"My goal as an artist is to promote the  appreciation of art and culture, focusing on the relentless pursuit of Beauty - inherent in human nature,

using the natural world in traditional naturalistic painting,

with its timeless principles and methods."


Brazilian, born in 1987, in Recife PE

Painter, graduate of Drawing & Painting at The Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy

Teacher for three years at The Florence Academy of Art, Italy

Teacher of Classical Drawing and Painting


Contributor and Co-Founder of the Istituto Elíseos, PE, Brazil

Graduate of Biology from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, PE, Brazil

Rafael Guerra was born in Recife, on the northeast coast of Brazil, by the Atlantic Ocean. Recife is one of the oldest and largest cities in Brazil, a cultural centre with and active market for art, where Guerra grew up influenced by local artists. Following his passion for nature, he majored in Biology at University. However, his desire to study and observe nature led him to explore his ability in painting, which at the time was simply a hobby.

So in 2009 he moved to Italy, where he began his studies in Drawing and Painting at The Florence Academy of Art (FAA), leaving Biology behind and investing in his future as a painter. During his time at the Academy, his work received a number of different prizes, including a special scholarship award that granted an extra year of studies after graduating. During this fourth year Guerra worked alongside Director Daniel Graves in his studio in Florence, whilst also taking on the role of assistant teacher in the FAA Intensive Drawing Program for one year.

After fully graduating, in 2013, Guerra taught for 2 years at the FAA, before moving to Finland, where he currently lives and works, having a private studio in the city of Loviisa. He also works from his private studio in Brazil, in the coastal city of Olinda, a city declared as a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO and the first Brazilian Capital of Culture. He tries to dedicate his time painting between the two countries. In Brazil, Guerra exhibits his work at the Galeria Ranulpho, in Recife, and in Finland, in various locations.
On his work, Guerra tends to be influenced by his love for nature, for tales and myths, and fantasy related aspects of life. He draws inspiration from the nature around him, especially in forest-covered Finland, where he lives most of his time. His works reflect this passion for natural things, incorporating aspects of a rustic, natural life, with vibrant dramatic colours portraying the beauty of the natural world.

In Finland, Guerra has a private studio 

alongside local artist Niko Lauhkonen (Valdermar Art), in the city of Loviisa,  approximately 100km from Helsinki. It is possible to visit the artist's studio, under appointment. For more information, contact the artist. 


It is possible to commission the artist, on Portraiture, Landscape or Still Life, for a personalised and unique artwork. The artist also gives lessons on classical academic drawing and painting. For more information, contact the artist.


Guerra accepts commissions for portraits, figurative paintings, still lifes and landscapes, in the mediums of pencil, charcoal and oil paint. 
It is always preferable for the artist to work from life, using the real subject as a reference. This gives the artist a chance to connect with the subject, and better analyse and visualise it's intricacies, better capturing the liking, expressions and character. The final result of a portrait, for example, will usually be better if the person to be painted can sit for the artist as model, rather then giving a photograph as a reference. But it is understandable that sitting is not always possible, or the client wants a painting from a specific photograph, and so portraits and landscapes can be done using reference photos, or a combination of sittings and photos.

Learn to draw and paint like the Old Masters of Realism and Naturalism with private lessons from the artist at his home studio in Finland! 

Classical Realism, based on the academic tradition of the 19th century, is currently enjoying a renaissance around the world. Using the methods of the traditional European Academies, it is believed that anyone can learn to draw and paint well, once certain principles about the craft is understood. Such principles were studied along the centuries and the knowledge was accumulated on these Academies until the end of the 19th century when Modern Art gained strength in the art world, and most of these methods entered in disused. Until now.

Classical drawing is built on accurately blocking the form, establishing the forms of lights and shadows, and then defining and refining the subject. You can learn the principles that will allow you to draw and paint anything with accuracy, regardless of your own personal style. Learning the methods and logic behind them can help any artist, of any style. You can also learn painting techniques, composition, color harmony, and the use of materials.

