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Art Classes

The Santa Cruz Art League has a wide variety of classes at a variety of times. Is your week too hectic for our series classes? Consider taking one of our Weekend Workshops. Already have some skills and looking for a place to draw after work? Consider popping by our weekly, drop-in life drawing session (see description below).



June to August 2016 Art Classes

Drop-in Classes

Monday Night Figure Drawing
Drawing the human figure is acknowledged to be the best foundation for learning the process of really seeing small details and acquiring perspective and measurement skills to benefit all future artistic endeavours. Pop by our classroom every Monday night and sharpen your skills. Live model. Facilitated by Open Studio Artist Richard Bennett.

  • Levels: Previous drawing experience required. No instruction provided.
  • Date and Time: Drop-In, Monday Nights, 7:00 - 10:00pm
  • Location: in the SCAL classroom
  • Fee: $16 non-members, $14 members, $10 students
  • Facilitator: Richard Bennett

2nd Thursday Figure Drawing and Painting
Similar to our Monday Night Drawing class (above) except with longer poses and attendees may choose to either draw or paint. Live nude or draped model. Facilitated by Open Studio Artist Richard Bennett.

  • Levels: Previous drawing or painting experience required. No instruction provided.
  • Date and Time: 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:00 - 10:00pm
  • Location: in the SCAL classroom
  • Fee: $16 non-members, $14 members, $10 students
  • Facilitator: Richard Bennett



Series Art Classes

Loosen Up and Have Fun with Acrylics
Do you want to have fun with painting? Then this class is for you. Art can be intimidating and many people are too afraid to even try it thinking they aren't “artistic”. We will smash that notion. We will just start painting, you learn best by doing. We will work fast and loose, layering our canvas with color, blocking in shapes, and adding definition to create a beautiful masterpiece. First timers are my favorite! I want to introduce you to the fun of paint, we will use spray bottles and drip, splat, brush, even use our hands to create magic. The object of this course is to have you fall in love with painting and give you the confidence to see yourself as a good artist. Content includes how to begin, paints to use, supplies, how to set up your space, what to paint, painting at least 3 finished paintings themed on floral, abstract and interior. I guarantee a good time and skills to take you on your way to continued painting.

Instructor Carrie Clayden is a professional artist and teacher. She has taught at Art is You retreats, The Spotted Cow and Hip Chick Designs. Carrie graduated from UCSC in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Fine Art. She recently moved to Santa Cruz and has been accepted into Open Studios for 2015. Her studio is at 17th Avenue and her work can be found on her website www.carrieclayden.com

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Mondays beginning August 15
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Carrie Clayden
  • Additional Instructions: Reference photos are encouraged
Register online »

Introduction to Figure Drawing
This is a small group to begin a study of the human form from a live model. Immerse yourself in an intimate and comprehensive introduction to the art of REALLY seeing. This class is limited to 10 students per class so sign up today!

Instructor Susie Wilson has a BA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (UK), a degree in Illustration and an HNDBTEC degree in Education, also in the UK. . She taught Life Drawing at the Norfolk Institute and was a college lecturer in the subject at the Norwich School of Art. Since arriving in America she has taught private and group classes for approximately 20 years, and has participated in Open Studios.

  • Levels: Beginner
  • Offered: 6 Wednesdays beginning August 17
  • Time: 10am - 12:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Model Fee: $45 at 1st class
  • Instructor: Susie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Class is limited to 10 students.
  • We're sorry. This class is full. Please check back for more series of this class in the future.

Traditional Figure Drawing
Drawing can be described as an inquiring investigation into visible appearance, and the learned discipline should never exclude the potential for free and spontaneous input. Intuition, feelings and impulse are essential elements to the personal development of drawing skills. This class offers an opportunity to really look at the form, structure, spaces and surfaces of the nude figure and seek a unique and individual expression of making what we see visible. Increasing our knowledge and extending our ability is an ongoing and continuous process to which everyone is invited! Please join our quest for improvement and ways to make different or better drawings. This class is limited to 12 students per class so sign up today!

Instructor Susie Wilson has a BA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (UK), a degree in Illustration and an HNDBTEC degree in Education, also in the UK. . She taught Life Drawing at the Norfolk Institute and was a college lecturer in the subject at the Norwich School of Art. Since arriving in America she has taught private and group classes for approximately 20 years, and has participated in Open Studios.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Wednesdays beginning August 17
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Model Fee: $45 at 1st class
  • Instructor: Susie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Class is limited to 12 students.
Register online »

Watercolor
This class is geared to facilitate those who have never painted and those who have advanced their skills. Most class sessions will include a demo and then time to work on the elements of the demo. Information on materials, including colors and "gimmicks",and tools is given throughout the six-week period. The goal of this class is to encourage the joy of painting, while improving skills and knowledge. This is a "fun" class, so bring a sense of humor and whatever materials you have and enjoy.

Instructor Linda Lord is a self-trained artist and illustrator with over 16 years teaching experience in her studio and via the SC Watercolor Society; an Open Studio artist whose exhibits include Cozumel, Mexico. Linda also publishes with a decorative art publisher.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Thursdays beginning August 18
  • Time: 1pm - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Linda Lord
Register online »

Pastel Studio
Loosen up and have fun with pastels!  We will cover the essentials of pastel painting: Approaches and methods of application, surface choices, pastels from hard to soft, color harmony, temperature, value, and underpainting. Still life and landscape are the main subjects. Still life objects will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own props and reference materials to class as well. The emphasis is on improving skills and developing a personal style with this vibrant and versatile medium. Demos, critiques, and lots of individual instruction are included.

