“Applications of Vision and Art for Artists”

This talk will introduce Margaret Livingstone’s book “Vision and Art” and provide direct applications for art students and artists. Since the “sight-size” methods of drawing and painting rely on breaking through the rational pre-conceived notions of subjects we observe, this book explains the mechanism for our awareness of light, shadow, edge and color. 

TIME: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5pm

40 minutes plus Q&A

SPEAKER: John Robert Peck

Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies
Instructor, Triton Museum of Art

John Peck’s paintings and drawings can be seen in private collections and galleries in London, Florence, Dublin, and Santa Fe. He graduated from the Florence Academy of Art and received an MArch from the University of New Mexico, where he was an instructor in the School of Architecture and Planning. He graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BS in physics. He is the co-author of Drawing in Space: A Manual for Figurative Sculpture. His work can be viewed at johnpeck.com.


Anatomy / Ecorche Workshop

ART & the BODY: beneath the surface.

please join the GGA Director Andrew Ameral at the Diablo Valley College Art Gallery on Friday, September 8 6-8pm at the opening reception of the group exhibit.

Open Studio & 6 Year Anniversary Party

Come and celebrate with us!

Friday, June 30th 6 – 9pm

  • Student Artwork
  • Food & Drink
  • Awards

… and it was FUN! please join us next year!

Summer 2017 Workshops

Registration is open for select workshops. Please email us to inquire / register.
Payment of the non-refundable deposit will reserve your spot on a first come first served basis. Class and workshop size is limited due to our space constraints so contact us today to reserve your place!  Sign up for more than one and receive a 10% discount off your total tuition!

Part-Time Summer Term

August 14 – 17, 21 – 24
Mon-Thu 9:30am – 4:15pm
Tuition: $800 due in full July 31 (deposit $250)

Instructor: Tess White

The Golden Gate Atelier’s part-time program offers an excellent alternative to students who are unable to commit to our full-time atelier. Class meets one day per week during each academic trimester and is open to students with any level of experience. The part-time program introduces students to the basics of the classical atelier drawing and painting methodology taught in the first two years of the full-time program. The summer term is open to all new and established students.

Intensive Figure Drawing Workshop
September 8 – 10, 15 – 17
Fri-Sun 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $750 due in full July 31 (deposit $250)
Instructor: Andrew Ameral

Students in this intensive workshop will work from the live model in graphite with the aim of creating a full finished rendering of the human figure. We will focus on the same fundamental aspects of the classical realist method taught in the GGA’s full and part time programs, including creation of the “block-in” and the orderly rendering of shadow shapes and light values. In the workshop, students will have the opportunity to work alongside GGA Director Andrew Ameral and to observe his real-time execution of these methods and drawing techniques.

Still Life Painting: The Classical Tradition

July 31 – August 3, August 7 – 10
Mon-Thu 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $790 due in full July 10 (deposit $250)
Instructor: Sean Forester

This workshop will explore the classical “impressionistic” still life tradition of 19th century French artists in the manner of Chardin and Emil Carlsen. Lectures will focus on composition, color harmony and technique. The second part of this workshop, students will work on the set up and painting of their own still life compositions in the studio.
Gesture Drawing and Figure Block In Boot Camp (FULL)
July 24 – 28
Mon-Fri 10am – 2:45pm
Tuition: $500 due in full July 10 (deposit $150)
Instructor: Tess Marie White
The initial “block-in” creates the essential foundation for accurate realistic figure drawing, yet is a step often neglected by artists. In this intensive workshop, students will work from the live model and practice methods for creating a successful block-in. Students will also work from the model on short (3 minute) poses to develop and hone their gesture drawing approaches and techniques.
Master Copy as Inspiration (CANCELLED)
July 29 – 30, August 4 – 5, 12 – 13
Sat-Sun 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $660 due in full July 10 (deposit $200)
Instructor: Sean Forester

Copying a master painting in the Louvre was central to the training of 19th century atelier students in Paris. While we can’t do our copies at the Louvre, we can still learn a great deal from the old masters. In this workshop, each student will choose a master painting and study the picture making process through drawing and creating color studies from the master. Students will then create and work on their own compositions inspired by their masterpiece studies.




