“From the Sketchbook,” indulging with Jeff Watts

One of the most common uses of the sketchbook is simple indulgence; Drawing what you enjoy, and having fun while doing it.  Practices such as these are usually what leads individuals down the path of the artists in the first place, and drawing for fun is especially important to remember as one starts to seriously study…

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“Demonstrating the Craft” Still life with Meadow Gist

As previously mentioned here on “Demonstrating the Craft,”  all of our ten-week painting courses at the Watts Atelier begin with a 3-hour instructor painting demo.  Still life painting presents it’s own set of challenges, unique and separate from other painting disciplines;  Students must work to understand textures and their indications, the specularity and reflective properties of…

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“From the Sketchbook,” Practicing likenesses and texture with sellswords and the undead

Today in “From the Sketchbook,” we take a look at how illustrator and Watts Atelier instructor Erik Gist utilizes his sketchbook to improve his ability to capture likenesses, as well as his texture rendering and indication abilities. If you are familiar with Erik’s work, it should be no surprise that he is a fan of…

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Demonstrating the Craft: Construction of the Head

Not all of our in-class demos are done with technique demonstration and rendering in mind.  In fact, the vast majority of instructor demonstrations in our classes are completed to clarify something far more important; The fundamentals. Without a solid understanding of the fundamentals, a strong finished piece can not exist.  In this demo from last week, we take a…

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“From the Sketchbook,” thumbnail sketches by Jeff Watts

Exploring composition is an important first step in the planning of a piece. To find an interesting idea, the right visual balance, and to avoid visual tangents, many artists make small, quick “thumbnail” sketches. These sketches aren’t meant to capture details so much as figure out the overall staging of a piece. Working quickly, artists…

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A new feature for online students: “Skill Building Challenges”

While hard work, proper instruction, and dedication to the craft are the best ways to build one’s skills, outside factors can help give the student or professional a new reason to apply themselves and provide an additional “push” to their studies.  For the professional, deadlines, art shows, and high profile clients are often reasons for…

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“Demonstrating the Craft:” Landscape demos

This week on “Demonstrating the Craft,” we bring you two demos from Robert Watt’s “Landscape Painting Essentials” course.  Robert is known for his strong work ethic (and his charming wit), which over the course of his decades-long career has translated into an ability to execute masterful paintings in a short amount of time.  Each of…

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“From the Sketchbook,” our new weekly blog feature

Every artist keeps (or should keep, rather) a sketchbook. Sketchbooks can help you record ideas, solve visual problems, strengthen and commit lessons to memory, and so much more. Every Thursday for the next several weeks, we will be giving you a peek into our instructor’s sketchbooks in a new blog segment appropriately titled “From the Sketchbook.”…

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Demonstrating the Craft: “Friday Night Live” Demos

This week on “Demonstrating the Craft,” we bring you something very special; Jeff Watts’ drawings from our free-to-watch “Friday Night Live” demos. This past Friday marked our first publicized “Friday Night Live” workshop, where we ask our students and other admirers of the representational arts to join us for a live, streaming demo from our…

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“Friday Night Live,” with Jeff Watts: This Friday, May 2nd

Join us this Friday night for an exciting, 3 hour workshop.  Streaming live from our Atelier, Watts Atelier founder Jeffrey Watts will be taking questions from viewers as he works from a live model.  Join us on our youtube page, where you can leave your questions in the comment section and have them answered immediately…

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Demonstrating the Craft: Portrait Paintings

This week on “Demonstrating the Craft” we bring you two new portrait paintings, completed last week for our in-class demonstrations.  As painting can be a longer process than  drawing, each of our ten week painting courses begins with a class dedicated entirely to an instructor demo, to highlight the concepts being taught in that particular…

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“Demonstrating the Craft,” a new weekly blog feature

Our Instructors (From left to right; Ben, Jeff, Lucas, and Meadow) Demonstrating the Craft We at the Watts Atelier believe that seeing proper technique in action is an important step in the learning process.  Because of this, each one of our courses at our on-location Atelier in Encinitas, CA begins with an instructor demonstration.  Our…

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Watts Atelier Illustration Boot Camp FAQ, featured at Imaginefx.com

  “Alessandra,” by Michael C. Hayes Do you have questions regarding our upcoming Watts Atelier Illustration Boot Camp? We have the answers. Watts Atelier staff member, student and freelance illustrator Tom Babbey recently had the chance to sit down with Watts Instructors E.M. Gist, Lucas Graciano, and Michael C. Hayes, to talk with them about…

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The Watts Atelier Online Experience

One of the most common questions we receive from students who are considering studying with us is “How exactly does your online program work?”  There are a plethora of online programs available, and it’s understandable for the student to want to know what sets our program apart from others.  To help give you a better…

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Utilizing models and reference in your paintings

Whether your goal is to become a fine artist or an illustrator, if you are planning to create finished, figurative pieces you more than likely will be utilizing models and props as tools of reference for your paintings.  To give you an idea of just what goes into getting “good reference,” we will be taking…

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Specialty Classes Now Available

“Siege,” by Robert Watts We are pleased to announce that the first of our Specialty Classes, “Drapery” with Erik M. Gist and “Painting Mood and Atmosphere in Gouache” with Robert Watts, are now available.  These exciting new additions to our curriculum are designed to help the student build their skills in specific areas that will…

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Finishing Touches: New Content Delayed until 2/28

We at the Watts Atelier strive to provide our students with the highest quality online art education available. With that in mind, we are announcing a brief delay in our new content launch for September.  Our Figure and Head Quicksketch courses and new specialty classes will be available a week from their original launch date,…

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New Content and New Programs for the New Year

We at the Watts Atelier are constantly striving to give you, our students, the best online art education available.  With this in mind, we’ve been hard at work preparing new content for our online programs.  With 2014 here and a new year ahead of us, we’re ready to announce our exciting new content and features,…

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Scheduled Site Shutdown for Maintenance on Thursday, 1/16, 11pm PST

Time to take a break… The site will be offline and unavailable due to scheduled maintenance on Thursday, January 16th at 11pm PST.  This downtime will last two hours, and will be part of a monthly maintenance routine. Thank you for your patience during this time, and Happy Drawing! -The Watts Atelier Team


Announcing our new Study Groups

Online schools such as ours offer the immense convenience of being able to study with the top artists in their field from the comfort of your own home…But how does an online school recreate the camaraderie of a brick-and-mortar school, with it’s personal interactions between students? If you’ve visited our Member Forums in the past…

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Holiday Gifts for the Artist

Holiday Gifts for the Artist still life by Catherine Bobkoski   The Holidays are here and Christmas is fast approaching.  If you’re having trouble figuring out what to get the artist in your life (or if you want to give yourself a nice gift), take a look at our Holiday Wish List.  These artist tools…

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Scheduled Site Shutdown for Maintenance on Sunday, 10/21, 12am PST

    The site will be offline and unavailable due to scheduled maintenance on Monday, Oct 21st, at 12am PST. This downtime will last two hours, and will be part of a monthly maintenance routine.   Thank you for your patience during this time, and Happy Drawing! -The Watts Atelier Team