips and gratuities.
Four guided visits to principal museums by the academy’s Art Historian (Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello and Pitti Palace), activities and entrance fees
Participation in the Academy’s full time Anatomy course and Art History lectures during the period of the workshop.
Support services of Florence Academy staff.
Maximum enrollment 12 students
Discounted art supplies. Students receive a materials list in their acceptance packet. Materials may be purchased in advance directly from a Florentine art supply store called, Zecchi. Students will find their supplies waiting for them in their studio upon arrival in Florence.
Melissa Franklin Sanchez
Melissa Franklin Sanchez was born in 1984, in Warwickshire, England. In 2002 she graduated from her humanistic studies: Art, Music, English Literature, Performing Arts and Ballet. In the summer of 2003 she completed an intensive art foundation course at the Slade School of Art, London. She then enrolled at The Florence Academy of art where she graduated with the three-year diploma in painting and a 4th year of specialization. Her work is currently represented by Scriba Gallery, Venice, Italy, W. H. Patterson, London, the Grenning Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme Ct, Ann Long Fine Art, Charleston, South Carolina and Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, Texas.
Melissa’s love of Italy, its culture, beauty and tradition will continue to be an inspiration for her life and her work.
See more of Melissa’s work in the Alumni Gallery and at melissafranklinsanchez.blogspot.it
In college, Erica pursued her love of visual art, Latin and Italian languages, and Roman and Greek mythology and art history. Her studies included a year abroad in Florence. In 2014, she graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a BA in Classical Archaeology with a second major in Studio Art. Following graduation she was quick to return to Florence to pursue a career as a realist painter. In 2017, Erica graduated from FAA’s three-year Drawing & Painting program where she was awarded “Best Intermediate Cast Drawing” in her second year. Erica continues post graduate studies and is eager to share the methods and tools she has acquired with students from around the world. When Erica is not teaching, she is busy painting in her private studio in Florence.
See more of Erica’s work on Instagram: @ericaarcudifineart
Toby Neve is a British painter born in 1993 whose specialised education in drawing and painting began in 2011 at the London Atelier of Representational Art, before he joined The Florence Academy of Art in 2012. Upon graduating in 2015, and having started teaching as an student-instructor in his third year of studies, he was awarded the Fourth-Year prize, working for a year under Daniel Graves, next-door to his private studio.
Toby teaches drawing and painting in the First and Second year programs and gives lectures on the materials of drawing and painting. He works in a private studio space on the FAA campus, which students are welcome to visit out of working hours. He was awarded a first place ARC scholarship in 2014 and was a 2015 Hudson River Fellow.
See more of Toby’s work on Instagram: @toby.neve
ADDRESS: Via Aretina 293 – Florence
Minimum enrollment requirement for all studio workshops is 5. Students will be notified if this number is not reached 60 days before the first day of class. At that time, they will be given the choice of either enrolling in another workshop, availability permitting, or having their payment refunded. Students may continue to apply to workshops even after the deadline and through the first day of the course.
The Florence Academy of Art reserves the right to substitute instructors of any course at the last minute or during the session. Once you apply and are accepted, you will receive an acceptance packet via email with information on housing, materials and payment of the non-refundable deposit due immediately to hold your place. The balance must be received two months before the first day of class. No refunds will be given for cancellation after payment of the balance.
The Florence Academy of Art endeavors to provide an educational environment conducive to encouraging the artistic talents of each student. This requires that all students respect the policies of the Academy, its instructors, and the other students in the program. By enrolling in the Academy, students agree to subscribe to these policies as contained in the Student Handbook available on this website.
The Florence Academy of Art is a United States non-profit 501 c (3) educational entity, and admits students of any race, age, color and national or ethnic origin.