These two intensive workshops will give students an opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience rendering the human figure from life in one and/or two mediums: pencil and paint.
The curriculum highlights the introduction of sound academic techniques and the sight size method.
Each day the Instructor will devote 1 hour for lectures and demonstrations focusing on better understanding the anatomy and construction of the human form and its features. Students will learn and practice the stages of the classical process, drawing / painting from a model.
Students will have the opportunity to obtain a fully finished and accurate representation within the range of their experience and ability.
These workshops are excellent for artists looking to hone their craft and open to all advanced and beginning students who want to improve.

Workshop is full. Please sign up for our newsletter to be informed of the upcoming dates.

ParisLogoSean Forester and Andrew Ameral are participating in The Paris Seminar exhibitions at the Salamagundi Club in New York City on April 28th and at Laguna College of Art and Design on April 8th. These events will include lectures and artistic demonstrations.  As well as paintings by Andrew and Sean, they will feature the artwork of Adrian Göttlieb, Jeremy Lipking, Michael Klein, Kate Sammons, Ryan S. Brown, Michelle Dunaway, Aaron Westerberg, Iliya Mirochnik, Richard Greathouse, Alan Lawson, Hope Riley, and Vanessa Rothe.   Please join us if you can at either venue and spread the word to your friends.   For more information,  visit: ParisSeminar.com


American artists such as Eakins, Whistler, Sargent, Cassatt, and Hopper all studied and found inspiration in Paris. The tradition continues today, as a group of young American realists journey to Paris in August 2016 for the Paris Seminar. By studying in the museums, painting at the famous La Grande Chaumiere, and attending composition and humanities seminars, they will search for ways to develop their technique and refine their vision.  Ameral and Forester are honored to be selected to be part of this journey.   They are participating in the exhibitions in NYC and LA to raise the funds to go to Europe and would be grateful for your support.

At the show in Laguna Beach, Sean Forester will be showing a painting titled Consolation.  


The painting goes with a poem by Elizabeth Bishop:

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

At the show in Laguna Beach, Andrew Ameral will be showing a painting titled Vanitas: Portrait of Kate


Youth Summer 10-day Intensive

youth intensive

Intensive is canceled. Please sign up for our newsletter to be informed of the upcoming dates.

Looking East: How Japan Inspired Western Artists

San Francisco Asian Art Museum,  Sunday, February 7, 2016
044Reverie (Katherine Finn)

Golden Gate Atelier visited the exhibition which features more than 170 artworks from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Looking East includes beautiful examples of Japanese prints by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), and masterpieces by French and American Impressionist painters including  Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, and Edgar Degas. Of special interest to GGA students are the paintings of the Boston School artists Edward Tarbell and Frank Benson. The show also includes interesting nocturne paintings, Belle Epoque Posters, and painterly photographs. It is exciting to see Hokusai’s sketch books with his pen and ink figures in motion that remind one of Leonardo.

Summer Drawing and Painting Workshop

This Workshop is Full. If you would like to sign-up for a future workshop or be added to our mailing list email info@goldengateatelier.com








Perspective for the Academy Artist

Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3  2015

The Golden Gate Atelier is excited to welcome Australian artist Richard Payne.  Richard studied at the Florence Academy of Art and with the renowned perspective teacher Robert W. Gill, author of Basic Perspective and Creative Perspective.  A trained architect, Richard is a master of perspective.  He is visiting San Francisco and has kindly agreed to share his knowledge with us.

The 2-Day Perspective Workshop is an introduction to the topic designed specifically for the atelier artist with a focus on teaching you what the Renaissance artists in Florence protected as ‘secret knowledge’. We demystify its complexity and link perspective to the Academic sight-size method of drawing.  Perspective impacts everything we see or draw both in the studio and ‘plein air’.  We aim to make perspective a practical tool helping you solve problems with the human figure, relating multiple figures and placing the figure in a realistic environment.  We cover; the principles & laws of perspective, step-by-step procedures showing how to use 1-Point and 2-Point Perspective, the impact of 3-point perspective, the Station Point, Horizon Line, Centre Line of Vision, Cone of Vision, Picture Plane, etc.

Stanford Lecture

Thursday, April 30,  2015

Sean Forester will lecture on the history of portrait painting at Stanford.

Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland

Saturday, March 21,  2015

Golden Gate Atelier will visit the exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.   It includes works by many of the greatest painters from the Renaissance to the early 20th century.  There are more than fifty works from the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.  We especially look forward to seeing the paintings of Henry Raeburn and Sargent’s portrait of Lady Agnew.


