Painting Still Life in Chiaroscuro with Dasa Pierce

Learn the secrets of the great masters such asDaVinci, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Leffel, and others in creating powerful paintings!  Chiaroscuro isthe bold contrast of dark and light as amethod of painting that has been used by artists since the renaissance to create drama and the illusion of volume in modeling objects.  We will explore and emulate this dramatic way of painting to create our own masterpiece.

Date: Dec. 13th, and 20th
Time: 9:30am-4:00pm 
Cost: $120 or 4 class tickets(total 4 sessions)
Pre Sign-up Required.

Open for registration now.
Call 941-753-7755

GOALS:  The goal is to complete a chiaroscuro painting with a focus on dramatic lighting effect. We will focus on painting not the objects, but rather the abstract beauty of the light emerging from the darkness. Each session will prepare us for each next step. The instructor will demo each step. By the end of each 4 sessions, the student will

  • Finish a strong 3 dimensional chiaroscuro still life painting
  • Create a meaningful abstract underneath the realism using classical still life objects
  • Be able to clearly separate the light from the darks, and unify each
  • Create a clear focal point in the painting with additional supporting points of interest which keep the viewer in the painting

Session 1:  Composition

We will define chiaroscuro, examining a few prominent chiaroscuro painters and their paintings. We will discuss and demo setting up the still life. The student will compose a compelling still life, focusing on how the light reads through the set up. A focal point will be emphasized and the student will learn how to lead the viewer through the painting.  We will plan our block-ins using notans in the chiaroscuro tradition, and begin the block in.

Session 2:  5 Value System Block-in

The goal will be to complete a strong block-in.  The student will learn to unify the darks and create a single point light source.  The importance of a limited 5 values system in chiaroscuro paintings will be discussed and a 5 value monochromatic block-in will be executed.

Session 3: Color

We will be using a limited palette so that the student will not only learn how to use primary colors effectively, but also shortcuts to mixing any color. The student will also receive guidance in how to keep the colors clean and bright. The student will learn the importance of making and applying distinct color. We will be applying these principles directly to our painting.

Session 4: Brushwork, Unification and Details

Soft and hard edges – We will learn where to put them and how to make them, how to maintain 3D with exit clauses, and how to “spill” the light from objects so they seem to glow. We will also learn when and where to apply thin and thick paint, in addition to learning to use the palette knife for special effects such as lines, scraping, and creating interesting highlights. Finally, we will look at the whole, and re-evaluate what we need to “push and pull” to strengthen the painting.  This will include such things as evaluating and adjusting our lightest lights and darkest darks, unifying the highlights across all forms, unifying the resting space, and subordinating all that is not part of the light flow within the painting. This session will focus on reaching our original concept.


Titanium white

Ivory Black

Cadmium yellow light

Cadmium red light

Ultramarine Blue

Yellow Ocher

Burnt Sienna


10” X 14” Ampersand board, or white canvas (cotton or linen)

Brushes, palette, paper towels (viva is best)

Palette knife – medium and long lengths

Medium – stand oil

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.

Art of Wellness Program

The New Self-Care Class Series

Fall Program

Presented By:

Richard Schulman, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
Thursday 9/14 10:30am-Noon

Foundations of a Holistic Psychotherapy

Process and Technique: Talk and Touch

Patterns and Meaning

Trance and Memory


Other Phenomena: Birth, Surgery, Death


Karma and Spirit

Richard Schulman, Ph.D. has been a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida since 1987. Dr.
Schulman is the author of The Labyrinth of Healing: The Emotional Shifting Process, a book describing a new mind/body therapy he developed. He has wide experience, having worked in many different settings: Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit; Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit; Adolescent Residential Treatment Program; Dual Diagnosis Adolescent Program: Psychosomatic Medicine Unit; Program Coordinator Eating Disorders Program; and Clinical Director of a Chronic Pain Management Unit. He is a former Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.

Presented By:

Tiffany Fradley, LMT, Ayurvedic Practitioner
Thursday 9/28 6:00-7:30pm

Students will acquire basic understanding of the different metabolic body types according to Ayurveda
(India’s Ancient Holistic Healing Art). A self-test will be offered to determine your body type. The class will guide you through seasonal grocery lists, enable you to experience herbs, aromatherapy and holistic daily practices for wellness. With an understanding of your body type you can be empowered to make
conscious choices regarding your Self Care and know how to nourish yourself as you
flow through the dynamic balance of life. The class will include:

  • Ayurveda’s 5 Element Theory – Your World
  • Seasons, Cycles & Body Types – Your Changes
  • Living the Balanced Life – Your Routine
  • Daily Self Care Tips – Your Practice
  • Guides for Daily Living – Your Resources

Tiffany has been practicing in Sarasota as a Licensed Massage Therapist for 11 years and an Ayurvedic
Practitioner for 12 years. She has studied and apprenticed under world-renowned practitioners in the United States and in Mexico. Tiffany is also the owner of Sattva Holistic Health, an organic line of therapeutic herbal teas, body oils and spice blends. Her approach to Ayurveda is very applicable, interactive, and suited for a Western mind to understand and implement.

