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Studio Arts: What's New

In artist-led tours and talks, Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor Adrienne Wyman offers a “behind-the-easel” perspective of masterworks exhibited at the National Gallery of Art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, July 8 to 22, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Both beginners and seasoned artists can learn to take advantage of the creative possibilities of this rich pigmented, vibrant, and versatile medium.

Event date
Monday, July 8 to 29, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In artist-led tours and talks, Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor Adrienne Wyman offers a “behind-the-easel” perspective of masterworks exhibited at the National Gallery of Art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, July 8 to 22, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

You’ve got a great portfolio of photos. What’s next? This valuable session covers how to prepare your images to exhibit or sell, get them seen by the public, and effectively market your work.

Event date
Monday, July 8, 2019 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Lighting can make or break your work as a digital photographer. Learn the tech tips that will make your flash one of your most effective creative tools.

Event date
Monday, July 8 to August 12, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Monday, July 8 to August 12, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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.

Event date
Monday, July 8 to August 12, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This course provides a thorough introduction to the 35mm camera and the basics of photo darkroom techniques. Students learn how to use the camera, compose a photograph, develop film, and make a print.

Event date
Monday, July 8 to August 12, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experimentation, students enhance their experience of color as they learn about the color wheel, the Munsell color chart, and the attributes of value, chroma, and hue. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, July 8 to August 19, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (no class July 29)

Whether you want work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics. Two on-location shoots offer chances to put your new skills into practice.

Event date
Tuesday, July 9 to 30, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Woodblock printing and linocut printing are ideal for creating bold images made up of patterns and textures. This course is an introduction to the relief print, from techniques of design and transfer through cutting and printing the block. Students design and produce their own editions, using nontoxic materials and employing both one-color and two-color techniques.

Event date
Tuesday, July 9 to August 13, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This non-darkroom course is designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital SLR camera as a creative tool. The goal is to gain skill in technical aspects of photography so that they can concentrate on composing beautiful images.

Event date
Tuesday, July 9 to August 13, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Tuesday, July 9 to August 20, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (no class July 30)

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.

Event date
Wednesday, July 10 to 31, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Both beginners and seasoned artists can learn to take advantage of the creative possibilities of this rich pigmented, vibrant, and versatile medium.

Event date
Wednesday, July 10 to 31, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Wednesday, July 10 to 31, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This intermediate-level photography course offers a better understanding of compositional elements and practices—such as simplicity, balance, and natural lighting—that promote taking better and more unique photographs.

Event date
Wednesday, July 10 to August 7, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

In this course combining lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on experimentation, 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.

Event date
Wednesday, July 10 to August 14, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Thursday, July 11 to August 8, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Thursday, July 11 to August 15, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The elegant script commonly known as Copperplate is unmatched in its usefulness for social stationery. Beginning with basic tools and mechanics, students discover how to develop their skills and to recognize the small details that make this style of writing so appealing.

Event date
Thursday, July 11 to August 15, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Working from live models, students are encouraged to draw accurate or aesthetically strong works based on the figure. Open to all levels.

Event date
Thursday, July 11 to August 15, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Thursday, July 11 to August 15, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

In this class, students will be introduced to the basic steps of how to create a convincing portrait using charcoal or graphite. All levels of experience welcomed.

Event date
Friday, July 12 to 26, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Learn the basics of hand-stitched quilt-making—including piecing, applique, and finishing techniques—as you work on a small-scale piece that can be used as a doll quilt or a wall hanging.

Event date
Saturday, July 13 and 20, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The light, movement, and colors of the beach have long been an inspiration for artists. In this workshop, explore the techniques of masters of seaside painting as preparation for creating your own beach memory.

Event date
Saturday, July 13 and July 20, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Saturday, July 13 to August 17, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The beautiful decorations of religious and secular manuscripts are centuries-old Islamic traditions. Guided by a graduate of the Turquoise Mountain Institute, explore the elements of gold-leaf manuscript illumination in the Afghan tradition.

Event date
Saturday, July 13 to August 17, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Saturday, July 13 to August 17, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Sunday, July 14 to August 18, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

This non-darkroom course is designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital SLR camera as a creative tool. The goal is to gain skill in technical aspects of photography so that they can concentrate on composing beautiful images.

Event date
Sunday, July 14 to August 18, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

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.

Event date
Sunday, July 14 to August 18, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Sunday, July 14 to August 18, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Shooting a great photo is just the beginning. Get ready to show off your work by learning how to get your digital images printed accurately and to cut custom-sized windows in mat board.

Event date
Monday, July 15 and 22, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Develop a strong technical foundation in working with glass mosaic as you design and create a striking 8-inch-square home décor piece.

Event date
Tuesday, July 16 to August 6, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Tuesday, July 16 to August 13, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Through lectures and drawing exercises, learn how Renaissance artists used the Golden Ratio, the Rule of Thirds, three-point perspective, and the Fibonacci spiral—as well as how these elements can provide dynamic visual interest to your own compositions, no matter the medium. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Discover a variety of methods for making and using image transfers and expanding your creative horizons with photo alteration. Both techniques can offer new dimensions and interest to your artworks.

Event date
Saturday, July 20 and 27, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Event date
Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Explore the materials, tools, and techniques used in collage and assemblage as you create an artwork that’s uniquely yours. The workshop, ideal for both nonartists and those with experience, is a great way to spark your creativity in two forms that offer wide possibilities for inventive expression.

