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Decorus Atelier of Figurative Art,  Brooklyn, New York


You can view our current class schedule on our Course Horse page. 



















First Year


Students in their first year of full time study at Decorus Atelier begin by reconstructing Old Master drawings and working on reproductions from the famous 19th Century Charles Bargue drawings. The emphasis is on accuracy, strong construction, proportions,  skillful technique, and representing form through line.


As students follow this with cast drawing. These casts are usually facial features, faces, hands, or other parts of the human anatomy. This allows the artist to build their skills in construction, accuracy of proportion, line, contour, and  value  from a still object which permits longer study. Students then advance by taking classes in figure drawing and learn by direct observation from models. We wish to give Decorus students the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of the figure .


The first year has a strong focus on developing drawing skills because we feel the practice of careful drawing is the basis of excellence in painting, sculpture and realizing the unique vision of the professional artist. 


Our dedicated instructors teach a form of realism based upon careful observations of nature with attention to detail. Students explore the two methods of  measurement:   sight-size method and the comparitive measurement method . 


The goal for sight-size students is to gain enough skill to transfer an accurate image to the paper or canvas without the aid of a mechanical device. Comparative measurement method requires proportional accuracy,  but allows an artist to vary the size of the image created as they wish. 


Students also take classes in perspective as well as figurative anatomy and construction in order to better understand how to break down the human form.




Second Year 



The focus shifts to examining form through value and atmosphere, anatomy, and developing meaning. Students also begin painting in grisaille(monochrome painting) from the cast during this year as well as limited palette color studies.  


Students in this period of their study continue to build their skills through a  variety of  classes in figure drawing, human anatomy/ ecorche,  figurative painting or sculpture,   portraiture, color theory, and cast painting.  


They also begin to explore various concepts in building successful artistic compositions,  narrative thinking,  philosophy, and in old master techniques in order to help students to develop their own personal artistic vision and to communicate more effectively with their artwork.




Third Year


 Students at this stage continue to advance their understanding of composition, narrative thinking, and anatomy.  They examine advanced concepts in painting, drawing, and sculpture and color theory.  


They work from observation but also explore concepts that draw from their enhanced sense of memory or imagination. Students explore creating  multiple figure compositions, and begin to work on their final master thesis work 




Fourth Year 


Students take additional master classes in anatomy, composition, technique, and learn to work more independently as they progress and worl with their advising instructor to complete a master thesis work or body of work which reflects their potential direction as artist.

A Certificate of Art will be issued after their studies have been completed

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