Past Workshops

(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

(LIVE ONLINE) Brunaille Value Underpainting: Mucha Regency Lady

Levels: All levels

Instructor: Hajra Meeks

Offered: Saturday, May 16, 2020 12pm-3pm


Fee: $35

Learn the historical grisaille value underpainting method, while also developing wet-in-wet, wet-on-dry, and glazing painting techniques in this info-dense class. Continue to a more advanced project with an Alphonse Mucha Regency lady study in a complementary color scheme over a Brunaille underpainting. So park your brushes here and discover the Value of Grisaille, an amazing Old Master’s technique that will enhance your rendering in any glazing medium! Suitable for beginning to advanced artists. Students can download the materials list and image refs to prep sketch in advance.

How does it work?

  1. This Class is taught through YouTube Livestream–you do not need a Youtube/Google/gmail account to watch it live (just a phone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection).
  2. Before class starts, students will set up their work areas comfortably at home in front of their device.
  3. At 11:30 am, Hajra will email a private YouTube livestream link to all students enrolled.
  4. Students click the provided link to be connected to the live workshop and wait till 12 NOON PST for the class to go live online.
  5. 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 and/or comments during the livestream.
  6. Enjoy and learn!
  7. After class, students are welcome to email Hajra images of their work and/or ask questions to receive feedback via email!

Hajra Meeks is an Author-Illustrator, fine artist, and Lecturer from the Bay Area. She has a BSc in Physics from the Univ. of San Francisco, an MSc in International History from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and a Picture Book Certificate from the MA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was a Lecturer in Art History, International History, and Calculus at UC Merced for 4 years, and has taught watercolor, gouache, and ink in-person and online for a decade. Her Youtube channel currently has 1.5 million views, her art has been in exhibitions in Union City, Mariposa, Vermont, Santa Clara, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Merced (where it was viewed by First Lady Michelle Obama), and she had a successfully funded online Kickstarter campaign for an environmentalist picture book about the real wolf OR-7. She also collaborates on digital, interactive Data Visualization projects that combine art and information. Currently, she’s teaching at SCAL, SCMNH, and via Patreon. You can learn more about her artwork and instruction at 

Seascape Painting in Acrylic or Oil

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Maggie Renner Hellmann

Offered: One Saturday afternoon, 5/9/20 12:30pm-4:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $89.00 - one price

In this Seascape painting class, Maggie will help each individual student elevate their own understanding of color and it’s dominate and supportive usage in creating an exciting composition.

• Learn how to understand water and waves in form, color temperature and value.

• Learn how to keep colors clean and fresh.

• Learn about focal points, composition, value, perspective, shapes and volumes, color, and edges.

• Learn how to use various color contrasts to push and pull compositional elements within a painting.

We will paint using personal or teacher supplied photos as reference. Maggie will guide you through the painting process step by step with demos and assist you in creating one painting during the class.

Acrylic or Oil (No Solvents or toxic mediums in class.)  All levels Welcome.



Maggie is a professional painter specializing in Seascapes in Oil and Acrylics. Her work appeared in international publications  ‘The Artist’s Magazine’ and has numerous Best of Show and International Awards. With over 40 years of experience working in Acrylic and Oil, Maggie has enjoyed teaching it for almost two decades. She teaches all skill levels from the inexperienced beginner to the professional wanting more in their work, or to try a new medium.

Students: “After working with Maggie, my work has taken a huge leap forward” “delightful teaching, clear and patient.” 

Maggie received her Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Art: Illustration, Painting & Design at SJSU, Advanced Painting studies at ‘Lorenzo de Medici’ Art Institute in Florence, Italy and studies with various contemporary Master Painters. 

Maggie is a well known painting teacher who teaches locally and in Tuscany, Italy regularly. A long time Open Studios Artist and Gallery Represented Painter, Maggie’s work is exhibited and collected internationally.

Beginning Floral Oil Painting

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Thalia Stratton

Offered: One Sunday Afternoon 5/3/20 12:00pm-4:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $89.00, one price

Working with the accomplished artist Thalia Stratton, students will be learning valuable fundamentals in the beautiful art of floral oil painting. She will cover important processes and techniques to help students in their understanding of crucial subjects such as, canvas preparation and composition of floral design and back ground. Thalia will also focus on educating students in the portrayal of light sources, defining values, color mixing, use of materials, and framing of their artwork. No drawing experience is required for this workshop.

Thalia will be providing all materials needed to students for a $35 materials fee, you are free to just come to class! Detailed list available by clicking blue“Materials List” link below.

If you do not need to purchase a kit, please notify the SCAL Education CoordinatorBEFORE 4/20/20




Thalia Stratton graduated with Honors & Distinction from the University of San Francisco/Academy of Art University 1989 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art Degree in Fashion Illustration. She received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from the Academy of Art University in 2010. She has taught at the college level since her graduation . Professional projects include illustrating for Givenchy-Paris, Neiman Marcus, Playboy Enterprises, the San Francisco Ballet and I. Magnin and Co. She has also developed product lines for the Wine Industry of Sonoma and Napa Valley.

Thalia works have been sold throughout the U.S and have been published in Gentry Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, American Art Collector, Southwest Art and Fine Art Connoisseur. She has won numerous awards and published two books, The Art of Dining and The Art of Dining :Epicurean Delights. She is a current member of the California Art Club in Pasadena, California and the Salmagundi Club in New York City, where she has also exhibited, and is a member of Oil Painters of America, where she has exhibited in both the National and Western Regional Juried exhibitions.

Botanical Beauty of Spring

Levels: All, some drawing experience helpful

Instructor: Maria Cecilia "Cissy" Freeman

Offered: 1 Sunday Morning 4/26/20 9:30am-3:30pm

Location: Santa Cruz Art League

Fee: $99.00 - one price for this class

Buds and flowers and new leaves – Spring offers fresh colors and textures, and many beautiful plant subjects to paint.  In traditional botanical art we strive for a beautiful portrayal of our subject that is both artistic and accurate in detail. In this watercolor workshop we’ll begin with close observation of our live plant specimens (to be provided) and draw a small composition. We’ll work on approaches to color mixing, and practice techniques of watercolor brushwork particular to botanical art – layering colors and small moist-brush work that allows us to capture fine details of our subjects. You’ll get plenty of individual attention as you draw and paint, to challenge and encourage you at your own level of skill.















Instructor: Maria Cecilia Freeman is a professional artist with 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, and in the Filoli Florilegium. You can see her work at her website:

POSTPONED Flower Power (Studio 119 @ Tannery Arts Center)

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Carrie Clayden

Offered: One Saturday Morning 4/25/20 11:00am-4:00pm

Location: Studio199 @ Tannery Arts Center

Fee: $120, one price

Welcome blooming artists to this floral themed painting workshop taught by Carrie Clayden. Carrie is excited to be 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 in downtown Santa Cruz and her work can be found on her website





*This class is being held at the Tannery Arts Center in Studio 119, NOT at the Art League*

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