Home Forums The Learning Center Student’s Dorm Best Figurative Art School(s) in the World?

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  • #993437
    Avatarcrudeoil
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      Hello everyone,

      I am new to painting and drawing and I am considering going to a university. I would like to go to a school that will teach me how to draw and paint really well. Ideally in the figurative style…

      I was wondering what the best art schools for figurative drawing and painting in the world today?

      When I look online I find the same answers: (RISD, Yale, etc.) while these schools seem great, they appear to be best in specialized areas and not necessarily figurative painting and drawing.

      Anyway I would love to hear opinions on what the best art school sin the world are, as well as the most “renowned” art schools in the world?

      Thanks in advance!

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      #1239366
      AvatarTrustyj
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        Not sure how to answer your question about which school. However, I can tell you that any decent art school curriculum will include A LOT of figure drawing and painting.

        Since you are just starting out- just look for a school with a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes drawing and technique. Specializing in figurative work is something to think about after you have the basic skills and are looking at graduate schools.

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        #1239357
        CoolArtisteCoolArtiste
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          This is the wrong question. It’s mainly up to you to make yourself a good artist, not the school. Plus I don’t think you should spend a lot of money thinking it’s going to make you a great success. You can’t buy success. You have to earn it yourself through your own blood sweat and tears. You have to be really careful who you take art classes from. In colleges, there are a lot of modernist art teachers who don’t teach you any skills but just tell you to be creative. Don’t waste your money and time on them. They’re worthless. Finding the best teachers is a lot more important than looking for the “best schools.” Instead of spending a ton of money on what you think is the “best school,” you should spend a lot of time practicing drawing & painting and learning new things. If you can find some highly skilled & experienced illustrators to take classes from, that would be great. There used to be some good illustrators teaching classes in my area and they weren’t associated with any colleges. I’d rather go to something like that than a typical college class. Also there are clubs that meet up to have life drawing sessions. You chip in a little money and you get to sit & draw the nude models. Also see if you can find some community college classes taught by competent, traditional artists. Investigate the teachers before you take any classes from them. See what kind of art they do and what they believe in. Buy some good art instruction books. That’s how I learned painting, because the painting teacher I had in college was a joke. There are some great self taught artists. I certainly wouldn’t go to Yale just because it has a prestigious name and costs a lot of money. Check out the art that the teachers and students have done. If the art sucks, then they’re worthless. The Art Renewal Center web site has some recommended art schools / ateliers. I think you’d be better off going to one of those than a college. But the thing I don’t like about the living artists on ARC is that their figure paintings are very stiff and unimaginative. So you would also need to learn how to draw more imaginative, artistic, interesting, emotional figure paintings.

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          #1239367
          AvatarTrustyj
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            Cool is right that there are some schools that focus on “conceptual” practices and such that might not be a good fit for you. A good way to know about the school is to look at the work of the professors and decide if these are people you want to learn from.

            Taking classes outside of a program is a very different experience than being a full time student. Being in a rigorous program has benefits but you may be forced to spend 60+ hours a week in the studio. Its kind of like bootcamp, in fact, don’t expect to get a lot of sleep or hold down an outside job. I think it was good for me, but its a hardcore place for intense people.

            Its good that you are giving some thought to this before making the plunge into an art program.

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            #1239358
            CoolArtisteCoolArtiste
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              The best art program is you spending all your time practicing art every day.

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              #1239359
              CoolArtisteCoolArtiste
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                I found a good video on training to become a successful artist:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX0MrnzBJ8M

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                #1239360
                AvatarRibera
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                  First, if ya wanna become a representational artist, focus
                  there, period.
                  In the ‘Apple, be two old and well-established schools:
                  The Art Students’ League and the National Academy
                  of Design
                  .
                  The ‘League’s run and directed by students’, so their sel-
                  ection of classes as poor as the students can be, but they
                  do have a decent array of teachers.
                  Ya can do well there, if you select the right teachers.
                  While the Academy not run by students, it too has that
                  uneven array of teaching talent; one can fare well there,
                  if they choose correctly.
                  As ever, it all on you.
                  Like Artiste, I concur, the Art Renewal Center lists a
                  number of ateliers which might appeal to ya.
                  You need look and make your own decision, though.
                  r

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                  #1239368
                  AvatarDavid Dream
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                    It is not easy to answer. I think most important thing is your passion!

