Our Curriculum


Anyone can learn to draw and paint using this time-honored method.

The REAL Academy of Art Colorado's courses emphasize learning methods that have guided master artists for more than 500 years! Our curriculum is a logical progression of building skills step by step. The curriculum is segmented into four consecutive levels. Students must demonstrate mastery of a level before advancing to the next.  Students are highly encouraged to work at their own pace to achieve their personal goals and meet REAL’s standards of quality. 

REAL uses both the sight-size and comparative-measure techniques to teach drawing, painting and sculpture. 

  • Sight-size allows the student to view a model or object from a selected position and to execute it so both visually appear the same size to the artist.
  • Comparative-measure uses a system of units to enlarge or decrease an image as perceived by the student. 

Full and part-time study

The school  accommodates today’s artists’ busy schedules and needs for flexible study hours. 

The curriculum can be studied in a full-time capacity (three full days of instruction each week) or on a part-time basis (three-hour classes at least once each week).



Curriculum Summary

Level 1

Acquiring an understanding of shape, proportion, and value from a 2D reference

Through a curriculum made famous by Charles Bargue, students begin with graphite drawings.

Level 2

Learning to create form from life

Using plaster casts for reference, students learn the sight-size techniques to translate three-dimensional form to a two-dimensional plane while maintaining the illusion of space. 

Level 3

Learning the oil painting medium, color mixing and brushwork

Students ease into this medium with cast paintings, working both monochromatically and with limited color palettes. Lessons at this level focus on Grisaille painting, transferring drawing to canvas, layering techniques and color-mixing theory and techniques.

Level 4

Composition, color, spacial relationships, the human figure 

Students learn how to create strong compositions of still life, landscape and the figure. They work from a full palette to complete a copy of a master painting in oil — an exercise that includes practice in painting facial features. Students who complete this level advance to painting portraiture and full figures from live models.