The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art


The Atelier is a structured program where the students are taken through exercises each day that train their eye and challenge them to work on their strengths and weaknesses, to become more fully conversant with the language of painting. This form of teaching is rare, setting up a foundation for learning mind, eye, and hand coordination skills.

Series of Four Charcoal Drawings of the Same Figure from Life by Sheri Dickhaut, 28" x 20"

Copyright © Sheri Dickhaut Copyright © Sheri Dickhaut Copyright © Sheri Dickhaut Copyright © Sheri Dickhaut

Stage #1: This drawing is done working with the sight size method. At the beginning the biggest contour shapes and line movements are used, capturing the gesture. Then the light and shadow shapes are outlined.

Stage #2: Attention is now given to the effect of light on the figure, allowing major shapes and values to be established.

Stage #3: Next focus on the full range of values giving the figure greater dimensional volume through the use of halftones and edges.

Stage #4: The end stage is full of refinements in the smaller passages developing a sense of form and space.

Draftsmanship is of paramount importance in the training of a painter. Through a historical method called the "sight size" method, the eye is made to see proportions accurately. The student makes a series of measurements both vertically and horizontally, resulting in a drawing that is the same proportionate size as the image seen in nature. Emphasis is placed on developing the student's ability to observe and render proportion and value relationships. By the time the student reaches his or her fourth year, she or he can put together a complex painting.