“Advertising was my world for over 30 years where I spent my time running an agency in London. I was very much a hands-‐on creative director. As an adman, very commercial in outlook but with a very strong passion for the classic arts, I promised myself, I would explore them when time permitted. What better place than Florence to travel and immerse oneself in the great art of the renaissance. Apart from my practice in commercial art, I wanted to brush up my skills in drawing and painting and luckily I found The Florence Art Studio and Gary Adcock who runs it. What a revelation.
Gary opened my eyes and showed me how to see shapes and tones, which are fundamental to reproducing form. Initially I struggled with a new conceptual approach but with gentle persuasion and skilled direction, Gary got me to understand the crucial importance of how to capture what was in front of me.
Now I see differently, clearly and constructively so much so I now want to draw all the time! Painting as a progression from drawing was also a revelation with Gary motivating me step by step from basic preparation, organization and final application to another level of skill. I have a long way to go but with the very dedicated personal tuition I received from Gary, I feel confident I am well on my way!
A most enjoyable and rewarding experience; highly recommended to anyone, at any level wishing to learn, progress and achieve their own artistic goals.”
“I fulfilled my dream last month. I booked 7 days of instruction at The Florence Art Studio with Gary Adcock. It was wonderful. Not only is the studio a magnificent space to work in, but also Gary is a brilliant instructor. I loved every moment of it.
The studio is centrally located. I booked a little apartment through Windows on Italy, which was literally around the corner from the studio. My first day we discussed my art goals and before I knew it…I was learning to draw. I have been painting for about 3 years but never learned the fundamentals of drawing. After 7 days…I am more knowledgeable, confident and eager to continue my lessons. I’m going back next February for two weeks. Don’t wait to do this.
The classical music was playing as I worked. The fresco ceilings were inspirational. Gary is kind, patient and true to learning to do things correctly. I told him he has a student for life now. I know as I progress…I will become a very accomplished artist as time goes on. And for those of you from the US or England…Gary is an American. No problem with accents and language. I felt at home the moment I met him.
Thank you Gary.”
“I recently had the pleasure of attending The Florence Art Studio. The school is in a beautiful 18th century palazzo. My incredible instructor, Gary Adcock, gently guided me through the process of learning the sight-‐size method. With patience and several approaches to learning he helped me to achieve my goals.
In addition to daily instruction, Gary also takes his students on museum tours. I enjoyed learning how each artist accomplished their work while learning the history as well. I felt inspired every day. Florence is the city of masterpieces. I am eagerly waiting when I can return for more lessons. I highly recommend this type of art education to anyone interested in becoming an artist or if you already are and want to hone your skills.”
“Dear Gary, I want to thank you for all that you have taught me and for the many artistic virtues you have instilled in me through the past several weeks. I know now how to look but more importantly see what my eye previously was not able to readily perceive. I have learned patience, persistence and preciseness. You were a wonderful teacher and mentor and I’ll forever value the guidance and wisdom you have shared. I do hope that life will bring me back to Florence and your Studio once more. With gratitude.”
“The program that I participated in [at The Florence Art Studio] was exactly what I needed. It taught me many new things and refreshed some things I had already known but failed to realize in my drawing/painting. It definitely improved my technique.
The studio environment was excellent – very spacious, relaxed, and easy to concentrate on the task at hand in. The lighting was great and the work-‐station was very convenient.
Gary is very patient and full of knowledge. He takes his time to explain concepts and answer questions, and is overall a very pleasant person. Both he and Kathryn [Bouchard, Gary’s assistant] are wonderful people, and although very professional, they also made me feel very comfortable and at home around them. They were more than fair with me.
I would definitely recommend The Florence Art Studio to anyone who wishes to improve his or her skills. I had a great experience. I’ve learned a lot, it was great fun, and Florence is amazing in many ways. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. The highlight would have to be seeing the fruits of my labor, meaning the final drawing and painting that I made. The drawing is by far the best I have ever done.
I would say I definitely achieved my goals, which were to learn new things. I would even go further and say I achieved more during my time at the Studio than I expected I would.”
“Having built a busy 42 man architecture firm at a young age, I saw the need for a sabbatical, a chance to recharge my creativity and focus on my art which was the basis for the firm’s public exposure.
