Workshops and Classes

Spring Term Classes and Workshops at Washington Studio School

Loose Under Painting by Trevor Young. Courtesy of WSS.

Loose Under Painting by Trevor Young. Courtesy of WSS.

SPRING, 2017 OPEN HOUSE
Sunday, April 2 from 1pm to 3pm. Meet Instructors. Free drawing sessions.

Sessions runs from April 10 through June 17. To register, click here.

DROP-IN FIGURE DRAWING SESSIONS
WSS provides three opportunities each week for students and others to practice their figure work from the model in a monitored but non-instructed basis. They encourage all students to take advantage of these sessions. Sessions are available to WSS students and outside artists as well. Please check their Constant Creative Card for a multiple session discount.

  • Monday evenings, 7-10pm
    Varied short poses – drawing only
    $18 (with reduced cost packages available)
  • Thursday evenings, 7-10pm
    Long pose – sometimes two consecutive weeks – drawing or painting
    $18 (with reduced cost packages available)
  • Friday afternoons, 2-5pm
    Long pose – drawing or painting
    $18 (with reduced cost packages available)

BEGINNING DRAWING
Tuesday 2-5pm
Instructor: Carol Rubin
$455
An essential course emphasizing seeing and the principles of drawing from life: sensitive line quality, gesture, mass, volume, visual measurement, negative shape, the figure/ground relationship, and development of a personal handwriting. Students work from still life, interior space, the model and occasionally landscape. Each of the three academic terms has a slightly different focus (line, shape/value, and space/composition) making it possible to study the foundations slowly and in depth over the course of the year.

BEGINNING DRAWING
Tuesday 7-10 pm
Instructor: Martin Wall
$455
An essential course emphasizing seeing and the principles of drawing from life: sensitive line quality, gesture, mass, volume, visual measurement, negative shape, the figure/ground relationship, and development of a personal handwriting. Students work from still life, interior space, the model and occasionally landscape. Each of the three academic terms has a slightly different focus (line, shape/value, and space/composition) making it possible to study the foundations slowly and in depth over the course of the year.

BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE DRAWING
Saturday 10am–1pm
Instructor: Joren Lindholm
$455
This foundation class for beginning and intermediate students introduces and furthers the study of the visual language through observation. Working from still life, interior space and the figure, students develop an understanding of the basic principles of drawing three-dimensional form. Studies in line, shape, value, proportion, and positive/negative space are deepened, as are perceptual issues regarding the mark, gesture, planes, and placement on the page. The foundation classes are run for the full academic year with a different focus each term.

BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE DRAWING
Thursday 7-10pm
Instructor: Mary Freedman
$455
This foundation class for beginning and intermediate students introduces and furthers the study of the visual language through observation. Working from still life, interior space and the figure, students develop an understanding of the basic principles of drawing three-dimensional form. Studies in line, shape, value, proportion, and positive/negative space are deepened, as are perceptual issues regarding the mark, gesture, planes, and placement on the page. The foundation classes are run for the full academic year with a different focus each term.

DRAWING: SCALE, FORMAT and MARK
Tuesday 10am-1pm
Instructor: Katie Pumphrey
$455
In this course, we will explore scale + format through drawing. Considering the height and width of our drawings, the relative proportion of our subjects and relation to our bodies, we will experiment with different drawing mediums and subjects. We will learn how the physical size and relative scale of the work is crucial to our experience as artists and as viewers. Previous drawing experience suggested. Students should be familiar with the foundations of drawing and basic drawing supplies. Students should approach this class with an open mind and willingness to explore. Class may be repeated as new lessons will be explored. Students will also learn to articulate their ideas through writing assignments.

FIGURE DRAWING
Wednesday 7-10pm
Instructor: Diane Wilson
$455
This class is for students with some prior drawing experience. Emphasizing the continued refinement of perceptual drawing skills, the course concentrates on the structure, movement and expressive qualities of the figure. Students work towards a personal sensibility through a variety of drawing materials.

INT/ADV DRAWING: ABOUT PLACE (INSIDE and OUT)
Monday, 2-5pm
Instructor: Jill Phillips
$455
This class will take advantage of the beautiful spring weather when possible to explore visually compelling outdoor places near the school, as well as the variety of interior spaces within the WSS building. Form, volume, space, effect of light, and mark will be addressed as we work with a variety of materials to understand the uniqueness and evocative powers of a place. Models will be used several weeks to situate them in locations outside and inside of the WSS classroom and building. Both wet and dry media on paper will be explored. Drawings of artists ranging from Rembrandt, Frank Auerbach, John Virtue, Whistler, Degas and many more will be examined.

BEGINNING PAINTING
Monday 7-10pm
Instructor: Brian Kelley
$455
Students will learn the fundamentals of painting: materials and tools, paint handling, shape, value, color mixing and composition. The course provides a solid foundation for students interested in developing their perceptual and aesthetic skills. It runs the full academic year with a different emphasis each term. Fall term covers shape, value and planes in depth, winter emphasizes color, and spring is space and composition – although each are covered to different degrees in every term. It is recommended that students take all three terms for maximum benefit, however they can be taken independently as well. Subject matter includes still life, interior space and figure.

