Past Workshops

Botanical Basics in Mixed Media

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Erin Hunter

Offered: One afternoon workshop - 06/16/18 1 - 4pm

Fee: $60 for this afternoon workshop

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” —Claude Monet

Flowers have inspired artists, from ancient Egyptians, to Dutch still life masters, to the Impressionists—and botanical art programs still thrive in today’s world. If you’re intrigued by the idea of drawing and painting flowers, then this class is for you—whether you’re an avid gardener who’s new to art, a seasoned painter who wants to learn more about plants, or a newbie to both botany and art. Artist and illustrator Erin E. Hunter will guide this afternoon class as students learn some basics of floral anatomy, sketching and watercolor techniques, and mixed media applications.

Farmer’s Market Workshop (Acrylics)

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Cher Roberts

Offered: Saturday Morning Workshop - 06/09/18 9.30am - 12.00pm

Fee: $45.00 - one price for this class

Roll up your sleeves and have fun learning basic techniques of acrylic painting.  We will create a series of small paintings of items found at the farmer’s market.  Focus will be on materials, color, light, shape and line.  No experience is necessary.  I will paint along with you demonstrating each step of the process and eliminating “painting anxiety”.  You will create a series of contemporary paintings worthy of framing.  Bring a smock or apron and your sense of adventure!

Botanical Watercolor & Ink

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Constance Chandlee

Offered: One-day workshop, Saturday May 26th 10:00am - 4.00pm

Fee: $89.00

Are you interested in learning to paint with watercolor and ink?   Creating a beautiful botanical painting using these two different mediums can be easy and fun!  In this one-day workshop you will learn how to use ink to establish this wonderful sunflower painting and then add watercolor to the inside & outside of the design.   For those who may finish their painting before the end of class, I will have additional botanical samples to paint & practice this technique.

Instructor: Constance Chandlee.   In addition to her ink & watercolor work, she also specializes in Watercolor Dog Portraits and has  raised funds for numerous animal non-profits and local non-profit communities.  She is author and illustrator of her book, “The Dogs’ Path of Life” with words of wisdom to live by for the whole family.

Painting on Aqua Board & Water Media Canvas

Levels: This workshop is suitable for all levels and styles of painting.

Instructor: Linda Curtis

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 05/19/18 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00 - one price for this class

This workshop is designed to help jump start your creativity. You will learn how to paint with more drama, distance, and visual excitement by combining water media on the same surface. Also, by adding complementary under- painting you can create optic vibration.  An added plus is that you can save money by creating watercolor paintings (and other water media) that won’t need matting, glazing or framing.


Instructor:  Linda Curtis has a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art.  She is a Signature Member of the California Watercolor Association (CWA) and the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP), and an Open Studios artist. Her work is included in the book, Painting in Acrylics by Lorena Kloostervoer. Linda’s water media works have been accepted into numerous statewide, national and international exhibits. She’s been delightedly teaching watercolor on cruise ships sailing around the world, and has done workshops and demonstrations for Bay Area art associations.  She is an enthusiastic instructor and painter.  Please visit her website at:

Pastel for the Enthusiastic Beginner: Getting Started with Soft Pastels

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Erika Perloff

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 04/07/18 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price $89

Come get immersed in the world of soft pastels. In this one day intensive class you will learn the basics of working with this vibrant, forgiving and addictive medium.
We’ll discuss choosing pastels, pastel surfaces, color mixing, layering, mark making, underpainting, value and color harmony. We’ll do a variety of short exercises and some longer studies, preparing you to paint on your own. No previous pastel experience necessary.

Creative Watercolor Methods and Techniques

Levels: All, but some watercolor experience is recommended

Instructor: Robert Dvorak

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 03/24/18 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price $89.00

This class is for people who like to paint watercolors or who would like to get back to painting. This easy one-day workshop will teach you new ways to create beautiful watercolor paintings.  You will learn:

  • new ways to experiment with watercolor
  • a variety of secrets for creating skies, trees, rocks, and water
  • over twenty-five techniques to create patterns and textures including resists, brush techniques, and alternatives to the brush
  • the correct use of sprays and spatters to create colorful textures
  • when and how to use color, gray, black, and opaque white
  • how to create new ideas for paintings

You will watch step-by-step painting demonstrations, try them, and come away from the class with many new and easy techniques for painting in watercolor.  If you have had some previous watercolor painting experience with Robert, on your own, or in some other class, you will find this workshop will open you up to many new and exciting ways to paint

This class is limited to 16 students.


TEXTURE: Get the Feel of it!

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Janet Trenchard

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 03/17/18 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price $89

Learn how to get that highly textured surface using common and uncommon materials!  A highly textured surface evokes the elements of earth and appeals to our sense of touch.  Let’s explore new ways to create textured surfaces and interact with them with sepia washes, scumbling, sanding and more!

