Monday, December 31, 2012

Off the Easel: Fall 2012

Happy New Year from ARA, Boston!

Here are a few works completed during the Fall Term of 2012. 

And on to 2013!!!!

Kevin Gearns
Bargue #3   Female torso, three-quarter view
Graphite on Paper

Cris Crawford
Bargue #3   Capitoline Ariadne
Graphite on Paper

Elise Zoller
Cast #1  Lips (from Michelangelo's David)
Charcoal on Roma Paper

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Figure Construct Class

Instructor: Emmy De Musis
1:00 - 4:00,  January 12 - March 2nd.

Rendering the human form is the most difficult task in drawing and the beginning stages of construction are the most important. This 8 week course addresses the early stage and it's challenges. Working from the nude model, students are given a step-by-step system that improves their ability to accurately capture gesture, proportion and body type.  From this general block-in, students advance towards an exploration of the figure's specific contour and shadow line.


Students in the Saturday Figure Construct Class spend most of their hours fixated on what is called the Gestural Construct. This is an initial block-in where accurate proportion and gesture are sought. To achieve this, students are taught our comparative measuring system and given tools to track the model's pose and establish tilts.

The Gestural Construct is the foundation of every figure drawing and painting done at ARA, Boston. If our drawing were a house, the Gestural Construct would be the beams that hold it up. This important phase gives stability to the work.

Students are taught to keep their lines light and loose, to be flexible, and to take the time to search out the correct. An exploration of active and passive also takes place in this phase.

Once this "armature" has been built, students now have a solid structure which can be carved into and added upon. If the Gestural Construct has been done well, entering into the next phase, the Completed Construct, will flow with relative ease.


Using straight lines, students build upon the Gestural Construct by establishing the large planar movements of the figure. Additional anatomy as well as shadow lines are placed. Students are taught to perfect tilts in this phase and seek out rhythms the body may present. Connections are made throughout the figure with the use of pathways (flow through lines). Careful attention is payed to the specific break down of planes, which continues through to articulation.

To learn more about our method of constructing the figure, call or email to register for class.  All levels welcome.

617. 426. 3006

Monday, November 19, 2012

Open Studio

Wednesday, November 28th
11:00am - 7:00pm

Academy of Realist Art, Boston

112 South Street, Boston

617 426 3006


Please join us to tour our facilities, learn about our program, and view work by students and instructors.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Round Two: Brian MacNeil's Plein Air Weekend Workshop

Students enjoyed our summer workshops so much that we decided to add another landscape class on the weekend of October 6th. The Boston Public Garden was just as pretty this time around but a bit chillier with the autumn weather! 

 Here are some shots:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beaux-Arts and the New "Bohemians"

Please join the Artists of the Academy of Realist Art, Boston for a show at the French Cultural Center.

For more information:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rubens Workshop - Week Two

Week two of the Rubens Master Copy Workshop was all about color and included more lectures, demos, and of course, lots of work!

Monday morning lecture.

Garrett demos the glazing process.





and Jan.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mid Week Peek at Garrett Vitanza's Rubens Master Copy Workshop

The two week Rubens master copy workshop at ARA, Boston began on Monday.

Instructor Garrett Vitanza has spent months researching the methods of the Flemish Baroque painter, Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640). He started the workshop with a lecture on Monday morning, after which students got to work on one of three copies:

Portrait of a Man

Two Satyrs

Study of two Heads

Here are a few shots from the workshop (with more to come!).

A few closer in progress shots:

Garrett is working on a demo in class:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Brian MacNeil's Plein Air Workshop

I walk through the Boston Public Garden each day on my way to ARA. This weekend I was especially excited to do so as Brian MacNeil was holding his two day Plein Air Workshop.

Early morning on Day One I found Brian and his group of students surrounded by paparazzi (not pictured).

The forecast was for thunderstorms but thankfully the clouds only produced a few small sprinkles.

Day two and the umbrellas were up, but not for rain drops. It was sunny from start to finish.

On my way home, late afternoon, the workshop was winding down. For some students, this was their first go at plein air painting and they are inspired to do more of it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

End of the Year Student Evaluations

In 2012 we added a new facet to our program : end of the year student evaluations. For four days, the faculty met with each student to critique his or her work. Students were invited to bring in outside pieces, but the largest portion of the critiques centered on this year's figure drawings from the model room.