Event date
Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Learn this time-honored embroidery technique as you cross-stitch a traditional Tree of Life pattern on Aida cloth fabric. The workshop covers the basics of transferring a pattern to fabric, threading a needle, two methods of cross-stitching, and motif repetition.

Event date
Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sarah von Pollaro of Washington’s Urban Petals Floral Design leads you through assembling some artful arrangements and passes along a pro’s tips for unleashing your creative flower power.

Event date
Tuesday, July 23 to August 6, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Merge recent findings on visual perception with familiar elements of art to discover how your landscape and still-life paintings can take on new and fresh creative edges.

Event date
Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Capture the essence of your favorite animal or pet in a one-of-a-kind collage portrait filled with texture and color.

Event date
Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The luminescence, rich color and texture, and quick-drying properties of encaustics have made this a favorite medium for painters for centuries. Get a solid introduction to its technical and creative possibilities as you apply the encaustic method to mixed-media projects.

Event date
Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Show off your photos like a pro and learn how to assemble a personal portfolio that reflects your best work and your distinctive vision as a photographer.

Event date
Monday, July 29 to August 12, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Nothing captures distinction, refinement, and sophistication better than hand-lettering with a pointed pen. This one-day workshop gets you started in the calligraphic style used for envelopes, invitations, place cards, and other projects.

Event date
Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Learn the techniques needed to create unique fine mosaic jewelry as you create beautiful silver-plate mosaic pendants using a wide variety of materials.

Event date
Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

In this workshop open to all levels, students discover the versatility and fluidity of working in watercolors while exploring the functional and aesthetic elements of color and design found in plants.

Event date
Thursday, August 8 to 22, 2019 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Create a memorable way to record your travels, explorations, or just adventures through daily life. Learn all the basics of making personal illustrated art journals on paper with drawings in pen and watercolors.

Event date
Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Event date
Sunday, August 11, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Working in Smithsonian gardens, use chalk or oil pastel to capture vibrant colors in nature and their interaction with light--in the style of impressionist Paul Cezanne. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, August 17 and 24, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Love mixed media? This workshop offers the perfect way to expand your repertoire by creating an array of one-off prints using acrylic paints and other materials.

Event date
Saturday, August 17 and 24, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Wednesday, September 4 to 25, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Portraiture is a time-honored and essential tradition in art. Hone your skills in observation, color, light and shadow, and other technical foundations of the form in this class designed for all levels of painters.

Event date
Friday, September 6 to 27, 2019 – 10:15 a.m­. to 1:15 p.m.

Immerse yourself in the history of this most luxurious and regal form of embroidery as you create a Tudor-style gilded acorn motif using materials from the goldsmith purveyors to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Event date
Saturday, September 7 and 14, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Saturday, September 7 to 28, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Using the Smithsonian gardens as inspiration, learn the secrets of plein air landscape and architectural painting on location. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, September 7 to 28, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Processing your own 35mm or 120mm black-and-white film is cost-effective, and typically provides better results. Get all the skills you need to begin at this information-packed, hands-on workshop.

Event date
Saturday, September 7 and 14, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Event date
Sunday, September 8, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

No matter what your skill level is, challenge your artistic endurance in a fun-filled, 7-hour figure-drawing marathon, featuring a work station for quick poses and one for extended work. A variety of male and female models are featured at each area, and artists may move freely between each.

Event date
Sunday, September 8, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Get a hands-on overview of how versatile colored pencils can bring illustration or fine art alive with rich, vibrant color and a range of effects.

Event date
Sunday, September 8 and 15, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Get a taste of three of our most popular studio arts courses—in watercolor, beginning drawing, and collage mixed-media—for a single night each as you enjoy a glass of wine and stimulate the artist within.

Event date
Thursday, September 12 to 26, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of the photo surrealists and explores how they pushed the boundaries of photographic imagery in the 1920s to 1940s. Step into the darkroom to create your own version of one the movement’s distinctive photo forms, the rayogram. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, September 13, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The traditional Log Cabin block offers a wonderful framework for exploring color and value contrast—and for spontaneous sewing. Learn an efficient flag-piecing technique, then finish your completed blocks as a throw or a table runner.

Event date
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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 it, you’ll be on your way to painting like a pro.

Event date
Sunday, September 15 and 22, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Join an orchid-care expert for an enjoyable and informative afternoon about America’s favorite household plant. The session is perfect for both experienced collectors and beginners, and you’ll take home an orchid you’ve learned to re-pot.

Event date
Sunday, September 15, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Put away your point-and-shoot camera. Learn to make the most of your iPhone’s camera, starting with essential photography basics and moving on to some of the best apps, camera accessories, and low-cost tools for editing and image management.

Event date
Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Creating illustrations for a children’s manuscript is loads of fun once you get to know the basics. Learn the foundations of bringing a story to life through pictures.

Event date
Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Put away your point-and-shoot camera. Learn to make the most of your iPhone’s camera, starting with essential photography basics and moving on to some of the best apps, camera accessories, and low-cost tools for editing and image management.

Event date
Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Capture the splendors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, one of Washington’s cultural treasures, with pencil and paper. This unique workshop offers a rare chance to practice perspective drawing, examine architectural details, and draw from masterworks in an extraordinary setting.

Event date
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.