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                    #1239361
                    Profile PhotoAllisonR
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                      You need an atelier, not RISD, Parsons, Pratt etc. The latter are much more concept art schools. The former is rigid training from life.
                      Check the ARC for ateliers – most are in Italy, France, USA or UK.

                      Being born places you at a greater risk of dying later in life.

                      http://www.artallison.com/
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                      #1239364
                      AvatarGina dada
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                        Just write in google: Repin Institute. The best place of the world to study traditional and figurative art, in my view.

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                        #1239362
                        AvatarToonie
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                          Look at this article:

                          http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php/160487-Realism-vs-construction(a-guide-to-choosing-the-right-art-education)

                          That article lists only a fraction of the possible ateliers you could check out, but gives a good overview of the two main approaches to the study of figurative drawing.

                          Then check out the ateliers listed on the ARC site, as mentioned by another response to your query. Here’s the link to that:

                          http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/ateliers.php

                          You could also consider taking workshops from teachers before you commit to a 3 + year program at an atelier.

                          As for self-study, the Charles Bargue book is excellent. There are also courses of study available based on the Charles Bargue book.

                          Good luck!

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                          #1239363
                          mariposa-artmariposa-art
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                            You need an atelier, not RISD, Parsons, Pratt etc. The latter are much more concept art schools. The former is rigid training from life.
                            Check the ARC for ateliers – most are in Italy, France, USA or UK.

                            This.

                            Most art schools will cover figure drawing, but from what I’ve seen, many of the students still leave the programs with sub-par drawing skills. Just because a school claims to cover “Drawing,” doesn’t mean they do it well, or in the traditional style. Some examples of what can happen are outlined here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/f-scott-hess/is-deskilling-killing-you_b_5631214.html

                            I’d also check out ARC.

                            I’ve never attended, but if I could, I’d go to Watt: https://artrenewal.org/pages/atelier.php?atelierid=64

                            Or I’d go to Anthony Ryder’s workshops: http://www.theryderstudio.com/%5B/URL%5D

                            The LAST thing I’d do is sink a lot of money into one of the mainstream, more “famous” colleges or art schools, at least not before investigating them thoroughly to confirm that they do, indeed, offer top-quality figurative schooling. A few probably do, but you need to find out which ones.

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                            #1239365
                            AvatarFrenshard
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                              Sadly, most of the established art schools in the UK have largely written off the skills as ‘old hat’ and gone down the route of conceptual art, installations and the rest of it. To make matters worse, many of them have been subsumed into their local universities and so have become more academic than arty, with the tutors too busy doing their ‘research’ (which plays a big part in determining their organisation’s funding). You won’t get much tuition or individual attention at any of those nowadays.

                              If you’re thinking about the UK, there are quite a few atelier-type organisations in London and the other big cities but you should certainly investigate an independent art school like Heatherley’s in Chelsea http://www.heatherleys.org/%5B/URL%5D. I’ve been studying drawing there (part-time). They focus on portraiture, figurative painting, printmaking, illustration and sculpture and have done since 1845. They’ve had some eminent alumni: Millais, Sickert, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, etc. Definitely worth a look.

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                              #1239369
                              Avatarlumusislight
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                                Originally Posted by [B]doingsomeart[/B]
                                I’m not sure which figurative art school to choose. My parents won’t afford to pay for my education, so I think I will have to find a part-time job in a gallery/studio. What alternatives to Laguna College of Art and Design would you recommend?

                                I would choose either Swedish Academy of Realist Art in Simrishamn, Sweden (if you are considering an option to study abroad) or Gage Academy of Art in Seattle (if you aren’t going to leave the states). What is you background in figurative art?

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