2016 Summer Term Workshops at Washington Studio School

By Editorial Team on June 7, 2016
WSS 2016 summer classes insert
Photo courtesy of Sally Levie.


Register for workshops here.


Learning to See: Drawing into Painting for Beginners
Insturctor: Milena spasic
Thursdays, June 30, July 7, 14
10am – 5pm
This short class will provide an introduction to the foundations of observational drawing and how it relates to painting. Students will learn the basics of contour, shape, value, negative/positive space, proportion, through the use of simple drawing materials and a very limited (3 color) palette of paints as we look carefully at still life and interior space. This course is designed for beginning students. Students who prefer to draw exclusively may do so.

Photo courtesy of Washington Studio School.
Photo courtesy of Brian Kreydatus.

Portrait vs. Self Portrait
Visiting Instructor: Brian Kreydatus
Friday, July 1
10am – 5pm
WSS is pleased to bring back Brian Kreydatus for both an exhibition and a workshop. Brian taught at WSS years ago before becoming a full time professor of art at William and Mary College. Many of us on the WSS faculty have studied or taught with Kreydatus and can attest to the strength of his teaching. Don’t miss this opportunity. https://www.wm.edu/as/arthistory/documents/brian_Kreydatus.pdf

What is the difference between using the self that you know so well as model vs. the stranger who serves as muse in the classroom? In a self-portrait we are both the painter and the model, leading to responses that are bound to be different than when we paint someone other than our selves. What is the role of memory, prop, environment, color, and material in one vs. the other? With pencil and sketchbook in the morning, and choice of drawing materials on larger paper in the afternoon, these questions will be explored. Students will work from a model in the morning, and from themselves with mirror in the afternoon.

Learning to See: Intro to Painting
Instructor: Brian Kelley
Tuesdays, July 5, 12, 19, 26
This short class introduces students to some basic painting concepts and skills. Topics covered will include materials and surfaces, light/dark value relationships, shape relationships, placement, color concepts, mark, and composition. Using a limited palette of colors, students will work from still life and interior space.

Photo courtesy of Diane Wilson.
Photo courtesy of Diane Wilson.

Figure Drawing (2 Sessions)
Instructor: Diane Wilson
Session 1:
Wednesdays, July 6, 13, 20, 27
Session 2:
Wednesdays, August 3, 10, 17, 24
Drawing from the model, this workshop will focus on the structure, movement and expressive qualities of the figure. Line, gesture, proportion, volume and placement are all considered as we work from this most enduring subject.

Summer High School Teen Intensive
Monday through Friday, July 11 — 29 110am – 5pm
Tuition includes supplies

Drawing the Figure in Space: Traditional/Contemporary
Instructor: Susan Yanero
Wednesdays, July 6, 13, 20, 27
This playful, multi-media drawing class will relate the figure to varied and theatrical interior environments, combining traditional and contemporary ways of finding relationships and using materials. Students will learn to see the figure with accuracy and sensitivity, while enjoying the process of locating it in space. Some weeks the model will move throughout the space, other weeks a single pose will be sustained.

S Street Sketch
Instructor: Joren Lindholm
Mondays, July 11, 18, 25, August 1
6:30 – 9:30pm
Wind down your work day by exploring the alleys, doorways, street views, Spanish Steps, Mitchell Park, and other visual treasures all within steps of Washington Studio School. Bring dinner if you like, and after briefly looking at examples of urbanscape drawings by historical and contemporary artists, we will head outdoors with sketchbook and an array of drawing materials in hand. Early evening summer light and shadows can be dramatic or soft, and we will learn to see the beauty in the seemingly mundane as we start to recognize the potential for drawing everywhere. When the light begins to fade, we will return to WSS to look at and talk about the work. Rain or shine. We will draw out of the windows at WSS if it rains. For all levels.

Degas, You, and the Monotype: ‘A Strange New Beauty’
Instructor: Brian Kelley
Tuesdays, July 12, 19
Channeling the much talked about and stunning show of Degas monotypes currently at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, students will create a series of monotypes using both the model and the immediate landscape around the school as source. In the mid-1870’s, Degas was introduced to the monotype process, which involves drawing with ink on a plate and running it through a press. The result is a single print, which Degas took to a radical end by modifying and reworking with pastel and other materials. Looking at Degas and experimenting on their own with simple non-toxic printmaking materials, students will discover the potential of this medium and emerge with a series of their own unique new beauties.’

Museum Marathon
Instructor: Joren Lindholm
Saturday and Sunday, July 16, 17
Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees” — Robert Irwin

Washington,DC is rich in museums, each with it’s own focus and flavor. This exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in several of them, while drawing and finding connections between cultures and epochs, should not be missed. Each of the four three-hour segments will be spent at a different museum, with lunch and transit in between.

Topics covered will include:

  • Western organization of composition
  • Form and tactility found in sculpture
  • Rhythm and tension found in repetition
  • and how all three cross-feed or influence each other.


  • Saturday
    • National Gallery of Art 10:00 — 1:00
      Smithsonian American Art Museum / Portrait Gallery 2:00 — 5:00
  • Sunday
    • National Museum of African Art 10:00 — 1:00
      Hirshhorn Museum (particularly Robert Irwin exhibit) 2:00 — 5:00

1 to 2pm includes transit and lunch

Materials list: paper, support for working (sketchbook is fine), dry drawing media (student’s choice: pencil, charcoal, ball point, marker). Drawings will be discussed and shared each session.

Looking and Play
Visiting instructor: Bettina Nelson
Saturday and Sunday, July 23, 24
10am – 5pm
WSS welcomes back visiting artist Bettina Nelson, whose workshop last summer (Intuition: Working in Books) was met with rave reviews! Nelson graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art where she studied with Ken Kewley and Stuart Shils, among many others. Her work has been shown widely, including The Woodmere Art Museum, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Cerulean Gallery, PAFA, and Cameron St. Gallery.

Summer is for Play! Serious Play! The focus of this 2-day workshop is to exercise Looking and Play in the visual world. Day 1 will be spent Looking. We will spend time in our sketchbooks drawing from life, falling in love with looking, and using mark as an extension of sight. Day 2 will transition from Looking into reacting to the material we are using, focusing on Play. Guided by intuition and fun, using various mediums, facilitated prompts and memories of looking from life, we will focus on seeing what is possible when one is completely open to what the material has to offer. Material will be used as a catalyst for creation, and our process will open up limitless curiosity and receptivity to surprise. As a side effect of this workshop students will develop flexibility, open-mindedness, and a trust in intuition. All this while having fun together!

Labor Day Figure Marathon
Instructor: Diane Wilson
Saturday and Sunday, September 3,4
10am – 5pm
Working the first day with one model and the second day with two models, participants will have an intensive opportunity to explore the structural and expressive qualities of the figure 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. Students will look at the drawings of Old and Modern Masters such as Caravaggio, Schiele, Diebenkorn and more. Through concentrated and vigorous engagement with the figure in a dynamic environment the door to invention and transformation begins to open.

For complete schedule visit, https://www.washingtonstudioschool.org/artclassescourses-programs/workshops-marathons.