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Southern Atelier

Atelier Miano Apprenticeship



7226 21st St. E., Sarasota, Florida, United States

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Program Director: Charles Miano

For over a decade Southern Atelier has trained many successful Artists in the traditions of the Masters. Our ARC approved Method has achieved worldwide distinction not only for its intensive training but also for its uniqueness. In our training method, emphasis is placed on a direct manner of drawing and painting. Our Program teaches Old Master level drawing with “Light Effect” Color Painting. This rich renaissance tradition has often been embodied in different ways throughout Art history, in both “refined”, as well as “rough” painting styles.  We feel this heritage can ultimately bestow upon an artist, the competence to best realize their potential and open a connection to the unknown forces of art. From this program, One can be equipped to paint very finished and polished work or adopt a painterly, broader manner with expert accuracy.  It is a thorough and balanced approach to study that has yielded breathtaking results. Here you will find a Program designed not to create a style or “look” but to equip artists with a Foundation from which they can best express their individuality.


The Drawing course has been distinguished for its emphasis on imparting the ability to capture life and movement with precision. Beginning exercises start with both drawing from the flat and cast drawing (sight size measurement), as well as free hand drawing from life (Comparative measurement). Life drawing long and short poses keenly develop the eye and hand coordination necessary for artists to progress quickly in their agility and observational capability. Learning to portray life, energy, gesture, movement and calligraphy are  major distinguishing factors of the Southern Atelier program. Structure and anatomy are thoroughly investigated and a prime feature of this course. Great attention is given to each and every student.


The Painting course is built around a singular objective- Learning to see the “light effect” or the color of the light. This is achieved through rigorous painting exercises and Color and Light Labs which are offered on a regular basis. Both indoor and outdoor color study opens artists eyes not to copy another artists palette from the past, but to capture effects of nature, which is ultimately our greatest teacher.  Artists learn how to use a full palette of colors based on the prismatic spectrum of light. For some artists, color and light study, in itself, has become a motivating factor for creating art. It is a thrilling and exciting exploration into the spirit of light which is the manifestation of our visual environment.


New students are urged to spend a great deal of time with their drawing  projects until their level improves to make the transition to painting naturally and unaffected. Self- motivation, self-discipline and patience is needed on the part of the student in order to take best advantage of the course. In each class, Artists are expected to complete both short and long term projects which gradually build toward greater complexity. In some instances, curriculum is catered to the needs of the individual student.


Southern Atelier Artists have the unique advantage of studying color and light in a tropical paradise destination, Sarasota, Florida.  It is a beautiful, peaceful and sumptuous environment conducive to  concentration and growth. With the full and brilliant spectrum of expressive color in the ambiance around them, students are growing to see a whole new world of possibilities for their artistic journey. 




Founded 2007
Course languages English
Part-Time Instructors 4
Full-Time Instructors 3
Students 65
Accommodation Yes

Full time: USD 3800 / semester

Southern Atelier

7226 21st St. E.

Sarasota, Florida, United States

Susan J. Foster


Susan J Foster, internationally known award-winning artist, was born in Warren, Ohio. She studied at OCA in Toronto, Ontario and with friends she considers to be some of the finest teachers in the world. Susan has exhibited extensively, including solo shows in Charleston, S.C. and Sarasota, FL. She was a finalist in the world-wide competition “Blossom 2, Art of the Flower” and has, among other prizes, won the Bowles Award for Portraiture. Formerly an instructor at Ringling College of Art in the CCSP program, Susan now teaches Still Life painting at the Southern Atelier in Sarasota, Florida, where she and her husband Norm and their Cavalier, Posy, currently reside. “Every painting offers me a fresh challenge, something to strive to convey….perhaps a sense of space, grace, sustenance, a texture or fragrance of something lost or something I wish to be found, or the frailty and brevity of life on our planet. Or perhaps, a place to come home. I never quite feel like I capture that thing, whatever it is, but so far have been able to resist the urge to entitle paintings “No, but I like this bit right here” or “Not Quite…Number 934″. But I love every one of them for what they have shown me about painting, about myself and my ongoing journey as an artist and as a teacher.”

