Introduction to Oils

Have you ever wanted to try oils?  This workshop is for both new artists or experienced artists wishing to try a new medium.  We will look at paint quality,  how to set up your palette, uses of various mediums, brushes & brushwork, and more.   More than just a “Materials & Techniques” demonstration, we will cover composition, color theory and paint paintings.


Instructor: Mac McWilliams is a professional artist and teacher with over 40 years’ experience.  Well-known on the Central Coast, his work is represented in both private and public collections.  An Open Studios artist and a long-time member of the Carmel Art Association.

Making Faces: An Introduction to Portraiture

Faces are endlessly fascinating. And given a few basics, it’s surprisingly easy to draw them.

In this intensive workshop, we will discover the underlying anatomy that we all share as humans.

Then we’ll explore the subtle nuances that make each of us so unique.

We will focus on the capturing a likeness quickly in a portrait sketch, rather than a formal sitting.

Drawing on the “canons of the face”, Betty Edward’s, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”, and my own 30 year experience as a portrait painter, we will weave together several very different approaches to drawing and painting the wonderful human face.

I can’t  guarantee that you will be a brilliant portrait painter by the end of the workshop, but you WILL have a clear understanding of human facial proportions, you’ll have drawn a convincing portrait of a person of your choice, you’ll have learned a few secrets and tricks of the trade, and have taken the first steps on a path that may become a lifelong obsession.

The drawings below have all been made in my sketchbook, at concerts and in cafes, and the people were NOT holding still!


Seana has an MA in Drawing as Process, and has drawn and painted humans (and dogs…) all her life, both as a professional portrait painter for many years, and in life drawing sessions for decades. She has taught in adult education and at university level for over 25 years, and loves to share her experience and enthusiasm for the human form.

Materials As Metaphor (Acrylics)

A one-day Golden Paints workshop featuring three separate projects:
Wild Water
Using watercolor paper and plenty of water, plunge into the flow and enjoy the voyage. Experience effects of Golden High Flow and Golden Fluid Acrylics. Wet into wet with water leading the way.
Deep Ravine
Now on board (acid free backing board), learn how to add depth, texture and interesting dimension. Golden Heavy Body Acrylics will help you scramble down the gulch, scale the shale, scratch at the edges, shimmer at the shore and explore the heady world of rough Golden Gels. Pumice gel, Glass bead gel and more.
Forging the Stream
A Fierce offering.
Formulate a theme, a symbol, something simple, an emblem and then some. A synthesis on canvas. Blending and layering and delaying and engaging. Then selecting and eliminating and refining and highlighting.
Please bring two or more canvases 16 x 20 or larger. All other materials are provided, but you may bring brushes and tools of your choice.
Judy Gittelsohn has been painting in the Bay Area for over 30 years. She exhibits widely and her work is collected around the world.  Judy is a Golden Paints Certified Working Artist, educating artists about the vast variety of Golden products and their uses.

Flower Power Workshop


Welcome blooming artists to this floral themed painting workshop taught by Carrie Clayden. Carrie is excited to be teaching her first weekend workshop teaching her favorite theme: Flowers! I encourage you to bring 3-5 canvases (minimum) and expect to leave with many finished paintings! I will demo how to build layers, use our hands for flowers and stabilo pencils for stems. We will dance and play listening to Carrie’s awesome playlist, and break for a delicious lunch. I thought it would be fun to have a potluck, everyone sharing their favorite dish. This experience is always a gift to yourself and your art. Everyone leaves happy and with paintings they can hang in their home. You receive valuable techniques you can implement into your art process while having FUN making art. What could be better?



Instructor: Carrie Clayden is a professional artist and teacher. Carrie graduated from UCSC in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Fine Art in 1995. Her studio is at 17th Avenue and her work can be found on her website



Paint Like the Old Dutch Masters With Acrylics

This class is designed to help you take acrylic painting to the next level. Through a mixture of demos, hands-on painting sessions from photos or still life, you will learn Wayne Jiang’s unique acrylic glazing and layering techniques to paint like the old Dutch masters. You’ll also learn how to create rich tones with a limited color palette. Topics and exercises include: layering in glazes, combining opaque and transparent painting, best practices for planning and preparation, preparing surfaces for acrylic, and how to use photo references correctly.


About the instructor:

Wayne Jiang is an acrylic realist painter. Combining the aesthetic of 17th century Baroque paintings and the composition of modern documentary photography, his works have been described as the contemporary interpretations of Van Eyck, Vermeer, and Hopper. His work has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries such as the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Triton Museum, Crocker Museum, Sanchez Art Center, History San José, and Solomon Dubnick Gallery.