Thursday 10/12 10:30am-Noon

“All disease begins in the gut” ~ Hippocrates. Come explore how research continues to prove this truth and how vital it is to keep your inner garden healthy and flourishing so you may enjoy optimal wellness

During this lively and interactive discussion, you will:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut
  • Understand how gut microbes can be impacted from birth through adulthood
  • Identify medication, nutrient deficiencies, food, lifestyle, stress, and
    environmental factors that influence the gut
  • Learn effective and tangible steps you can take to heal from within

Join Julie and be inspired to improve your health, vitality, longevity, and creativity…from the inside out!  

Julie’s private practice, JBS Nutrition & Wellness, LLC, provides a highly comprehensive and holistic approach to achieve optimal wellness and healing from within. Julie has 20 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Functional & Integrative Nutritionist, and Certified Wellness Coach, helping those who struggle with health related imbalances. She is passionate about restoring hope, healing, and health.

Julie’s approach is highly-personalized and uses integrative functional nutrition therapies, targeted supplementation, testing, coaching, and compassion to help clients discover a peaceful gut and abundant living!

All class sessions are $35. Register for all classes at Southern Atelier Center of Fine Art, 7226 21st Street East Sarasota.  941-753-7755

Oct 17, 2018, Atelier Old Master Copy Painting Project with Charles Miano

Project: Old Master Copy Painting

“You have to copy and recopy the masters and it’s only after having proved oneself as a good copyist that you can reasonably try to do a still life of a radish.” – Edgar Degas

Many Great Artists new the value of assimilating principles of art through understanding how previous masters worked. The greatest way to mastery is to stand on the shoulders of those who came before.

With that in mind Southern Atelier’s Project: Master Copy is pushing artists forward by teaching a sure-fire method for replicating great paintings of art history.  After choosing a suitable Master Painting, artists will learn the Atelier Method for creating a convincing Replica. This course will build an understanding of painting principles, processes and effects as handed down by example in the paintings of the ages.


  • Understanding the Masters mindset
  • Learning how to prepare the proper oil painting materials
  • Planning and Strategizing the design and layout of the master copy
  • Direct drawing and measuring 
  • 17th-19th Century techniques 
  • Disegno
  • Dead Color 
  • Ebauche
  • Color Harmony
  • Understanding paint layers- fat over lean
  • Value Systems
  • Old Master Palettes
  • Modeling Form
  • Creating the “Light Effect”
  • Finalizing the Painting


Aug. 19-Sep. 1, Summer Break

Academy Art Collectors Gala & Benefit ~ Saturday April 9, 2016 ~ 6pm

Join us for an inspiring and interactive experience of art as we showcase local talent at the
Sarasota Art Collectors Gala and Benefit- a celebration at the Southern Atelier on Saturday, April 9th.
Sarasota Art Collectors Gala and Benefit – a celebration at the Southern Atelier
Enjoy the evening with exquisite hors d’oeuvres and a glass of complimentary champagne
while a live band sets the celebratory atmosphere.
Artist Charles Miano will paint a demo, while patrons mingle to music.
Saturday April 9th, 6:00 pm
Southern Atelier
7226 21st St., East
Sarasota, Fl 34243
(941) 753 7755
The event engages attendees in a creative, festive and artistic atmosphere. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in live silent auctions to purchase gallery paintings. Proceeds from the final auction bids will be donated to the Southern Atelier, which is raising funds for its operation and education program. A painting will also be raffled to one fortunate attendee. Patrons are welcome to donate additional funds to the Atelier the evening of the event. 
Attire: Strictly Festive Fashionable & Cocktail Attire
Cost: $15 at the door
***The event is open to families, however, anyone under 21 has to be accompanied by an adult. Please note that it will be a festive party atmosphere. Alcohol will be strictly served to those 21 and over only (proper government ID is required). Complimentary champagne toast will be provided only to individuals who are 21 and over.
Supporting classically trained artists is an important contribution both to the world and the local community. Your contribution means that the lessons of the past masters of art will be brought forward to new generations of artists and art lovers. You can make a difference to artists who want to continue the artistic traditions of the masters. The skills and techniques learned at the Southern Atelier transfer the genius of artists of past centuries to the present, and ultimately enrich the lives of all people with vibrancy that transcends the past and the future. The Southern Atelier is a nonprofit organization under Chapter 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code that enriches our community’s classical and representational art education and provides a dynamic teaching program to train highly-skilled artists. Private and corporate support is integral to the success of The Southern Atelier. Your donation helps to ensure our mission. Gifts and bequests to The Southern Atelier are tax-deductible.
For more information, please contact us at: