About Sadie Valeri

Sadie Valeri is an award-winning classical realist painter and instructor based in San Francisco, California.
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We’ve just announced new Workshops and Intensives for 2015!
Choose from One to Eight weeks of full time Intensive study.
>>Click here to see all Intensives

Sadie Valeri Atelier is a beautiful, friendly environment for focused study of Classical Realism Painting and Drawing.
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Sadie Valeri
James Edmonds
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Hudson River Fellowship 2009

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Video Demos

Watch video demonstrations Sadie has made about her paintings and drawings


Since October 2006 I have recorded every aspect of my artistic development on my blog. Here I invite you "behind the scenes" into my studio, where I share all of my materials, class notes, travel journals, and step-by step demonstrations of my paintings and drawings, including video demos


Oil Transfer: Demo by James Edmonds

James Edmonds showed us how to transfer a drawing to a primed painting panel with oil paint.

James Edmonds’ Demo:

“The following steps will take you through the process of transferring a drawing to a support with oil paint. This method ensures that your transfer will play nice with your painting because they will both be in the same medium.”

“I usually use raw umber or burnt umber for these because it dries quickly. The sooner its dry, the sooner I can start painting without effecting the lines. However, if you don’t mind painting into your lines while they’re still wet, feel free to use whatever color you wish.

The first step is to make a basic photocopy of your drawing. Yep, a cheap ten cent copy from OfficeMax will do the job just fine.

“When making your photocopy, it’s usually a good idea to change the copiers settings to as dark as possible. Sometimes the default setting doesn’t copy lighter graphite lines. Proceed to grab a drawing implement from your kit. 


“Start by applying a thin layer of paint from the tube. Don’t thin it with anything (turp, etc). You want this layer of paint to be as thin and dry as possible. Too much paint will soak through the paper and deposit excess paint on your surface. Use as little paint as possible to cover and really brush it around.

“Hold it up to the light to make sure you get total coverage. Really brush it around. If you’ve done this correctly, the paper will absorb some of the oil from the paint and give it a slightly dry feel. This makes it so the paint will only go where you tell it to go. It shouldn’t transfer to the panel from say, the pressure of your hand on the surface, for instance.

Now tape that paint covered photocopy to your support.

“Start tracing over your lines. Here I’m using just a regular H lead pencil, but it can be helpful to use something like a red pen so that you can tell what you’ve traced and what you haven’t. 

“Don’t press too hard or you run the risk of damaging your painting surface. Start lightly and try it out until you find just enough pressure to transfer the lines and no more.

“Routinely lift the drawing to make sure your lines are coming through okay. Just make sure you get it lined back up properly before continuing. Registration marks are your friend here.

(Animal companions are a great addition to this process. Just don’t let them step on your palette!)

“All this should leave you with a nice clean drawing in thin paint on your surface. I use this technique to lay down lines for the majority of my studio paintings.”

Thanks for the demo, James! 

Starting in November, James will be teaching 2 weekly Flex Classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. James also teaches a weekly Long Pose Figure Drawing on Saturdays.

>> More info about all our Drawing and Painting classes here


NEW Flex Sessions Offered Weeknights, Weekends, and Weekdays

You can choose any 8 Flex Sessions within 2 months to study Classical Drawing and Painting on your own schedule at my San Francisco Atelier on Weekends, Weeknights, or Weekdays:

>> Click for More Information anout Flex Sessions


New Painting Video: Painting the Value Sphere: Part One: Open Grisaille

Watch the Introduction to my latest Instructional Video! You click this link to buy the whole video now OR you can click here to join my online class here on Facebook. Online students get free access to the videos and get my comments and critique when you upload exercises done from my instructional videos.


>> Click here to learn more about my Still Life Painting and Drawing class at my San Francisco studio




Easels and Tabourets

A lot of people ask about what easels I recommend. In our classroom studio we use two:

H-frame Winsor Newton Shannon Easel

It’s sturdy and well-made for the price. A hidden knob and pin make it non-intuitive for new students, but eventually they figure it out.


American Umatilla Easel 

Lightweight, affordable and very easy to use. We use pony clamps to secure the drawing board for more stability. 

The tabourets are actually laptop stands I bought from Overstock.com. They are a perfect height for holding pencils and palette next to you while you work.

This is my personal studio easel, I love it:
Craftech Sienna Counterweight Easel



Click to see all my upcoming classes and workshops:




New Drawing Video: Straight Line Block-In Demo

I’ve just completed a new FREE video showing how I start a new drawing using Straight Line Block-In. My husband Nowell composed the soundtrack and did all the editing and production:

This is the exercise I give my students:

  1. Set up a brown paper bag, crumpled and twisted gently. Include a single egg. 
  2. Draw only STRAIGHT LINES and NO SHADING. 
  3. Work small, just 4-5 inches across per drawing, and put in mainly just the longest, most major lines and only a few secondary lines - just until it starts looking like the shape and gesture of the bag. Spend no more than 30 minutes on a drawing. 
  4. Turn the bag and move the egg to make a new composition and start another drawing. 
  5. I am working large with heavy, dark lines so the camera can record the drawing. You should work SMALL and with VERY LIGHT LINES

I teach a private Online Class on Facebook where I teach the fundamental principles of Classical Drawing and Indirect Painting:
Click Here to Learn More about my Online Class!

See all our upcoming Classes and Workshops at my San Francisco Studio Here: