The Golden Gate Atelier Full-time Program is dedicated to the highest standards of drawing and painting. Through rigorous project work, and daily mentorship and support, students progress from the foundations through to mastery at a pace that is optimized for them.
Watch the video above to get a glimpse into our school.
Learn from the Old MastersStudents begin by copying master drawings and making in-depth studies from classical, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century sculptures.
Drawing the Human FigureWhen these foundations have been mastered, they move on to charcoal portraits and figure drawings from life using sight-size. Progress is individual and allows each student to work at his own pace. Once a given skill is mastered, the next challenge is introduced.
Painting from LifePainting at the Golden Gate Atelier is based on proven classical techniques. Students begin their training by working in grisaille. Then they use the limited palette before moving on to full color for portraiture, still life, and landscape.
Still Life StudiesAs students advance further into the program the study of still life setups becomes a key to learning to paint different textures and light effects. Students learn to handle their materials at a very high level and prepare for the creation of full paintings.
PortraitureAdvanced students have the opportunity to draw and paint portraits from life, honing their skills and expressing the array of expression of the human face. Continuing to use sight-size, students learn to see and represent the subtleties that are essential for the expression of human emotion.
Beyond the Fundamentals
In addition to the core program, full-time students are given unprecedented access to our other programs, rounding out and extending their understanding to help them move beyond technical ability and into true mastery.
Anatomy & ÉcorchéOur anatomy program is one of the best and most thorough you can find in the country. Through the intensive study of important bones and muscular systems students learn hands on, by building their own 1/8th scale écorché model, a work of art in itself.
CompositionOur composition program helps to give students the ability to move from idea to image. Through weekly composition exercises beginning with still life and landscape, and on to multi-figure composition, students study narrative and visual communication.
Art HistoryThe Golden Gate Atelier art history program is designed to be of practical use to professional artists. While a basic historical framework and biographical details are included, names and dates matter less than inspiration. Students are asked to consider how the works they admire are relevant to the contemporary world. This enables them to take the best of the tradition and use it to support their personal vision.
HumanitiesThe Golden Gate Atelier humanities program is a survey of Western culture as it applies to visual artists and aims to give students the background they will need to create powerful works that speak to contemporary society. We begin with the classical Greek world and progress through to try to understand the modern world and the ideas that have shaped us.
"I am grateful for the intense structure and focus of the Golden Gate Atelier program. Beginning with Bargue drawings and moving into study of casts, portraits, and the human figure, Andy and Sean teach us to really see what we are looking at, to have a discerning eye, and to consider realist figurative art from historic as well as contemporary perspectives."
– Karen Friedman
*please inquire about the modified schedule due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic*
MONDAY – THURSDAY
9:30am – 5:15pm
Every student’s working day is broken up into morning and afternoon sessions with a 45 minute lunch break in between sessions. New students are placed into small groups of no more than 6 students so as to maximize their learning. In addition to regular class time, the studio is open to full-time students outside of class hours for them to continue and extend their studies.
Tuition & Scholarships
We offer scholarships to exceptional students, who have studied with us for at least one full year, on a work-study basis. There are also a number of grants and scholarships awarded by other institutions which we would be happy to help you learn more about. Contact us to find out more about our tuition and scholarships.
Schedule a Visit
We would love to have you come by the studio and see for yourself what studying at the Golden Gate Atelier is like. Meet our director and talk to our passionate students.
Schedule a visit to see if our Full-Time program is the right fit for you.Schedule a Visit