Past Workshops

Sunday Workshop: How to Paint Clouds

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Toaa Dallo

Offered: One Sunday Workshop, June 4th 2:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $80

This fun one-day painting session is for everyone. Beginners are welcome, and more advanced painters will increase their skills. You can use acrylics, oils, watercolors, pastels — whatever you like. Toaa will provide several great Cloudscapes for you to choose from, or you can bring your own.

Cloud scenes are a great lesson in color theory, temperature, value, and contrast. We will explore key issues of painting and art-making, including composition, brushwork, style, and storytelling — with an emphasis on fun.

Toaa will be painting along with the group, demonstrating and explaining methods and techniques. And everyone will receive individual attention and guidance. Students will focus on one or two paintings, and everyone will be invited to share their work with the group for friendly feedback.




Meet the Instructor:

Toaa Dallo has offered classes and intensive workshops at his Santa Cruz Art Studios since 1994 and has also given numerous lectures and demonstrations for art clubs and organizations. In 2012 he began teaching classes and all-day workshops at Palace Art in Capitola, where he has worked with thousands of students of all ages, interests, and needs. Toaa’s work is included in many private and corporate collections and has been seen in art shows and galleries principally in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Plein Air on the Santa Cruz Wharf

Levels: Intermediate and Experienced Painters

Instructor: Barbara Bailey Porter

Offered: Friday October 14 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Warf

Fee: $65

This class meets towards the end of the wharf across from Stagnaro’s deli window. Barbara will paint along with students as demonstrations are needed. There is a variety of subject matter to choose from. Color mixing, paint application, composition, brush control, value choices, and much more will be discussed. This class is for those that have some painting experience.


Meet the 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.

ON SITE Art of Pillow-Making, African style

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Donna Thompson

Offered: 2 Saturdays, March 12 & 19 12-4pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $125

In this workshop you will create  a unique patterned cloth  inspired by the Yoruba people, Nigeria, West Aftrica.  The process uses a starch resist technique and tie dying.

The class will  introduce the dyeing technique of Adire Elecko  ( hand painted with indigo dye) In the class we will use a contemporary dyeing agent instead of the traditional indigo. To complete the fabric for the pillow, Adire Oniko cloth (term for tie dyed fabric) will be used for the back.

The Adire Eleko cloth is a personal piece of art.  It represents the artist and their family through the creation of patterns using symbolic and geometric designs.

Step by step instructions on the design aspect will start the class followed by the resist process, think batik with no heat.  First session will make the design and paint the resist. Second session will be dye painting on the resist fabric and  tie dye for the pillow back.  We will also be able to sew the pillow and stuff it.  When you finish the workshop you will take a special, meaningful piece of art that your created home!

Workshop is designed for all, no prior experience necessary.

Donna Thompson is a professional art educator and practicing artist, with twenty five years teaching art with an emphasis on world culture.

(ON SITE) Creative Concertina Sketchbook

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: Saturday February 19th & Sunday February 20th From 1-5pm

Location: Seana Mallen

Fee: $150 non-members

A joyful 2- day workshop creating a vibrant mixed-media concertina sketchbook. Learn to face the blank page with enthusiasm and gusto, working quickly and freely.
Inspired by the Landscape and the garden, we’ll  use  all sorts of mixed media techniques, ink, paint,  pencil, pen, acrylic,watercolour,  rubbings,  gelli-printing and collage to freely fill page after page to create a  concertina sketchbook.
Class will be limited to 8 people – small class size with lots of one on one tutoring!
At full stretch, the concertina is 8 inches high and over 15 feet long! 
This exciting format invites experimentation and letting your imagination run free. 
Starting with a loose and abstract background, you’ll  learn:
  • Loads of exciting ways to make marks and mix colour.
  • That you don’t have to be a great draughtsman, or even draw at all!
  • How to make botanical gelli prints and incorporate them into your design
  • How to transform 15 feet of blank paper into your own garden song!
$150 includes:
 an A5 concertina sketchbook  & a set of anilinky brilliant watercolors for you to keep and all the materials for gelli-printing, and loads of other fun stuff to use and share.
Materials List:
pencil, pens, white acrylic,  a couple of favourite colours of acrylic, watercolours and brush, india ink, masking tape,
anything you love to use!
-Posca pens, graphite, other acrylics, oil pastels,watercolour pencils or blocks,
-Collage materials  in an A4 envelope, maybe sheet music, maps, stamps, book pages, menus, newspapers, wrapping paper… (Just don’t go too crazy, space is generous but still limited!)
To see more of my work, please visit @seanamallen on Instagram, or my website,

