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Frequently Asked Questions

Studying at RGCR

Where is the school located?

49A, Whitmore Square, Adelaide. SA 5000

Do you have a contact number?

Contact Rob Gutteridge: 0434965434, Monday – Friday, after 6.00pm.

Do you take beginners?

Yes. Introduction to classical drawing teaches the fundamental skills of observational drawing. It is suitable for beginners or those with experience. Subjects in the program are arranged from simple to complex, so students never feel lost or inadequate.

Who could attend the school? Who are the courses designed for?

The school welcomes all students interested in learning realistic drawing and painting. It caters to beginners, the serious hobbyist, intermediate level through to advanced professional. Reading the range of subjects offered in the Flow Chart will inform potential students of Subjects offered. A student can determine their interest in studying at the school based on their interest in the subjects. Courses are aimed at adults, but serious young adults (adolescents) could apply.

How quickly can I complete a subject?

Students work at their own pace. There is no set time to complete a subject. This ensures that quality (which takes time) is the only measure of success. In the Introduction to Classical Drawing for example, with 2 – 4 months of dedicated practice, students improve dramatically.

What is the time frame per subject (total number of hours)?

A guide to the time it takes to complete the levels.

Unknowable in advance as students complete subjects and levels at their own pace. This is a different concept of study than students in Australia are used to. A student is not aiming to complete the program in order to graduate. The student is focused on successfully completing one subject at a time – or staying with the subject for as long as they want with extension exercises. The 20 subjects in the program cover what a fully equipped realist artist needs to know and be proficient at, in order to work independently at a professional level. Think of the subjects as extended workshops. Every subject covers a different topic. As a general guide though, each Level could take a year of full time study to complete.

I have studied at other art schools. Can I get credit for prior learning and move immediately to an advanced level?

No. Everyone coming into the school begins at the same place: Introduction to classical drawing: Bargue drawing course. At the RGCR, teaching methods and learning outcomes are designed to enable students to make realistic paintings and drawings confidently. Subjects have been chosen, coordinated and sequenced in a unique blend to bring this about. Other schools do it differently, or have different purposes altogether. The training methods at RGCR are based on 19th Century French ateliers. They remain the most efficient for teaching and learning the observational and material skills and knowledge required for classical realism. Students with experience can expect to complete Introduction to classical drawing efficiently.

What is a level?

A Level is a group of subjects. Levels, and the subjects within them, are arranged according to their difficulty or complexity. A Level provides a stage of learning, preparing the student for the next Level. The atelier curriculum is divided into 4 Levels, numbered 1 – 4. They are completed in that order. Levels are organised from simple to complex, with student directed learning being a feature of Level 4 (see Flow Chart). Higher Levels progressively synthesise knowledge and skills taught in lower Levels, equipping students to become capable, confident realist artists.

 What is a subject?

A Subject is one aspect of classical realism, studied through focussed, practical exercises and learning tasks, designed to introduce topics, teach skills, and impart knowledge. While individual Subjects are innately interesting, each Subject forms a link in a sequence, leading to more complex levels of learning and performance. Subjects are situated and encountered where they best serve student needs. Their position in the curriculum is based on level of difficulty, and suitability as a vehicle to advance skills and knowledge. Once begun, each Subject must be successfully completed before moving on to the next. This ensures proficiency, raising awareness of the benefits of concentrated study.

How many subjects can I study at the same time?

  1. Students begin studying 1 Subject; “Introduction to Classical Drawing, Bargue Drawing Course”. Following successful completion of this course, concurrent subjects may be undertaken upon advice given by the Director. Students may have as many gaps between enrolment periods as they like. But after a gap, if the subject has not been completed, students re-enrol in the same subject(s) until complete.
  2. Why is it so? It is because Rob Gutteridge has structured the process of classical painting and drawing into sequential learning components of increasing difficulty and complexity. The components are the subjects. They need to be studied in the order outlined in the prerequisites. This is so that simpler tasks lay the foundation for more complex tasks. The subjects cannot be studied in any order. They fit into a coherent plan. Each subject, while innately interesting, serves a purpose in the overall program of education.



What are the prerequisites for moving through the program?

