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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Studio Arts: What's New

Studio Arts Course

Beginning Drawing - In Person

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Studio Arts Course

Exploring Color in Watercolor

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Enhance your knowledge and understanding of color theory in watercolor. Learn practical skills such as identifying and mixing colors correctly to create your own cohesive palette.

Studio Arts Course

Clay Portrait - In Person

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Develop basic sculpting skills in this introduction to the concepts and techniques of sculpting the human head. Create copies of a plaster cast portrait or sculpt from a live model.

Studio Arts Course

Painting Skies, Clouds, Trees, and Mountains in Watercolor

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Using watercolor, gain confidence in painting important natural elements. Demonstrations and exercises introduce techniques in creating flowing landscapes.

Studio Arts Course

Introduction to Photography - In Person

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Whether you want to work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics.

Studio Arts Course

Drawing Light… and How the Masters Did It

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

In this 4-session class, learn the strategies artists such as Rembrandt, Turner, and Cézanne, used to harness light and unify, intensify, and give dimension to their images. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts Course

Figure Sculpture - In Person

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Learn clay techniques and gain an understanding of the human body, gestures, and expressions as you sculpt a portrait, torso, or full-figure piece by working from life.

Studio Arts Course

Color Stories Journal - In Person

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Explore your relationship to individual colors and how they connect to many facets of your life. Practice simple and playful acrylic painting techniques incorporating all the colors of the spectrum, plus black and white. Then, begin to record personal stories in a journal to use every day.

Studio Arts Course

Introduction to Photography

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Whether you want to work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics.

Studio Arts Course

Altered Books

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Create your own story as you learn to upcycle book pages as surfaces for drawing, painting, and collage using gelatin plate prints, textures, photo transfers, drawing, painting, and text redaction.

Studio Arts Course

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - In Person

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Popular theory on right side brain activity holds that the right brain is primarily responsible for the intuitive understanding of visual and spatial relationships. Designed to improve the way people see and record objects on paper, this class provides a set of visual exercises to help build the ability to draw.

Studio Arts Course

Beginning Oil Painting - In Person

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

In this course, gain the technical background and experience you need to get started as a painter. Working from still-life arrangements, explore basic painting techniques, including color-mixing, scumbling, and glazing.

Studio Arts Course

Collage and Mixed-Media

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Students are introduced to the materials, tools, and technologies used in collage and assemblage. They find inspiration in artists who worked in collage including Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, and Gertrude Green.

Studio Arts Course

Introduction to Photography II - In Person

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Whether you work digitally or on film, this course is ideal for students who are familiar with their cameras but are interested in expanding their understanding of photography fundamentals.

Studio Arts Workshop

Photo 101: Aspect Ratios

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Gain an understanding of aspect ratios (digital sensors and film). The class explores changing the aspect ratio in camera, aspect-ratio constraints in cropping and post-production, and use of the Photoshop image size and canvas size commands.

Studio Arts Course

Portrait Painting in Oil and Acrylic

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Learn how to paint expressive portraits as you improve your observational skills, the ability to see angles and shapes, and your understanding of color and value. The class emphasizes how to define a subject’s unique features by determining shapes of light and shadow.

Studio Arts Course

The Art of Floral Design

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Explore the spectrum of floral design. Sourcing (with a focus on sustainability), making the most of seasonal flowers, creating centerpieces, wiring techniques, and photographing your work are all among the practical areas covered. 

Studio Arts Course

Bobbin Lace: Beyond the Basics

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Explore many new techniques and build new skills as you create four small projects in an intermediate-level course.

Studio Arts Course

Exploring Abstraction

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Explore the basis of abstraction by studying color, line, and shape as they relate to composition. Learn to create exciting and innovative works of art, using a series of drawing and painting exercises designed to examine non-traditional ways of handling traditional materials and subject matter.

Studio Arts Workshop

Photo 101: Exposures and Histograms

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Beginning photographers learn how to use histograms, a graphic display of the brightness levels of pixels in an image—and an essential guide to achieving the correct exposure.  

Studio Arts Course

Introduction to Lightroom

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Adobe Lightroom is the most useful (and user friendly) software for organizing and editing images, usable for both RAW and JPEG image files. This two-session workshop offers users an overview of the program, with a focus on working with the essential Library and Develop modules for organizing and editing your files.

Studio Arts Course

Keeping Up the Sketchbook Habit

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Enrich your sketchbooking skill with new techniques. Learn how to map your day, get creative with colored pencil on mid-tone kraft paper, and draw one object over multiple weeks.

Studio Arts Course

Oil Painting Boot Camp - In Person

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Whether you have never picked up a brush or haven’t painted in years, this 2-day workshop provides a solid foundation in the basics of working in oil. By the end of the weekend, you’ll be on your way to painting like a pro.