To see Wayne’s art works go to

Wayne specializes in teaching acrylic. He has 25 years experience working with acrylic and 10 years teaching with the medium. He teaches artists with diverse skill levels: from someone who has never painted to professional artists who want to refine their acrylic technique or learn a new medium


Spontaneous Watercolor

Want to have fun painting watercolor with freedom and ease? You will learn to paint fast and free.

If you:

–     have no previous watercolor painting instruction
–     would like to be able to paint watercolors stress free
–     tried watercolor painting and got discouraged
–     think that you don’t have any talent
–     haven’t painted for a while and would like to get started again

This workshop will provide a sequence of easy exercises designed to save you months of trial and error frustration. Capitalizing on the spontaneous characteristic of watercolor a sequence of easy exercises are designed to give you the confidence to continue on your own. During this day you will:

–     Learn the one big secret of spontaneous watercolor painting
–     Have fun painting creative and spontaneous watercolor exercises
–     Paint abstract watercolors for gifts or greeting cards
–     Learn all the brush techniques for painting people, skies, and landscape subjects
–     Learn simple color theory for mixing color values
–     Lay a foundation of skills so that you can continue to paint spontaneous WC.

Watercolor painting will be explained and demonstrated on this day of hands-on exercises designed for fun. This one workshop will save you months of trail and error frustration so that watercolor painting will delight and fascinate you for years to come. No matter what your skill or background, this class will have you painting watercolors and loving it. Spontaneous watercolor will delight and entertain you for years to come.



Instructor:  Robert Regis Dvorák has been making drawing and painting fun and easy to learn for the last 35 years. He has authored and illustrated a number of books on drawing and watercolor painting subjects:  Travel Drawing and Painting, Drawing without Fear, Experiential Drawing, The Practice of Drawing as Meditation and The Pocket Drawing Book.


Experimental Approaches to the Human Form

Using a wide variety of traditional and unusual materials, (sponges, sticks and fingertips among them), we will look at the human figure from the inside out, attempting to capture the spirit and movement of the form, as well as the underlying anatomical structure.
This is a fun, dynamic and exciting approach for artists at all levels.
It’s a great introduction for beginners , and an excellent way for more experienced artists to loosen up and rejuvenate their practice.
Seana has an MA in Drawing as Process, and has drawn and painted humans (and dogs…) all her life, both as a professional portrait painter for many years, and in life drawing sessions for decades. She has taught in adult education and at university level for over 25 years, and loves to share her experience and enthusiasm for the human form.

Introduction to Gouache – 2nd Class

Gouache is an overlooked watercolor medium that has amazing versatility and can transcend the boundaries of many other mediums. It can wash like watercolor, blend like an opaque oil, and dry brush like acrylic. Best of all it sidesteps the need to plan and reserve whites as in watercolor. It’s water soluble nature allows for tremendous travel capability and setup ease and cleanup. Since it’s dry time is fast, as in watercolor, you can paint, mat, frame and hang in a day.

This introduction to gouache will cover it’s many strengths, from reintroducing lights (highlights) and delicious velvety matte finish, to intensely rich pigments and luscious handling.

Cynthia Armstrong holds a graduate degree from UC Santa Cruz in Science Illustration and a Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University. She has been a freelance illustrator and artist for over 20 years, and a teacher for the past 15 years. Cynthia, as a published illustrator, has traveled and journaled extensively throughout her career.

Holiday Watercolor Workshop

Illustrator Cynthia Armstrong will guide you through this 5 1/2 hour workshop in which you will learn the basics of watercolor painting, experiment with different application techniques and tools, and create your own holiday work of art. Projects include cards, gift tags, bookmarks or a holiday themed work of art suitable for framing.

The workshop will feature an introduction and hands-on tutorial of basic techniques (wet on wet, dry on wet, etc.) as well as an introduction to alternative application tools and techniques.


Cynthia will provide a color mixing tutorial, focused specifically on “holiday colors” so you can learn how to mix the saturated reds of poinsettias and holly, or the deep greens from pine trees and wreaths.

Finally you’ll get to work on your final piece, either working from your own inspiration or using one of the pre-prepared design outlines provided by Cynthia. Cynthia will work with everyone to help them achieve their best result.

Pastel Portraits

This one-day intensive pastel portraiture workshop will concentrate on realistsic modeling of forms with warms and cools, lights and darks, layering techniques and studying the proportions of the human head.






Mac returns to the Santa Cruz Art League with over 30 years of teaching experience in a variety of mediums.  In addition to teaching at UCSC , he has also taught Plein Air, Figure/Life Drawing & Portraiture classes in Carmel and Pacific Grove and is part of the Art Faculty at Notre Dame High School in Salinas.  His artwork has been displayed at many galleries and he has been an Open Studios artist for the past 16 years.  Welcome back Mac!