I enrolled in a six-‐week course with Gary, open to the quiet constructive observation of my drawings up to that point. Afterwards I believe it changed everything I did for the better: a renewed focus on design, accuracy of perspective, shadows/shapes, and most importantly, self-‐ criticism.
I believe my time with Gary was efficient, well timed and perfect for my continued work as an architect and artist.”
“As an Illustrator from the UK, I came to hear about the Florence Art Studio through The Royal Portrait Society.
I was looking for an intensive short window of two weeks in which to study the fundamentals of drawing. Although I am professional Illustrator and had attended art school , I still felt I had lacked the formal academic training.
The course proved perfect as it was tailored specifically to my particular interest and ability and I found it to be fascinating. The tutor Gary Adcock is a fountain of knowledge, subtly bringing out the best in his students by letting them realize their potential with a patient, informative manner. Gary’s enthusiasm for art, Florence and the Renaissance in infectious. Our studio teaching was regularly punctuated by guided visits to the numerous Galleries and Palaces in Florence. This holistic approach created an amazing experience which I have since thought about every day.
The knowledge I acquired has been put into practice with my work and I have great pleasure in recommending The Florence Art Studio to both professional artists and enthusiastic beginners.
Thank you Gary.”
“My time at The Florence Art Studio with Gary was the best art instruction I have ever had, and that covers almost 50 years. For the first time I actually learned how to draw, how to see, and how to evaluate my own work. I feel so lucky to have finally learned the classical way to draw as the masters did. The focus on accuracy can’t be denied in fine art. So much of my past experiences had been about interpretation of the subject matter. But interpretation is subjective, vague, and in the moment. It always left me in doubt about what I was doing. Gary taught me what I was missing all those years and I am so thankful. I so appreciated his patience and understanding of what I needed to learn. I also learned so much from going to the museum tours with him. One of my biggest thrills was just coming into the studio. The building is beautiful and like stepping into the renaissance. I loved the doors and gate. The whole experience was wonderful. And of course the coffee breaks. And I can’t forget that not only is Gary a terrific teacher but he is also a terrific artist. His paintings in the studio were a real inspiration.”
“I had the opportunity to spend a week at The Florence Art Studio under the instructions of Gary Adcock. It was such an intense and productive week that I have the impression of having worked for a month. I really enlarged my horizon during this week. I learned new and very useful techniques and methods of which I had never heard before during my art studies. This week has definitely strengthened the basis of my art work and I feel that I will benefit of this for a long time. The studio is a wonderful place to work. During this week it turned to my safe haven, my refugium from daily life. I was able to concentrate and to work for hours in a row. Gary is a very patient and dedicated teacher. He gives precise feedback that really helps and he has the wonderful gift to make you understand how to draw what you see. I also appreciated him giving me enriching background in art history related to this wonderful town of Florence. I can say that it was one of those experiences that will stay in the list of the unforgettable.”
“Remember as a child sitting down to build a puzzle? First, separating the color pieces. Then finding the edges to set the frame, and finally settling down to put it all together and enjoying the experience as the puzzle picture came together. This is how my experience with the Florence Art Studio, under direction of Gary Adcock, emerged.
The decision to travel to Florence for an extended period of time, for me, represented fulfilling a dream I had since visiting my daughter in Florence when she studied there 12 years earlier. I had the opportunity to return to Florence again last year for a brief visit. That was when I put the wheels in motion to combine studying art and experiencing Florence. So I sat down to solve my puzzle: where to stay, where to study, which studio would be best for me, what did I expect to find? I explored several websites. I corresponded via email to several studios to find what I hoped would be a good fit. The Florence Art Studio seemed to take the most interest in me as an artist and as a person.
For a whole year Gary communicated with me, answering every question I asked, some of which I’m sure were redundant and mundane. His replies never made me feel as though I was wasting his time. Interestingly, once I was a student at the Studio, the other students I connected with remarked having the same feeling. This is so important. Remember, for the most part, you are traveling alone, going to a place you can only hope is what you are looking for. The Florence Art Studio, with director Gary Adcock, exceeded any expectations I had hoped for.