(ON SITE) Gelli-Printing and mixed-media Collage on Canvas

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: Saturday January 29 & Sunday January 30th 1-5pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $150 non-members

Indulge yourself with a fun, beautiful & creative weekend! 
Day one: Gelli-printing and Watercolor: creating our materials
Inspired by the garden, we gather and create our materials from scratch ,  first working collaboratively to watercolour the tissue paper that will become layers of colour and light   and then individually gelli-printing directly from grasses and foliage to make evocative impressions for collage. NO drawing necessary! (Unless you want to, of course!)
Day two: Collage and acrylic on canvas
With all the beautiful sheets of colored tissue and array of botanical prints  ready, today we will play and experiment with compositions and combinations, layering the tissues and prints into your personal interpretations, your visual poems and songs that capture your response to the gardens.
Class limited to 8 students due to classroom space.
Materials fee: $20 includes
All the materials for the gelli printing. 
All tissues, glues and mediums
1  20cm x 50 box canvas.
When you enroll, I’ll send you a short materials list, and optional list of things that could personalise and enhance your artwork, but all you really need to bring  are watercolours, a few acrylics, an open mind and an enthusiasm to play!
Seana Mallen is an internationally acclaimed artist who loves to share her passion for  print-making, watercolour and generally playing with paint.
She has exhibited her work in galleries from California to the Middle East, including the Royal Academy. She has over 30 years teaching experience at university and adult education level. Her favourite thing in life, along with painting, is watching her students blossom and thrive.
To see more of her work and read students’ testimonials, please visit her website,,
 or find her on instagram @seanamallen
 and feel free to get in touch with  her there  or by email at if you have any questions.

(ON SITE) Creative Acrylic Painting

Levels: Beginners and Intermediate

Instructor: Heejin Lee

Offered: One Saturday session, August 28, 2021 1:30-4pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Participants will enjoy a class where they will be introduced to basic techniques, experiment with the acrylic medium, and create an art piece in their own unique style!

In this class you will learn:
1. How to use acrylic paint and how to use water to make it as thick as oil painting or as thin as watercolor.
2. The advantages of working with acrylic paint
3.To play with Acrylic paints

Materials list:

  1. 2 canvases 16×20 (additional bigger and smaller size canvases are optional )
  2. Optional: 3 pieces of Acrylic or mixed media paper 11×14
  3.  Palette knives, brushes, palette or palette paper
  4. Acrylic paint – unlimited palette (the more colors the better! Bring what you have, or colors you like)
  5. Permanent and/or water-soluble markers, pens

Heejin Lee is based at the Tannery Arts Center and has an undergrad in Fine Arts, graduate work in Art History, and an Art Education certificate. Originally from Korea, Heejin fell in love with art as a kid and has since cultivated a lifelong life passion for creating deeply expressive paintings and teaching others how to do the same. Heejin enjoys to share art experiences with others: it’s satisfying to her to encourage and inspire people in their creative experiences.

