Drawing/Tonal Studies

Date: Every Saturday afternoon

Time: 1PM-4PM

Cost: $300 for 10 classes, $40 for single class, Plus $10 model fee

Senior Instructor: Charles Miano

First year students can expect to spend the majority of their practice on structural and mass drawing. Southern Atelier advocates a painterly way to draw. Mass drawing is an essential prerequisite for tonal painting. It is an atmospheric way to draw dependent more on tone than line. A focus on large masses of tone and edges conceptually working in layers eases an artist’s progress into painting.
This session remains an important part of the program for progressing painters.  It revolves around the simple idea that consistent practice in a forward moving direction yields fruitful results. Through specially designed exercises over time, students are improving their ability to see as an artist and translate what they see onto a 2 dimensional plane. Many principles of painting are learned through the consistent practice of Mass Drawing including but not limited to: shape, tone, edge, form, proportion, structure, rhythm, balance, gesture, anatomy, design and composition. All of these ideas are more readily grasped when a student does not have the added complication of color and paint handling.  By improving ones skills with charcoal one is improving their skills as a painter.

Through training students learn that enhanced visual perception is developmental. Tonal study reinforces all the ideas of mass drawing and blurs the line between working in charcoal and working in paint. In this class artists may work in charcoal or in a prescribed limited oil paint palette. A grisaille or monochromatic approach allows an artist to consider paint handling along with reducing a subject to simple mass relationships. Ultimately our goal is to translate the world around us by means of light. It takes an artist consistent practice to develop their ability to see and translate shapes of tone representing values of light in our pictures. An understanding of a system of value reinforces an artist’s capability to depict reality and will ultimately aid in the transition to full color.

Atelier Method Life Figure/Portrait Drawing and Painting with Charles Miano (Long Pose)

Our Next Long Figure Pose will start on Jan 2nd. 2019

Open for registration Now!! call 941-753-7755

Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30-12:30pm

Join Charles Miano and the Atelier Apprentices in the Portrait/Figure Long Pose Sessions. Southern Atelier’s Method of life drawing is very unique for art schools. It features working life size from the model for a total of 10 – 3 hour sessions in the Academic Tradition. In addition to spending quality time on your drawing, our proven method allows students to grow to a higher degree of draftsmanship, rapidly. Artists who have a strong drawing background may progress to working in oil during our long pose project classes. Don’t miss this rare opportunity!

Man Reaching11

To register students must commit to 10 sessions (2 sessions per week for 5 weeks). Sessions will be held on Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm.

Dates for this long pose are Jan. 2,4,9,16,18,23,25,30, and Feb.6,8, 2019

Course Price:  $400 (includes model fee)

Registration open. Pre-signup required


Open Studio/Painting the Exotic in Nov.

Open Studio Sessions

All artists are invited to enjoy the atelier’s studio figure, portrait model all media open sessions.

Portrait, Every Wednesday, 4:00-7:00pm

Figure open studio will be open again soon…

Open Studio Fee: $15 per session

Painting the Landscape

LJ's vineyard Costanza_webMonday & Friday 9:30 – 12:30pm & 1 – 4pm with Gene Costanza

This landscape painting classes teaches students how to search for natural compositions and how they can be made into paintings. Covering the essentials of the landscape this class students will guide students in the use of value and color to create a believable feeling of light and atmosphere.

The Art of Tai Chi


For Health, Longevity and Creative Enrichment

Sundays, 12:15 PM: Introduction to Chen Tai Chi with Jinsong Yan

For thousands of years the Chinese have enjoyed the benefits that Tai Chi has to offer. Today many individuals of all ages and backgrounds from around the world are discovering what the Chinese have known for centuries, that the daily practice of Tai Chi manifests dynamic and powerful changes in one’s physical and mental well-being.

Coming soon: Join legendary teacher David (Jin Hua) Shi in bringing better health, increased vitality, mental clarity and a calmer spirit through the ancient Chinese art of Yang style Tai Chi. A practitioner over 30 years of both Chen and Yang old forms, David will use his masterful knowledge and skill to impart the ancient benefits of Tai Chi Chuan.

$15 donation per class – classes are ongoing

Charles Miano, Founder

mianoportrait3Artist Charles Miano considers nature to be his ongoing principle educator, though he has studied realist art privately and academically in the United States and abroad. Miano continues his studies and experiments at his studio Southern Atelier with masters from around the globe.

He teaches what he considers to be a “way of artistic truth”. He feels this path to be revealed by fundamental insights and principles of nature which are intrinsic in the visual disciplines of drawing and painting and demonstrated throughout art history. He also feels these foundations bear a direct influence on humankind as individuals, affecting ones well being, way of life and creative potentiality.

Creating a Landscape Painting with Gene Costanza March 21 – 23

CostanzaIMG_6152smCreating a Landscape Painting with Gene Costanza

March 21th – 23th, 2014 9:30 AM – 4 PM
Fee: $375 plus model share



One cannot always be outside, and many of the strongest pieces of representational art are executed over time in the studio. With this in mind, these workshop-style classes will usually begin with a presentation that either introduces and/or reinforces the basics of getting started on a painting, whether in the studio or in the field.

