Academy of Realist Art


At the Academy of Realist Art – the only school of its kind in Canada – we teach students the academic skills for classical drawing and painting. Through our unique step-by-step process, you will master the skills and disciplines needed to create realistic fine art.

The ARA approach is designed to strengthen a student’s understanding of how the masters created their own works. These principles provide the academic foundation for beginner and experienced artists alike to gain proficiency in any artistic pursuit of their choosing.

We welcome students with all levels of experience, from professionals to absolute beginners. No prior formal training in the arts is required for you to begin our 4-level fundamental program.

We offer workshops and flexible classes during the day, in the evenings, and on weekends, so whether you are pursuing art as a profession or a hobby there is a place for you at ARA.

Whether you join a workshop or our regular program, we offer individualized feedback to suit all skill levels. Students will further their insight into the areas of life drawing, portrait, cast, and still life.

We can address the needs of students with any amount of experience. No portfolio or previous experience is required.

For more information, email us. For information on all the news at ARA, subscribe to our newsletter (sign up is available in the footer ↓).

Our Instructors

COVID-19 Studio Policies

Proof of vaccination

All visitors to our Columbus Centre campus must be fully vaccinated to access the building. Please email proof of vaccination to for verification before your class or workshop begins.

Masks and hand hygiene on arrival

On entering the Columbus Centre, all visitors are expected to wear masks at all times. We will now be requiring students to wear a minimum of a 3-ply medical (surgical) mask.

Please sign in at the front desk to assist with records for contact tracing, and use the hand sanitization stations in the lobby and elevator. Upon arriving on the 3rd floor, all arriving students are also expected to wash their hands in one of the sinks in the Figure and Workshop rooms.

Daily symptom screening

Please come see an instructor on arrival to have your temperature screened. We ask that any students who are feeling unwell, who have had recent close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who have recent travel history with a mandatory quarantine period, please stay home and self-isolate. As always, you can make up any missed classes at a later date.

Physical distancing

All horses in the Bargue room will be taped and placed 6 feet apart. These are not to be moved, and extra distance is encouraged whenever possible. Students with stations will be scheduled to ensure that capacity limits are met.

Instructors will practice physical distancing while instructing.

Sanitization stations and common areas

Frequent hand sanitization throughout your time in the school is asked. Sanitization stations are located outside of each studio. The lunch room will not be available, so please plan accordingly and follow physical distancing rules during breaks.