(ONSITE) Painting Abstract Watercolors

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Robert Regis Dvorák

Offered: One day workshop, Sunday, 8/15/21 10am-4:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $150.00

Have fun creating rich, colorful, abstract paintings. In this creative workshop you will learn the most important criteria for any successful painting. This could be the most valuable watercolor workshop you will ever take. It will make you see all your painting endeavors as abstract compositions, full of energy, drama, light, and color. Using a variety of creative watercolor techniques you will paint beautiful abstract paintings. You will learn:
  • how to create new ideas for paintings
  • exciting ways to experiment with watercolor
  • a variety of composition secrets
  • how to exaggerate your colors
  • how to create drama
  • masking, brush techniques, and alternatives to the brush
  • the correct use of sprays and spatters to create colorful textures.
You will watch step-by-step painting demonstrations, try them, and come away from the class with many new ways to create your own abstract watercolor paintings. Beginning students as well as those with previous watercolor instruction will find this class new, valuable and exciting with more content in one day than you have experienced before.
With a series of easy exercises you will paint beautiful abstract paintings. Painting in watercolor is easy when you trust your ability to create and find opportunities for personal discovery, expression, and invention. In a relaxed safe painting environment you will learn to use your imagination to deliberately paint abstract watercolors.
Bring your watercolor painting materials.  A materials fee of $15 will be collected when you register for the workshop for your watercolor paper, a mouth atomizer, a color handout, and other materials to be supplied.  Bring a cotton rag and a water-container to class.
Binder clips—at least two medium size to hold watercolor paper steady.
A 9” x 12” backing board. I will have some for those who don’t have them.
Brushes–Watercolor brushes–recommend a small round and a large round and a large flat (A number 10 or 12 or a Chinese calligraphy brush. I will have some of these for $6)
Hake brush or a flat watercolor brush, 1” or larger. I will have these also for $4.
Two HB No. 2 yellow pencils that are sharp.
All your watercolor supplies
Watercolor palette filled with watercolor paint.  Ready to paint. Bring the colors you like to use.
Rag–absorbent cotton to control the amount of water on your brush. Don’t use a tissue for this.
Spray bottle for misting water onto a painting
Tissues for lightening colors or removing paint from the paper. Don’t use your rag for this.
Tooth brush for spattering paint
Water bottle for drinking.
Water container for painting—wide top with a water tight cover full to the top with water.
Watercolors—Robert will use: Permanent Rose or Quinacridone Rose, Vermilion, Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna, Aureolin or Azo Yellow, Viridian Green or Hookers Green, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue or Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna. You do not have to use the same colors unless you want to. Have your palette ready. Bring colors you like to use.
Watercolor paper not be furnished—have one sheet 22” x 30” 140 lb cold press paper. You will tear the full sheet down to 7.5 x 11 inch sheet sizes.
Working clothes–please don’t wear white unless they are your painting clothes. Watercolor stains clothes.
Suggestions—not required:
Hair Drier–Only if you have one and would be willing to share it with the class.
Brushes–other brushes you might have such as different sizes of Hake brushes or Chinese brushes.
Support local business: purchase class supplies at Lenz Arts.

(LIVE ONLINE) Cityscape Painting With A Palette Knife

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Barbara Bailey-Porter

Offered: Saturday, May 15th 9:30am-12pm


Fee: 45.00

In this workshop you are welcome to use oils or acrylics.
In this Zoom class students will paint a San Francisco cityscape from photographs along with the instructor. The use of a palette knife is encouraged but not required. Instructor will demonstrate each step of painting a cityscape in a loose and painterly style. Perspective,  atmosphere, color, brush strokes, paint application, composition and so much more will be discussed. Barbara ‘s class is guarenteed to be fun and informative.  Students have the opportunity to complete a small colorful painting in oil or acrylic.

(LIVE ONLINE 4YOUTH) Anatomy Sketching in Ink

Levels: Teens & Young Adults, Beginners and Intermediate

Instructor: Malisa Suchanya

Offered: One Saturday session, January 23 2-4pm


Do you feel afraid of drawing in ink? What if you make a mistake? What if the drawing doesn’t turn out the way you wanted? These are all real struggles between experienced and novice artists alike, but there are ways to gain more confidence in drawing. And to acquire that strength, you need to take a plunge!

