Adult Workshops

Adult workshops in all media are scheduled in the Spring and Fall. Most of the workshops feature local instructors in their preferred media. Recent workshops have included abstract collage and acrylic, oil painting, water color, drawing, photography and ceramics. The workshops are generally two to four days. Many are on weekdays, but some are evening and weekends. Two or three times a year, we invite nationally and regionally well known artists to conduct special workshops that broaden the range of instruction.

Upcoming Workshops

(2017 Workshops PDF)   description & registration information

Pysanky - Ukrainian Egg

Instructor: Nina Shepherdson, March 11 & 12,  10am - 3pm
Learn to create beautiful Easter eggs in the Ukrainian style of Pysanky.  In a batik-like process, we will draw our designs on real, blown-out egg shells using a kistka – a pen-like stylus containing melted wax – and dye the egg in progressively darker colors. The final step of melting off the wax will reveal your beautiful design.  
In the class we will first do a simple design together on pre-marked eggs, to learn and understand the process, and then students will be free to create their own designs on additional eggs.
Students will be supplied with handout sheets with design ideas and explanations of the many traditional symbols associated with pysanky.
$50 members/$60 non-members (for each class)

Two Felting Techniques –Traditional & Modern

Instructor:  Barbara  Brecher, March 19, 11am - 4 pm
In this workshop you will learn about the history of felt,the world’s first man-made material. We’ll explore how fine wool turns into a very strong material used by the Romans for breast plates as well as in modern pianos.
We will make a piece of felt using the traditional wet method. Then we’ll jump to 2017 and you will be introduced to a new exciting method of felting.
Materials: Included in the fee
$60 members / $70 non-members
Maximum 12 students

Create a Monotype Family

Instructor: Mary Jo Beswick , March 25 & 26
Saturday 10am - 3pm, Sunday 11am - 4pm

Monotype is a unique, creative process that combines drawing, painting, and printmaking to create works of art that are similar but different, sort of like a family. Using easy hand-transfer methods, friendly water based inks and paints and a “ghost” to guide you, students will produce a series of small, monotype prints that can be collaged into a family patchwork of similar images.  Demo as well as individual guidance from instructor, Mary Jo Beswick invites all levels to enjoy this fun creative process. If you ever wanted to play with an image this is your opportunity.
$100 members/$120 non-members

10” X 10” Mosaic Mirror

Instructor: Sukey Starkey, April 1, 10am - 4pm
Create a beautiful accent mirror using a variety of tesserae. Participants will learn how to cut glass using several tools of the trade. We will discuss substrates, adhesives and types of grout. Go home with a unique piece of art ready to hang!
Materials: $20 payable to Instructor
$80 members/$90 non-members

Fundamentals of Photography (info)

Instructor: Bill Reckert
Tues & Thurs, April 4 - May 4, 5:30 - 7pm

When you take a picture, either you or your camera will make 5 basic choices: shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal point and focal length. That’s it! Once you know what these controls do, you can make the photographs you’ve always dreamed of. Bill Reckert has helped 1800+ students over 40 years see the light with plain language lectures reinforced with hands-on exercises and helpful critiques.  At the end of this course you’ll walk away with a copy of Bill Reckert’s Photography Rules of Thumb field guide and the know-how to take well-focused, well-exposed, well-composed photographs.
$150 members/$175 nonmembers.
Min/Max enrollment: 6/12

Drawing with powdered graphite on board and Yupo paper

Instructor:  Eva-Maria Ruhl, April 18 & 19, 10am - 1pm
In this two-day introduction to a new and fun technique, you will learn to create a botanical drawing by applying and lifting graphite powder first to gesso board and then to slick Yupo paper. We will explore how to create lights and darks, how to render the subject in delicate shades of gray and then finish it with a dramatic black background. The surprising technique will be taught though demonstration and one-on-one guidance.
Knowledge of light source and shading will be helpful. 
Materials: $20 payable to Instructor
$60 members/$70 non-members

Introduction to Nantucket Baskets

Instructor: Judy Penry, April 5 & 12, 10am - 3pm
This Basket Class is perfect for a beginner who wants to learn to make a Nantucket Basket. It is also appropriate for weavers who wants to practice and improve their skills.
Students will learn the techniques and skills to complete the basket.
The 8” tall x 3” diameter vase begins with a maple base glued to a glass vase. Cane staves are inserted and the weaving is done with cane.
Weaving homework will be required!
The basket will be finished in the second class with making and attaching the rim. Finally the basket will be lashed.
The class is limited to 6 students
Material fee: $20 payable to the instructor
$90 member / $100 non-member

Plant Portrait in Watercolor

Instructor:  Eva-Maria Ruhl, April 18 & 19, 10am - 1pm
In this two day workshop artists will learn how to create a delicate plant portrait using traditional techniques of botanical watercolor, wet-into-wet, layering glazes, using dry brush and lifting. We will talk about differences in watercolor paper and how to select brushes and pigments for a successful botanical painting. Each technique will be demonstrated and taught through one-on-one guidance. 
Intermediate skill level, bring your own supplies, suggested material list available at RAL.
$60 members/$70 non-members

