At ESSE Academy, we set ourselves apart from other art courses in the Netherlands by adhering to the time-honored traditions of academic art. Unlike contemporary programs that often dilute technical skills with speculative theories and socio-political discourse, our curriculum is grounded in centuries-old principles that provide a robust and methodical approach to visual arts education.

ESSE Academy: Elevating Art Education through Academic Tradition

The range of Art courses we offer are based on professional training and fundamental fine arts disciplines: Drawing, Painting and Composition. Our programme and methods primarily aim to lay the basis for fundamental academic knowledge and visual literacy, nurture a refined sense of artistic expression, cultivate a creative mindset and elevate our followers' aesthetic taste.

Alexandra Clapatiuc
Ph.D., an expert in Academic Fine Art Didactics

Alexandra is an accomplished easel painter from Eastern Europe, renowned as a professional fine art teacher, lecturer, methodist, curator, publicist, and researcher. With over 16 years dedicated to Academic Fine Art Education and Art Phenomenon, she integrates insights from intensive art practice, art psychology, academic fine art methodology and didactics, art history and theory, philosophy, and cultural studies. Alexandra brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role, ensuring a rich and engaging learning experience for her students.

years of teaching in academic fine art institutions
years of art practice
years of fine art studying and research

You will gain:

  • Spatial thinking - axonometry
  • Engineering thinking - geometric bodies and perspective
  • ‘Geometric method’ of drawing - Anton Azbe, Pavel Chistyakov
  • The eye ‘formation’ and measurement skills - proportions, ratios
  • Mastery and sense of graphic techniques and mediums: pencil, charcoal, sanguine, Russian sauce, pastel, ink
  • Sense of tonality, flow of light, contrast, volume
  • Ability to perform sketches and long-term drawings
  • Sense of color - patterns and principles
  • Sense of ‘colorito’ and color unity
  • Pictorial-spatial relations of color, tone, contrast
  • Determination of the main color relationships and color state
  • Skills in painting techniques - alla-prima, step-by-step painting. Watercolor and Oil painting 
  • Palette, color mixture, sense of pigments and their properties
  • Ability to perform short-term ‘Études’ and long-term painting works
  • Formal-compositional thinking
  • Abstract and associative thinking
  • Understanding of basic concepts: format, structure, shape, space, center of interest
  • Understanding of basic principles: statics and dynamics, rhythm and arrhythmia, analogy and antithesis
  • Figurative thinking: impressions, images, states, sensations
  • Ability to select a subject - theme and motif, as well as find an artistic solution - structure, color, form
  • Stage-by-stage elaboration of formal searches, preparatory material and final work
Who is this course for? }}
Who is this course for? }}
Who is this course for? }}

Academic Drawing

Easel drawing is one of the basic disciplines within academic and classical fine art education. Everything starts from an idea, and every outline originates from a visual concept—a primary sketch. In this regard, drawing has served as the foundation of every visual creation. Through ESSE Art courses, you will engage with the entire academic program, from geometrical forms to nude models.

Academic Painting

Easel painting is a fundamental practical discipline, representing one of the most superior, complex, and marvelous spheres of art. The initial steps in painting involve studying academic fundamentals, regularities, and principles. Within ESSE Art courses, you will begin by composing elements within the format, comparing colors, relationships, and spatiality, ultimately aiming to achieve an original artistic solution.

Why ESSE art courses?

The high professionalism of our teaching approach is demonstrated through the examples of our students' assessed artworks, showcasing their top level of practical and technical skills, as well as their artistic thinking based on a deep sense of beauty, taste, and meaning. Many of our students continue their careers and education at the best Academies and Universities in Fine Art and Design across Europe. We are confident that we are the best choice for those who wish to explore painting beyond amateurism, superficiality, and speculative notions of creativity.

Frequently asked questions

Why is ESSE Academy BEST in the Netherlands for studying fine arts?

ESSE Academy stands out in the Dutch art education landscape due to our unwavering commitment to the classical traditions of academic art. While many contemporary art courses and academies emphasize speculative theories, conceptual art, and socio-political discourse, often at the expense of solid knowledge and skills, ESSE Academy offers a structured and methodical approach rooted in centuries-old academic principles. Our programme focuses on providing clear, actionable knowledge and professional skills, grounded in the practice of studying from nature and learning from the great masters. This ensures that our students develop a comprehensive understanding of both technical artistry and the rich historical/stylistical context of their craft, setting them apart in the contemporary art scene.

Language of instruction


Location. Where will the course take place?

The course will be held in our painting workshop at: Rotterdamsedijk 417A, 3112 AP Schiedam, Netherlands.

Course fees

Spring course - € 480 for 48 academic hours/lectures in the workshop (50% discount)

Summer school - € 600 for 40 academic hours/lectures in the workshop (25% discount)

Annual course - € 480 for 32 academic hours/lectures in the workshop (25% discount)

Art materials for the course

The price for art materials is not included in the course fee, thus participants should acquire them separately. You will certainly receive a list of needed art materials before the commencement of the course.

What is a DEMO Session?

We are excited to offer prospective students the opportunity to experience our teaching methodology and the atmosphere of our courses through our exclusive DEMO SESSIONS. These sessions are designed for individuals considering committing to our Annual Course. You can also contact us for additional information regarding DEMO Sessions.

DEMO Week 1: August 5th - 9th;

DEMO Week 2: August 12th - 16th

Have more questions?

Get in touch with us by phone number: +31(0)6 4114 2777
Contact us