Image Transfer Workshop

Levels: All

Instructor: Karuna Gutowski

Offered: One Day-Saturday only: March 3, 2018 10am-4pm

Fee: $89.00 One Price. Not a member yet?

Image Transfer with Acrylic Medium

Image transfer is a process of embedding a laser photocopied image, into an acrylic medium and then removing the paper. The result is a translucent image that reveals the painted surface underneath the image.

In this one day 6-hour workshop you will learn:

  • the difference between collage and image transfer and when one, or the other is most appropriate in your work
  • Using the laser photocopier as a creative tool
  • how to make a positive image transfer, using soft gel gloss
  • How to use contact paper or packing tape to make an image transfer from anything printed on paper
  • how to make a reverse image transfer onto a surface using acrylic medium
  • no toxic materials will be used in this workshop

We will be working with acrylic mediums on smooth wood surfaces. Bring your favorite images, already photocopied or the photocopier at the SCAL will be available copies. Images must be laser photocopied, NOT ink jet printed.

This is a fun, exploratory, and experimental workshop, leave your inner critic at home.

Karuna Gutowski is a nature inspired abstract painter. She holds a BA in studio art and psychology from Vermont College. A former textile artist, she has studied painting with Nyoto Nawagawa, Michelle Cassou and Nicholas Wilton and was a studio assistant to Peter Collingwood in the U.K.  She was on the faculty at the Putney School, and has taught many weeklong workshops.

She currently has her art studio in Santa Cruz and her work can be found at, on Instagram: Karuna_studioartist, or Facebook: Karuna Gutowski Artist.

Rumi, Creativity and Your Life as An Artist

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Fereshteh Fatemi

Offered: Feb. 24th & 25th, 2018 10am - 4pm

Fee: $160 / $140 members

This two-day workshop offers a unique experience designed to awaken your creative process, connect you to your heart, and uplift your spirit. The work is based on the beautiful and inspiring poetry of Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, scholar, and mystic. We will read and explore some of Rumi’s poems, which offer both illuminations in their own right, and passages that we can use as directives for a reconsideration of our lives and ongoing work. Each poem will be a prelude to creating a collage or mandala. The art we imagine under Rumi’s influence is both meditative and healing, and revelatory. With each of these exercises, we will deepen our self-understanding and offer ourselves new paths to self-discovery. This process of reading, art, and conversation can be a life-changing experience that will also be two days of fun.

Fereshteh Fatemi is a Soul-Centered coach with a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Spiritual Psychology. She studied Rumi for 11 years in Farsi, her native language.

Bring your lunch!

Materials for collage and basic materials for mandalas will be provided.  If you have any favorite coloring media for mandalas, bring those with you.

Drawing on your iPhone

Levels: All

Instructor: Audrey Takeshta

Offered: February 17th, One day, Saturday 10am-4pm

Fee: $89 one price for this class. Thinking about SCAL membership?

Did you know you can draw/paint/sketch with the realistic look and feel of traditional media with your iPhone? Impossible? But it is possible!
Ever have that spark of ideas and there’s no pen/paper in sight? Now, just pull out your phone and you have the perfect surface to start drawing.

We will be using an application called “Procreate Pocket” and it is only $2.99 (from your App Store on your iPhone).
•This Class requires your iPhone (not iPad) to be running iOS 9.1, 10, or 11+

We’ll start with learning the basic drawing tools and work our way towards “layering” and other fun features.

This workshop is limited to 10 students so sign up today!

Materials Required:
• Your iPhone with Procreate Pocket loaded
• Please bring your cable charger for your iPhone
• Reading glasses (optional)
• Stylus pen (optional but will give free one if someone needs it)
• Bring your lunch or snacks

*Sorry, we will not be covering other “Smart” phones, iPads
and/or iPhone trouble-shooting 😉 

Audrey Takeshta has formally studied art at San Francisco City College, SF Art Academy, UCSC Extensions and San Jose State University, where she received her degrees in Graphic Design/Illustration & Advertising.

Audrey has worked at various small advertising and graphic design studios in the Bay Area. During the past 25+ years, she has also worked at many high-tech companies, including Oracle, Fujitsu, Adobe, PayPal and VMware. She is currently employed as Marketing Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Art League. You can see more of Audrey’s work at: or Instagram: drawing4kyoko

*1 min. video-not true to size. Click on the bottom right icon for full screen mode. Music by Julie Maxwell.

Introduction to Head Drawing

Levels: All

Instructor: Daniel Asturias

Offered: Saturday, January 20th, 2018 10am-4pm

Fee: $89.00. Not a member yet?

I studied figurative and portrait art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and I have many collectors of my work in Northern and Southern California, Oregon, and Florida.  I focus on a value drawing approach to figurative and portrait drawing,  with little reliance on the line to describe the figure.  This was a popular and successful course at the community college where I taught as an adjunct professor.

This 6-hour workshop will introduce you to the principles of Chiaroscuro (value drawing) using recommended materials and applying them to the drawing of the Head. We will review the proportions and the principles of drawing the head following a step by step process to render the play of light and shadow on the head and facial features, it will be lit predominantly by a single source of light.