BEGINNING PAINTING
Thursday, 2-5pm
Instructor: Milena Spasic
$455
Students will learn the fundamentals of painting: materials and tools, paint handling, shape, value, color mixing and composition. The course provides a solid foundation for students interested in developing their perceptual and aesthetic skills. It runs the full academic year with a different emphasis each term. Fall term covers shape, value and planes in depth, winter emphasizes color, and spring is space and composition – although each are covered to different degrees in every term. It is recommended that students take all three terms for maximum benefit, however they can be taken independently as well. Subject matter includes still life, interior space and figure.

INTERMEDIATE PAINTING: SPACE, FORM and CONTENT
Monday 10am-1pm
Instructor: Jill Phillips
$455
For students with some basic painting experience, this class is a further exploration into figure/space relationships, issues of design and composition, color orchestration and planar structure, as well as the use of mark as a vehicle for expression and content. Students will work from still life, interior space and the figure, as well as individual sources as subject matter as they move into making the work more personal, expressive and inventive. There will be lots of looking at the work of artists, from old masters to modernists to contemporary painters. The ongoing dialog between drawing and painting will also be addressed.

INTERMEDIATE PAINTING: SPACE, FORM and CONTENT
Tuesday, 7-10pm
Instructor: Joren Lindholm
$455
For students with some basic painting experience, this class is a further exploration into figure/space relationships, issues of design and composition, color orchestration and planar structure, as well as the use of mark as a vehicle for expression and content. Students will work from still life, interior space and the figure, as well as individual sources as subject matter as they move into making the work more personal, expressive and inventive. There will be lots of looking at the work of artists, from old masters to modernists to contemporary painters. The ongoing dialog between drawing and painting will also be addressed.

ADVANCED PAINTING: PERCEPTION INTO INVENTION
Tuesday 2-5pm
Instructor: Katie Pumphrey
$455
Experienced painters in this class will explore the fertile territory and various possibilities that arise when one uses paint and mark to push perception into invention. How do we put down on canvas how something feels as well as how it looks? How do our varied tools give us the means to make paint say what we need it to? Students will develop a vocabulary that comes out of seeing and paint.

MASTERING THE FIGURE
Wednesday 2–5pm
Instructor: Diane Wilson
$455
While strengthening perceptual and technical skills, this course will investigate the materials, expressive content and visual concepts of painting and drawing as they relate to the human form. Students work towards a personal sensibility, while learning to express the complexities of the human form in its spatial environment. Gesture, proportion, skeletal structure, planar structure and placement within the rectangle are all addressed. While primarily a painting class, students are welcome to draw or use wet drawing media.

ALL DAY WITH THE CLOTHED FIGURE
Thursday 10am-5pm
Instructor: Morning: Milena Spasic; Afternoon: Independent work
$750
This class provides an opportunity for students with substantial experience in drawing and painting to work with the clothed human form all day and in the same pose for multiple weeks. Medium is up to the student and can vary. Instruction will take place in the morning, with independent work time (no instruction) in the afternoon. There will be a period of discussion/critique at the start of each day.

PAINTING THE CONTEMPORARY PORTRAIT
Friday, 2-5pm
Instructor: Brian Kelley
$455
Looking at what is both general and specific, as well as timeless and timely in portraiture, students will study the structure, planes, color temperature and the organization of value shapes that make up the portrait in space. Both portraits of models and self-portraits will be covered, leading to an understanding of the difference between what it is to be the painter painting the stranger vs. the painter as model. Understanding how light, props, and overall environment contribute to the language of the portrait will also be discussed. Students repeating this class will dig deeper into methods for producing compelling and expressive likenesses.

WATERCOLOR
6 Wednesdays, April 12 thru May 17; 7-10pm
Instructor: Milena Spasic
$275
A watercolor mark is distinct and easily differentiated from the marks made with oils or acrylics. Transparent layers of washes interspersed with the glistening of the textured white paper left untouched, and crisp dry brush marks that stand in contrast are part of the language of watercolor. To handle the medium is to balance the fluidity, the unexpected with the controlled; to observe the water as it carries the pigment across a shape. One chooses to interfere or not interfere, to dab, to subtract, or to let dry and add another mark afterwards. At the same time the placement, size and relationship of the shapes in the composition have to be considered. With practice comes playfulness with the element of chance, rather than hesitancy; and that is when the marks come to life. Students will have an opportunity to practice mark-making and handling of the medium, while painting from observation from a variety of subject matter.

Sculptor’s Eye: Drawing with Clay
Tuesday 7-10pm
Instructor: Jon-Joseph Russo
$455
This class is for sculptors and painters alike, showing how sculptors gain the ability to see and think in three-dimensional space. Painters will further develop their sense of space by working with it physically. The goal is to imbue drawing with the character of making sculpture and to have clay possess the fluidity, quickness and spontaneity of drawing. This will be achieved by using coarse drawing media with line work that will represent the clay modeling tools, then working in clay with fingers, tools in the same directness of expression.