In this class, you will learn to:

  • Draw with more fluidity and expression
  • Abandon the dated notion of perfection
  • Start a drawing without the fear of starting
  • Draw from observation with more ease

In this hands-on class, all you need is a pen and paper. Of course you can bring in other types of ink media. Brush pens, fountain pens with different kinds of nibs, even brush and ink is acceptable. You will draw from a range of reference images provided by your instructor and practice drawing at different time intervals and build your confidence in drawing quickly and without fear.

This class will help you break out of the fear mentality and to embrace imperfection.

Beginners and more advanced students are welcomed. We will engage with a range of drawing exercises that acts as great practice for all stages.


Canson XL mix media sketchbook, 11” by 14”. Available on Amazon

Sakura Pigma Micron 6 count pen set


Pocket Brush Pen, Buy Local at Lenz Arts  or online if you are not in Santa Cruz County.

Instructor: Malisa Suchanya is an illustrator and teaching artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her love for drawing and painting blossomed when she was a young teenager living in Singapore. She learned to draw by copying and practicing for many years before studying art formally. She has a Bachelors Degree in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters in Art Education from the Academy Of Art University in San Francisco.

(LIVE ONLINE) Saturday Oil Studio: Harbor Scene

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Barbara Bailey-Porter

Offered: One Saturday morning, January 16 9:30am - 12:00pm


Fee: $45.00

Learn how to paint boats in the harbor in this fun and relaxing class. Editing out, atmosphere, color mixing, brush control, value choices, composition and much more will be discussed.  This is a simple, loose, and colorful approach to painting a boats and water with instructor demonstration. Lots of Q&A time. Feedback will be given throughout class time when needed. Students will be able to complete a small painting.  Barbara offers a critique via email after class is complete and students have had time to touch-up their painting.

Barbara Bailey-Porter holds a Masters of Fine Art Degree and is a lifelong oil painter.  She has taught painting at The Academy of Art University, Cabrillo College Extension program, DeAnza College, as well as at Santa Cruz City Schools. Barbara began seriously studying painting at age 17 with, then well-known, local plein air painter/instructor Jon Blanchette. Barbara is 5th generation Santa Cruzan.

(LIVE ONLINE) Oil Painting for Beginners

Levels: Beginners

Instructor: Barbara Bailey Porter

Offered: 2 Saturdays, October 3 and 10 9:30-12:00


Fee: $90.00

This is your opportunity to learn Barbara’s oil painting techniques from beginning to end.  Topics covered will include (but not limited to)  palette organization, color mixing, brush control, value, perspective, atmosphere, composition and so much more.  In the first session Barbara will demonstrate using a still life photograph as reference to learn the basic building blocks of composition, depth, value and color.  In the second class session Barbara will demonstrate again, this time using a landscape photograph.  Students either paint along during class or watch and listen to the demonstration, then paint on their own. Barbara will provide help and feedback during the demo as needed and offers a post-class email critique to all students. This class is guaranteed to be fun!

(LIVE ONLINE) Painting The Landscape With A Palette Knife

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Barbara Bailey Porter

Offered: Saturday, August 22 9:30-12:00


Fee: $45.00

Painting with a palette knife is like sculpting with paint. Students should be prepared to use a lot of paint in a thick, loose, abstracted style, editing out a lot of detail. Atmosphere, color mixing, brush control, value choices, composition and much more will be discussed.  Instructor demonstration and Q&A. Feedback will be give if time permits. Students will be able to complete a small painting.

Barbara Bailey-Porter holds a Masters of Fine Art Degree and is a lifelong oil painter.  She has taught painting at The Academy of Art University, Cabrillo College Extension program, DeAnza College, as well as at Santa Cruz City Schools. Barbara is 5th generation Santa Cruzan and began seriously studying painting at age 17.


