Proudly carrying the lineage of the Reilly Method for over 30 years 


The Atelier

Watts Atelier of the Arts, founded 30 years ago by Jeffrey R. Watts and his wife Krista Watts, is located in the sleepy beach community of Encinitas. Established in Southern California, but modeled after the European Atelier system, walking inside the school could make one think they had stepped back in time to France circa the 1800s.

Jeff and his select team of dedicated instructors–who all received their primary training in the Watts Method–work as both teachers and full-time professional fine-artists, illustrators and conceptual artists. One can feel the sense of community, camaraderie, and an air of professionalism the minute they walk through the doors. The outstanding efforts of past students cover the walls. They are left to stand as sign-posts on the way to what might be: a love and mastery of the craft of drawing and painting. As a learning facility modeled after the nineteenth-century European Ateliers, our focus is 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.

This Atelier community strives to uphold their motto, “Preserving the Tradition of the Masters.” The school is recognized the world over as one of the truly great destinations for learning the pure craft of drawing and painting in the traditional lineage of the great art institutions of the past.