Composition Workshop with Iliya Mirochnik

Friday – Sunday, January 23 – 25,  2015

Iliya studied in St. Petersburg at I.E. Repin State Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from which he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting.  He will be leading a 3 day workshop based on Russian techniques of multi-figure composition.    These methods parallel those taught in the Golden Gate Atelier composition program.  We are very excited about this opportunity to host Iliya and learn from him!

Jewish Wedding by Iliya Mirochnik























Sargent at the Legion of Honor

Friday, January 16, 2015

Golden Gate Atelier students will visit the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum to see Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House.

Come Celebrate with Us:

Golden Gate Atelier Open House and Party

 May 29, 6- 9 pm   

You are invited to Golden Gate Atelier on Thursday May 29th. The open studio will feature:

  • GGA student drawings and paintings
  • Ecorche sculptures from the 2013-2014 artistic anatomy class
  • Artwork by atelier director Andrew Ameral and assistant director Sean Forester

Food and drink will be served and awards will be given for best ecorche sculpture and best student artwork. And there will be a very special announcement.

Please join us and bring your friends. We are at 4432 Piedmont Ave, Oakland.



Sean Forester recently led a Russian art tour for the cultural travel company Classical Pursuits. Golden Gate Atelier student Anne Wagley was part of the group.  We visited Moscow and St. Petersburg.  We read Anna Karenina and saw the art of Repin, Kromskoi, Levitan, Serov,  and many more.  We visited the houses (now museums) of Polenev, Repin, and Tolstoy.  We visited the Bolshoi and Mariinsky  ballet theaters and many beautiful churches.  We spent hours in the Tretyakov, Russian Sate Musuem, and the Hermitage.  This was a wonderful introduction to Russian culture and we can’t wait to visit again.

Thanks to Vanessa Rothe, Eric Rhodes, and Peter Trippi of Fine Arts Connoisseur,  Sean and Anne were invited to visit  the Russian Academy for the Arts.  We toured the classrooms of the Surikov Academy in Moscow and the Repin Academy in Petersburg.  We were impressed with the quality of the instruction and the student work.   It was especially exciting to see the advanced students and their multi-figure diploma projects.  This kind of painting is an inspiration and challenge to the ateliers in America and Europe.  The Russian realists are kindred spirits and hope to collaborate with them at some point as we develop the Golden Gate Atelier.  We would like to thank Nickolai and Kolya from Moscow and Anastasia from St. Petersburg for being such wonderful hosts!


 3 Day Workshop with George O’Hanlon of Natural Pigments

 May 9-11, 2014

Natural Pigments spent years developing a technical workshop to teach a thorough understanding of artist’s materials and tools, what they are designed to do, when to chose them and how to provide considerable longevity to your finished work. This three-day workshop covers the most important aspects of painting that have proven to be the best practices over the centuries. The  workshop includes all aspects of constructing a painting from the support and ground to the final layers. Practical procedures will be clearly explained and demonstrated on how to build your oil paintings. We are delighted to welcome George to the Golden Gate Atelier.  We are dedicated to the mastery of traditional materials and techniques and look forward to this opportunity.

Lecture & Demo by Roger Carmona of Kremer Pigments

6pm, March 6, 2014

photo credit: Sarah Kate Kramer for WNYC

Roger Carmona of Kremer NYC will give a lecture and demonstration on grinding and mulling pigment.  A brief history of pigments and their use in artists’ oils will lay out the relationship of paintmaking with cooking techniques, using some recipes of the old masters and more recent experimental applications.  Various oils, additives, and fillers such as mica, quartz, and marble dust will be explained.

Students will leave with an understanding of how to make any kind of paint with just one bag of pigment.  The Golden Gate Atelier is dedicated to the mastery of traditional materials and techniques and we are delighted to welcome Roger for this unique evening.

Northern Light: Scandinavian and Russian 19th Century Painting

2pm, January 26, 2014

Sean Forester and Peter Trippi recently lectured at the Lucas Film Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco’s Presidio.   The event was sold out with over 60 people attending.  After the lecture we enjoyed some excellent food and wine in the dining commons with its sweeping views of the golden gate bridge and the palace of fine arts. The lecture was sponsored by the Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard alumni clubs.  We would like to thank Peter Trippi, Sean Mcardle, Niki Santo, and Melanie Blake who made this event possible!




