Art Classes; Figure drawing, Portrait Drawing, Abstract Art

News for the Fall 2019 Semester
Classes are now posted on the ArtsCenter website, so you can officially enroll:

Here are the Official Course Descriptions 
for the classes I teach most often (for adults & teens). 
The photos are examples of student artwork from each class.

Exploring Abstract Art 1 
 The main difference between representational and non-representational art is that, in the latter, we draw from inner (subjective) vision instead of outer (objective) vision. “Abstract” art includes the entire range between the two. The primary focus of the class is to access that inner vision and develop it. How do we do it? PLAY! We explore the intuitive exercises created by early Western abstract artists & Surrealists, designed to access the subconscious mind, & bypass the Inner Judge! There will also be a bit of history, and plenty of slides of some of the greats, for inspiration. With practice, students will begin to form their own personal “language” of shape, line, symbol and color, while exploring basic drawing elements and composition.

This is another high-energy class! Beginners are welcome, as well as established artists who desire to deepen their art-making experience. No experience is necessary, just a desire for spirited adventure! Repeat students are welcome, too. Limited to 10 students.

3 hours; 6 sessions

Forgotten Abstraction
Exploring Abstract Art 2
This is a continuation of Exploring Abstract Art 1. Here, though still developing their own inner ‘language’, students have the option to shift focus towards responding to cultural influences, expressing their personal views of the outer world. The methods will be the same as in Exploring Abstract Art I. 

Workers Are Watching by Maja Kricker

Reportage (aka: Journal Sketching):
Reportage* is a high-energy, high-speed attempt to capture the essence of an event – or a moment – in a sketchbook. It’s an incredibly dynamic way to record your experiences out in the world, without using a camera.

We’ll start in class, drawing from the model. We’ll cover skills & techniques needed to have a rewarding, expressive journaling experience. In later classes we’ll venture out into the real world, where you will get to experience the thrills and challenges of reportage, and likely produce some very raw and expressive gems! It is highly recommended that you have considerable drawing skill and experience before taking this class. *[Pronounced: reh-por-TAHZH]

3 hrs, 6 weeks

Also, check out these exciting Reportage / Urban Sketcher-related websites:, or

Seated Figure by Moira McManus
Figure Drawing:
Heighten your visual awareness with tools and exercises designed to access the creative (right) side of the brain. We will draw from the model, focusing on process (skill-building) more than product. This is a high-energy class! It will help you loosen up as your drawing skills improve. Demos, lots of practice, and individual guidance are provided. Ideal for beginners, as well as practicing professionals! Limited to 12 students.

3 hours; 7 sessions

Portrait Drawing Class

Portrait Drawing:

We will employ basic observation skills and rudimentary anatomy lessons to learn the structure of the head, neck, shoulders, then eyes, nose, mouth, & ears. Then we'll delve into the sublime & juicy stuff: expression! Including the subtle changes that can alter the expression entirely. Different races & age groups will be covered; primarily through HW assignments. In each class, there will be gesture warm-ups, one or two demos, and one or two poses for the remainder of the class, with individual guidance throughout. We'll have one model for the final two class sessions.

In order to capture the essence of your subject, a willingness to surrender to the art-making process is absolutely necessary! You must become that which you attempt to capture. So, come with an open mind!

3 hours; 7 sessions

Color-Mixing Class

Exploring Color

There's both a science & art to color-mixing. The first 3 classes will cover the science (technical) part: mixing the colors. Students will make color wheels & charts with the art media of their own choice, so they can use them for reference at home. The next 3 classes will begin to explore the big challenges (the artistic part): how & where to use the colors once you've mixed them. It will include the affects of lighting on color, transparent vs. opaque colors, color relativity & placement, and perhaps more. There will be demos for each lesson, using a variety of media, (ex: acrylics, oil pastel, watercolor) including whatever the students bring in. Practice exercises will be offered for students who finish the lesson work early. By the end of the course, students who complete the work will be able to mix any color they desire.

The study of the use of color could take years to master! Though this class is just a basic introduction to color theory for beginners & intermediates, it will give you enough information to keep you happily exploring color for a long time!

3 hours; 7 sessions

Cut Paper collage -Find Your Artistic Voice
Find Your Artistic Voice

This on-going class offers tools & techniques to help you find a clear path to your creative source. Warm-ups and exercises are designed to by-pass your inner critic, encourage artistic exploration, and increase confidence in your authentic self-expression… If you are at the beginning of your art-making journey, or need guidance in taking the next big leap, this class is for you.


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This website is made possible by an Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.