  1. See the Flow Chart in conjunction with the following information.
  2. Levels must be completed in the order 1 – 4. Each Level is a prerequisite for the next.
  3. A subject that is a prerequisite must be completed before moving on to another subject.
  4. The first prerequisite for all subjects is Introduction to classical drawing: Bargue drawing course. Completing this gives students access to the atelier program.
Prerequisites and concurrent study for Figure Drawing and Figure Painting Subjects
Figure Drawing and Figure Painting Weekdays 2-5pm

Saturday 10-1pm

Prerequisite Concurrent Subjects

Weekdays 10am-1pm

Figure Drawing 1 Introduction to Classical Drawing Cast Drawing 1, Master Copies: Drawing, Anatomy 1,2
Figure Drawing 2 Level 1 Cast Drawing 2, Anatomy 3 écorché, Anatomy 4, Classical Oil Painting 1,2
Figure Drawing 3

Portrait Painting

Figure Painting

Level 2 Cast Drawing 3, Still Life Painting,

Classical oil painting 3: master copies

Advanced Open Studio Level 3

If students have done artistic anatomy elsewhere, will they get recognition for it?

Yes, provided a portfolio of the student’s anatomy work is equivalent to the atelier’s standard and content.

Making master copies means drawing from a photograph?

Yes and no: Making master copies means drawing from an image of an artwork (classical painting or drawing). Master copies are made for many reasons: to open up a dialogue with artists of the past; to access the experience of an artist with similar concerns, but greater knowledge; to enable the student to see the world through the filter of another artist’s temperament and bias; to appreciate the difference between visual perception and visual representation in realistic art; to understand the role of discrimination, choice, design, and simplicity in creating realistic art; to understand the skills required and materials used by another artist; to hone manual dexterity through emulation and practice.

How long does it take to complete the entire program?

3 – 4 years full time.

How many students per class?

5 – 10 students.

Do students attend a separate class for each subject?

No. Classes are mixed. Students follow the same curriculum at their own pace. Therefore students in the same class may be at different places in the curriculum. Small class sizes mean there is ample time for Rob to give individual instruction at the easel. Mixed classes also facilitate peer learning. However, separate classes are held for figure drawing and figure painting as the space requirements are different.

Do I have to make work about the figure only, or can I paint and draw other things as well?

The range and depth of technical processes taught at the atelier, enables you to draw and/or paint pretty well anything. What you learn can be applied to any subject matter. The focus at the atelier is on the human figure, but there is a still life component, as well as cast drawing and painting, which can be explored in depth through extension exercises. The atelier recognises that specialist knowledge is required to draw and paint the human figure. Consequently it has dedicated subjects for it. Currently, these are not available anywhere else in South Australia.

What does the atelier provide?

  • A coordinated, in-depth study program enabling students to make sophisticated realistic paintings and drawings
  • The human figure as a particular focus of study
  • Appropriate teaching space
  • Easels
  • Drawing boards
  • Cast collection
  • Teaching aids and models: anatomical models, skeleton, teacher’s instructional drawings
  • Small library
  • Teaching notes appropriate to the subject
  • Materials list for each subject
  • Teaching and critique at the easel
  • Small class size (5 – 10 students)
  • Teaching by demonstration
  • Bargue and master copy reproductions for student use
  • Workshops in specialist topics

What is a station?

A workstation is necessary for some subjects. It is a shelving unit that contains a light box for cast and still life drawing and painting, and a storage shelf where students can keep materials and paper during the session. Depending on student numbers, workstations may be shared. Taped guides are used if anything needs moving, such as when more than one student works at the same station on different days and with different casts or still life setups. Students enrolling in 0.5 days, or full days + 0.5 days, need to check that a station is available for the duration of their enrolment period. This is done at enrolment.

What Subjects require a station?

Cast Drawing 1, 2, 3

Classical Oil Painting 1, 2

Still Life Painting

Is there a materials list?

Yes it comes with the Subject Information notes.

What does “atelier” mean?

“Atelier” is the French word for studio. It denotes both a location for learning, and a practice-lead form of teaching. Students are taught in a working studio setting, where the focus of teaching and learning is on how to make accurate and beautiful drawings and paintings.

Study options

What days can I attend?

