Rebecca's Academic Figure 1 and 2 gave me the confidence of being able to draw anything!! Before the class I was inhibited and felt as though I would never be able to draw. Rebecca's clear and comprehensive approach opened a new world for me. I am able to look at my subject with confidence and understanding. I have never met an instructor with Rebecca's gift of teaching and inspiration.
Rebecca Alzofon is a National Treasure!!
- - Arnie Kamrin
Rebecca is one of those rare teachers who has an incredible depth of knowledge and experience, yet also has the ability to communicate it clearly. And she doesn't hold back anything. Every class I've taken, I've come away with so much more than I expected (or would have known to expect).
I started taking Rebecca's workshops to fill in the technical/academic gaps in my college art education. I soon learned how wide those gaps really were. The workshops (esp. Shape Drawing and Efficient Critical Accuracy) were real eye openers for what it means to draw at a high level and they provided the practical tools to get to that level. But this is information that everyone should know, regardless of level. My only regret is that I didn't know this stuff years ago. Fortunately, what I've learned from Rebecca has already had a profound impact on the quality of my work. And the Academic Figure classes! They must be the closest thing to learning from Hale or Bridgeman. Rebecca's knowledge of the figure and the figure in art never ceases to amaze.
Although this may sound a bit dry, really the workshops are intensive but a lot of fun, and the music is good too.
- - David Casterson
After taking five five-day and two two-day workshops with Rebecca, I completely endorse her claim that the skills apply to any serious drawing and painting. Even if you don't want to paint in the academic tradition, Rebecca's classes on drawing will sharpen your sense of line, light-and-shade, and form, and her classes on oil painting will give you good skills in paint handling and managing color and values. Her classes in sanguine and black-and-white chalk provide an unusual opportunity to enter a wonderful tradition. This is a unique series, and I'm glad I've been able to participate.
Compared to other students in the workshop, I have little background in drawing and painting, but Rebecca's program is flexible enough to accommodate serious students with a wide variety of previous experience.
- - Greg Lee
The entire Academic Figure series is unlike any other workshop I have taken. With Rebecca’s supervision, lectures, and encouragement, I have acquired hands-on skills and techniques that have influenced both the accuracy and aesthetics in all of my drawings and paintings. Each five-day course in the series methodically leads the student through her unique practices in incremental stages. The knowledge I acquired during her workshops has become a natural part of my repertoire.
- - Jana
I have attended several of Rebecca's workshops. I find her teaching style to be extremely helpful in my understanding of the human figure and the challenges inherent to drawing it. She gives each student her full attention as she tries to resolve one's problems. I continue to be impressed by her patience and gentle encouragement. Artists who crave a classical method of learning to draw the figure will doubtless come away with valuable knowledge from Rebecca's studio.
- - Marlene Maier
I have taken almost all of the workshops and skill clinics offered by Rebecca Alzofon. I am trained as a medical doctor with no formal training in art, but had been taking oil painting and life drawing classes for six years, including workshops with Ken Auster, Joseph Mendez, Alexander Zimin and through the Saint Petersburg Academy of Art (in Russia). Rebecca's classes provide the missing link and tools that artists need to not only improve their art, but skills for self evaluation. Having problems with ellipses and perspective? - take "Efficient Critical Accuracy". Getting expressive gesture drawings, but the proportions or perspective is often off or hard to get? - take "Academic Nude I". Tired of hearing about scumbling, glazing and using mediums, but no one ever teaches you? - take the whole 5 workshops series. But I want to paint like Richard Schmidt or Degas, I want to make beautiful paintings that are representational, but expressive and free feeling - well, unfortunately, one of the little secrets to getting that "perfect" placement of the highlight(s) or "one" stroke that makes the painting, is understanding parts of light on form, value relationships, ellipses, perspective, etc. You have to know what to look for, and you'll learn it here. Rebecca is right there to help you problem solve your own weaknesses and get you to a higher level of art.
- - Mary Hom
Although I had attended a well known art school in my early twenties, the classes were broad-ranging but lacking the time for in-depth study. After my first day in Academic Figure I, I came home and realized that eight hours had passed as though they were eight minutes. I was enthralled by the novelty of “measuring”, by its obvious accuracy, and by the potential beauty of the finished drawing. I luxuriated in the slow, thoughtful, and thorough sharing of knowledge, and the exploration of related side topics. I was mesmerized watching Rebecca draw. In short, I was intoxicated with the whole process.