The time spent in the studio was relaxed yet intense. Class time was scheduled from 9-12, with a break each morning. However, every day, we would all decide to extend our time drawing or painting by several hours, often breaking for lunch and heading back to the studio until evening. Many of these days, Gary would spend the day with us, giving of his time and expertise. He inspired me, all of us, to work hard to be better artists. It was exciting and fun.
As exciting as the art classes were, deciding to spend over a month in a foreign country involved more than just time in the studio. The Studio realizes this and provides a packet of information on dining, lodging, excursions and other cultural events. Every Wednesday Gary became our personal guide to the museums, combining both art history with interesting anecdotal stories of Renaissance characters. Gary recommended all the best gelato places, from Firenze to Roma! The total experience was attended to.
Upon my return home, everyone asks me how was it living in Florence? What was it like to study art? Just like that puzzle, the pieces all fit in place.
I didn’t know what the picture would be when I started out, but as I look back, it only gets better and better to reflect back on every aspect of my trip. In doing so, many of the details were provided by the Florence Art Studio. My experience was fulfilling because the Florence Art Studio provided the details to fit all the puzzle pieces together with me.”
“Two weeks at The Florence Art Studio have been a revelation and set me on a different more confident path towards my rather ambitious goal of traditional Portraiture.
Gary Adcock is a generous, knowledgeable and accomplished tutor with limitless patience and the rare ability to treat each student as an individual. He knows instinctively when to encourage and when to stand back. I am lucky enough to have a number of distinguished artists in my lineage who have all had great influence on me, however I myself am a relative novice, having only taken up drawing and painting within the last three years.
Spending time with Gary both working in the Studio as well as benefitting from his seemingly limitless knowledge during visits to the Uffizi has been invaluable. My knowledge and understanding is greatly enhanced giving me the focus I require to move forward.
I unreservedly recommend that anyone who wishes to find focus, and improve their skills in drawing and painting whilst absorbing all that Florence has to offer attend The Florence Art Studio with the certain knowledge that they will not be disappointed.”
“The 3 weeks I spent at the Florence Art Studio proved to be one of the most pivotal times in my artistic development. Despite having taken numerous drawing classes and holding an art degree, no one had taught me the right way to see, and to construct a realistic drawing, until I met Gary. I learned more in 3 weeks than I had in years, and now have taken those skills with me.
In addition to his vast knowledge of technique and art history, Gary is a supportive and incredibly patient teacher. He has the ability to see the errors in a drawing and gently guide the student to correct them. He takes the process step by step and gives clear instructions. No time was wasted. The 3 museum tours I went on with Gary were also fascinating as he revealed the depth of his knowledge, citing details about the artists and their techniques that would not be covered in a normal tour.
I highly recommend attending the Florence Art Studio if you are serious about learning to draw and paint. Gary is a perfect teacher for anyone who has avoided their studies after being intimidated and judged by past art instructors. This program is for anyone who is frustrated with signing up for an art class, only to be handed a pencil and left to their own devices with no actual instruction. You will not be disappointed in your experience at the FAS.”
“As a cautious lawyer trying to improve my painting skills I thoroughly researched short courses at Florence Art Studio. The testimonials were very impressive and my expectations extremely high. But could the studio be such a wonderful place to learn? Could Gary Adcock really be such a remarkable teacher? Well I’m back now and yes, yes, emphatically yes, it was all I had hoped for and more. If you have the opportunity take it and go, you will not regret it ! “
“I just spent a month at the Florence Art Studio. It was my first serious drawing course, and really challenging. It was intense, and I learned a lot. I’m very happy that I now have the means to work and to progress in realistic drawing. Gary is an amazing instructor; very patient, encouraging, and able to explain in different ways to help you understand. I now feel confident to practice and practice. Thanks Gary! I will definitely be back for the next step: Portrait and Live Model drawing.”
“The week I spent at The Florence Art Studio was the first art class I’ve taken since high school. I hoped, in that time, to gauge whether or not my interest in art is a long-‐term pursuit and how I want to explore it. Working in the lovely studio, and Gary’s sincere commitment to helping students achieve their individual goals, allowed me to look at what I’ve made recently in new ways and with a fresh perspective.
Gary very knowledgeably encouraged me to explore techniques and mediums I haven’t yet. I found that the access to museums and the weekly class visit that the Studio includes in its program structure was a great bonus that facilitated my ability to explore and think about the project I’m working on in a vastly broader context.
