BSOFA Academy Curriculum

The Academy at the Boulder School of Fine Art's program of classical art instruction teaches art students drawing and painting by training their ability to observe nature and light and then render what they see with realism and personal style. The methods used are based on classical techniques practiced by the old masters but modified to be approachable and useful to artists of today.


Students learn how to draw through a series of projects and how to paint by introductory painting projects and later through still life, master copies and painting the figure and portrait from life. Students are taught several ways to observe and draw accurately what they see by sight size, comparison measurement and careful observation. Teachers help students analyze and assess their work and point out the big and small changes necessary.

Art History and Art Appreciation lectures are offered once a month. Artistic anatomy classes, classical sculpture and ecorche are scheduled once a week.

Classical Drawing and Painting

Students begin by copying drawings made by Charles Bargue in the 19th century with pencil and  charcoal. 4-5 drawings should be completed before moving to Cast Drawing​


Cast Drawing


Students draw reproductions of antique sculptures in natural light with charcoal and white chalk.

Cast Painting


Students graduate to painting casts and busts in natural light using white, black and raw sienna oil paints.

Figure Sketching

In Figure Sketching,students how to capture the gesture and block in shadow and light paying little attention to detail. 


Classical Intensive Figure Study

In Classical Intensive Figure Drawing , students use the sight size and comparison measurement techniques over multiple sessions to create drawings and paintings that are accurate in overall shape and true to life in value and color.

Sketches are first made to explore the gesture, shape and values of the subject, then a final finished drawing of charcoal on Roma paper is completed before painting begins.




Painting with color

The Boulder School of Fine Art offers an Introduction to Oil Painting Class on Sundays and Wednesdays. Students are encouraged to develop basic painting skills by enrolling in one day per week of Introduction to Oil Painting. Learning to paint the figure and portrait is incorporated into the figure and portraiture classes once instructors are confident that students have mastered drawing with charcoal.


Special Topics

Students are encouraged to attend Anatomy and Art History classes as offered throughout the year.

Sculpting classes will be offered on Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons beginning in January.