- - Nancy Russell
As a professional artist, I am always trying to improve my drawing skills. I have had classical training and draw regularly from life. When I came upon Rebecca's website, I decided she had the knowledge and skill to help me improve. I was very satisfied with the weeklong workshop on drawing the figure in sanguine chalk. Her knowledge and discussion of materials alone was worth the trip from Dallas. I recommend her workshops without reservation to anyone. I know of very few sources of academic training in art, and the price is incomparably low. I would like to take another workshop again soon.
- - Steve Armes
I have studied figure drawing with several different teachers, including some highly reputed ones at the Arts Students League in New York. Yet in the very first few minutes of Rebecca's lecture and demo, I knew that what she offers is very unique. She is one of the most analytical and articulate teachers I have studied with. She breaks down the problem into manageable parts, and makes the mysterious knowable. I left her Skill Clinic feeling that what I had previously thought of as unattainable was perhaps within my reach after all. I am very excited about completing her series of workshops.
- - Priti Vora
My personal library contains some 16 books about drawing and painting techniques. I reviewed all of them prior to writing this letter. Without exception, all of those books fall short in providing solutions to very common drawing problems, such as achieving correct proportions and a believable representation of a three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional piece fo paper. I've recently been fortunate to study figure drawing under Rebecca Alzofon as well as to participate in her shape drawing workshops. These classes are filled with incredibly useful material that is not covered in any of the books.
Rebecca's methods of measuring are unlike anyone else's. In fact, the techniques proposed [in all of my books] could not possibly achieve good accuracy. Rebecca's methods of measurement are elegant, easily understood and easily applied. They're also exceptionally accurate. She circumvents the problem of error stack-up because each measurement is an accurate fraction of a large object in the drawing and each measurement is independent of any other measurement. With an understanding of Rebecca's measuring techniques, artists can confidently identify and accurately correct errors of proportion.
Rebecca's insights about illumination and reflection are also particularly noteworthy. Her solid understanding of the physics governing the behavior of light allows her to describe, in layman's terms, how light travels and reflects off of form. She then extends those concepts into practical techniques for convincingly rendering those forms on paper. This information is available nowhere else. As a practicing engineer, I've had many opportunities to study and apply theoretical physics. This background allowed me to appreciate the scientific accuracy of Rebecca's lectures on illumination and reflection. Although I understood many aspects of the behavior of light prior to studying drawing, I had not appreciated how that knowledge could enhance my drawing skills. Rebecca demonstrates masterful knowledge of both scientific and artistic disciplines and somehow manages to explain it all in an accessible fashion -- complete with practical how-to information for drawing. Because her students learn the drawing techniques with an understanding of the behavior of light, they can apply that fundamental knowledge to solve problems that may not have been covered by a classroom example. Contrast this with the usual art instruction book, or instructor, with lists of rules and recipes for drawing that suit of the instructor's tastes. That approach leaves the student with no recourse when facing problems that aren't addressed by one of those canned formulas. Rebecca's approach provides the necessary tools to solve those problems, allowing students the freedom to develop their own style and aesthetic approach to drawing based upon a firm understanding the behavior of light.
[In Rebecca's skill clinics,] she has developed a number of drawing exercises that actually provide the student with the capability to analyze the drawing and readily identify errors. These techniques have several important attributes. First, her exercises are cleverly contrived to set up the conditions that magnify perceptual errors. Second, she teaches techniques for quantitatively testing the accuracy of the drawing. Third, students literally correct their drawings with red pencils and identify the consistent patterns in the errors. Once these patterns are recognized, students quickly learn to pre-emptively anticipate and avoid mistakes. Dramatic and measurable improvements are noticeable within the span of a few minutes. By going through this closed-loop process of observation, drawing, analyzing and correcting errors, the student's skills improve very quickly while avoiding the pitfall of continually practicing and perfecting faulty technique.
These are only a few examples from Rebecca's curriculum. Her classes are packed with valuable information that appeals both to beginners and experienced artists. They set a new standard in art instruction.
- - Brian Setterberg