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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).



2017 Art Classes

Please note: When you sign up for a class you will get a "receipt" from Presto Biz (that does not mean you are in the class.) PrestoBiz then sends the request to us and we process your payment here at the Art League if there is room in the class.

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

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 April 26
  • 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. If you'd like to be added to our waiting list (in the event of a cancellation), please email info@scal.org. Otherwise, check back for more series of this class in the future.
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 59 kb)

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 April 26
  • 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 »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 59 kb)

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 April 27
  • Time: 1pm - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 members
  • Instructor: Linda Lord
Register online »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 457 kb)

Pastel Studio
Loosen up and have fun with pastels! Using expressive marks and color we will paint vibrant landscapes and still life. The essentials of pastel painting will be covered including approaches and methods of application, pastels from hard to soft, surface possibilities, color theory and underpainting. Demos, problem solving, and lots of individual instruction are included. This class is appropriate for both beginners in pastel and those who are experienced with the medium. Just bring whatever pastels you may have and explore the possibilities of this versatile medium!

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 April 28
  • 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 »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 201 kb)

Botanical Art in Graphite, Watercolor and Colored Pencil
Traditional botanical art involves accuracy as well as artistic technique and creativity. It brings out the beauty in detail and leads to a new perception of our plant subjects. But you don't need to be a botanist, and artists at all levels are welcome (some drawing experience helps). We'll work with graphite pencil, watercolor and colored pencil. You'll get plenty of individual attention as you draw and paint, to challenge and encourage you at your own level of skill. You may bring plant subjects of your choice or you may choose to work with botanical specimens that will be provided.

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 but some drawing experience is recommended
  • Offered: 6 Mondays, class dates to be announced in June
  • 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 »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 322 kb)

Loose and Painterly Landscapes
Barbara will demonstrate the process of landscape painting from photographs (mostly local scenes). Students can paint along with the demo or do their own thing with their own photographs. Topics covered: preparing canvas to paint, two difference approaches to painting, abstracting the landscape, color, perspective, brush control, value, edge quality, and much more. Bring your own photos, and lots of questions to ask.

Instructor Barbara Bailey-Porter holds a Masters of Fine Art, has been an Open Studio artist and has maintained a professional painting studio for well over 20 years. She has taught at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, through Cabrillo and DeAnza Colleges, and in the elementary schools in the past. She works in her studio as well as en plein air. Barbara's work is in various private and corporate collections in the US and abroad.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 4 Tuesdays beginning May 2nd
  • Time: 9:30pm - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $175 / $160 members
  • Instructor: Barbara Bailey-Porter
  • Additional Instructions: Bring your own reference photos.
Register online »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 254 kb)

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Weekend Workshops

"Brush N' Bottle" art and wine party
Come create an original masterpiece at the Santa Cruz Art League! This 2.5 hour, follow-along, acrylic painting course is open to artists of any skill level. No previous experience necessary.

A ticket will provide each student with a glass of wine, as well as all the materials necessary to walk away with a work of their own creation. Relax with a drink in a stress-free learning environment while gaining the basic painting skills that will inspire you to continue practicing.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: Wednesday, April 26th
  • Time: 6:30pm - 9pm
  • Class Fee: $35
  • Instructor: SCAL Board member and artist, Whitney Humphreys
  • Additional Instructions: Call 831-426-5787 or use the link below to sign up. The class is limited to 14 students so sign up today!
Register online »

Watercolor Collage on Canvas with Soup
Using a technique that I've been developing and loving for years, we'll collaborate to create our materials by painting tissue paper with watercolor in a very free, loose and expressive way. Each sheet of tissue is then like a piece of stained glass, ready to be torn, cut, layered and collated to create images of pure color and texture that are unique and beautiful.You will learn a new technique, create one beautiful piece of artwork, enjoy a simple and delicious lunch, meet some other artists, and it's really fun.

