Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Opening Soon in downtown Los Angeles!!!!

It's been a long time coming but we are thiiiiis close to opening the Safehouse Atelier in downtown LA. I've been getting requests for information on the happenings and what the deal will be so I thought I would post a little of what's to come. We will be focusing only on fine art this time around. I can't tell you how excited I am for this thing to be getting off the ground. Anyway. Enough rambling.

 MISSION STATEMENT The Safehouse Atelier provides a specialized program of study that is heavily based on accurately understanding and representing the visual world and to take the knowledge gained from this study and apply it to work that is driven by the personal vision of the artist. Located in downtown Los Angeles, classes are taught in a workshop environment where studio practices are learned in a hands-on manner directly from instructors who work alongside their students to demonstrate how ideas and concepts are put to practical use. Beyond providing a strong understanding of the underlying principles of art, the Safehouse Atelier has the goal of being a place for painters, sculptors, designers, and draftsmen to meet and exchange ideas not only for their own personal growth but to contribute to the art community of the Los Angeles area. Lectures, workshops and exhibitions will be held throughout the year in order to provide a platform for artists and the public to engage with and inspire one another.


 The full-time program offers a course of study that will provide solid skills and understanding of craftsmanship that can be directed towards the creation of works that have a personal vision and voice. In order for this goal to be obtained, it is imperative that students gain proficiency and are able to think critically and technically execute each concept or principle that is presented before moving on to another in a series of ever more challenging exercises. Students are given as much time as needed in order to learn and accomplish these tasks and progress at their own rate.  The length of the program will vary from student to student with an average time being about two to three years for completion.

 The foundation of the program develops solid draftsmanship through the pursuit of traditional methods of drawing and painting. Time honored atelier methods are employed with students beginning with cast drawing, work their way through cast painting and still-life, afterwards moving on to life drawing, and finally life painting. These studies are taken to a high degree of refinement so that the student thoroughly learns how to bring each piece to completion. As a compliment to these time intensive studies, students also engage in quicker studies from the life model in order to learn to work in an efficient manner.  Human anatomy and the construction of the human figure from imagination are discussed in tandem with strategies of how to understand and approach principles of gesture, movement, proportion, and volume are developed in an effective and expedient manner.  Along with these drawings, students also learn to sketch in paint through the study of the portrait and landscape using alla prima methods. Through the examination of the connection of narrative to design and composition the complicated nature of image making is tackled and strategies for picture making are examined throughout the course of study with students learning how to combine the foundation principles from their other studies into finished works of art.

 Students of all levels may be accepted into the full-time program provided they show a strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and can make a commitment to study for  a period of two years. A time commitment of 30-40 hours per week is to be expected. A maximum of 15 students will be enrolled in the full-time program at any time in order to keep the student to teacher ratio low, allowing for lots of one on one time so that the student may learn and grow at the fastest rate possible. The enrollment process can be initiated at any time during the year. If you wish to apply for one of the spots in the full-time program, please send at least 10 images of current work along with a letter stating your intent for studying and career goals to


For those who do not wish to make a full-time commitment or are unable to do so but are still serious about furthering their studies, the Safehouse Atelier offers Part-Time classes. Instruction in each class is tailored to the individual student and can accommodate the passionate beginner as well as the working professional who is looking to sharpen their skills. Students will be immersed in a workshop environment with instructors working alongside them presenting information in a variety of formats to enable people at varying levels to grasp and implement the concepts presented in such a way that it has immediate benefit in their work. Classes run on a monthly basis and are on a first come first served basis. Enrollment for a class starts a month in advance. When inquiring about a class for the first time, please include some samples of current work.

 WORKSHOPS Intensive workshops will be help throughout the year in order to provide artists in the Los Angeles area the chance to learn the approaches and techniques of prominent artists from around the country. Please check the workshop schedule for more information.



 Using traditional approaches to drawing and painting, students learn the foundations of drawing and painting through the completion of a series of exercises that are brought to a high level of finish. Students begin with Cast Drawing and work their way through Cast Painting, Still-Life. After the completion of these areas of study the student will then move on to Life Drawing and finally to Life Painting. Strategies and techniques for developing accurately observed shapes and proportions are heavily stressed. The representation of light and form is discussed in depth both as it relates to observation and to conceptual models that may be applied to work from imagination. During the Still-Life and Life Painting portions of the curriculum ideas pertaining to color, palettes, and painting materials will be examined and demonstrated.