Private lessons means that the time spent with the artist will be personalised to better attend the needs of each student. The prices of the lessons will also depend of the time spent and the type of lessons involved. 
On average, it costs 50€ for half a day (morning or afternoon), or 80€ for the whole day (9hs-16hs or longer), including the use of materials, with prices decreasing in case of follow up days or week long lessons. 

Guerra believes that quality of materials makes for a more valuable artwork, more capable of withstanding time. The quality reflects on the final work, showing itself in the colours, textures, strength of the painted surface, and other aspects. For that Guerra believes in investing in good quality materials, as an example importing pigments, painting oils and frames from trusted providers from Italy. With knowledge on traditional classical methods for preparing materials, Guerra makes a lot of the materials used on his artworks himself, such as his own paints, panels and canvases. 

You can learn about traditional academic techniques having private lessons with the artist. For more information about lessons, please contact the artist.

Still Following the traditional methods of creating an artwork, Guerra prefers to work from life, which means using the real world as main reference, painting still lifes from real objects in real compositions, sketching landscapes outdoors to use as references for bigger paintings, and using live models for portraits and figurative works. Part of the artist's process is to study nature, to study the real world, and its shapes, forms, colours, lights, contrasts, and relationships between all of that. Guerra believes that working in the presence of the real subject allows an interaction between artist and subject, which will result in a better analysis and interpretation of said subject, culminating in a work of better quality and soulful.
"The Scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, it would not be worth living." - Henri Poincare


Since 2017, Guerra has been exhibiting some of his works at the Piparkakkutalo Restaurant, in the city of Hämeenlinna, in Finland. The Restaurant is one of the oldest and most well established in Hämeenlinna, considered by many as the best restaurant in town. Guerra is exhibiting landscape and still life paintings, alongside the Finnish artist Valdemar (valdemarart.com). All works in the restaurant are for sale.


Ravintola Piparkakkutalo
Kirkkorinne 2, 13100 Hämeenlinna 
info (at) ravintolapiparkakkutalo.fi 
Tel. +358 3 648 040

Open Tue-Thu 11-22, Fri 11-23, Sat 12-23, Closed Sun-Mon

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In 2014, Guerra entered the body of artists of the Ranulpho Gallery, one of the oldest and most traditional art galleries of Brazil, situated in Recife PE, on the colonial district of Recife Antigo, heart of the historic city. It began then a partnership between the artist and the Gallery, resulting in shows and exhibitions in the Gallery, which occur about 3 times a year.



In 2013, alongside his friend Lucas Galindo, Sociologist and Political Scientist, Guerra helped to criate the Eliseos Institute (IE), a cultural organization which promotes cultural events and cooperation agreements between Academic Communities, Universities and International Bodies, to generate intellectual production in society.  One of the main activities of the IE is to organize short-time exchange programs to students and anyone interested in certain fields of studies, such as Classical Art & Painting, Political Sciences and Philosophy.

The Institute is based in Recife PE, Brazil, and extends its reach to many countries, such as Italy, France and Finland. 




June 29, 2015

Rafael Guerra graduated from The Florence Academy of Art (FAA), where he was training to be a classical painter, in June 2012. He was awarded then with a full scholarship prize, to stay and study for one more year at the FAA, as a sort of specialization year, where he stayed under tutelage of the FAA Director Daniel Graves, one of the most influential realist painters of today. 

After that, in 2013, he was invited to keep on teaching for the FAA on special Workshops. He helped to introduce and establish new workshops that are now part of the regular anual courses of the FAA. After teaching classical drawing/painting for 2 years, he moved to Finland, to live as an artist. 

In 2015 he built a private Painting Studio in southern Finland. He intends to exhibit and sell his work not only in Finland, but in other countries of Europe and in Brazil. In Brazil, he is currently associated with the Galeria Ranulpho, a traditional and well stablished Fine Art Gallery located in the old and cultural city of Recife, PE, on the northeast coast. 

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