Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Art Lessons in Amsterdam, Classical Drawing and Painting

Learning to draw and paint in Amsterdam, following the style and principles of the old masters should be readily available, one would think.

However, as some of my earlier posts will tell you, this is currently not the case.  The availability of instruction that focuses on the classical way of learning art is extremely scarce.   I myself found this while trying to learn to draw and paint, and I had to rely on internet downloads and the purchase of foreign (mostly American and British) books to learn the craft.

Since then not much has changed and I was surprised to see this confirmed in the latest issue of Palet magazine, which comments how Florence in Italy, for example, boasts a classical atelier-type art school which Amsterdam could only dream of nowadays.

So, being one to take matters into my own hands, I now offer art lessons in Amsterdam on a private basis via my website:


Now, even though the website tells you all about it, lord Google demands that I write and write on the subject so that my website is considered worthy of appearing somewhere near page one, so in this post I will tell you something about the principles and the process.

One of the first things you will notice about my painting lessons in Amsterdam is that they are private, mostly.

The reason for this, is that I'm not the lucky owner or unlucky tenant of a nice studio or atelier. I work from home, and I'm proud to say that my kitchen counter has produced good art.  This is not something I'm ashamed of, in fact I'm proud of it, and it is a more real and feasible scenario for 99% of people out there than a large beautiful studio with North light coming in.

This means your Amsterdam drawing or painting lessons will take place at my home, your home or when the weather allows, outdoors  at a nice location.

The second reason my painting classes in Amsterdam are private is because I'm no certified teacher and to tell the truth, I would not know how to deal with a group. The logistics of it alone make me nervous and I don't feel like spending a lot of time organizing, scheduling and coordinating.  I like to draw, paint and focus on the task at hand.

Next thing to say about these new little Amsterdam art classes is the style that I practice and intend to teach.  The style is strictly academic.  A quick look at my website www.juanpablobran.com will show you I'm currently focused on classical realism.  This is not to say other styles are less interesting, less worthy or that my own artistic style will not change later.  However if you want to produce beautiful art, you have to learn the visual principles, and I'm convinced that these principles are best learned in an Amsterdam painting course that sticks to the classics.


Because they were bloody good.  They discovered (or invented) color, composition, drawing and painting techniques that hit a solid cord on our human notion of esthetics.  You are well adviced to study why this is and learn how to use it.  If you don't you are tossing a coin hoping to get lucky and the odds are so dramatically stacked against you that the result is almost always guaranteed to fall very short of your potential, if it's not downright ugly.

This is my own personal opinion anyway.

But lets look at what this approach of art classes can achieve, rather than what it avoids.  What it does is to remove the element of 'talent' out of the equation.    The normal art enthusiast has this expectation that a creative personality is necessary to create good art, and that trying random stuff results in good art if you have the right genes.

The academic approach takes your drawing and painting to a totally different level, in a very short period of time because it starts from a completely different standpoint.  It uses a number of very simple and proven ideas, which when properly used and combined, produce amazing results that anybody can achieve.

My Amsterdam painting lessons take this as a starting point, and I really do believe this can make a difference in the level that you can reach with your art.

You may not believe this but I only started to draw in August 2012.  Before that I could only draw smileys and stick men.  Now you may not have the same amount of time on your hands, the same knack for method or visual acuity, which is where taking lessons comes in handy, but if you live in Amsterdam and you want to become an artist whether it is drawing or painting, my lessons can help you get that underway.

One integral part of the painting classes I offer in Amsterdam is knowing the masters.  In itself, Amsterdam lends itself perfectly to anyone who wants to study how art, drawing and painting is done to the highest levels.  The Rijksmuseum just re-opened.  The Hermitage, the van Gogh, are all places where we can go and figure out how it's really done.

However, to learn how to draw and paint in Amsterdam, there is visiting a museum and there is visiting a museum.  What are we looking for when we see a piece of art?  We want to evaluate every aspect that makes it good, both from a distance and up close.

Hope this initial post gets you interested, my contact details are on the website and we can discuss at length your artistic ambitions and how I can help you reach them!

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