Courses at the Schuler School
of Fine Arts

The teaching goal of the Schuler School program is to train professional artists in the perfection of their craft. Central to our curriculum is the study of anatomy and drawing, as well all technical aspects of each course, preparation of the Maroger medium for instance. Students are also taught to understand the interrelationship between the various disciplines that we teach.

The full course consists of:

Four full-time years (eight semesters) of the entire curriculum (anatomy, sculpture, watercolor, painting, portrait, drawing, life drawing)

Demonstration of the ability to perform all required technical skills (such as stretching canvases, preparing medium, casting)

A completed senior project (during their fourth year, senior students research an artist or art period that interests them and translate that research into an art work or body of works in a chosen medium).

A positive evaluation by all instructors

After fulfilling these requirements, the student is awarded a certificate of completion of the program. Deserving students are encouraged to participate in a fifth postgraduate year on full scholarship, which enables them to specialize in their area of interest and to assist the instructors. The staff believe that beginners benefit from the advanced knowledge shared by our graduates both in demonstrating their work and in shaping their careers.


Cast Drawings

Skilled drawing is the foundation of the entire Schuler School curriculum. The student, concentrating on the accurate rendering of the shapes of shadows and the simplifying and measuring of forms, learns to train the eye and to create three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional surface. Students also copy from reproductions of Old Master drawings and receive lectures and exercises in perspective. Advanced drawing sessions use life models to teach proportion, movement and composition.

Portrait Painting

Students work from life models in various media. Instruction focuses on anatomy, lighting, likeness, and style. Beginning students are encouraged to copy from portrait reproductions and to draw the model in charcoal.


The student models in plasteline and terra cotta, working from existing plaster casts. This enables them to learn the basic techniques of building a three dimensional form. Emphasis is placed on accurate measurement and knowledge of anatomy. The student will learn how to cast a piece in plaster and prepare a terra cotta piece for firing. Life models for portrait and figure are provided for advanced students.

Life Drawing

Working in a variety of media, students study the human form from life models. They are able to apply their anatomy lessons by drawing the models in many different poses, observing bone and muscle structure, proportion, and balance. Five minute poses develop gesture drawing skills, and poses of twenty-minutes or longer encourage in-depth study of the figure, movement and form.

Still-Life Painting

Students learn basic techniques of oil painting and composition as well as the preparation of the Maroger medium and black oil. They also learn to grind paint from powdered pigments and prepare painting surfaces. Beginners copy from reproductions of the masters and advance to create their own compositions concentrating on progressively difficult subjects.


Students begin with ink tracings of bones and muscles, progressing to a study of proportional schematics and movement illustrations. Advanced students create acetate overlays that integrate bones and muscles and copy anatomical studies from the Old Masters. The skeleton and live models are also incorporated. Anatomy lectures are given throughout the school year.


The techniques of watercolor are taught through working from flowers, still life, and landscape. Classes are held outdoors when weather permits. Principles of composition, color, and perspective are stressed. Instruction is occasionally augmented by workshops taught by talented professional artists. In the past, special instruction has been given by Jerome Atherholt, Will Wilson, Carol Lee Thompson, and David Buckley Good. Contact the school for the latest schedule.



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