COVID-19 updates

Due to rising COVID-19 cases in Toronto, our physical location is currently closed.

Contact Colleen at or 416-766-1280 if you are interested in joining our weekly virtual classes.

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Virtual Open Studio (Saturday afternoons)

Workshop: virtual-open-studio-sat-aft-may-2021

Date: May 1, 2021 - May 29, 2021

Duration: 1 month

Location: Virtual workshop – Zoom video conferencing

Instructor: Suwhan Lim

Price: 150.00

Save your seat now for this workshop

$150.00 deposit is requested.

Please note: SPACE IS LIMITED. Registrations are not guaranteed until a deposit has been paid. If you require more information call 416-766-1280.


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Join us for group virtual learning and we will give you step-by-step guidance and personalized critiques to help you with program assignments or personal projects. We are proud of all the work being done around the world through these classes!

For students new to ARA, we recommend starting by copying the Bargue plates, just like the students in our regular program. This is the visual alphabet that all artists should know. If you are looking to raise your understanding of form, values, shapes, edges and lighting, copying the Bargue drawings are a great way to start.

Our virtual open studio instructors will use lots of video demonstrations and group and individual critiques through Zoom video conferencing.

All levels of skill are welcome.

This weekly class will run on Saturday afternoons, from 1-3 PM ET. Students can choose to renew their place in the class for subsequent months.

Virtual open studio price is $150/month, paid in full up front. Students who wish to add a second weekly session can do so for an extra $50/month – please email Colleen at to make arrangements.

Not ready to start right away? Check out our registration page for Saturday afternoons in June.

For examples of past student work, visit our online gallery.



Suwhan Lim 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 ARA. 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.

About ARA Workshops

Each participant gets lots of one-on-one attention from our superb instructors. ARA instructors teach year round so, unlike many artists who offer summer/holiday workshops our instructors are professional teachers as well as successful award-winning artists. Whether you are an award-winning experienced artist or have never painted before, our instructors will tailor to your skill level.

If you have any questions or are having trouble with online registration, please contact us.

All participants attending workshops at our physical location will be required to follow our studio policies in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19:


On entering the Columbus Centre, please use the hand sanitization stations in the lobby and elevator. Upon arriving on the 3rd floor, all arriving students are also expected to wash their hands in one of the sinks in the Figure and Workshop rooms.

Students and instructors are expected to wear masks at all times.


All horses and easels will be taped and placed 6 feet apart to ensure enough distance between you and your neighbours. These are not to be moved. Instructors will wear masks at all times and practice social distancing while instructing.


Frequent hand sanitization throughout your time in the school is asked. Sanitization stations are located outside of each studio. The lunch room will not be available, so please plan accordingly and follow social distancing rules during breaks.

We ask that any students who are feeling unwell or who have had recent close contact with a confirmed case, please stay home and self-isolate. Contact us before your workshop starts and we will issue a refund or apply your deposit to future workshop.


Please note the travel restrictions that are in place during the pandemic, and respect required 14-day quarantine periods if you have traveled recently. If you are coming from out of town and need local accommodations, click here to see our list of inexpensive places to stay near the Academy.

Can’t make it this time?

We offer our workshops on a regular basis. Sign up for regular email workshop updates on our homepage.

Where to buy art supplies?

Click here for a list of local art supply stores.

Materials List

The following materials list covers what is needed to copy from the Bargue plates. Additional materials may be needed for other personal projects.


  • Graphite – 2B, HB, and 2H. Brand – Staedtler suggested


  • 1 – 18X24 inches (masonite, MDF, plywood)


  • Cartridge or bond paper.
  • One sheet of good paper, suggested Stonehenge paper in Pearl Grey


  • Sanding block
  • Knitting needle 2.5 to 3.5 mm thickness
  • Masking tape
  • Eraser – one white, one kneadable, Tombow mono zero (optional)
  • Pencil extender (optional)
  • Mahl stick (a ½ inch diameter dowel approximately 30 inches)
  • Ruler or T-square
  • Retractable box cutter utility knife (suggested brand Olfa)