Perspective Workshop with Carl Dobsky

January 1 7, 18, and 19, 2014

Painter and teacher Carl Dobsky, will be giving a perspective workshop next weekend at the atelier.   The class will cover one, two, and three point perspective.   Students will learn how to set up a perspective drawing, and  how to find vanishing points and measurement points.  Strategies on how to use this knowledge as you paint from life will be discussed, as will the relation of perspective to sight-size.   Carl will explain how he combines knowledge and observation in his paintings. His work combines a high level of classical technique with contemporary imagery and we look forward to hosting him for this exciting workshop.



Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter

November 9, 2103 until February 2, 2014

Johan Cederlund, the direct of the Zorn museum in Mora, Sweden visited the atelier and talked to us about the Zorn exhibition at the Legion of Honor that he curated.  Johan was very generous with his knowledge an time and we would like to thank him!

Here is how the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums describes the show: “Anders Zorn (1860–1920) dazzled the art world with his bravura paintings, watercolors, and etchings. In Paris he emulated the Impressionists as a chronicler of modern life, while in America he rivaled John Singer Sargent as the most sought-after portraitist of glittering high society. Back at home Zorn captured his native folk culture and the serenity of the Nordic landscape. Featuring 100 rarely seen works drawn from public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States, this major retrospective promises to be a revelation for those yet to discover the vibrant artistic personality of Sweden’s master painter.”

Golden Gate Atelier & Artseed

This summer Golden Gate Atelier gave two presentations for Artseed, a great nonprofit which brings art to public school children in San Francisco.   Artseed has launched an artist residency program and invited us to participate.  We are exploring ways in which we can connect.

The Alpine Fellowship in Switzerland

September 2013

The inaugural year of Allan Lawson’s Alpine Fellowship in Switzerland was a great success.   Professor Roger Scruton lectured and professional painters and atelier students painted and discussed ideas together for several weeks.  Sean Forester represented the Golden Gate Atelier.  He lectured on Landscape Painting: Tonalism and Impressionism and enjoyed meeting fellow artists.   We look forward to the fellowship in 2014.

French 19th Century Drawings at Stanford’s Cantor Art Museum

Golden Gate Atelier students visited the special exhibits   Storied Past: Four Centuries of French Drawings from the Blanton Museum of Art  and  Drawn to the Body: French Figure Drawings from the Cantor Arts Center Collection  which run until September 22nd at Stanford University.   Here is how the Cantor Art Center describes the exhibitions:  ” The body was the basic element from which artists built most images, from complex narrative compositions to refined portraits.  This exhibition showcases a selection of 17th- to 19th-century French drawings drawings. . . It is especially strong in drawings that were highly influenced by the curriculum the prestigious Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris.”  An perfect example is this watercolor by Alexandre-Louis Leloir (1843 -1884)

Golden Gate Atelier Open House

2nd Anniversary Celebration

Thursday May , 2013  6 -9 p.m.

You are invited to the Golden Gate Atelier, 4432 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, on Thursday May 16th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for an exhibition and party.  The show will feature: * GGA student figure and cast drawings * Ecorche sculptures from the 2012-2013 artistic anatomy class * Awards for best figure drawing, best cast drawing, and best ecorche sculpture * Artwork by atelier director Andrew Ameral and instructor Sean Forester Food and drink will be served on the back patio. The party will coincide with the Piedmont Ave Thursday Art Walk.  Please join us and bring a friend.






Rembrandt and the Art of Etching

Saturday April 19, 2013  10 a.m.

Sean Forester will be giving a lecture to the Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and St. John’s College Alumni groups on the exhibits Rembrandt’s Century and  Girl with A Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis.   The lecture will focus on the etching technique of Rembrandt as well as painting in the Dutch Golden Age. For more information please see vermeerlecture.eventbrite.com

9.30 am: Coffee and Snacks
10 am: Lecture
11.30 am:  Museum Tour
11.30 pm: Lunch




Vermeer and Rembrandt at the De Young Museum

Saturday March 2, 2013  9.30 a.m.

Sean Forester will lead a tour of the special exhibits Girl with A Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis and Rembrandt’s Century.  This is a rare opportunity to see the Dutch masters in person.  San Francisco is one of few cities to host this traveling show of the Dutch Golden Age that is possible because the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague is being renovated. How does an artist use line, value, color, brush-work, narrative, and symbolism? What images or techniques did he learn from his teacher or other masters?  We will have a group discussion and everyone will have an opportunity to share their ideas  about the paintings.











