Art Atelier in California

Art Roster Art Atelier is a group of Northern California artists who reside at the base of Mt. Shasta. Most of the group has enjoyed art making in a variety of media for many years, and within the last few years their love of painting has brought them together creating, exploring and exhibiting. Meeting weekly, they draw inspiration from art history, their natural environment, and each other as well as their painting instructor Aleksander Balos. The artists utilize techniques from the Old Masters atelier system of the great European academic and impressionistic painting schools of the 18th and 19th centuries. Our lineage goes directly to Jacques-Louis David.

Atelier is the French word for "workshop", and in English is used primarily for the workshop of an artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices worked together producing pieces released in the master's name. This was the standard for European artists from the Middle Ages to the 18th or 19th century, and common elsewhere in the world. In medieval Europe such a way of working was often enforced by local guild regulations, of the painters' Guild of Saint Luke if there was one, and those of other guilds for other crafts. Apprentices usually began young, about age twelve, working on simple tasks, and after some years became journeymen, before becoming masters themselves. The system was gradually replaced as the guilds declined, and the academy became considered a superior method of training, although many artists continued to use students and assistants, some paid by the artist, some paying fees to learn.
The current "Atelier method" is a form of fine art instruction modeled after the historic private art studios of Europe. An atelier consists of an artist, usually a professional painter or sculptor, working with a small number of students to train them in art. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Although the methods vary, most ateliers train students in the skills and techniques associated with creating some form of representational art, the making of two-dimensional images that appear real to the viewer. They traditionally include sessions for drawing or painting a nude model.

Painting method:
1. After the outline drawing is completed, we begin the monochromatic value painting (often called underpainting), which is the most important stage in our process. Without a thorough knowledge and skillful execution of the underpainting – the thoughtful application of the initial layer of paint – the extraordinary pictorial unity which characterizes most realistic paintings cannot be achieved. The underpainting greatly facilitates the realization of a finely balanced composition, establishing accurate depictions of light, dark and in-between values.

An underpainting is a monochrome version of the final painting. It allows the artist to fix the shapes of composition, give volume to the forms, soften edges between shapes, and distribute light and dark values to create the effect of illumination and shadow. All this is much easier to accurately accomplish at this initial stage, utilizing only a few neutral tones, rather than an infinite range of colors.
Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Rubens, David and many other great realist painters utilized underpainting very effectively.

2. Once the monochromatic value painting (underpainting) is dry, the artist superimposes layers of colored paint – applying them in order from thin translucent glazy layers, to increasingly thick and more opaque layers. The accurate values of the underpainting help the artist to match the correct darkness or lightness when applying the subsequent layers of colored paint. The lighter areas are generally rendered with full-body color, whereas shadows are painted in very thin semi-transparent glazy layers. Warm and cool tones created by the newly-applied colored layers, are unified by the accurate values (light and dark) originally established by the monochromatic underpainting.

During this step the main concern is to give everything its correct coloring, to render materials appropriately, and to fix the final soft contours of each shape/form. Each distinctive section of the painting is executed as a separate entity, or adjacent sections are executed together in bulk and finished in one or more sessions.

3. Glazing is the final step in the painting process. Although in theory it seems rather simple, in practice glazing technique can be a very complex undertaking. In the simplest terms, glazing consists of applying – usually with a soft-bristled brush – a transparent and thin layer of paint, mixed with a glazing medium, over another thoroughly dried layer of paint. The glazing layer creates an optical color shift without disturbing the dried layer below. Glazing is similar to placing a sheet of colored glass over a monochrome photograph, creating a unique "shine through," stained-glass effect that is not obtainable by direct mixture of paint or any other painting process.

Here is a lineage of painters whos painting method we follow.
Jacques-Louis David (1748 1825) Antoine-Jean Gros (1771 1835) Paul Delaroche (1797 1856) Jean-Leon Gerome (1824 1904) William McGregor Paxon (1869 1941) R.H. Ives Gammell (1893 1981) Richard F. Lack (1928 2009) Bruno Surdo (1962)

So, this website is designed to share our paintings with you.
Here is our 51 page full-color book of 6 ArtRoster artists: LINK to the book.

We are located:
416 N. Mount Shasta Blvd. Mount Shasta, CA 96067. (530) 926-3000