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Scroll down to view all of our currently available workshops. If you would like to be notified when new workshops are available, please fill out the form below. We would also be interested in your specific current workshop interests. Fill out this survey to give us a better idea of what you would like to see! Check out our Facebook Page for photos from previous workshops. Please note: Workshop payments are non-refundable.


Critique Workshop

December 9th (Limit 10 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $150
Instructor: Julie Beck and Garrett Vitanza

Bring in your current and/or past work for a critique with two of our main instructors. Topics to discuss will be the elements of convincing realism, composition, and content. Students must be comfortable sharing their work with other students present. Work can be digital or traditional.  Each student can bring 1 or 2 pieces max, but you can also have us consider a body of work as a whole. We will also allow lead a group discussion about the content if you are looking for general feedback.

Instructor Garrett Vitanza is ARA Boston’s principle instructor. His focus lies in figure and portrait works and has extensive passion and knowledge of art history. Instructor Julie Beck is an award winning artist as well as one of ARA Boston’s main instructors. She specializes in narrative works with portraits, figures, and still lives.


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Northern Renaissance Painting - Mastercopies with Garrett Vitanza

December 11th - December 15th (Limit 12 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $700
Instructor: Garrett Vitanza

The Northern renaissance was a period known for its revolutionary depiction of naturalism. Sharp and detailed paintings that applied new scientific advancements such as one point perspective. This class will explore the methods and materials of these painters and how they applied the observation of the natural world onto the canvas. In this 5 day course, students will be working on master copies from prominent artists of this time period such as: Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Hans Memling, and Albrecht Durer. Demonstrations and lectures will give special attention to each stage of the painting, from the 'underpainting' to 'building up', and, the final glazing and scumbling.

This way of painting is a very controlled way of applying oil paint, and is a great introduction for beginners. It is also a very different way of painting than the more common alla prima styles, and a great continuing education course for well experienced oil painters. There are no prerequisite for this class.

Despoit/Pay in Full

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Best Present Ever! Oil Painting from photos 4 spots left

December 11th - December 15th (Limit 12 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $700
Instructor: Julie Beck

Just in time for the holidays! Bring in a photograph to create a painting for someone special. This is a twist on our oil painting fundamentals class.

Do your children sit still for hours at a time? Do you have wild animals just hanging around your house waiting to be painted? Do you have everything want at all times no matter what? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably don’t need to know the best ways to work from photo-reference. If not, then you’re probably a normal human being who just wants to make a great painting. While working from life is ideal, sometimes we want something that’s easier, cheaper, and doesn’t move. I’m not only a realist painter but I’m a realistic painter.

In this class, we will go over the fundamentals of drawing and painting in the ARA Boston method of indirect painting. Using photo reference that YOU provide ( or we can provide one for you if you don’t have one), you will each work on a painting of your choice. You will learn how to bring your flat photos to life in a realistic painting.

If you plan to bring in a photo with people in it, there should only be preferably 1 (or 2 maximum) people in the photo. People are quite a challenge and you don't want to make things too complicated!!

Despoit/Pay in Full

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Classical and Modern Materials for Oil Painters

December 8, 9
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch)
Cost: $375 (include materials)
Instructor: Eric Johnson

The master oil painter is one who knows their materials as keenly as the techniques they use to create a work of art. Understanding good painting practices and how to make your own oil paint/ surfaces may seem intimidating at first but it is actually incredibly simple, rewarding and inexpensive!! Throughout the course of three days we will cover everything you need to know about making your very own surfaces and paints. We will go over an introduction into the understanding of oils, mediums and varnishes and the making/ characteristics of pigment. We will take the knowledge learned and relate it to the art of paint making where you will get the chance to mull and tube a batch of paint. We will also cover the making of supports for painting. Good supports are crucial to creating a work of art that will last the test of time, we will cover everything from sizes, linen vs cotton canvas, grounds and applications. At the end of this short workshop you  will leave with tubed paint and primed surfaces and a varnish.

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Old Master Composition and Design

June 30 to July 2 (3 days)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch)
Cost: $550
Instructor: Koo Schadler 

Does the “secret” to Old Master painting lie in traditional materials or a specific working method?  Possibly neither, given that masterpieces have been made from many different mediums and methods.  What unifies all great art is a common, visual language: formal elements organized through universal design principles.  Becoming conversant in this language is essential to succeeding as a painter.  Studying traditional painting is one of the best ways to acquire visual fluency because old master images are both realistic and full of visual abstraction.  