The class may begin with an exercise in bas relief, then move to the figure as the sculptor progresses from drawing on paper to the sketch with clay, ‘the study, the maquette’, which can be treated as a series of explorations into details, or into larger finished sculptures.
TOOLS / MATERIALS REQUIRED: Approx. $50. Supply list will be sent to registered students.

  • Assorted Clay Tools
  • Assorted drawing materials
  • Water Clay ‘Terra Cotta’, fee paid directly to Instructor.

PERSONAL GEOGRAPHIES: MAPPING AS ART
Wednesdays, April 5 and 12; 10am – 5pm
Instructor: Joanne Kaufman
$215
Maps fulfill one of our most primal needs: to understand the world around us and our place in it. They evoke images of journeys to unexplored places. They are visual and often beautiful. But maps do not have to be only about cities and countries and bodies of water – they can be less conventional, metaphorical and inventive, exploring the uncharted territories of imagination and information. Looking at the work of artists such as Julie Mehretu, Jasper Johns, Maya Lin and others, students will explore the language of cartography (both visually and conceptually.) With a variety of materials they will develop their own vocabularies for mapping experience into art.

DEVELOPING VISUAL MEMORY
Wednesdays, April 19 and 26; 10am – 5pm
Instructor: Jill Phillips
$215
Without even realizing it, we are relying on visual memory in the moments between looking at an observed subject and turning to our paper to put down a mark. But how can a keen visual memory serve us when the model or still life is no longer in front of us, or we are no longer in front of the landscape? And what is the role of visual memory in bringing imagination, invention and selection into the work? Developing visual memory involves all of the senses, and is as much about how something feels as how it looks. This workshop will take students through a process that will help to enhance recall of gesture, relationships and mood, and build a repository of responsive imagery to draw upon. We will use still life objects, models and interior space as source.

TRAVEL JOURNALING: CREATING A SKETCHBOOK
Saturday, April 22; 10am – 5pm
Instructor: Sally Levie
$120
As travel season approaches it is time to think about ways to document your vacation memories and experiences. Photos are great, but slowing down to really look and record your experiences by hand brings expanded richness to each day of travel. Using watercolors and inks, discover how to create your own sketchbook and trip memories, through gesture drawing and journaling text. Students will learn about the best materials for creating a compact travel studio, and ways to create beautiful pages to treasure forever.

QUICK STUDIES IN PAINT: THE FIGURE
Sunday, April 30; 10am – 5pm
Instructor: Milena Spasic
$120
A sequence of short and quickly executed studies in oil paint. A method that allows students to hone seeing skills by challenging them to quickly identify the most significant forms, gestures, spatial relationships and atmosphere. Students are challenged to depict the essence of the subject at hand in short 5 to 30 minute painting sessions. The studies can stand as paintings in their own right or source material for further paintings. Students will work from a live model. Recommended for students with painting experience.

DRAWING TWO MODELS
Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7; 10am – 5pm
Instructor: Diane Wilson
$215
Enjoying the rare chance to work with two models at once, participants will have an intensive opportunity to explore the structural and expressive qualities of figures in pictorial space. Principles of composition and underlying geometry will be addressed through periodic critiques, as will mark, material, contour, edge, and relationship to the page. Through concentrated and vigorous engagement with the figure in space the door to invention and transformation begins to open.

TOLERATING CHAOS
Wednesdays, May 10 and 17; 10am-5pm
Guest Instructor: Trevor Young
$215
When we look at a painting it is sometimes hard to appreciate the hidden layers of construction that are beneath the final skin of exposed paint. Chaos, unexpected color, and a circuitous path of decisions can hide beneath the painting that we see. WSS is pleased to offer this exciting workshop by renowned DC Painter Trevor Young whose surprising under paintings lead to surfaces that radiate light and sense of place. Using still life and figure together, students will learn to construct a painting in a radical and dynamic way using underpainting, as well as how to control color saturation through the painting process and how to use temperature to create intense light in the painting.

PAINTING THE MD AND VA LANDSCAPE
Saturday, May 13 – 10am-1pm
Saturday, May 20 – 10am-4pm
Instructor: Lee Newman
$215
Do not miss this opportunity to escape the city and explore the varied landscape possibilities in our surrounding locales while studying with WSS founder and master teacher Lee Newman. The first Saturday we will venture up to the Old Angler’s Inn area to paint the tangles, reflections and glimpses of river in this beautiful area near the Potomac and C&O Canal. The following Saturday we are in for a treat as a WSS student generously invites us to her exquisite farm in Hume, Virginia (1 hr, 15min from DC) for a full day of painting. Views at the farm are both expansive and intimate, and there are covered areas to paint under in the event of rain. Through value, color, shape and mark students will gain a better understanding of landscape space, form and a sense of place. Students who prefer to draw are welcome as well. Carpools can be arranged, and directions will be provided. Portable easel needed.

GRAPHITE – THE PENCIL AND BEYOND
Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4; 10am-3pm
Instructor: Mary Freedman
$180
One of the most widely used drawing mediums, graphite comes in many forms, and can be pushed in many directions. Experiment with the various types of graphite available – dry, powdered, water soluble — while exploring the versatility and expressive qualities of the medium. Students will work from a variety of subjects including the model.