Studio Arts Course

Visual Journaling: Creativity Intensive

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In three intensive sessions focused on artistic experimentation, create a journal using prompts and focused practices.

Studio Arts Workshop

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Drawing for the Everyday Overthinker

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Get out of your head by drawing the world around you. Through simple drawing activities, learn how to better connect with your sense of vision, recognize how your mind colors your actions and experiences, and gain practice stepping away from your thoughts.

Studio Arts Course

Calligraphy: Introduction to the Italic Hand - In Person

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In class exercises, learn how to use the elegant Italic script for basic projects using various colors and papers. The class is appropriate for beginners or intermediate students with some familiarity with the broad-edge pen who are ready to develop their calligraphy skills.

Studio Arts Course

Beginning Drawing

Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. ET

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Studio Arts Course

On-Location Photography - In Person

Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 1:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET

Great shoots start with great locations—and Washington offers plenty of unbeatable visual inspiration. Learn to capture this vibrant city and sharpen your way of thinking about shooting outdoors as you deploy a minimal amount of equipment and a lot of fresh perspective.

Studio Arts Course

Artful Mind, Tranquil Mind

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

In an artist-led series designed to provide a tranquil mid-day break, create small but satisfying works of art as a way to hit “pause” and incorporate a bit of creativity into your at-home routines.

Studio Arts Course

Curating a Life: Art as Memoir

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Keep a visual-thinking journal and learn to see like an artist and create personally meaningful works of art in terms of form, theme, and context. Use text, images, and newly developed visual thinking skills to create a “memoir museum”—a handmade map that traces where you’ve been in your life and where you have yet to explore.

Studio Arts Course

Continued Watercolor

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

A continued study of watercolor techniques provides the opportunity for greater individual experimentation and expression. Go beyond the basics of paint application, constructing strong, vibrant, personality-filled paintings.

Studio Arts Course

Kitchen Table Collage

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Explore creating unique mixed-media artworks by using food and plant-based items, recycled materials, and household tools and implements to fashion colors, make stencils, and add textures.

Studio Arts Course

Beginning Drawing

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Studio Arts Course

Written in Fabric: Memory Messages Through Quilts

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Create your own memory block through writing prompts, mindfulness practices, and design and color principles for fiber artists. Learn techniques from hand piecing and machine and hand appliqué, to creating text using needle and thread.

Studio Arts Course

Slow Shutter-Speed Photography

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Slow things down as you learn to capture movement and low light scenes with longer shutter speeds. Topics covered include panning, zoom effect, intentional camera movement, tripods, drive modes, neutral density filters and the camera settings required to take slow shutter-speed photos in bright light, low light, twilight, and night.

Studio Arts Course

Introduction to Watercolor

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Beginning students as well as experienced painters explore watercolor techniques and learn new approaches to painting through demonstration, discussion, and experimentation.

Studio Arts Course

Techniques in Modernist Painting

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Experiment with a variety of painting styles such as cubism, suprematism, and abstract expressionism to learn practical applications of the concepts and techniques of modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts Course

Mastering Exposure

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Take your skills beyond auto mode as you explore a myriad of your digital camera’s exposure options and features in this course designed for intermediate photographers.

Studio Arts Course

Build a Tiny Interior

Friday, October 21, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In this mixed-media challenge, imagine your dream home, then bring its tiny interior to life using papier-maché, acrylics, and other techniques.

Studio Arts Course

Quick-Sketch Watercolors: A European Tour

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Capture your virtual travels, from hilltop villages to the sea, drawing and painting a variety of scenes using loose lines and painterly colors.

Studio Arts Course

iPhone Photography II

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

Take your iPhone camera skills to another level in a two-day workshop that focuses on the ProCamera app and editing techniques; organizing, printing, and posting your photos; and a critique session on images.

Studio Arts Course

Mosaics for Beginners

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Weekly lectures, demonstrations, and work-a-long periods provide a solid creative and technical foundation to working with mosaics. Select from 8 unique patterns designed by the instructor with the option to work either in glass tiles or unglazed porcelain.

Studio Arts Course

Tapestry Weaving

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Develop skills in a range of weaving techniques as you design and create a one-of-a kind miniature tapestry on a small-frame loom.

Studio Arts Course

Lightroom Tune-up

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

This fully hands-on and interactive class is designed for those who have already had a structured introduction to Lightroom and are familiar with the Library and Develop modules.

Studio Arts Workshop

Color Theory and Chroma-psychology Workshop

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn how to make color choices in your art to bring out a reaction from the viewer. Create combinations with colored pencils that illustrate how color theory works.

Studio Arts Course

Composition

Monday, October 31, 2022 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

This course examines fundamental concepts of composition and their practical application in studio-art practice, offering participants tools to enrich their own work as well to analyze and appreciate visual art in general. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)