Work begins from specially prepared drawings that quickly and effectively give a command of shape, proportion and tonal rendering. These skills are then applied to studies from plaster casts, first in charcoal, then in oil paint.
Along with daily work from the live model, first in pencil, then in charcoal, these studies occupy the first two years. Third-year students paint from the nude and also concentrate on the disciplines of still life, which is the perfect arena in which to learn about colour, texture and the illusion of three dimensions. The live model demands great ability in gesture, design, proportion and very subtle colour.
This work from the live model begins in the student’s second week; we believe that early time spent in mastering fundamental skills is time well spent. The human figure is central to European art – our innate urge towards anthropomorphism depends on it for expression and many of our principles of composition stem from a study of the nude.
Slide lectures on various technical aspects, such as anatomy and morphology, perspective, and art history from the practising painter’s point of view, are given regularly.
The Angel Academy of Art’s fundamental programme is a unique three-year course, developed over 40 years by master painter and portraitist, Michael John Angel. This three-year programme consists of a graduated series of specific exercises, each project building on the lessons learned from the previous one. The course design is based on techniques and methods developed in the 19th-century French ateliers and later refined. It is the fastest possible way to learn how to draw and paint at the highest levels; in the end, any artist who can create at this level is able to express whatever he or she wants.
The Academy’s aim is to develop the student’s skill through traditional training and practice, using the same methods that were used to teach many of the great masters of the past. At the same time, each student’s individual strength and artistic interpretation is encouraged; boundaries are pushed and the student can emerge as a highly skilled and confident artist. A Diploma of Excellence is awarded to students who successfully complete the three-year Fundamental Programme.
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