Home / Education / Ateliers

Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism



49A Whitmore Square, Adelaide, SA, Australia

  • Details
  • Instructor Works
  • Student Works

The Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism is a new school, created by Rob Gutteridge in 2016 in Adelaide, the capital city of the state of South Australia, Australia. It provides atelier training in realist art with a focus on painting and drawing the human figure. Rob Gutteridge has been an artist and teacher for more than 40 years. His school developed out of the growing need expressed by local aspiring realist artists and students, for traditional skill based classical training in painting and drawing.

At the Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism (RGCR), students are taught how to make accurate and beautiful realistic drawings and paintings. They learn the techniques, develop the skills, and acquire the knowledge of materials required to achieve the high technical standards associated with classical realism in drawing, painting and sculptural anatomy. The range and depth of the school's courses are coordinated in a purposeful study program, making it unique in Australia as a place to immerse oneself in a complete curriculum in classical realism.

Subjects include: Bargue drawing, sight-size and comparative drawing, cast drawing and painting, master copies, life drawing and painting, anatomy, oil painting materials and techniques, portrait, and still life.

The RGCR is an atelier style school, "atelier" being the French word for studio. It denotes both a location for learning, and a practice-led form of teaching.

Rob Gutteridge has designed an integrated curriculum of subjects and lessons based on the training methods of 19th Century French academies. Through a sequence of exercises, students move from simple to increasingly complex tasks. It is a methodical, thorough learning process. The emphasis is on teaching competency and proficiency in each task, before moving on to the next. In this teaching model, learning is an accumulative process. There is no rush or time limit to complete a Level or a Subject. Students proceed at their own pace. Quality is the only measure of success.

Rob Gutteridge uses the term "classical realism" in the school's name as a way of connecting two opposing philosophies of art that are at the core of academic training: the idealisation of classicism and the factual nature of realism. It corresponds to the conceptual and perceptual basis of RGCR training methods, as well as the tenets of art history they are linked to.

Rob Gutteridge's visual investigation of the human figure, through drawing, painting, and sculptural anatomy places the figure at the heart of his school. The overall educational aim is to fully equip and enable students to make realistic drawings and paintings to the highest standard. For this to happen, students need depth and breadth in their education. At the RGCR, the accumulative, step-by-step teaching model provides depth, and the range of twenty subjects provides breadth. All this takes dedication and time to achieve.

Teaching certain subjects requires specialist knowledge - artistic anatomy, and écorché (anatomical sculpture of a flayed figure) for example. Both are taught at the RGCR. In Australia, training in artistic anatomy has been hard to come by, and teaching écorché became extinct. Rob Gutteridge is self-taught in both fields, reviving a studio practice dating back to the Renaissance and before. A student with anatomical knowledge brings understanding to their perception of the human figure. Consequently their drawings and paintings are enriched and improved. Implicit in this is the idea, confirmed by neuroscience, that knowledge alters perception.

RGCR is unique in Australia for a number of reasons. It offers:

  • A comprehensive, coherent, sequenced educational programme in classical realism, designed to organise student learning from the simple to the complex. This facilitates a logical, easy transition from novice, to intermediate, to advanced levels of learning and professional practice.
  • The human figure is the central theme and motif around which subjects are organised and taught.
  • Flexible tuition based on year round enrolment on a monthly basis (no terms or semesters).
  • In-depth, comprehensive course in classical écorché (anatomical sculpture of a flayed figure).
  • A comprehensive 4-subject program in human anatomy for artists combining perceptual drawing, conceptual drawing, and sculptural anatomy (écorché).
  • Analytic figure drawing: constructive, conceptual figure drawing of form and structure exploring the architecture of the figure.
  • An aspiration in the current inception phase of the atelier: the Director's Mentorship - at the completion of the entire program, and at the discretion of the Director, a student will be invited to work alongside the Director to be mentored by him for 1 year. The mentorship is full time, and tuition is free.
Course languages English
Accommodation No

Rob Gutteridge School of Classical Realism

49A Whitmore Square

Adelaide, SA, 5000

Teaching Facility

Evening Storm by Rob Gutteridge

To a Distant Shore by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Figure Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Cast Drawing by Rob Gutteridge

Student Bargue Drawing

Student Bargue Drawing

Student Bargue Drawing