The Atelier System

What is the Atelier system?


Atelier in French means “workshop” or “studio”. In English it is mainly used to refer to a private workshop or the studio of a professional artist where a number of assistants, students and apprentices can work together in the production of pieces of art under the supervision of the teacher.

The Atelier system is a structured and systematic pedagogical method that is transmitted from tutor to student. It emerged around the 17th century and later became the method most used by master painters such as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence y John Singer Sargent, among others.

During the renaissance of the Atelier system, R.H. Ives Gammell (1893-1981) adopted the Sight-Size method as the foundation of his teaching method. He founded his studio based on the private workshops of master painters Carolus-Duran or Léon Bonnat.

In the Ateliers, students of different levels and with different backgrounds work together, each one learning at his own pace, while a tutor adapts their criticism to the progress of each student. It is a very effective way to accelerate the learning process and obtain excellent results in a short period of time.

The tasks to be performed by the students are assigned by the constructive method. That is, each exercise must be completely passed and the student must demonstrate mastery of all aspects of the exercise before moving on to the next one (of a higher level).

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