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Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice Hardcover – 31 Mar 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc.,U.S. (31 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823006573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823006571
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 1.8 x 28.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Juliette Aristides is the author of "Classical Painting Atelier" and "Classical Drawing Atelier." She is the instructor of the Aristides Classical Atelier at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington, where she lives. Her work is exhibited at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco and can be seen at the Art Renewal Center.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 2:29 Mins
I like this book very much, though it wasn't quite was I was expecting when I placed my order. I thought it would be very much a hands-on, 'how to' book, and was briefly disappointed when I realised that it wasn't.

The disappointment faded when I realised that it was much more. In my video 'flick through' you'll see that the book is full of beautiful drawings. Just looking at some of them is an inspiration.

However, the bulk of the text in this book is to do with theory. The book has around 140 pages, and the series of 5 practical 'lessons' begins on page 124 - That should tell you something!

Here's a fuller idea of what to expect:

After a short summary of artistic training methods from early days up to the 21st century, the book launches into "Timeless principles". There's a chapter each on Design, Line, Value, and Form.

The chapters on Design and Line give a good idea of the book's approach. In the Design chapter, a lot of time and space is devoted to the 'Golden Ratio' (and spiral forms derived from it) in nature and art. Fascinating stuff if you've not encountered it before, and it may forever change the way you look at some old master paintings.

The chapter on Line relates not to the quality of the drawn line on the page, but rather to the 'unseen' lines which underlie a picture's composition. The following chapters on VALUE and FORM also mostly deal with theory, and while the book doesn't loose sight of how theory must eventually become practice, beginners may find themselves occasionally scratching their heads and wondering 'But why do I need to know all THIS stuff? I just want to learn to draw!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw this book briefly in a bookshop and thought it was a revelation. I then read some of the reviews about this book and doubted my initial thoughts. I went ahead and ordered this book and haven't been disappointed. If you want a how to draw book, then this isnt for you. I already have lots of this type of book, from the very basic to the more advanced, but wanted more theory, more explantaiton as to how the great masters created their work. This book is full of lost secrects, and by taking the time to study and read it, I feel it has broadened my understanding and re-ignited my enthusiasm. Whilst I cannot devote the time to studying for four years five hours a day, I believe the only way to improve is to draw, draw and then draw some more using the techniques suggested in this book. If you don't want this depth of theory, the drawings alone are beautiful, and well worth the money. Other books might give you more instruction, but in the end, the only way to improve your skills is to practice, and this book certainly inspired me.
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Format: Hardcover
Just like Julie Artist who reviewed this book on the 6th of April 2009, this was a revelation to me. I've been going to weekly life drawing classes for about three years now and absolutely love it, but always thought there was something `missing', something more I could do to improve my skills. I'm not into landscapes but I did discover a museum full of statues in Glasgow near where I live and started going up there every week or two to sketch the statues. I didn't know it was called Cast Drawing and is one of the main aspects of Juliette Aristides' book which she describes in perfect detail.

I've been using pencil but I'm now moving into charcoal and this book has given me the direction, motivation and reason to do this. The pictures inside are phenomenal, the descriptions excellent and the sequencing first rate. I have many books on `how to' but this will be a treasured addition to my library of art works. I absolutely love it.
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Format: Hardcover
I recently started drawing again after a 20 year break. I found this book in the shop at Tate Modern and nearly fell over. The examples of drawings, both old and modern are beautiful, and the author states that one of her goals was to publish some great examples. What surprised me was the quality of contemporary artists doing extremely realistic drawings, something that I understood to be out of favour.

The author's teaching is interesting, but ultimately describes a process without going into the "how to" detail. To sum it up she emphasises you just have to do lots of drawing, though she does give you a framework in which to do it, which I guess is the "secret"! I personally would have liked more hints about how to work with charcoal to the level of precision shown in the drawings.

However the true value of the book is that it is a collection of wonderful drawings from which you can learn a lot and use to improve your own technique. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that this book (along with Juliette's other books) are well written and provide a different view on the drawing or painting process. As others say, this is not a "how to" book. This is so much more valuable to interim or advanced artists as the book goes through composition, process and timeless principles.. It is such a revelation, sometimes when i am stuck in the process early on in my paintings, to refer to this book again and again to find inspiration to look for the answers. sometimes i get completely frustrated with the purchase of a book full of some random drawings and useless cross marks and explanations. This is not such a book. Five stars!
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