art classes

Choosing and Mixing Color

Pattern showing many possible combinations of blue, yellow and white.

These are colors that lie next to each other on the color wheel.

My popular eight-week class on the deliberate, mindful use of color in painting begins Sept 19 from 1-4 pm. We’ll focus on the application of color knowledge to the work you already do. Use the media of your preference and spend time in class painting and applying the concepts you’ll be learning. Take home color theory exercises designed to teach you about color through experience, not theory. Learn to keep your color options open as your painting progresses. Achieve clarity on the role color plays in your painting or illustration projects.

Introduction to the concept, and short exercise in the first 1.5 hours. Painting – independent application of the concept in the next 1.5 hours. During this time, students are encouraged to pose color challenges for their own work and with the help of their instructor, arrive at multiple strategies to use. Optional homework will be assigned on some weeks.

Do not register on this website, because Choosing and Mixing Color is part of the Richmond Art Center’s Studio Program.  Go to the RAC site instead and register after July 31. The RAC asks that you please register before the first class on Sept 19.

Session 1 – Sept 19
Introductions. Goals for this class. Discussion of personal goals. Review of materials and supplies. The nature and quality of seven basic pigments. Warm and cold colors.

Sept 26 – No Class

Session 2 – Oct 3
Making secondaries, chromatic blacks and greys with synthetic and natural hues.

Session 3 – Oct 10
Mixing browns and flesh tones. Purple, violet, pink and lavender.

Session 4 – Oct 17
The important role of muted colors. How to mute saturated colors. Tints and shades for creating space and aerial perspective.

Session 5 – Oct 24
Limited palettes for simplicity, unity and easy color matching.

Session 6 – Oct 31
Conveying various moods through color harmonies.

Session 7 – Nov 7
Achieving colors with glazes in watercolor, oil and acrylic.

Session 8 – Nov 14
Light and shadow through the skillful use of color.

Nov 21 – Please reserve this day for a potential make-up session in case I get sick and cannot teach a class.

Create a Web Presence That Sells

Drawing of a loudspeaker

Tasks that all artists hate, made more bearable.

You are working diligently on your art, with little time to spend studying the latest marketing techniques or the way these web tools work together. Or you are getting ready to make some decisions about selling your work online but need someone who understands your needs. Don’t you wish a fellow artist could demystify it all for you?

Summary: In this once-a-month series of four classes, I will lead you through the process of understanding how to photograph and keep files of your work, getting a simple website online, or updating the one you have, building a mailing list, and reviewing some basic best practices for artists who want to sell their work through the web.

Format: The sessions are well-spaced by design, to allow sufficient time for working professionals to do the “homework,” small tasks that will ensure success for you and your individual goals. Each class is three hours long to ensure everyone gets their questions answered and leaves ready to complete their assignments.

Registration fees can only be refunded in full if canceled up to three days (72 hrs) before class. With less than 72 hrs but more than 24 hrs notice, you receive 75% of your registration. If you give less than 24 hrs notice and do not attend the first class, you’ll receive 50% of the registration fee. No refund will be given to students who attend the first class but decide not to continue.


Rebeca grew up in a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico as part of a family of immigrants and sugar cane workers. She went to a public school of the arts and discovered painting through a scholarship from the Art Students’ League of San Juan. At the University of Puerto Rico, she completed a BFA in printmaking and moved to San Francisco immediately after. Rebeca has always been interested in the urban landscape and in the figure. She enjoys painting outdoors and the opportunity to interact with the communities she paints.

Rebeca viene de una familia de immigrantes y trabajadores de la industria del azúcar. Ella se crió en un suburbio de San Juan, Puerto Rico y asistió a una escuela pública dedicada a las artes. Descubrió la pintura al recibir una beca de la Liga de estudiantes de Arte de San Juan. Más tarde estudió grabado en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, donde completó un bachillerato entes de irse a San Francisco. A Rebeca siempre le ha interesado el paisaje urbano y la figura. Disfruta pintar al aire libre y compartir con las comunidades que pinta.

Painting in Acrylics Starts March 18

A student at a table with paints, a palette and brushes.

Use the paints you already have and learn whether there is anything else you might need to buy.

Some people start learning to paint with acrylics. Others begin with oil then switch to acrylics under the assumption that they are less messy or toxic. Watercolorists switch because it is less difficult and expensive to frame an acrylic painting. Then there are painters who are prevented from bringing their oils to communal spaces.

No matter your reason to try them, rest assured no medium has been more misunderstood than this one. You see, it’s all about the additives. Knowing how to use them will give you a tremendous range of effects that simply cannot be achieved with oils. Yet visiting an art store and knowing which additives to get can be a bit intimidating, so many students continue painting without them and reaching the conclusion that acrylics is a difficult, unwieldy medium.

 I can water them down almost like watercolors or I can use them thick like oils. I believe they are respected as oils when the painting is good and they look awful (same as oils) when the painting is bad. Patricia Ann Rizzo

Acrylics are in fact, a great medium for novices and experts alike. They are very forgiving (just paint over your mistakes). They dry fast, enabling you to work on successive layers in an accelerated timeframe. You can clean everything with water, and gel medium has a very mild odor compared with turps. When you mix in a little gel, the results can be undistinguishable from an oil painting.

So, to all the acrylic haters out there, you simply don’t know what you’re missing!

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