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"My goal as an artist is to promote the appreciation of art and culture,

on a relentless pursuit of Beauty and Connection,

using the natural world as inspiration in traditional naturalistic painting,

with its timeless principles and methods."


Brazilian, born in Recife PE

Painter, a 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 Traditional Drawing and Painting

Have taught at the Barcelona Academy of Art, in Spain


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. Being one of the oldest and largest cities in Brazil, Recife is a cultural center, where Guerra grew up exploring an affinity to art from a young age. He first majored in Biology at University, but his love for art made him move to Italy, where, in 2009, he began his studies in Drawing and Painting at The Florence Academy of Art (FAA), leaving Biology behind and investing in a future as a painter. During his time at the Academy, his work received different prizes, one of which allowed him to study and work alongside the 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, an area which a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He tries to dedicate his time painting between these two countries, believing these two different environments are sources of great inspiration. Guerra has exhibited his work in Brazil, Italy, England and Finland.

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, with its many natural areas. His works reflect this passion for natural things, incorporating aspects of a rustic, natural life, with vibrant dramatic colors portraying the beauty of the natural world.

Working from Life
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico
Academic Work . Trabalho Acadêmico

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. 

No Brasil, Guerra works in his Atelier in the Historic Distric of Olinda PE, UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's possible to visit the space and directly acquire artworks from the artist. The Artist also offers private lessons. For more information, please contact the Artsit. 

Anchor Commisions EN

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.
See the shop page for detail and prices.

Rafael Guerra Portrait Painting
Private Lessons

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. 

Working from Life
Édouard Joseph Dantan
Rafael Guerra
Rafael Guerra
Rafael Guerra
Rafael Guerra
Rafael Guerra
Federico de Madrazo

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

News & Events


October 31, 2020

Guerra sells many of his artworks produced in Finland at SINGULART, a France based online Gallery.
In there you see different photographs of his work, and you can also check how it would look on a wall.
The gallery ships worldwide free of cost.


July 31, 2020

Introduction to Traditional Painting - Principles & Methods course now available at UDEMY!

Learn the History, Fundamentals and Methods, Materials and Production of Traditional Realistic Drawings and Paintings

- Principles e Methods of Traditional Realist Painting

- History of Painting and Classic Academicism

- The Functioning of an Atelier/Studio of Realist Academic Painting

- Materials for Quality Painting: Paints, Oils, Brushes, Surfaces, Palettes, and more, besides Drawing Materials

- Preparation of Canvases and Surfaces; Traditional Making of Oil Paint

- The Sight-Size Method and the Stages for Realist Drawing and Painting

- Colors and Mixtures for an Essential Organized Palette; The Zorn Palette and Limited Color Palette

- How to Use Pencil, Charcoal and Brushes, and the Main Concepts for a Production of a Painting

- Complete Production of Paintings, from Drawing to Underpainting e Finalizing

- Processes and Stages of Still Life and Portrait Paintings, with Demonstrations


January 01, 2020

​In 2020 Guerra realized the old dream of having an Atelier to work in his home town in Brazil. 
The Atelier is located in the Historic District of the coastal city of Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He currently divides his time as an Artist between Brazil and Finland, working, selling and teaching privately in both countries. 


September 01, 2019

Since 2019, Guerra sells many of his artworks produced in Finland at TAIKO, Finland's largest online gallery.
In there you see different photographs of his work, and you can also check how it would look on your wall.
The gallery ships worldwide.


October 01, 2018

​At the end of 2018, Guerra was invited to teach at the prestigious Barcelona Academy of Art, in Spain. The BAA is currently one of the largest classical ateliers in the world, with hundreds of students and an international faculty. Located in the lively city of Barcelona, it has become in recent years a hub of talent in the fine arts, and associated with local museums promotes several shows and exhibitions annually. 
While there, Guerra taught at the highest level at the Academy, on the Advanced Painting Program. 


From 2014 to 2019, Guerra was associated with 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, the heart of the historic city. The partnership between the artist and the Gallery resulted in many shows and exhibitions during these years.


In 2013, alongside his friend Lucas Galindo, Sociologist and Political Scientist, Guerra helped to create 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 the 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 annual 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. The artist also has a private Atelier in the Historic District of the City of Olinda, on the northeast coast of Brazil, where he works and give private lessons when in South America.

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