The new Realism is booming, and many people ask how these artists are trained. There are now several hundred academies in the world that specialise in this training; some are big, most are small, but all follow the same programme, more or less.
Training usually lasts from three to five years, it takes students through plaster-cast drawing with charcoal, plaster-cast painting with oils, then still life, which is the best arena in which to learn colour, illusionary texture and the creation of illusionary space. Throughout these basic three years, students also work half the day from a live model, first in pencil, then in charcoal, and then in oils.
Beyond the basics, there follows the study of pictorial composition, and a specialization in the fine art of portrait painting, which is thought by many to be the most difficult discipline in the visual arts.
This talk gives a succinct overview of this programme and a glimpse at the works of these 21st century painters.
Michael John Angel is the founder of The Angel Academy, Florence.