Art Courses


Follow your passion and find an artistic outlet in one of our many popular non-credit enrichment art courses. Check out the wide variety of classes we will have via live web meetings this summer!

Live Web Meetings

Polymer Clay Sculpting

polymer clay sculpting

Whether you already have experience sculpting or are a beginner who would like to learn more, take this class to push your imagination into the 3rd dimension! Polymer clay is a versatile medium and wonderful for sculpting figures, large and small. Build a simple wire armature (supporting “skeleton”) and sculpt your favorite character, 8 inches tall, 12 inches tall or whatever scale you choose! Or, you can create smaller figures, like a 5-inch tall fairy for a terrarium. Add this skill to your professional portfolio, or begin a fun, new hobby to enjoy for life!

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Introduction to Cartooning

This introductory course will guide you through the process of creating sequential art including topics such as: 2D design and perspective, basic drawing techniques with pen and ink, figure drawing and character modeling, abstraction/props, shading/color, narrative development, story boarding, and panel arrangement. This course will give you the basic tools to develop your own cartooning style appropriate for comics, graphic novels, manga etc.

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Basics of Drawing

In this online drawing survey class, you’ll learn to train your artistic eye while also developing your drawing skills. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged! We will meet online weekly. Together we’ll explore line and value, geometric and organic shapes, composition and still life, the basics of linear perspective and finally, portraits and figure drawing. You will need a smart phone, scanner or other type of digital camera for sharing pictures of your work and a good internet connection for our meetings. We will share our work via a cloud based file sharing service.

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Creative Nature Journal

Do you enjoy being outdoors and connecting with nature? Would you like to learn the fundamentals of phenology while you observe and draw the natural world around you? Students will meet for class to discuss artistic techniques and concepts, then sketch, paint, and record in their journals from backyards, local parks, woods, wild-spaces, etc. No experience is necessary, this course is great for anyone who enjoys spending time outside in quieter pursuits.

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Art Critique

Do you create art at home? Would you benefit from learning to discuss your work with others and getting creative and constructive feedback? Could you use tips and the jolt of direction that comes from sharing your work? Do you wonder what others are making and get excited by creative ideas? Join us to learn structured and positive ways to discuss art, and to share your work with others. Classes will meet to discuss topics and ideas, and students will share and discuss their art with each other. Individual conversations will also be scheduled with the instructor, a veteran college professor with an MFA in fine art.

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Calligraphy/Mixed Media

Learn the basics of calligraphy, involving different alphabet styles, with individualized instruction. Create projects using watercolor and various media combined with calligraphy.

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Discover Zentangle!

sample zentangle

We live in a world full of technology and distractions... what if you could have a tool to help you take a break and have some fun? Discover the Zentangle® method, learn to produce patterns step by step, and relax, de-stress, and complete your own Zentangle art! No experience necessary, and all experience levels welcome! Whether you can't draw a stick figure or if you've already created your own masterpieces, this class is for you. Over the duration of the course, we'll explore each step of the Zentangle method, learn how to use the materials and draw tangle patterns, explore how to use graphite to shade and enhance, and break all the rules and just have a fun and relaxing experience! The Zentangle® method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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Exploring Zentangle

So you’ve discovered Zentangle, you can’t put your pen down and you want to learn more... Learn new ways to further your Zentangle practice. Dive deeper into the Zentangle techniques such as auras, drawing behind, and shading. Learn how to embrace your “mistakes” and even layer different tangle patterns to create a dramatic and cohesive piece! Each week create 1-2 tiles and learn new patterns and techniques! The Zentangle® method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images bydrawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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Intro to Bookbinding

Have you wanted to try bookbinding but weren’t sure where to start? This workshop will let you create up to four projects and learn basic bookbinding techniques, including two kinds of stitching, and how to cut and glue covers. You will make some interesting and useful small booklets with your bookbinding toolkit.

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Painting

This beginning course teaches basic painting skills using different paint media. You will learn how to lay out a palette, prepare painting backgrounds, mix colors and develop pictures along with other painting skills.

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Mixed Media Watercolor Painting

For beginners or continuing students refining their watercolor skills, this class will be filled with technical information, demonstrations, individual instruction and lots of time to paint. Learn brush handling, color theory and watercolor techniques such as washes, glazes and textural effects. Choose subject matter from photos, book references or still lifes as you explore painting styles from realism to abstract. This is a mixed media course with emphasis on watercolor. Explorations with media such as graphite, ink, color pencils, oils and more are incorporated into watercolor painting. Instructor is bilingual in English and Spanish.

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Digital Painting Intro Online

This online class is a beginner level exploration of the tools, theory, techniques and tricks of working with computers, tablets, and software to create digital artwork. You will learn digital techniques by applying traditional art skills through live instruction, demos and exercises. You will need a computer with a webcam, a fast internet connection, a graphics tablet, such a Wacom Intuos attached to your computer or an 8inch or larger tablet, such as an Samsung Galaxy or iPad with Autodesk Sketchbook installed to participate in this course.

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Floral Design Workshop

floral workshop

Students learn the basic principles and mechanics of floral design. This class is for beginners as well as the advanced students. In the online course, students will provide their own supplies.