I would recommend the program of study offered at the FAS to anybody who is interested in visual art, regardless of whether they produce it or not. I think the time I spent there will add value and lend depth to my own creative endeavors.”
“As I was searching for a drawing course in Florence, Italy – jewel box for schools that teach drawing or painting techniques – I found that most schools in Florence only offer fixed programs, without considering the requirements and wishes of the students.
Every student who comes to learn art is on a different level, and has different wishes regarding what he or she prefers to learn. When I came across The Florence Art Studio, the first thing they did was send me an application form asking what I hoped to gain from the course, what I was most interested in, and for samples of my work.
That was when I knew that The Florence Art Studio was the right fit for me.
During my time at the Studio, there were five other women studying with me. Everyone was on a different level and had different objectives for their lives.
What made me very grateful is that Gary Adcock has found a way of approaching each student with explanations and materials specific to their experience. For example, he gave me around four books each day because of my interest in early Renaissance art history.
In addition, Gary is very passionate about the subject of teaching and he transfers this positive energy to his students, pushing them to continue their progress. I spent four weeks at the Studio and it was one of the best experiences of my life so far.”
“I have done several drawing courses previously, but this was the best I have ever been to. Gary is a wise teacher that knows just when to help you overcome problems, and when to let you solve the problems on your own.
My week in Florence was therefore very effective, and comparable to many weeks of larger classroom drawing courses. It helped me to think in a different and more precise way when I am drawing and painting. I hope to be able to continue my art education at the Florence Art Studio.”
“After a bumpy start (‘no, you can’t do sight size sitting down’), my two weeks at the Florence Art Studio produced some paintings that actually vaguely resembled their subjects – no mean feat, given my limited artistic skill.
The credit for my improbable progress must go to Gary Adcock, whose unending patience and commitment saw me through, and whose expertise in the Florentine art tradition brought to life the centuries of work outside the door. Even when the pear I was painting looked like a lopsided apple, paint splattered all over my clothes, I was treated like Michelangelo himself. Helped along by a wonderful coordinator, the studio experience is both personally enriching and fantastically professional and thorough – where no one is too small to progress.”
“I came to the Florence Art Studio to develop my understanding of painting. I have been painting for many years, teaching myself and copying photographs. The three years I spent on a rather conceptual art school allowed me to work with painting intensively. However there was little technical instruction, which is why I decided to come to The Florence Art Studio.
When I came to the studio I agreed to start with drawing exercises and then move on to painting as suggested by Gary. He explained to me that drawing is the foundation for painting and to improve my painting skills I would predominantly have to work on my drawing skills.
So I started doing the cast drawing in charcoal. I thought that since my drawing skills are already good, I could move on to the painting very quickly. However as it turned out, to really draw this cast perfectly, required me to go through a lot of lessons. At each stage of the drawing came another important lesson that I could later also apply to painting. So to complete this cast drawing and to go through all of its lessons, took me about three weeks.
This may sound like a long time to spend on one drawing, but as Gary told me, the students in the Academies spent the first six months of their program on this cast drawing. As I was going through the lessons of the cast, my drawing skills were rapidly increasing, especially in speed. I learned about how to approach a drawing, to focus on the most important aspects that would make it effective and to keep from “overworking” it.
Later when we moved on to painting I could apply all that I had learned in the cast. My painting skill and velocity had already improved. The way I would approach and start a painting had changed. So the main thing I got out of the time we spent on painting was how to mix the colors. But, what really changed my understanding of painting was the time I spent on the drawing exercise.
Overall the time I spent at the Florence Art Studio was very fruitful for me. The studio is beautiful and there is a good working atmosphere. The program is very intense and to really get somewhere in a short amount of time requires continuing to work on the exercises in the afternoon and on the weekend. So to students who are intending to have a lot of time to look at the city or to do a parallel course, I suggest that they plan spending some extra time in Florence before or after the studio course.
The environment, and staff were excellent. Everything was well organized and coming to Florence as a foreigner one is well taken care of and becomes part of this small community. With daily coffee breaks and the infamous budini di riso. Thank you for the good time and all that I learned.”