The Director and Senior Instructor at the Academy of Realist Art, Fernando Freitas has close to 20 years of teaching experience. He also conducts drawing and painting workshops throughout North America and Europe, as well as works on portrait commissions. Most recently, his work can be seen on the hit NBC show Hannibal. Fernando has produced two highly regarded instructional DVDs: Drawing the Figure and The Bargue Drawing Companion which are available through the ARA website.

Juan Carlos Martínez is an award-winning artist trained in the atelier tradition who works in the classical realist style, focusing on the human figure. Juan studied in Toronto, Canada, and in Florence, Italy. In addition to working on commissions, Juan has acquired an international reputation as an art educator. He has won several awards in the Art Renewal Center’s (ARC) Salon competition, as well as from the Portrait Society of America and the Portrait Society of Canada. Juan authored a popular six-part instructional series in International Artist Magazine entitled “The Academy Way” and has appeared on Bravo! TV’s “Star Portraits” program.

Ryan has been with the ARA for more than five years. He has been an instructor at the Academy, as well as engages in projects ranging from small, intimate drawings to etchings. Many of Ryan’s works hang in group shows as well as in private homes. Ryan is currently working on a number of commissioned projects including portraits and landscapes. He also conducts workshops at ARA on a variety of Renaissance drawing and painting techniques.

“Marco” joined ARA in 1998 after graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a degree in fine art. A specialist in portraiture, figurative work and dream imagery, Marco has participated in group shows, and has sold a number of his works to private collectors. Now in his tenth year of teaching with ARA, Marco mainly focuses on helping students master sketching and life drawing skills. Marco also teaches figurative drawing and painting at Humber College.

Mark Daniels received a BA in art history from the University of Toronto, and subsequently studied drawing and painting with Tim Slater and Michael John Angel. He was a student at the Academy of Realist Art, where he now teaches drawing. His artistic pursuits have taken him to France and Italy where he studied Gothic architecture and the birth of the Renaissance in frescoes. His favourite artists include Sargent, Boldini, Annigoni and Courbet.

An avid artist since childhood, Esteban began copying the Renaissance masters at the age of 12. He believes that realism in art allows him to “communicate with poetic beauty the ideas and passions of shared humanity”. Esteban received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cuba before joining ARA. He brings to the role of instructor strong realistic representational skills in a variety of mediums. His works have been shown in exhibitions in Toronto and Cuba.