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    Watts Atelier students enrolled by January 1st, 2016 will be able to participate in a 6 month portfolio-building challenge unlike any other, at the end of which their collective works will be selected by award-winning artist and guest juror James Gurney Learn more

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    Once a month Jeff conducts a Friday Night Live workshop. Jeff will be drawing from a live model. During the workshop Jeff will share many of the lessons and techniques taught at the Watts Atelier and the Watts Online school.

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Learning – Sharing – Creating

Art Spoken Here

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.
-Robert Henri

The Atelier

In 1992 we launched an Atelier modeled after the nineteenth-century European Ateliers. Our focus was to build strong foundational skills in an intimate studio environment. We believe the path to prosperity is paved with superior knowledge, a strong work ethic, and a clear focus of purpose. The Atelier brings together students of all ages and skill levels–from professional to novice–in an environment of visual learning that is highly structured, with a low student-to-teacher ratio.

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The Online School

After more than 22 years of running Watts Atelier Jeff  has turned his creative vision towards the future of art education: the virtual Atelier. Built off of the same foundational components that made Watts Atelier one of the leading institutions of art training, the virtual Atelier is an environment rich in content, steeped in tradition, and designed to engage, enrich, and challenge both the novice and working professional alike.

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 What’s New

New Online Classes

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    Essentials of Tech Preview

    These videos are a collection of useful tips and approaches for both design and the necessary tasks of perspective and shadowing for all ‘Tech’ genres. The solutions range from the rather involved, but carefully explained… to the very simple. Unlike previous courses, the workbook will actually expand upon what you see in the video with […]

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    Head Phase IV Preview

    In this phase Jeff will be joined by two other two other Watts Atelier artists, Erik Gist and Lucas Graciano.   Each will demonstrate their use of the concepts taught in the first 3 phases as they execute 2 drawings each at a 3 hour duration..  This mirrors the standard class taught at Watts Atelier […]

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    Anatomy: Arms & Legs Preview

    In this phase we will be exploring one of the most important aspects of figure drawing, anatomy.  We will be taking an in depth look at the arms and legs, starting with the skeleton and working our way up to the surface morphology.  Along the way we will be examining the form and functionality of […]

Life at Watts


I have been privileged to be taking art instruction from Watts Atelier for about 5 years. The wealth of knowledge and instruction provided to me cannot be overstated. Each instructor has their own style, their willingness to share their personal insights, providing nuances that allow for me to grow as an artist. The art classes are designed to provide instruction to all levels of students, everyone will benefit, you are pushed to grow as an artist.


I moved to California almost two years ago to study with Jeff Watts, Erik and Meadow Gist and Lucas Graciano at the Watts Atelier of the Arts, and I can say without reservation that it was the best decision of my life. The consistency and quality of the education they provide there is far superior to any other school in the country. All of the instructors are highly trained, working professionals, and each of them have given me and the other students more one-on-one attention than we could have hoped for. The topics and methodology they espouse can be traced back at least a hundred years, maybe more. All you are required to bring is a solid work ethic, a positive attitude and a willingness to check your ego at the door.


I am an MFA graduate, i received my degree from an online school. I graduated in the Spring of 2010. although i enjoyed my studies, but somehow, i lost the motivation to keep working and practicing. and of course my work was suffering!!!

I would like to thank you Jeff to create such opportunity, it is motivating, and informative. I am hoping that these lessons will fill the gaps for me. i’ve been browsing the classes , the fundamentals to the most advanced, and i really appreciate all the effort and info you put into them. It is going to be a great ride!!!