Instructor Seana Mallen, MA, is happy to be back to Santa Cruz after 40 years overseas. She's exhibited her work internationally, in the US, England and Bahrain, and has an MA in Drawing from Kingston University, UK. She has over 25 years experience teaching painting and drawing at university and adult education level, and she loves to share her enthusiasm for painting. This is her first workshop in Santa Cruz. www.seanamallen.com

  • Level: All
  • Offered: Saturday, April 29 and again on May 13 (A one day workshop offered on two different dates)
  • Time: 10am - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $89
  • Materials Fee: $10 (paid to instructor)
  • Instructor: Seana Mallen, MA
  • Additional Instructions: All materials and lunch are provided.
Register online »

Impressionistic Landscapes - Oil & Acrylic
Donna is coming from Texas again due to the popularity of her class at SCAL. Donna Bland’s style of teaching in Oil & Acrylic is a step by step process. She will illustrate four different processes to complete a painting. After each process she will help each artist to understand and complete the process. Sketch In, Color Mixing, Mass in Local Color, and Finishing. Interpreting your landscape photo into a beautiful painting using color and light. (Painting finished each day) Color value, design/composition and color relationships will be discussed. Individual help at each easel. Demo by Donna on color mixing first day, and Demo on shadow and value second day.

Instructor Donna Bland lives and paints in the Austin, Texas area. She formally studied art at The Student Art League of New York, Scottsdale School of Art, University of Georgia and Tyler Jr. College in Texas. Donna teaches in several cities in Texas, Missouri and North Carolina. Donna is a member of the Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, the American Women in Art (AWA), The Artists of Texas and the Austin Plein AirPainters. Check out her website at www.donnabland.com

  • Level: Beginner and Intermediate
  • Offered: May 20 and 21
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 members
  • Instructor: Donna Bland
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a bag lunch.
Register online »
Click here to download the materials list (pdf, 62 kb)

Small Figure Sculpture in Wax
Working in microcrystalline wax from a live model, the participant will learn how to make a small sculpture, 14 inches or less in height, without any interior armature. The wax can stand alone or be taken to a foundry for casting into bronze.

A workbook will be provided which will include directions for working the wax, and finishing and mounting the bronze. Wax will be provided at a minimum cost. Instructor to provide: Workbook, Microcrystalline (Victory Amber) wax, Sculpture tools.

Richard M. Bennett is a Santa Cruz painter and sculptor. He is the facilitator of Monday Night Drawing, an ongoing figure drawing workshop at the Santa Cruz Art League. dickbennett@baymoon.com

  • Level: All
  • Offered: June 3rd and 4th
  • Time: 11am - 4:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 members
  • Class Fee: $45 model fee (paid to instructor)
  • Instructor: Richard M. Bennett
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch.
Register online »

Expressing the Self Through Stone
Experience the tactile. Carve alabaster. Shape space using the direct carve method. Over one weekend we will rough out, refine, sand, and polish a soft stone. In doing so we will face our apprehensions and release our creativity by irrevocably changing an object that has existed for millions of years and, in moments, hours and days, change it for millions of years to come. In the stone’s stillness, there is great movement. In the sculptor’s hands, there are great possibilities.

Instructor Michael Bashista came late in life to carving stone. He confessed no art talent until discovering the uniqueness of negative space offered by the plasticity of stone. “The essence of sculpture is the perception of space,” to quote Isamu Noguchi. Michael has taught at various Community Colleges over the past 30 years. For the past 3 years his “Stone and Self “workshop has been conducted at the Santa Cruz Zen Center. He annually participates in Santa Cruz County Open Studios and various Art Shows.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: June 10th and 11th
  • Time: 9am - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 members
  • Class Fee: $25 materials fee (paid to instructor)
  • Instructor: Michael Bashista
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch and a pair of leather or cloth gloves (fingers can be exposed). Material Fee of $25 includes one 20-25 lb stone, ear, eye, and breathing protection, and shared used of hand carving tools.
Register online »

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