(LIVE ONLINE) Draw Anything 5 Ways: Ink Illustrations!

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Hajra Meeks

Offered: One Saturday afternoon, June 6th 12–3pm


The better you can draw and render with a pencil, the better you can with your paint. So, enhance your drawing skills 5 different ways and with 5 different ink illustrations via freehand, grids, proportional division, guided draw, and stacked sketching. Plus, learn about master illustrators J. Tenniel, R. Bull, & C. D. Gibson while drawing a Gibson Girl, Bull Castle, & Tenniel characters in this fun, info-dense class! So park your brushes here and let the epic drawing adventures begin! Suitable for beginning to advanced artists. Students download the syllabus pdf for sketch refs and class supplies (& prep a grid in advance).

How do LIVE ONLINE classes work?

  • Taught through YouTube Livestream–students just need a phone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection to watch live.
  • The morning of the class, Hajra will email a private YouTube livestream link to all students enrolled (who will have their supplies and refs prepped at home in advance).
  • Students click the livestream link to access live class and wait till 12 NOON PST for the class to go live online.
  • Students will follow along with Hajra and have live Q&A via Youtube chat box–you do need a Youtube/Google/gmail account to type live, real-time questions/comments during the livestream.
  • Enjoy and learn!
  • After class, students are also welcome to email Hajra questions or images of their work for feedback.
  • private video of the class will be available shortly after the livestream to rewatch for students who signed up with free gmail/google/YouTube email accounts.

(LIVE ONLINE) Colored Pencil Workshop

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Laurel Bushman

Offered: Two sessions, Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 2:00-4:00pm


Fee: $99.00 - one price

Colored pencil is a versatile medium that is portable, inexpensive and great for mixing with other media from watercolor to marker. A huge variety of styles are achievable with colored pencil, from detailed realism to painterly abstraction. We’ll work with layering techniques, proper use of materials, effects of different paper, and so much more!

This is an excellent class for water colorists and mixed media artists, as well as colored pencil lovers and people wanting to expand into color drawing. We’ll practice layering over marker or watercolor, sketching directly with colored pencils, and learn transfer techniques to create artwork by using photos. Students will need to bring reference photos to work from to create an artwork during the workshop. Alternative materials will be available for students to experiment for a materials fee of $5.00.



Laurel Bushman is a Santa Cruz based artist whose love for drawing began as a teenager when she first encountered figurative realism. As a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Laurel studied painting, drawing and art history. Using her understanding of foundational drawing techniques has allowed Laurel to express her ideas across multiple platforms, including painting, murals and more recently, caricaturing. Laurel’s teaching philosophy is one of openness to innovative ideas. Both she art and her teaching are fueled by inspiration from a broad spectrum of influences, while being fundamentally rooted in the fine art tradition.

POSTPONED Building Blocks of Scratch Board

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Logan Parsons

Offered: 2 Saturday mornings, 5/16/20 & 5/23/20 10:30am-1:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $99.00, one price

In this two day workshop, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of scratchboard such as, what it is, how to make marks on the scratchboard, and how to develop a vocabulary of patterns and mark-making. We will explore how to create gray values, contrasts, and atmospheric perspective. Students of all levels are encouraged to attend as this will be a chance to focus on honing your skills as well as working towards a finished piece of scratchboard art. At the end of the workshop, students will leave with the confidence and “tool box” of skills to continue exploring scratchboard on their own.

All materials will be provided to students for a materials fee of $15.00 due at the beginning of class



Logan Parsons is a freelance artist and illustrator living in Santa Cruz. She graduated from the Science Illustration program at UCSC in 2007, and since then has been creating illustrations focused on science and nature while also working as a seasonal park ranger, environmental educator, and high school art teacher. She loves teaching all ages, and is excited to share her knowledge and experience with