Introduction to Simple Abstraction as Self-Expression

Instructor: Mary Jo Beswick
3 Day Weekend workshop that can also be taken as individual 1Day workshops
3 Day Workshop: $150 members/$180 non-members
Each Individual 1 Day Workshop: $50 members/$60 non-members

Day 1: Introduction to Contour Drawing, April 21, 5:30 - 8:30pm
Contour or “edge” drawings are simple drawings based only on line and shape. These simple drawings can stand on their own, expressing the unique viewpoint and signature of the person doing the drawing, or they can make a strong foundation for an abstract painting.  First we will look at examples of different contour drawing. Then with keen observation, we will practice drawings the contours of natural and everyday objects and one personal object (that you provide). We will make several contour drawings using various drawing materials including soft pencil, charcoal and water soluble crayons. (Some drawing experience recommended)

Day 2: Introduction to Image Abstraction & Composition, April 22, 10am - 3pm
Building on the concept of simplification, we will explore the different ways to abstract an image for a purpose of expressing an idea or emotion.  First we look at different examples of drawings and paintings that do this affectively. Then we will try different ways to abstract the images in our contour drawings from Day 1 and compose a composition around them. Lastly, we will look at all our drawings and choose one to become the foundation for abstract painting on Day 3. (Some drawing experience recommended)

Day 3: Introduction to Inventive Color: Water Based Painting, April 23, 10am - 4pm
Learn how you can replace the local (real) color of a subject with inventive color that carries emotional expression. First, we will look at examples of paintings that use inventive color and discuss the psychological connection between colors and human emotion. Then using one drawing from Day 2 as the foundation, we will paint 3 small paintings (watercolors or acrylic) using the same composition but 3 different inventive color stories. Lastly, we will have a group critique of each other’s paintings in terms of simplification, abstraction and inventive color. (Some painting experience recommended)

Paint Along Pets

Instructor: Adele Castillo, April 29, 10am - 5pm
Using acrylics, students will paint their own pets while Adele takes them through her own process step by step. Her classes always include technical information, color theory guidance, and technique demonstrations. We will start with a drawing on canvas, then block in color, discuss color family options and explore paint application options. Many supplies, including canvas and handouts, are included. A supply list will be provided. Students will need to send Adele a copy of their photo reference. This fun class is suitable for all levels, from beginner to professional. 
$75 members/$95 non-members

6 inch Nantucket Basket

Instructor: Judy Penry, May 2 & 9, 10am - 3pm
The students will make a traditional Nantucket Basket from start to finish! A cherry base will be attached to a wooden 6” round mold. The staves will be tapered and inserted in the base. Weaving will begin in class and completed as homework. The basket will be completed the second week.
The rim will be attached and stained, and escutcheon pins inserted. The rim will be lashed and the handle will be applied. Everyone will go home the proud owner of their own Nantucket Basket!
 *Having taken the Vase Class or havingsome basket experience is helpful. Making the basket is not difficult but one needs to have patience and pay attention to details.
Class is limited to 6 students
Material fee: $44 payable to the instructor
$90 member/$100 non-member

Light Effects In Watercolor

Instructor: Catherine Hillis, May 15 and May 16, 9:30 am - 4 pm
Watercolor is the perfect medium for relaying light and its effect on the world around us.  Learn how to improve your watercolor painting and add drama to your work with light and atmosphere.  Students will be working indoors and outdoors, so be prepared.  Plan for plein air work on Monday at the Rappahannock River Yacht Club. 
Students bring their own supplies.  A supply list is at RAL.
$190 members/$210 non-members

Learning to Love Acrylic Painting 

Instructor:  Brenda M. Sylvia, June 5, 6 and 7, 10am - 3pm
This is an introduction to Acrylic Painting Workshop for beginners with some drawing experience. The class will focus on the fun and less intimidating aspects of working with Acrylics on canvas or board. It will include composition, color theory and mixing, values and creating volume, brushwork, and handling paints. Students will be encouraged to work from life rather than from photographs. Students will compose and create their own acrylic paintings while learning to love the both the expressive and forgiving qualities of Acrylic paints. 
$180 members/$200 non-members

Direct Acrylic Painting 

Instructor:  Brenda M. Sylvia, June 8 and 9, 10am - 4pm 
This is a workshop using alla prima type acrylic techniques on a toned canvas. We will focus on using expressive color, creative composition, and gestural brushwork to add energy to realistic paintings. This class is for students with some painting and drawing experience. Understanding of color mixing and the concept of using warm and cool colors is also helpful. We will be working from life and, weather and equipment permitting, may set up outside for a couple of hours. Acrylic paint’s rapid drying time can drive you crazy, but it also makes acrylic less intimidating because you can’t make a mistake you cannot fix. Our goal in this workshop is to have fun, loosen up, and learn some next ways to approach painting with Acrylics. 
$150 members/$170 non-members

Mosaic Yard Art!

Instructor: Sukey Starkey, June 13, 14 & 15, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Enter the wonderful world of mosaics! Create a glitzy gazing ball for your garden or wooded area. Participants will adhere their designs onto a 10-pin bowling ball, using bits and pieces of iridescent glass tiles, stained glass chips, baubles and mirrors. Balls will be grouted and directions will be supplied for next steps after grout is cured. Please bring an apron or old shirt and a pair of rubber gloves.
Materials: $20 payable to Instructor
$85 members/$95 non-members