Dáša Pierce


Dáša’s interest in art emerged as a teen, but was put on hold for two decades for a career in Continuing Medical Education (CME). She has since studied with Nelson Shanks, Robert Liberace, and David Leffel, and has attended the Florence Academy of Art and the Lorenzo Medici School of Art.

She has won numerous awards in the sciences, including a record of 7 International Science and Engineering Fair Awards in 1982.  She was also a recipient of the US Army Cherry Blossom Award, and was presented as an Honorary Guest to Prince and Princess Hitachi at the Japan Student Science Awards. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Zoology and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of South Florida.


Anthony Stokes


Anthony spent many years as a tattoo artist in the Sarasota area before he began studying with Charles at Southern Atelier, making him one of Charles’s earliest apprentices. He has been a faithful and energetic member of our art community for six years. In his training, Anthony has absorbed the knowledge and the techniques of past Master artists, and he is able to enthusiastically  bring to his classes his own take on what is important. Color, value, shape, anatomy…Anthony is an incredible instructor who makes his students feel like they are important. Anthony guides his students through the building blocks of atelier training, and his students respond with the understanding that Anthony has the authority of experience.
“I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to encourage and share the knowledge that has been passed down to me and help others grow in their craft and express themselves through art.”

Charles Miano

Founder and Director

Charles Miano (b. 1977) is an American Artist whose art explores humanistic values, based on a classic foundation and contemporary inspiration. Miano is recognized as a Master by the Art Renewal Center. He is the Founder and Director of Southern Atelier in Sarasota, Florida and an advocate of the revival of Classically Inspired Representational Art.

Through his atelier and as its “hands-on” director, Miano is widely recognized for his attentive, intensive teaching methods and generous support of emerging artists. There, he doggedly pursues in-depth, saturated studies in the tradition of the Old Masters. Miano also travels to teach workshops and lecture on realist art and his own artistic methods.

Mary Louise O’Connell

Chair, Board of Directors

Mary Louise calls Southern Atelier her art home. Raised in Maryland, having spent many years in Europe, she has long experience as an oil painter, working both in the studio and en plein air. Before moving permanently to Sarasota, Mary Louise was President of the Board of Directors for the Ridgefield Guild of Artists in Ridgefield, CT. She brings her experience and enthusiasm for running a small non-profit to Southern Atelier.
“My goal is to have a great community of artists to work with, and Southern Atelier has helped me achieve that goal. The men and women here are fantastic artists and thinkers, and I’m thrilled to be part of the school and to be able to paint.”

Reaching Man by Charles Miano

Festa della Ricchezza by Charles Miano

Study of Achilles by Charles Miano

Claudio, Charcoal on Paper by Charles Miano

Bianca, Charcoal on Paper by Charles Miano

Cavallo, Red Chalk Drawing by Charles Miano

Miano Atelier Apprentice Cast Painting

Cast Drawing

Cast Drawing

Old Master Copy Work

Old Master Copy Work

Student Master Copy

Apprentice Cast Drawing

Apprentice Bargue Copy

Apprentice Cast Drawing

Apprentices Portrait Drawing

Miano Atelier Apprenticeship- Master Copy

Miano Atelier Apprentice Cast Drawing

Miano Atelier Apprentice Bargue Drawing

Miano Atelier Apprentice Cast Drawing

Miano Atelier Apprentice Cast Drawing

Steven Assael Teaches Figure Drawing

Charles Miano Life Drawing Demonstration

Kate Stone

Anatomy Study

Jove Wang

Steven Assael

Ecorche with Stephen Perkins

Dan Thompson teaching Head Structure

Life Exercise Grissaile Painting Instruction

10 August 2020 to 13 August 2020

Red Chalk Drawing Online Workshop

Red Chalk Drawing
360 Weeklong Workshop 
Gage Academy


Time9:30 AM-4:30 PM on Mon Tue Wed Th

LevelAll Levels