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There are certain requirements to enter the Stroganov Academy of Arts, which I'm working at as a drawing and anatomy teacher. A person has to demonstrate sufficient drawing skills by making a portrait from life, an artwork of a classic order capital, and a life drawing of a model standing in contrapposto. The better one makes those drawings, the more likely their chances of gaining entrance to the academy. So, without good life drawing skills, there is no hope of studying there. That is why future students go through a long process of learning art to enter the Stroganov Academy of Arts. The academy's curriculum is based on the premise that a student already has to have good skills in order to be able to develop them to the highest professional level in this institution.
There is a great number of art schools for children in Russia, where students spend five years studying the arts, simultaneously attending their regular schools. By the time a child finishes school, one already knows how to draw figures and portraits. This makes it possible to teach students new techniques and methods and develop their philosophy and creative personality.
A graduate of an average Russian children's art school would be considered a professional artist by Western standards. However, this level is not enough to enter the academy. A student has to spend three more years in preparatory art courses that are given within the walls of the academy for the purpose of preparing students for drawing entry exams.
The academy teachers give these preliminary students the necessary knowledge of drawing techniques, so when those students finally enter the academy, they have the required skills to continue their art education. We had cases where students were coming from abroad; unfortunately, they had no chance because their level of art skills was far below the minimum entry requirements. The art classes they had back home did not provide a classical art education. One student did life figure drawing as she thought at the top level of her atelier, yet the quality of her work was greatly inferior to the level required. She had numerous mistakes in body proportions, anatomy, and tonal rendering. Unfortunately, we could not take her because she would not be able to follow the academy's curriculum.
The entry competition is very high. Every year, we have more than 50 candidates for every place available. They give a good idea of the level of skill required to enter the Stroganov Academy of Arts.
If you are a self-taught artist, and, for example, do not know color theory, or the theory of tonal values, it doesn't matter how accurately you can copy the lights and shadows you see in life; if you don't know how the laws of light create values, then your drawing will look amateur. Such knowledge is hard to get by pure practice. You need to have talented teachers explaining and showing you the principles and rules of drawing. That is why art students in Russia go through a such long and difficult path of learning how to draw, paint, and sculpt.
Learning drawing is not possible by reading 'how to draw' books. This is a long and hard process of practicing, with a teacher polishing students' understanding of drawing principles step by step. Also, it is very difficult to explain to a self-taught artist where they are making mistakes because a huge amount of knowledge is missing. Until such an artist gets all that is needed to know about constructive drawing, and processes that knowledge though hard practice, he or she would have no chance at competing with other students who apply to enter the academy.
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
One-time payment - Lifetime membership
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
One-time payment - Lifetime membership