Gene closely follows the tenets of John F. Carlson and his insistence that the student (whatever the experience level) adhere to some strong fundamental principles. This means that the sessions will be “power -packed” with both information and execution, and drive our skill sets in a comprehensive and intensive manner.

We will progress through exercises designed to equip each student with skills that will be useful in continuing their personal growth toward their individual goals. For as much time as is possible – given the variables of location, class size, and weather- Gene will spend time with each individual student at their easel – one-on-one “private” mentoring time. He will demo and paint alongside the group, reinforcing the tenets mentioned above.

Class is open to all levels – though students should be somewhat familiar with their equipment and be comfortable “setting up.” We are going to learn things that you can take with you into the field no matter where on the planet you find yourselves – and, above all, have a great time!

En Plein Air Painting: The Essence of Landscape

November 16-18, 2012 9:30-4PM

Tuition: $395
*Supply list will be supplied upon registration and full payment.

Download a Registration Form

The Southern Atelier’s Charles Miano will illustrate a cohesive procedure designed to enhance the artists ability to understand color and light with a variety of light key studies in oil.


This workshop will focus on painting a variety of subjects including simple still life and figure/portrait wo

Sarasotavisualart.com: An interview with Charles Miano

An Interview with Charles Miano on Sarasota’s Southern Atelier

by Charles Valsechi

By Daniel | Published: April 26, 2012
What separates the Southern Atelier from local art centers and private art schools?

Southern Atelier is the only local institution whose primary focus is the study of drawing and painting from life.

How does the Southern Atelier differ from every other Atelier?

Through my travels and associations I’ve had the privilege of learning methods and techniques from a variety of sources. I can honestly say that Southern Atelier is devoted to the study of nature not the study of a particular technique or style of painting. When I say nature I mean the direct observation of the natural world including its personification the human figure. We see painting as a visual language that is constantly evolving and bettering itself. Our goal is not to mimic a particular master painter or historical style but to build on the masters shoulders allowing the universal principles of nature to guide and direct our progress. I have always found that the great masters of art had more in common than they had differences. This common thread could be described as a way or path of visual truth. Fundamental principles of nature have been taught in a variety of ways. We feel we have some of the most effective methods to get these insights across to students combining traditional as well as innovative approaches. So we really believe in the whole of world art history including Eastern and Western influences. We try and stay away from replication of one particular segment of it. We also try not to promote any one particular artist over another, no matter how strong the talent. Southern Atelier is not about one person, nor fame or even a name… It’s about the progress of humanity in art.

Another thing that separates us is the concentration on the spiritual and emotional impact of realist art. Not only do we learn to copy nature skillfully but to instill it’s essence and vitality. We learn through our years of study that painting has progressed away from a colored drawing to an expression of light and life. We realize that our growth is an infinite path and through humility we give back to the art itself. This is stressed at the atelier through short and long term life studies, rigorous academic drawing development from nature and memory as well as outdoor and indoor impressionist light key study. Our location here in the Southern part of the continent gives us the benefit of studying color under the sun’s illumination all year long. Few, if any, schools have that capability or are in a position to take advantage of that.

We feel this will give an artist the development necessary to reach new heights of creative potential through the coalescence of technique and concept. In addition, you’ll find our prices, as a nonprofit, a fraction of the cost of other programs.

How did the Southern Atelier begin?

It began years ago at Art Center Manatee where I was painting at the time. I had no desire to teach but was approached and offered a “painting class”. I now realize how vital teaching is. I told them that I could not deceive a student into believing that they could learn this craft in a mere “painting class”. So I told them that if they really wanted students to learn, I would be happy to develop a program for them. That program included all the seeds of our current curriculum, including foundational drawing skills and impressionist color study.

That “atelier” program grew exponentially until we needed a place of our own. Artists began to come from all over the South. We originally rented a barn out in the country from the Humane Society before we moved into town. Southern Atelier happened quite organically, a true grass roots movement.

Which artists from the past influence you most?

It depends on the path of my growth. For instance, if I’m interested in improving the personal and expressive content of my brushwork than I would say the literati and ch’an painters of the Sung Dynasty most influence me. If my interest is improving color, than I look to the impressionist lineage whether it be French, American or Russian. If my drawing needs expressive gesture and attention to anatomy than I am interested in studying the Italian masters. If its accuracy and refinement I’m after than I study the academicians. I am certainly one who appreciates the strengths of others and in that confluence delight in my own progress.

What kind of atmosphere does the Southern Atelier have?

The Southern Atelier is humble and enchanting. It is a joyful place bathed in natural light, a bohemian refuge from the clutter of the world where ego melts away. It’s where we heal our most potent creative energies and yet demand of ourselves tremendous discipline. Our Teachers, Staff and Monitors set the tone with great effort, making the atmosphere up building and encouraging. We also foster an inclusive community of support and sharing, an environment of growth, free from petty competition or divisiveness, with a healthy reverence and respect for each other, for art and for the natural world. We learn that when we cultivate inner knowingness, our environment improves as well as the profundity of our work.

What makes a great painting?

A going out of one’s self into nature unafraid and exalting.