The first three hours will be devoted to a demonstration of the principles used to draw the head.  You’ll be given an opportunity to apply these principles to the drawing of a life size bust of the head.

In the afternoon you will again draw the head, using a live clothed model.

This 6-hour workshop is designed to provide you with enough information and techniques to incorporate them into your own drawing experiences.  These techniques would also prepare you for possible future studio courses for students interested in a more advanced approach to drawing the clothed figure……more to come!

Beginning Silk Painting Class: January-One Day

Levels: All

Instructor: Debra Dolsberry

Offered: January 13th, 2018 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

Wrap yourself in an explosion of color you create in this silk painting workshop. No prior art experience is necessary. Students learn basic color theory by mixing magenta, yellow, blue, and black dyes both off and on the silk. Create an abstract design with dye flowing freely on the silk or use water based resist to draw a design. You learn how to create texture with water, salt, and alcohol. A materials fee of $45 includes everything you need to paint one14 x 72 silk satin scarf with additional scarves available for $15 each. Most students create 2 scarves – one free flowing and one simple motif, though artists with experience in other mediums might paint only one more complex design.

Debra Dolsberry delights in introducing students to the joys of painting on silk. Her workshops have
been enthusiastically received in Kailua Kona, Park City, Mendocino, Vancouver, and Aptos. Her advanced workshops are tailored to silk artists who create textiles for garments and most recently her article “Dressing the Curves: Bias Cut Garments” was published in the Silk Painter’s International periodical Silkworm. She will be the Artist in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center from March through May of 2018.

The Figure In Clay- Cynthia Siegel

Levels: All

Instructor: Cynthia Siegel

Offered: One Day-Saturday only: Dec. 9, 2017 10am-4pm

Fee: $89 one price for this class. Thinking about SCAL membership?

Explore the expressive potential of sculpting the figure in clay! Students will work primarily from live models and their imaginations, but may also reference historical and contemporary figurative work. Projects can include portrait busts, small figures, body fragments, and fantastic alterations of the figure. This one-day workshop will focus on working in solid clay, and will begin with our preparation of an armature (support structure) and a discussion of human anatomy and proportion. During our session with the live art model, your instructor will offer feedback, sculpting tips, and mini-demonstrations. The workshop concludes with special instructions for finishing your sculpture at home, including techniques for hollowing out your sculpture and recommendations for surface finishes. Local ceramic supplier, Phoenix Ceramics, has kiln services available for students wishing to fire their sculptures. All skills levels are welcome! Please bring a lunch, drink, and/or snacks.

Award-winning sculptor, potter and 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India, Cynthia Siegel exhibits her work internationally, receiving awards at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale.  Ms. Siegel has presented lectures and workshops in India, Israel, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, and the U.S. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA degree is from San Jose State University. Ms. Siegel lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA, and currently teaches at Cabrillo College.

Painting a Luminescent Floral and Dynamic Loose Landscapes-JoNeal Boic

Levels: Intermediate

Instructor: Jo Neal Boic

Offered: October 28 & 29 9-3:30

Fee: $160 / $140 with member discount

This weekend we will learn how to create luminosity and more interest by layering transparent color. For this reason we will use, primarily, a transparent palette. In between waiting for layers to dry on our floral, we will break free and paint exciting colorful landscapes! This class is designed for the intermediate student who has the basic techniques of watercolor already under their belt; wet into wet, glazing/layering, and washes. Offered: October 28 & 29th, 9 – 3:30 pm, Fees: $160 / $140. Instructor: Jo Neal Boic has been a teacher for more than 40 years and she has been painting and teaching watercolor for 29 of those. She loves to teach and believes that all students are capable of learning to draw and paint in whatever medium they choose. She fancies a variety of subjects but is particularly drawn to nature.

Mastering the White Paper in Watercolor-Robert Dvorak

Levels: All

Instructor: Robert Regis Dvořák

Offered: Saturday, Sept 30, 2017 (One Day) 10-4pm

Fee: $160 / $140 with member discount

Follow in the footsteps of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer as you learn, through a series of carefully crafted exercises, how to make your watercolors come alive with light and color. The transparency of watercolor demands that you work from white to dark and from large shapes to small. You will learn that where we put color is just as important as where we leave the paper clean and white. Enhance your color shapes with white paper–dark against light to create luminosity, use lost and found color edges to add mystery and space. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painter, you will benefit from this workshop. Mastering the white paper is one of the most important skills in watercolor painting. Offered: Saturday, Sept 30, 2017, 10-4pm, Fee $89.  Instructor: Robert Regis Dvořák is an artist and professional speaker who presents workshops and keynotes on drawing, watercolor and creative thinking education and business.  He is the author of four books on drawing including The Practice of Drawing as Meditation.  His latest book is Travel Drawing and Painting.