Haggin Museum Visit

Saturday January 12, 2013  12 noon

Sean Forester will lead a tour of the Haggin Museum in Stockton. We will look carefully at  Gerome, Vibert, Inness, Chase, Bouguereau, and other masters. How does an artist use line, value, color, brush-work, narrative, and symbolism? What images or techniques did he learn from his teacher or other masters?  We will have a group discussion and everyone will have an opportunity to share their ideas and feelings about the paintings. The Haggin Museum also as one of the largest collections of the work of J.C. Leyendecker – perhaps the most popular and successful American illustrator of the early 20th century. Leyendecker  studied at the Chicago Art Institure and the Academie Julian.











Landscape Painting & Party with Sean and Rachele

Thursday June 28, 2012  11:00 am

It’s that time of year.  The Golden Gate Atelier is welcoming summer with a day of landscape painting and a party.   Sean Forester will offer a landscape painting demo and then we will all paint in Pt. Reyes. Afterwards we’ll have a BBQ dinner at Rachele’s to celebrate a successful year at the atelier.

Victorian Painting at the Legion of Honor

Saturday May 12, 2012,  11:00 am

Sean Forester will lead a  tour of  The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860-1900. Here is how the Legion describes the show: “The Cult of Beautyshowcases the entirety of the Aesthetic Movement’s output, celebrating the startling beauty and variety of creations by masters as diverse as artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, and Edward Burne-Jones and designers E.W. Godwin, William Morris, and Christopher Dresser. The Legion of Honor is the only U.S. venue on the world tour, which includes the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.” We will meet at 11am in front of the Legion of Honor (below the statue of Rodin’s Thinker). Sean’s tour will run from 11.30 until 1pm.  We will then break for lunch.  At 2pm we will attend a lecture by our friend Peter Trippi titled “Stagestruck: Theatricality in Late Victorian Art.”

Edgar Payne at the Crocker Art Museum

Friday May 4, 2012,  1:00 pm

Sean Forester will lead a  tour of the Edgar Payne exhibition.  Payne was one of the most important California plein air painters and the author of Composition of Outdoor Painting.   We will also visit the Crocker’s permanent collection with works by other notable early California landscape masters Thomas Hill, William Keith, Arthur Mathews and Percy Gray. This is how the Crocker Art Museum  describes the show, “One of the most gifted of California’s early plein-air artists, Edgar Payne utilized the brushwork and colors of Impressionism, yet his powerful landscape paintings departed from the genteel refinement of most Impressionist painters. Payne’s works are imbued with an internal force and active dynamism achieved through majestic, vital landscape subjects. This exhibition of more than 80 signature paintings and drawings, as well as additional objects from the artist’s studio, traces Payne’s artistic development as he traveled the world in search of magnificent settings: the Southern and Central California coast, the Sierra, the Swiss Alps, the harbors and waterways of France and Italy, and the desert Southwest.”

An Artist’s Tour of the de Young Museum

Friday April 13, 2012

Sean Forester will lead a museum tour for artists.  The de Young has an excellent collection of American art. We will look carefully at figurative works by Bunker, Chase, Sargent, Eakins and other masters. How does an artist use line, value, color, brush-work, narrative, and symbolism? What images or techniques did he learn from his teacher or other masters?  We’ll have a group discussion and everyone will have an opportunity to share their ideas and feelings about these great paintings. We will also discuss landscape painting as we look at Innes, Hill, Kieth and Mathews.  Many of the paintings are of California.  The Bay Area remains an inspiring place to paint in plein air.  Sean will discuss traditional landscape painting today.  Finally, we will climb the tower for a great view of San Francisco and then have lunch together. Meet at 12 noon at the front entrance .


Tour of the Legion of Honor

January 27, 2012

Sean Forester will lead a museum tour for artists. We will look carefully at Raeburn, Gerome, Rodin, Degas and other masters. How does an artist use line, value, color, brush-work, narrative, and symbolism? What images or techniques did he learn from his teacher or other masters? What can we learn from him? Sean will discuss the classical tradition and the Golden Gate Atelier’s place in it. We’ll have a group discussion and everyone will have an opportunity to share their ideas and feelings about these great paintings. Meet at 12 noon in front of the museum.