The Director and Principal Instructor at the Academy of Realist Art, Fernando Freitas has over 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 four highly regarded instructional videos: Drawing the Figure, The Bargue Drawing Companion, French Academic Painting Online, and Old Masters Painting Online, all of which are available for purchase here.
Senior Instructor Ryan Gauvin engages in projects ranging from small, intimate drawings to etchings. He strives to elevate the people and objects in his art, carefully composing the aesthetics and design to create images that are more than the sum of what he sees. 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.
“Marco” Colangelo joined the Academy of Realist Art 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. Marco mainly focuses on helping students master sketching and life drawing skills. Marco also teaches figurative drawing and painting at Humber College.
Omeed studied for a year at Centennial College and four years at OCAD University, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts. Starting his studies at the Academy of Realist Art in September 2017, Omeed was a two-time ARA scholarship winner before joining our faculty in September 2020.
Encountering a lack of focus on technical training during his time in university, Omeed was motivated to seek out an atelier training to learn to could bring the imagery in his mind to life. He values the technical artistic knowledge taught at the Academy, as it deepens the artist’s understanding of the physical world and the relationships of light, form, space, and depth.
“What I love about learning in the atelier manner is that there are no limits to how much further one can push their abilities and knowledge in this manner of art making. My goal is to bring out some of the vivid fantastical imagery from my mind and into the physical world: to use the tools of technical skill and to choose how I wish to utilize and bend the rules at my own will. There really are few limits to how much further this knowledge can be expanded, and I hope to keep absorbing as much as I can.”
Suwhan attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for his undergraduate studies and subsequently pursued independent studies in Paris, Florence, and Rome for a year.
After Suwhan moved back to Canada, he enrolled at the Academy of Realist Art. After one year of study here, Suwhan began teaching the drawing program, including figure and portrait drawing.
Currently, Suwhan is working in the games industry using the great foundational skills acquired at the Academy to create photorealistic 3D models, as well as teaching drawing and painting through virtual classes at ARA. Aside from traditional and 3D art, Suwhan also specializes in helping students prepare their portfolios for their post-secondary applications for their dream schools.
An avid artist since childhood, Esteban Rodriguez 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 the Academy of Realist Art. 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.