With all the pieces together, side by side, the faculty assessed individual progress while also identifying regressive tendencies. This made it easy for the faculty to set student goals for the coming year.

Garrett discusses a portrait study with Siri.

Cindy surveys Julie's work

Garrett critiques a piece of Julie's outside work.

Julie displays her early work. What progress!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Christina Grace Mastrangelo to Join ARA, Boston

We are very pleased to announce that Christina Grace Mastrangelo will join our teaching staff in September. A graduate of Angel Academy in Florence, Christina was awarded an Art Renewal Center Scholarship in 2009.

Christina works and teaches out of her studio in Western Massachusetts, is represented by Cavalier Galleries and will be spending four weeks this summer in New Hampshire's White Mountains as the recipient of the prestigious Hudson River Fellowship.

Christina will be teaching Bargue/Cast drawing and painting at ARA on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:30pm and again from 6:00-9:00pm.

To learn more about Christina and link to her work, visit the Faculty Page of our website

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Workshops 2012

Summer workshops begin soon! To register, please visit the workshop page of our website:

Landscape Painting

Boston Common Plein Air Study

2 Days, July 7 and 8, 8:30 – 4:00 1 hour lunch $250

Instructor - Hudson River Fellow, Brian MacNeil

The historic Boston Public Garden offers many scenic spots for this plein air landscape painting workshop. Each morning will begin with a demonstration of the day’s activity – giving visual guidance in how to productively complete each day’s objective.

On day one students will select a spot and make a drawing and composition in grisaille. On the second day the composition will be finished using a full color palette. Issues to be discussed will include how to deal with changing light, atmospheric perspective and the retention of luminosity.


In The Studio of Peter Paul Rubens

July 9 – 20 10:00 – 5:00. One hour lunch break. (10 days – Cost $1150)

Instructor - Garrett Vitanza

This workshop offers insight into the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, his life and working methodology. Working from high resolution copies of some of Rubens’ paintings students will learn how to approach making a traditional oil painting. Students will be coached from the beginning drawing stage through to finished paint passages and work towards emulating the lush paint application of Rubens.

Figure Drawing: The Academic Tradition using the ARA methodology.

July 23 - August 3 10:00 - 5:00. One hour lunch break. (10 days - Cost $1,150)

Instructor - Emmy De Musis

The Academy of Realist Art, Boston continues in the figure drawing tradition established by the 19th Century French Academy in Paris. In this ten day course, students will work from one pose and be taught the method used to draw the live model at ARA.

Beginning in graphite, students complete a 'cartoon'. This is a preliminary drawing that establishes proportion, body type, gesture and the correct grouping of light and dark. This important phase creates a solid structure.

Using a light table, students then transfer the cartoon to fresh paper and the drawing continues in charcoal where rendering techniques accurately capture delicacy of form and quality of flesh. Through the articulation of subtle plane changes and correct value assignments, the students finish a naturalistic and volumetric drawing.

The instructor will provide individual critiques, demos and lectures.

Painting the Figure in Oil

August 6 – 17, 10 days 10:00 - 5:00. One hour lunch break (Cost $1150)

Instructor Colleen Barry

Students will learn how to paint the figure in oil employing a limited palette. During the first week students will draw the figure in graphite to establishing accurate proportion, shapes of light and shade and structure. Once this “cartoon” is transferred to canvas a thin under-painting will be made. In the second week of the workshop students will be taught the fundamentals of form, color and light. Utilizing a limited palette will aid students understanding of how to conceptualize form by narrowing down the color choices. The students will gain a more profound knowledge of how to synthesize the colors on the palette with the form and light on the model.


Still Life Painting
August 20 – 31 10 days 10:00 - 5:00. One hour lunch break. (Cost $1150)
Instructor Brian MacNeil

Students will compose, set up and complete a still life painting. Learning topics will include still life composition, paint handling, lighting, and oil painting techniques and materials. Brian will share his experiences on still life painting and how to overcome common difficulties that may occur during the process.