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Portraiture painting


“High and serious art cannot exist without science. And science in its highest expression becomes an art.” 

P. Chistyakov ​


Students go through the educational process and grow by performing tasks which increase in complexity with each new exercise. The main emphasis at the Florence Classical Arts Academy is the training of the students’ eye and the development of their artistic taste. The educational process is based on the analytical approach to painting. Professors set a certain task for the student and then check how they are completed. In this way, the student gains skills in working with the painting step by step from basic to complex. Working on the painting analytically includes the ability to “open” the canvas, which means to look for the overall color palette and aim to match it to real life colors and perceive those as large color spot. Detailed analysis of the color relationships comes second to it. The painting should appear complete at each given stage of its development. This method has been applied by the Academic school for many centuries.


Leonardo da Vinci wrote: “The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies everything placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence.”


For this very reason at the Florence Classical Arts Academy students are taught how to analyze their model instead of simply reproducing what they see. Different subjects like Drawing, Perspective, Anatomy, Chromatics and Composition, give beginner artists the essential knowledge. This enables them to identify their own mistakes in the process of painting and to correct them. This method teaches a student to become independant thinker and a creative visionary. 

Portraiture painting


“One must know how to draw before one becomes an artist. It is because the ability to draw is the basis for the art. These skills should be developed from early years so that the artist as soon as he starts thinking and feeling, can express and convey his thoughts accurately and without any hindrance, so that the pencil can run at the artist’s will and thought.”

K. Brullov


The Drawing Department aims to fulfill this educational task. As drawing is the basis for visual artistic activity, the Florence Classical Arts Academy puts particular emphasis on the forming and developing of students’ knowledge and skills in the field of academic drawing. The fundamental principle for the drawing classes is the analytical approach to producing the art work. Drawings should progress methodically, stage by stage. Those students who follow strictly and diligently the professors’ directions, developing their work stage by stage, will be able to advance their skills in academic drawing. Our professors guide the students through the steps in drawing gradually and methodically; moving from the initial stage which enables one to see proportions and perspective. And than focusing on more complex aspects, such as tone and detail. And finally, the student is able to convey one’s artistic vision.


Iliya Repin once said: “Never-ceasing drawing from life is the highest and the surest school”.

That’s why the Florence Classical Arts Academy program is based on drawing from real life and not on the mechanical copying. This method has been proven effective by generations of great artists starting from the Renaissance. Goethe wrote: “One shouldn’t forget that if you push your student without sufficient artistic knowledge and experience to learn from real life, you will lead him away from both real life and art”. Our students taught how to draw by being immersed in the art of draftsmanship stage by stage. Our practice of individual attention to each student enables our students to steadily progress in theoretical knowledge and technical skills. 

Portraiture drawing


“Stating that  composition  cannot  be  analysed  from  the scientific and methodological point of view is particularly strange considering the fact that any composition  of any kind of  visual   art  is  always    designed   and   planned beforehand. The  foundations of learning  draftsmanship and painting are closely connected with the principles of composition".          

                                                                                                                                                                Aleksandr Deyneka

Composition is the core subject at the Florence Classical Arts Academy. While creating a composition, artists can express their thoughts and unleash their potential. Composition also reveals how skilled the student is as a draftsman and as a painter. As composition is a highly creative artistic activity which embodies students' ideas, it demonstrates how much one masters the brush and the paint.

Our professors generously share their experience and professional secrets, helping students to develop their artistic taste and skills. With diligence and dedication, the student will surely learn how to find original compositional solutions, to convey tragedy or joy through harmonious color combinations, to depict a story that will touch the viewer.

Composition while combining painting and drawing goes beyond them both, allowing one's idea to truly unfold. Composition uncovers various skills of the students such as working on portrait, figure, draperies, landscape, following perspective and anatomy principles. 

Anatomy for the artists


Each academic year there are six weeks in total dedicated to full-time intensive anatomy studies. During this course, one learns about a complete scheme of the human body through analysis and 3D image creation. Anatomy for the artist gives essential knowledge about the structure, proportions, and features of the human body. It teaches direct application of anatomy to artistic drawing.


Course objectives:


  • To increase awareness of the skeletal structure

  • To instil into the mind a full image of the human figure, proportions & plains

  • To understand the proportional system and learn key points of the human body

  • To study a constructive drawing approach, properly using perspective rules in creating a 3D image 

  • To visualise complex forms in simpler geometrical layout                         



  • Skeleton in three projections

  • Skull

  • Rib cage and spinal column

  • Pelvic bones

  • Major joints: elbow and knee

  • Hands and feet

  • Muscles of the head and the neck

  • Muscles of the torso: front & back

  • Muscles of the lower limbs

  • Muscles of the hands and feet

  • Schematic model of full figure

  • Mimics, gestures and figure in motion


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