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Art students who would like to become fine artists, start their art education in art schools from the age of 9 or 10. By the end of this school, which takes 4 to 5 years, they have very good drawing, painting, decorative arts, composition, and sculpting skills as well a firm knowledge of the history of arts.
Nevertheless, to enter a good art academy, it is necessary to take 3 additional years of preparatory courses to raise their drawing and painting skills to the next level.
Art academy entry exams include drawing a figure and a portrait from life. A student should demonstrate high level of drawing skills and full understanding of constructive drawing principles and the knowledge of human body proportions and anatomy.
Such skills and knowledge students receive in art schools and courses, where the first year is spent on drawing only geometrical objects. It starts with flat casts of rosettes.
From flat objects, they move to three-dimensional bodies like spheres, cubes, prisms, cones, and cylinders.
The next year is dedicated to a transition from drawing single objects to simple still lifes, which consist of man-made geometrical objects. Such still lifes become more complex with the addition of draperies.
Thereafter, students move to drawing classical order capitals, organic three-dimensional rosettes, and still lifes with organic items that are getting more elaborate and advanced. Drawing man-made and natural things lasts a long period of time.
The next step is progressing to drawing separate facial features, like eyes, a nose, a mouth, and an ear.
Afterward, students draw a human skull in various views. Life drawing continues with simple head casts that have geometrical planes.
After this, students are given to draw écorché of a head, which shows the muscles of a head without skin.
Only after these exercises are these art students ready to move on to drawing casts of classical Greek and Roman busts, which are also ordered from simple to more difficult. Step by step, students learn construction, anatomy, and proportions of a human head. This takes about one year.
Thereafter, they advance to studying anatomy and construction of a human body. They draw casts of arms and hands, including écorché, skeletal anatomy, feet, and other parts of a human body.
The study continues with drawing écorché of a torso from different points of view and progressing to drawing casts of full standing figures. Studying casts of classical busts, torsos, and figures also takes a lot of time. Every drawing takes from 20 to 40 hours and students spend about one year drawing cast figures from life.
Only then are students considered ready to draw live models. This is the final step of their pre-academy art education.
Usually, it is very easy for these students to advance from drawing classical casts to portraying live models because there has been a great deal of preparatory work done in the previous 4 to 6 years.
If you're wondering if it is possible to do it any faster, probably yes, if you are exceptionally talented and already have good constructive drawing skills and proficient tonal rendering techniques, and all that remains is to fill in the knowledge gaps in anatomy for artists and body proportions.
This system gives great results and has developed very skillful and original fine artists for many centuries. I hope that these teaching methods will stay in place in my country for future generations of artists to come.
A self-study, self-paced course for you to learn fundamental methods of classical drawing and improve life drawing skills by watching video lessons and doing assignments
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The ultimate choice if you who would like to receive personal, one-to-one tutoring from the Academy teachers, which is custom-tailored to your skills and needs
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