Frequently Asked Questions
Chicago Studio FAQs
Yes. All our classes are open to students of all levels of ability and experience.
No. Since some students already have their own materials, charging a default materials fee can get complicated. It's just simpler if everyone does their own shopping. We do sell "Materials Kits" at the studio for some of our classes, which can be purchased at check-out when you enroll through the website. We offer this as a convenience to our students to save them a trip to the art supply store. Alternatively, a list of recommended materials will be emailed to you when you enroll if you'd prefer to shop elsewhere.
No. The model fee is built into the sticker price of each class.
We're sorry, but we simply can't accommodate studio visits. Our instructors are unavailable to receive visitors because their time here is already occupied with teaching. If you're looking for information about our courses, they're thoroughly described on our website. If you have further questions, we're happy to help via our contact form here.
We'd love to see you, but the best way to see the studio is to take a class!
No. All our studio sessions are for enrolled students only.
Sorry, but no. We'd love to have you in the studio, but we ask that everyone commit to the whole class.
Yes. We have a couple of options for weekdays. Our Weekday Atelier is an ongoing course of study in which students begin with simple drawing exercises that lead to more complicated painting and sculpture work. We also offer 5-Day Intensive Workshops from time to time that are much like their weekly class counterparts, but meet for 5 consecutive days in the studio.
Some classes may feature similar methods and are able to be “piggybacked” in the studio at the same time. For example, we may have Figure Drawing and Grisaille Painting students working at once, since the focus of each is primarily on drawing the figure. An instructor can easily accommodate both, and the cross-pollination of information can make for a richer experience for the students. Bargue Drawing and Cast Drawing is another good example.
Also, we offer “Intensive” versions of some classes that are simply alternative schedulings of existing classes. For example, “Figure Drawing Intensive” meets at the same time as “Figure Drawing”, but lasts all day for 4 weeks instead of a half-day for 8 weeks. This appeals to some students who travel a long distance for class and appreciate a way to minimize their commute.
Not really. Oil paint is the preferred medium in all our painting classes, although ocassional accommodations are made for students wishing to use other media.
We just don't have the space for that. We offer storage racks for work in progress so students don’t have to travel with wet paintings, but if we tried to accommodate the rest of everyone’s stuff we’d soon be over-run with debris. Please be prepared to take your supplies with you at the end of class.
There are two small parking lots on the north and south sides of our building. Students can park in either lot, but please don’t block the loading dock. For our suburban students, there’s even better news… We’re just a few steps from the Clybourn Metra station, which of course makes parking unnecessary!
Perhaps. For classes that don’t feature a live model, makeup sessions may be scheduled on a case-by-case basis, and must occur within a month of the class completion date. Accommodations for missed class sessions must also be arranged at the time of enrollment. We cannot compensate for unplanned absences.
Our models, however, are booked only for a set number of class sessions, which means makeup sessions are not available for figure or portrait classes.
Unfortunately, no. Vitruvian isn’t just a classroom space, but is a working studio that we use during the off-class hours. When students arrive too early, it disrupts our workflow and we can get a little cranky. We kindly ask that you don’t arrive more than 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. This should allow plenty of time for students to set up and be ready for when class begins.
For in-studio classes we offer refunds to students who withdraw from class less the $50 registration deposit, provided they do so before the start of the second class session. Once the second session has begun, however, no refunds will be granted.
Because of the digital nature of our online courses, however, no refunds will be granted. All sales of online courses are final.
The studio phone exists for one purpose: as a "doorbell" for the intercom system at the front door of the building. If you're trying to reach us, use the contact form here. We hope to hear from you!
Online Studio FAQs
Our online courses are “asynchronous”, meaning they don’t have a set start-date or end-date. Rather, you can begin an online course at any time, and proceed at your own pace.
As long as you wish. Once you’ve purchased any of our online courses, your access will never expire. Login to review the material as many times as you wish, for as long as you want.
The video content of online courses is not downloadable. Instead, the videos “stream” from our server to logged-in students. This means that students must have an active internet connection to watch the videos.
While you can easily login and watch the video content on an iPad – or any device with an internet connection – the video files themselves can’t be “transferred” for offline viewing. As mentioned above, the videos are not downloadable.
There are three reasons. First, the videos are just one part of the course content. The great advantage of online courses is that they are multimedia based and interactive. Since the accompanying text, images and Q&A threads are also part of the course, we want students to be engaged with that content, too. Making the videos available on DVD would separate them from the rest of the course and make for a less effective learning experience.
Second, the video content for the portrait drawing course is over 10 hours long, and simply wouldn’t fit on a single DVD, or even two. We’d have to offer more of a boxed set of DVDs that would present production, packaging, storage and shipping challenges that we’re simply not equipped to handle.
Lastly, digital delivery of video content is the future. Support for legacy formats, including DVD, is waning fast and it won’t be long before DVDs have gone the way of VHS tapes. We want our online platform to be forward-looking and demand for DVDs will only diminish with time.
Each “lesson” includes a Question & Answer area at the bottom of the page where questions are addressed. In-depth, individual feedback – including video critiques – is available to students who purchase a “Critique Extension” as an optional add-on to any course.
Our in-studio classes offer some advantages over online study, including one-on-one, at-easel instruction for every student included in the price. We offer the same degree of individual attention to our online students, but only with the purchase of a “Critique Extension” as an optional $100 add-on. Including the cost of the extension brings the price of our online courses closer inline with their in-studio counterparts.
Also, in-studio classes cost us more to offer as they require us to maintain a physical studio, and absorb the related costs – rent, utilities, insurance, etc. We also hire models for in-studio classes who are paid by the hour. All these factors contribute to the price difference between in-studio and online study.