Past Workshops

Paint Like the Old Dutch Masters With Acrylics

Levels: Some painting experience required

Instructor: Wayne Jiang

Offered: 3-Day workshop, Friday 4/12/19, Saturday 4/13/19 & Sunday 4/14/19 10am - 5pm

Fee: $240/$210 with member discount

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


Pushing Your Pastels

Levels: Some pastel experience is recommended

Instructor: Erika Perloff

Offered: One day workshop - Sunday 03/17/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

Push your pastel paintings to a new level with this one day workshop, which maybe should be called a playshop! We’ll play with various underpainting and mark making techniques using soft pastels, make our own surfaces to pastel on, and explore color harmonies for creating a variety of moods. Students will do lots of small experiments to inspire future work, using still life and their own reference material. $20 extra materials fee. Some pastel experience is recommended.  (Check out my class on March 16th, Pastel for the Enthusiastic Beginner.)




Pastel for the Enthusiastic Beginner: Getting Started with Soft Pastels

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Erika Perloff

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 03/16/19 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, value and color harmony. We’ll do a variety of short exercises and some longer studies using still life set ups and you’ll go home with enough knowledge to take off on your own and fly with pastels! No previous pastel experience necessary.

The Human Form in Expressive Color – Part A (Studio 119 @ The Tannery)

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 03/16/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

Using inks, watercolours, Watercolour pencils, or whatever you’ve got to experiment with, we will take loose and experimental approaches to the human form. Short poses and quick gestures with dynamic energy for the first half of the day. Longer poses in the afternoon to develop a full composition.
Caveat emptor: we are NOT looking at mixing flesh tones. We are using color for its beauty an expression!
Seana received her MA in Drawing  in London and has been privileged to work with some of the most renowned teachers in England. She  shares their ideas and her own enthusiasm for life drawing  with humor and lots of one-to-one instruction.

Beginning Watercolor

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Jo-Neal Graves

Offered: 2-day Weekend Workshop, 03/09 - 03/10/19 10am - 3pm

Fee: $160.00 / $140.00 members price

This workshop is an introduction to the medium of watercolor. It will include the basic techniques used in painting with watercolor; wet into wet, washes, creating hard & soft edges,  layering/glazing and a combination of these. We will also review color theory and how it applies to watercolor. If you have a desire to learn to paint in watercolor, come and learn the basics with Jo-Neal.

Jo-Neal 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 paints a variety of subjects but is particularly drawn to nature.

Flower Power (Studio 119 @ The Tannery)

Levels: All Levels

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 03/09/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price: $100

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*


Spontaneous Watercolor

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Robert Dvorak

Offered: One day workshop, Saturday 02/23/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

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.


Watercolor and Mixed Media Collage

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 02/16/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89

Brilliant colour, and a step into abstracting from nature, this process creates stunning results for artists of all levels.

Using a technique that I’ve been developing and loving for years, we’ll first create our materials by painting fine tissue  paper with watercolor in a very free, loose and expressive way.  Each sheet of tissue is then like a sheet of stained glass, ready to be “glazed” , torn, cut, layered and collaged to create images of pure colour and texture that are unique and beautiful.

This intensive all-day workshops includes all materials .

You will learn this new technique, create one beautiful piece of artwork, meet some other artists, and its really fun!

Introduction to Oils

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Mac McWilliams

Offered: One day workshop, Saturday 02/09/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price: $89.00

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.

TEXTURE: Get the Feel of it!

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Janet Trenchard

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 02/02/19 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!

Janet Trenchard has retired from teaching art in the public schools and now is a fulltime professional artist. She has been in juried exhibitions around the Bay Area and Carmel, and is a Santa Cruz Open Studios artist.

Janet Trenchard, Artist’s Statement

I work in an abstract contemporary style, and often work large for the physicality of it, and the sense of expansion.

I enjoy texture for the sense of touch, implied or real. My work is inspired by exploration and the interaction with materials.

What’s coming through in my current work expresses the earth, geology, geography, water.



Materials As Metaphor (Acrylics)

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Judy Gittelsohn

Offered: One day workshop, Saturday 01/26/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: One price: $89.00

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.

Making Faces: An Introduction to Portraiture

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 01/19/19 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00 - one price for this class

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.

Holiday Watercolor Workshop

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Cynthia Armstrong

Offered: One day workshop, Sunday December 9th, 2018 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

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.

Introduction to Gouache

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Cynthia Armstrong

Offered: One day workshop - Saturday 11/17/18 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00 - one price for this class

Introduction to Gouache

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 matt 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.




Experimental Approaches to the Human Form

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: One day workshop, November 10th, 2018 10am - 4pm

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.