 Instructor: Carl Dobsky


 Through plein air landscape painting, students will learn about color, light and the use of oil paint. We'll begin by reviewing all materials, discussing basic painting procedures and a system for color mixing. During the first weeks, our focus will be accurate color matching as the basis for all future work. By using a simple, logical process, each new skill will build on previous ones until a strong proficiency is gained. Once a student is able to mix color accurately, use paint effectively and create a convincing light effect, we'll introduce various design principles in order to begin composing pictures. As students advance in drawing and composition, they'll be able to tackle more ambitious subjects that can serve as backgrounds for figure subjects or pictures in their own right.

 Instructor: Ramon Alexander Hurtado


 This class is centered around understanding the figure from a gestural and structural perspective. We'll place a heavy emphasis on feeling both the movement and weight of the figure, aiming at representing the body as a three-dimensional entity in space. Initial lectures will focus on gesture, a basic system of proportions and seeing the body as a series of geometric solids. Once students have a basic grounding in the overall structure of the body, we'll discuss individual body parts. Our focus will be on both anatomical realities and useful simplified diagrams. As we progress through the curriculum, we'll also discuss tactile form rendering and basic multi-figure composition. The ultimate aim of the course is to arm students with the knowledge needed to draw figures confidently both from life and from imagination.

 Instructor: Ramon Alexander Hurtado


 The understanding, organization, and depiction of space is one of the cornerstones of representational art. The fundamentals of linear perspective will be presented in a sequential form. The mechanics of one, two, and three-point perspective will be thoroughly examined along with strategies of how to apply them to the making of pictures. Beginning with simple constructions and moving to more complex environments of both real and imagined spaces, linear drawing will be produced so that the student gains a thorough knowledge of who to arrange objects in a believable space.

 Instructor: Carl Dobsky


 Taking the principles learned from drawing, students will learn how to apply them in paint in a quick and efficient manner. Paint handling, color, palettes, brushes, and mediums will be discussed and examined as they relate to alla prima painting. Methods on how to achieve accurate proportion and structure of the human head will be emphasized.

 Instructor: Shawn Barber


 Form and Content are intertwined in purpose and form an inseparable bond. This class will help students develop and define their vision through examining their own personal philosophy and artistic vision.  Examples of artworks from throughout history will be explored in the context of the time, place, and atmosphere in which they were created to help better understand how to develop images that have purpose and intent. Students will also develop original works in which they can explore the relation of image, subject, and intent.  The importance of thumbnail drawings and idea generation will be heavily emphasized as well as how to implement these into making finished works.

 Instructor: Shawn Barber



 This class will be centered around the accurate depiction of the human form through drawing and painting mediums. Traditional methods for tackling the complexity of the live model will be discussed and demonstrated and instruction will be geared to the level of the individual student. Techniques for the accurate representation of shapes and proportion will be examined in depth. The rendering of volume and its interaction with light will be emphasized especially in its relation to anatomy and the human form. Advanced students wishing to paint, will in addition to the subjects above also deal with the complexity of rendering the figure in paint. The mixing of flesh tones and their relation to volume will be stressed. Please note: If you wish to enroll for painting, competency in drawing must first be demonstrated to the instructor’s satisfaction.

 The class is structured so that the student can continue to build on past lessons and experience with each new month without unnecessarily repeating steps. This allows the serious and dedicated student to keep forward momentum in their study while progressing at their own rate. Each pose will last for the duration of the month to allow for ample time to work through and resolve as many issues as possible.

 Instructor: Carl Dobsky


 The focus of this class will be to represent portraits with solid dimension and skin tones in one sitting. Working from the live model, methods for how to quickly and efficiently represent the structure and shape of the human head will be examined. Varying palettes will be discussed with an emphasis on practical ways for mixing flesh tones. Paint handling, supports, and mediums will also be discussed. The class is structured so that the student can continue to build on past lessons and experience with each new month without unnecessarily repeating steps. This allows the serious and dedicated student to keep forward momentum in their study while progressing at their own rate. Each pose lasts for one session and a different model will be used for each class.

 Instructor: Shawn Barber


  1. Is there an email list I could join?

  2. just a previous student, but I'd follow their website and facebook

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