at-el-ier [at-l-yey, at-l-yey; French atuh-lyey]

Atelier is derived from the Old French word astelier: a shaving or splinter. Atelier means a studio or workshop, most often with a principal master and a number of assistants, students and apprentices worked together producing pieces that went out in the master's name.

The current "Atelier method" is a form of fine art instruction modeled after the historic private art studios of Europe. An atelier consists of an artist, usually a professional painter or sculptor, working with a small number of students to train them in art. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe.


Early Atelier | A nurturing environment where students become serious about making art!

David Early is an artist, owner and operator of David Early Fine Art and David Early Studio. In his private atelier, Early offers art instruction and apprenticeships in the areas of Drawing and Painting. Students learn to develop skills in traditional, modern as well as contemporary fine art techniques. Mediums taught include, but are not limited to; oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, graphite, charcoal, colored pencil and conte crayon.

Art instruction is set up on a private or semi-private basis only (no more than two students at a time). This is to insure students receive focused 'one on one' instruction.

Beginning, intermediate and advanced students are welcome.

Early Atelier is located in Los Angeles County, California.

Early Virtual Atelier offers on-line courses and art consultation!

For hours, rates and availability please contact David Early at


Italian master Merisi Caravaggio's Atelier Experience:

Text by Fred Stern

Caravaggio's first job in Rome was in the atelier of the painter Cavaliere d’Arpino. The studio system was the inexpensive way for established artists to take on as many commissions as possible. The master artist would train his assistants, teaching essentials of composition, color and technique. He would then make the necessary corrections and finally submit the finished work.

Caravaggio was mainly occupied with the rendering of still lifes and flowers while other assistants worked on portraits, landscapes or historical paintings. His was not just casual work at the fringes of art, however. “It costs me as much of an effort to paint a good flower piece as a picture with figures in it,” he is quoted as saying. We still marvel at the glow of fruit baskets, flowers and pearly grapes that mark Caravaggio’s early set of efforts. According to art historian Jules Janick of Purdue University, there are currently twelve known still life paintings attributable to Caravaggio, dating from 1592 to 1603, some executed even before his apprenticeship. All are painted from life and constitute the familiar varied subject matter, from apples to water melons.

His successful experimentation with still life painting would later serve Caravaggio in good stead. When as a more mature artist he painted his religious scenes, he would put that early expertise to good use, skillfully incorporating still life components in such dramatic compositions as “Supper at Emmaus.”