Refer to the Timetable page for details.

 What is studio time?

Studio Time– No tuition, full use of studio and all facilities; $25 per ½ day; $50 per full day. Or combine RGCR tuition with Studio Time on separate days. Payment is on a cash basis only. No booking required but students need to check if space is available (10 students maximum in the studio). Available any day the school is open (including RGCR tuition days) except Sunday. You must be an enrolled RGCR student. On teaching days, RGCR tuition students have first preference.

How long do I enrol for?

Minimum 10 class subscription or multiples of 10 classes.

How often do I attend in a week?

You can enrol for 0.5 day, 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days (maximum).

What is a 0.5 day?

3 hours of study.

What is a full day?

6 hours of study.

When does the Academic year start?

Study is approximately 11 months per year. There are no Terms or Semesters. Rob Gutteridge makes access to his program flexible so students can fit their education into often, busy lives. Students choose when and for how long they study.

Can I combine 0.5 days and full days?

Yes. For example you can study for 1.5 days, 2.5 days.

Can I do make-up days?

Yes. Missed classes can be made up in the enrolment period, provided the make up class is not full.

Can I study any Level I choose?

No. Each lower Level must be completed before moving onto the next higher Level (see Prerequisites section, this document, and Flow Chart). Levels are numbered 1 – 4 and are completed in that order.

Can I study any subject I choose?

No. Each subject must be studied in the order set out in Prerequisites (see Prerequisites section, this document, and Flow Chart).

How do I know what order I can study subjects in?

Rob will advise you once you have enrolled in the Introduction to classical drawing. Also, see Prerequisites and Flow Chart.

How do I know if I can move onto the next subject?

You must complete the material and learning outcomes to the satisfaction of Rob Gutteridge, in order to move on to the next subject. These can be found in the Subject Information notes provided at enrolment.

Can I study a Subject for as long as I want? Can I continue in a Subject after completing the exercises in the Subject Information notes?

Yes. You can study a Subject indefinitely. There is no maximum time you may spend exploring the possibilities of a Subject. You do not have to keep moving on to other Subjects if you have found an area of special interest. Rob will provide you with extension exercises.

Are the courses at RGCR accredited?

No. The RGCR program is not accredited, nor is accreditation sought. Accreditation in Australia involves ceding control of an educational program to an accrediting authority, which becomes the arbiter of what is taught and how. Accreditation would amount to a loss of autonomy. In the USA, home to many ateliers, the accreditation standards and processes are different. The US accrediting system accommodates atelier style schools. Under the current arrangements in Australia, this is not possible.

Students completing all Subjects in a Level receive a Certificate of Completion for that Level. It is not recognised by a higher education authority.

The RGCR is interested in attracting people wanting to study for the sake of the art they make, not the qualification they get. Working as a professional artist would be the goal of someone studying the full 20-subject program.

I am a registered teacher. Can I use attendance as Professional Learning?

Yes. Secondary teachers are encouraged to apply, as participation contributes to Professional Learning required by the Teachers Registration Board.

Upon request, a Certificate of Participation will be provided (even if it is for partial completion of a subject) and can be retained as supportive evidence of Professional Learning. RGCR courses fulfil various types of approved learning opportunities suggested by the Teachers Registration Board such as: face to face learning opportunities in a workshop; research centred on education issues; teaching and learning research.

The workshop can be used to generate forms of Professional Learning record keeping required by the Teachers Registration Board such as:

  • the year of the professional learning within your term of registration
  • dates on/over which the professional learning took place
  • description or title of the professional learning opportunity
  • time commitment for each opportunity i.e. number of hours
  • the evidence held by you
  • the Australian Professional Standard for Teachers against which the professional learning is referenced
  • reflection notes/annotations/explanations that describe how the professional learning is connected to the Standard/s you nominate.

Is there recognition for prior learning?

No. There is no recognition for prior learning. Everyone comes into the atelier and begins at the same place: Introduction to classical drawing: Bargue drawing course. The only exception is Anatomy 1 and Anatomy 2.

How do I enrol?

Enrol in a class

See the appropriate form in the information pack.

Course fees

See Fees.

Please contact Rob Gutteridge for more information.