Guided by a wall of images that outline the history of western art, students and teacher engage in extensive study and discussion of paintings old and new. Students learn to recognize and incorporate into their own work the most important visual elements and compositional principles of the Old Masters.  Practical experience is gained through hands-on exercises.  Students are encouraged to bring work of their own for discussion and critique. Open to artists of any medium or skill level, art historians, and anyone who wants to understand the difference between traditional and modern painting.

Testimonials: “This [old masters design] workshop was filled with rare jewels of information that one doesn’t find in the best art schools and ateliers.  Thank you so much for a fantastic workshop.  I got so much out of it.”  

“I find myself thinking a lot about the concepts you taught in your design workshop.  Certain concepts…have really hit home for me recently….I’m seeing and understanding much more about the fine line between realistically depicting nature and creating an artistic design.  I keep learning… it’s extremely enjoyable

Koo Schadler’s egg tempera paintings and silverpoint drawings are in more than 400 private, corporate and museum collections worldwide, including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and Philadelphia Athenaeum.  She is a popular instructor who has taught workshops around the US and abroad for more than 18 years.  Schadler is a master painter of the Copley Society of Art in Boston, MA and a contributing editor to The Artists’ Magazine.  Her work is represented by the J. Cacciola Gallery in New York, NY and Arden Gallery in Boston, MA. For more information visit

Supply List


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Figure Painting in Oils: Exploring the intensity of color with a limited palette - 3 Days

July 6 to July 8 (Limit 11 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $550
Instructor: Jennifer Balkan

In this class, students will improve upon their overall approach to painting the figure with an emphasis on brush control, paint mixing, and color harmony. We will approach painting by learning to see our environment as composed of simple shapes and values, lay down shadow and light masses with confident brushwork, which will lead to stronger visual statements and weightier paintings. Students will work from a model, beginning with short poses in monochrome and gradually work up to longer sessions in full color enabling them to make quicker decisions leading to a more intuitive approach when handling the paint. This class is designed for all levels of painters who have life drawing experience. Jennifer Balkan will be doing demonstrations throughout the workshop and students will be working from a live model.

 Our goal is to see the figure as an abstract composite of dark and light shapes (values) in order to create a strong value statement and to get it proportionally accurate, both of which will contribute to a compelling composition and statement of light and shadow. We will begin our study doing simple three-value studies using a monochromatic palette in order to focus solely on values. We will later discuss color; specifically some color theory, color harmony and choosing a palette.  We will mix paint together.  And afterwards, we will do limited palette studies, beginning with very short poses and increasing time.


Coming Soon! 2 week sight size portrait workshop with Emanuela De Musis.

July 9th to July 20th (Monday through Friday each week). Sign up for our newsletter at the top of this page to be notified when this is available!

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Floral painting with Carlo Russo - 4 Days

July 10 to July 13 (Limit 14 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $595
Instructor: Carlo Russo

This one will fill up fast!! Sign up early!

In this 4 day class will focus on painting the floral still life in oils. Florals can be a daunting subject and we will try to make sense of the the beautiful forms which have fascinated and frustrated artists for centuries. Since flowers and plants tend to move from day to day and even hour to hour the students will draw and paint directly on the canvas with the brush only. The focus will be on capturing the essentials of the still life and finishing areas wet in to wet. I will give frequent demonstrations and critique as we explore the unique nature of flowers and plants in paint.


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Crash Course in the ARA Drawing and Painting Method - 10 days

August 6th to August 17th - Monday through Friday (Limit 12 students)
9:30 to 4:30 (1 hour lunch break)
Cost: $1350
Instructor: Christina Mastrangelo

This workshop sells out every single year. Sign up early!

Students will learn how to approach an oil painting from start to finish. This course teaches traditional atelier-style methods, from using a campiturra, to dead color, first painting, and second painting, all working from life and using the sight-size method.  Demonstrations will be given on the layout & methodical uses of the full-color palette, as well as lectures and handouts on mediums, steps of the process, hue/value/chroma, color mixing, palette care, composition, set-up, and varnishing. The goals of the course are to understand the observational painting process, come away with a realistic still-life painting, and be able to paint with confidence after the course is over.

This course is recommended for artists looking to create more realistic work. Prior experience with painting in oil is not necessary. This is a very logical, academic course; everything learned here will translate well into drawing or painting any subject from life.

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By far the best workshop I have ever taken. Christina’s instruction was incredibly clear and the structure of the course was well thought out. The atmosphere was positive and helpful. I think each student was amazed by the work they created.
— Phyllis, 2014 Still Life Workshop with Christina Mastrangelo student
The class was amazing. Thank you very much. You are such a generous teacher, sharing a wealth of information with us. The class was an excellent introduction to many important things to think about — things that I wish I knew in my past attempts to work in oils.
— Dennis, 2016 Oil Painting for Newbies student