A Unique Art School in Chicago…

Why Vitruvian?

"The first responsibility of the student is to choose a teacher.  I’ve chosen my teachers because they’ve mastered the techniques of what they do – what I want to do."

– Ashly McLoney, Vitruvian student

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Simply enter your name and email address to join our community of artists, students and teachers. Get updates on courses and workshops in realist drawing, painting, sculpture and anatomy, including our latest online courses. Sign up now and get a FREE download of our Drawing Materials Guide – a catalog of the materials we use in the studio and as seen in our time-lapse videos on YouTube!

Our 6 page Drawing Materials Guide

Teaching is Doing.

We take a “show don’t tell” approach to teaching at Vitruvian Studio. All our instructors are working artists and we practice what we teach. Our courses feature lots of demonstration so students can actually see what to do, not just hear about it.

Drawing Demonstrations on Youtube

A Supportive Environment.

Learning to draw and paint is difficult, and making mistakes is part of the process. We work hard to ensure both the studio and website are supportive, friendly places where students are encouraged to mess-up, try again... and improve.

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Learn at Your Own Pace

Everyone learns at different rates. Both the studio and website offer ways for students to proceed at their own unique pace as they develop their skills over time.

Students in Chicago can get the full studio experience and work with us on site. We offer courses in drawing and painting, and our instructors frequently work along side students, providing ongoing examples of how to execute the techniques we teach.

We're Proud of our Students!

We have students at all levels of experience and ability, but we're all working steadily at the studio toward the same goal: producing beautiful, skilled artwork that captures what we see with fidelity. Wherever they may be on their journey, we're proud or what our students accomplish. Here's a sampling of drawings and paintings by Vitruvian students.

Our online courses offer an alternative for students outside Chicago, or for those who would prefer to learn in the privacy of their own home. In fact, online study offers some clear advantages over in-studio courses, including anytime access and the ability to pause or re-watch demonstrations at each student's convenience.

Our Worldwide Studio:

Learn with us online and join hundreds of other students from all over the world.

What Our Students Say...

I am really enjoying this online art course. It has provided me with valuable keys for achieving an accurate translation of subject and form. I’ve been struggling with understanding the methods of sighting and triangulation as well as scale and framing. The instruction is simple and very effective. After just one evening of watching the videos, I experienced many “AHA!” moments which allowed me to correct my approach to estimating the dimensions and landmarks of my subject. I am very pleased with the material Mr. Jamieson has provided and feel that it was worth every penny. I look forward to seeing more courses offered by your studio. Thank you, Mr. Jamieson.

Jake, Murphy, TX

I just completed my first time through the lesson! I am totally impressed and inspired. I first thought I would watch the lessons through a couple of times and then attempt a portrait drawing on my own using my newly learned skills. After the detailed instruction, I believe I can begin after one time through and use the lessons as a reference in the process. I can’t wait to begin. I have sought portrait instruction through the years in books and classes but have not found one that offered so much material and so easily followed. I am a self taught artist. You have added a whole new dimension to my learning curve. Thank you.

Jo, Porter, TX

I am currently only about 1/3 thru the course and it is everything I had hoped! It is broken down into small/short snippets of process that I find easy to learn and apply. Sometimes instructors can get a little ‘moonbeamish’ with their presentation, but not David. Nothing better than concrete/useful cookbook ways of proceeding thru the process of blocking in…the most important piece of getting a likeness.

Mike, New York, NY

Somehow, much to my surprise I’ve become 66 years old. I’ve been trying, with minimal success to learn the mechanics, as well as the Feel (which comes more naturally) of how to draw faces. Triangulation, comparative measurement seemed like cold mathematical systems, antithetical to real Expression and Soul. Wrong ! I’m getting So Much out of your teaching:systematic, clear, precise and concise with wonderful results in your finished, or at least “that’s It .. I’m Done ! drawings. You’ve shown me that, as with music, Soul /Discipline/are proven tools,allowing one to keep moving unveiling and peeling away layers…..working towards the heart of some kind of Mystery that connects us, are Important and Necessary. Ah, it appears that you Can, teach an Old Dog new tricks. Deep thanks.

David, Palm Springs, CA

Thank you for the Portrait Drawing Course; it is incredible. The way everything is broken down and explained in such detail is a must for someone new to drawing, like myself. Needless to say, that’s not something that I’ve ever found available in this type of format. Even if it was, I wouldn’t want to think about how much it would cost. The amount of video and instruction available with this course is quite simply the best drawing tuition I’ve seen on the internet (at any price), and believe me, I’ve looked.

Thank you for making a product that is exactly what you say it was. I’ve seen your competitors claim things like, “complete portrait drawing lessons, from start to finish.” The actual content they offer is laughable compared to what is offered here. I’ve spent the last 8-9 months scouring the internet for exactly this kind of drawing tuition, but I simply did not believe that it was available; at any price. I hope you sell a million of these.

Sam, Knoxville, TN

VanDyke Man reaching forward with an outstretched arm

5 “Laws” for Drawing Better Figures

By David Jamieson | May 3, 2016

I’m not a big fan of “laws” in drawing and painting. There’s an exception to every rule, so it seems that whenever I tell a student that x is “always true”, there ends up being some damn reason why it’s actually not true in the particular case at hand – and then I have to backpedal. But […]

University of St. Francis Exhibition

A New Exhibition at University of St. Francis

By David Jamieson | September 25, 2015

We’re thrilled to be included in a new exhibition at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. The show features work that’s representative of the classical or academic tradition in drawing, painting and sculpture. All 4 Vitruvian instructors – David Jamieson, Melinda Whitmore, Anthony Adcock and Anna Wakitsch – are featured in the exhibition, […]

An example of "burnished" or "shiny" graphite.

3 Ways to Reduce “Graphite Shine” in Your Drawings.

By David Jamieson | June 22, 2015

I love drawing with graphite. Nothing beats the control and precision offered by a sharp graphite pencil. But there’s one thing I hate about graphite: it gets “shiny” if you’re not really careful, and shiny drawings are ugly. If you don’t know what I mean by “shiny”, grab a soft graphite pencil and a piece […]

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