Instructor Joan Hellenthal, BA Fine Art Brown University, MA Fine Art SJSU; CA credentialed art instructor, painter and mixed media artist who exhibits in many private and corporate collections inc. MAH, UCSC and Open Studios. joanhellenthal.com

  • Levels: All but some drawing experience is recommended
  • Offered: 4 Fridays beginning September 2
  • Time: 9:30am - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $103 / $90 Members
  • Instructor: Joan Hellenthal
  • Additional Instructions: Reference materials provided but bringing your own is encouraged. (see details above)
Register online »

Botanical Art in Graphite, Watercolor and Colored Pencil
Botanical art involves accuracy as well as artistic technique and creativity, but you don't need to be a botanist, and artists at all levels are welcome. In this class we'll follow a traditional approach to drawing and painting a botanical subject – from study to finished work. Some drawing experience is a plus. We'll practice particular methods of applying graphite pencil, watercolor and colored pencil. Each of these media has its own beauty and appeal for artists. The plan will be to render plant subjects in each of the three media first, then to use whatever one or more media you choose in a unified composition. You'll get plenty of individual attention as you work, to challenge and encourage you at your own level of skill. Plant material will be provided for each lesson, but you may bring botanical subjects of your choice (live plant material, not photographs) if you wish.

Instructor Maria Cecilia Freeman is a professional artist with over 25 years of experience bridging scientific illustration and botanical fine art. Her award-winning drawings and paintings have appeared in solo and juried exhibitions across the U.S. and in Europe. You can see her work at her website: mcf-art.com

  • Level: All (some drawing experience is a plus)
  • Offered: 6 Mondays beginning October 24
  • Time: 9am - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Maria Cecilia Freeman
  • Additional Instructions: Reference materials provided but you may also bring your own (see details above)
Register online »

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Weekend Workshops

Art of Paper Mâché
Papier Mâché (means chewed paper) is a versatile  and widely used medium. Historically it has been used in construction of buildings,(sections of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition) boats, furniture, helmets, masks, containers, the list goes on. Originally developed in China, where papermaking was invented, examples have been documented dating to the Han Dynasty (BC202-AD220) It has also been a element of folk traditions in many  countries.  Closer to home the use of papier Mâché in celebrations and art from Mexico is internationally known. The Linares family of Mexico City are world renowned artists in the field. In this workshop you will create a paper sculpture. The subject matter is up to you. It can be a person, an animal, a fish, a bird, an imaginary critter, a boat?........ Using paper, tape and wire to construct the form and cover with the papier Mâché enhanced paper will take one day. In next meeting you will paint and decorate your piece.

Instructor Donna Thompson, BFA MA  has been working in the medium for the past twenty five years. She had the amazing opportunity to take a workshop with two members of the legendary Linares family and learned several tips on creating paper sculptures from experts in this very special field.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: August 6 and 13 (two Saturdays)
  • Time: 12noon - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $150
  • Materials Fee: $20 (to teacher)
  • Instructor: Donna Thompson
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch, a photo reference of your creation and a box to bring your drying work home.
Register online »

Loosening Up Watercolor Painting
Loosen up your watercolor paintings using a "direct" painting approach.  We will focus upon improving drawing techniques, planning the composition, mixing colors on the paper and applying the elements of design for dynamic results.  There will be daily teacher demonstrations as well as a description of materials - paints, brushes, paper, palette, etc. Using photographs as source material, each student will develop a painting using their own creative abilities and with individual attention from the teacher.  At the conclusion of the workshop, we will have a critique (voluntary participation) which is intended to help reinforce the concepts and techniques.

Instructor Leslie Wilson, has focused on watercolor painting for more than 25 years, capturing the moment in vibrant light and color, both en plein air and in the studio.  “I love transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary and reminding people of the places they have been, the people they have met, and the truly remarkable light and color in our world.”  University of Maryland, B.A. Secondary Art Education, 1973. She teaches in the East Bay area. She is a Signature member of CWA and is published in North Light Books, Splash 11, Spring 2010 – "The Other Side of the Mountain"

  • Level: All
  • Offered: August 20 and 21
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Leslie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a bag lunch.
Register online »

Painting the Landscape with Soft Pastels
In this two-day workshop you'll discover how to use your soft pastels in interesting ways to depict the landscape. Day 1 will focus on adding zing to your pastels by underpainting on pastel paper with a variety of techniques including alcohol wash, watercolor and dry underpainting. We'll play with mark making and layering and learn to make color sing. Prepare to be messy and have fun. Day 2 we'll discuss strategies for successful compositions and practice finding compositions in the landscape. You'll do multiple compositional studies and then work on developing one more fully. We'll work both indoors and out. The class includes demonstrations and lots of hands-on practice.

Instructor Erika Perloff has been painting the local landscape in pastel for over 20 years and is also an experienced educator. Her work is widely exhibited and collected.

  • Level: Beginning to Intermediate
  • Offered: August 27 and 28
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Erika Perloff
  • Additional Instructions: Bring landscape reference material that inspires you and a lunch.
Register online »

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