This June I spent 3 weeks at the Florence Art Studio in Florence, Italy, which proved to be one of the most pivotal times in my artistic development. Despite having taken numerous drawing classes and holding an art degree, no one had taught me this way to see, and to construct a realistic drawing, until I met FAS director Gary Adcock. I learned more in 3 weeks than I had in years, and now have taken those skills with me. In addition to his vast knowledge of technique and art history, Gary is a supportive and incredibly patient teacher. He has the ability to see the errors in a drawing and gently guide the student to correct them. He takes the process step by step and gives clear instructions. No time was wasted. The 3 museum tours I went on with Gary were also fascinating as he revealed the depth of his knowledge, citing details about the artists and their techniques that would not be covered in a normal tour.
During my time there I completed 1 charcoal drawing of a cast of St. Jerome, working with Gary 15 hours/week and sometimes overtime on my own. One might wonder why it takes 3 weeks to do one drawing of a head. Gary’s method is very thorough and slow, so that the student refines their ability to see what they are drawing with accuracy. Every angle must be measured as correctly as possible with the orange triangle (the color makes it easier to see the angles as you line it up since it stands out so much). I noticed a marked improvement as the course went on in terms of being able to see small details that at first I missed.
Below are photos of my drawing process:
I highly recommend attending the Florence Art Studio if you are serious about learning to draw and paint, no matter what your skill level is. Gary is a perfect teacher for anyone who has avoided their studies after being intimidated and judged by past art instructors. This program is for anyone who is frustrated with signing up for an art class, only to be handed a pencil and left to their own devices with no actual instruction. You will not be disappointed in your experience at the FAS.
And, I haven’t mentioned the obvious: as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of the best places to study art in the world!