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Ceramics

Ceramics and Sculpting

Ceramics 1: Sculpture and Hand-Building

ceramics classThis course is an introduction to clay through the use of hand-building techniques such as pinch pots, coil, and slab pots. A wide variety of decorating and glazing techniques will also be introduced. Individual pieces will be encouraged after basic skills are mastered.

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Ceramics 2: Wheel Throwing

This class is for both beginning and continuing wheel throwers. Topics covered include forming techniques as well as decorating and glazing.

ceramics class

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Bas-relief Sculpture

Blending the three and two dimensional worlds, bas-relief sculpture has long been valued for its pictorial potential and appeal to both painters and sculptors. In this class, you will learn the foundational skills of bas-relief modeling and produce your own reliefs. Suitable for complete beginners, experienced sculptors, as well as those with a drawing or painting background, portrait relief sculpture develops the principles of painting and drawing (perspective, light and shade etc) through modeling form in clay.

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polymer clay sculpting

Polymer Clay Figure Sculpting

Whether it’s your own personal character design or a favorite character from film or literature, you can bring it to life in 3D! In traditional animation, sculptors create character maquettes as 3-dimensional scale model reference guides to aid the artists in drawing characters from all angles. The student will create a wire armature and sculpt their maquette in polymer clay. Maquette sculpting is a great skill to add to a professional portfolio as well as a fun hobby to enjoy for life.

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Art Metal

Art Metal / Jewelry-Making

Basic Stone Setting: Beginning Art Metals/Jewelry

scene from art metal class

This is a beginning level class that focuses on the fundamentals of jewelry and metalsmithing. Students will learn basic techniques from sawing to soldering while making pendants incorporating basic stone settings. Settings covered will include tab, bezel and tube. Projects are predetermined but open to interpretation based upon a student's own design aesthetic.

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Jewelry Art/Metal Fold Forming and Fabrication

This course is for any student who has learned the basic fabrication techniques. Instruction will focus on the technique of fold forming and the possibilities of incorporating roller printing, stamp texturing, marriage of metal, etching, and a small cast element.

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Jewelry Workshop Advancedart metal class photo

This course expands on the techniques learned in Jewelry 1 and is for any student who has learned the basic fabrication techniques. The class is run in a workshop manner in that demonstrations are based on the desires and needs of the students in the class.

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Drawing/Painting

Drawing and Painting Courses

art class photoFundamentals of Drawing

In this class, you will learn to see as artists do. All levels of aptitude are encouraged as the instructor works one-on-one with individuals. Students are encouraged to work independently and participate in group discussions and critiques. Confidence will be created in producing drawings.

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Basic Drawing

Can we trust our eyes when we observe the world around us? Can we become better observers? What techniques can we learn to make our observations more accurate? How do we learn to self-check the accuracy of our own drawing? This introduction to drawing class helps you with all of these skills. Through presenting drawing principles and elements in a structured, logical manner, this course will provide a solid framework of basic skills, techniques and concepts of visual representation for all students. This class is a must for all those interested in becoming visual thinkers.

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Figure Drawing

scene from drawing class

This is a basic course introducing the study of the human figure, including proportions, construction, balance, and relationships. Different drawing media are used for reasons of expression, detail, articulation, dramatic effect, and reproducibility. For the advanced student, the course involves composing the figure in successful finished drawings with greater technical development. Ages 18+ only.

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Exploring and Drawing Madison Architecture

Have you ever wondered why buildings look the way they do? Explore and draw the diverse architectural language and styles of downtown Madison. Learn the fundamental principles such as proportion, symmetry and style through a combination of classroom lectures, drawing projects and sketching outdoors. Practice the art of drawing architecture freehand in the classroom and through drawing select buildings in Madison. Ideal for anyone interested in architecture, sketching urban landscapes and anyone involved in creating decorative molding or the decorative arts.

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Plein Air Art Group

Would you like to work en plein air with the safety and community of heading out with a group? Take your art to new places! This group will meet at various locations (schedule TBD) where you can paint, draw, etc. from the delights of nature.  Inclement weather will find us working either from sheltered locations, or from the classroom where we will have still life back ups. You may draw or paint at your own pace, in any style and medium you enjoy. The instructor and group will come together to problem-solve and provide feedback as desired. Experience is not required.

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Intro to Cartooning

This introductory course will guide you through the process of creating sequential art including topics such as: 2D design and perspective, basic drawing techniques with pen and ink, figure drawing and character modeling, abstraction/props, shading/color, narrative development, story boarding, and panel arrangement. This course will give you the basic tools to develop your own cartooning style appropriate for comics, graphic novels, manga etc.

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Drawing Plants and Botanicals

Learn multiple techniques to render plants and nature objects realistically. We will explore botanicals using different materials and focus on observational drawing skills. Investigations will include the use of colored pencils, watercolor pencils, ink, watercolor, and pencil. Projects will be done using still-life objects, and objects will be rendered from life. Students will look at art historical references, including scientific botanical studies. Each student will be met at their drawing level and guided to expand their observational drawing skills.

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Life Painting

Would you enjoy the opportunity paint or draw with a live model? Those interested in portraiture and/or figure painting will find this group setting to be exciting. You may draw or paint at your own pace, in any style and medium you enjoy. The instructor and group will come together to problem-solve and provide feedback as wanted. Experience is not required.

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Painting

This beginning course teaches basic painting skills using different paint media. Students will learn how to lay out a palette, prepare painting backgrounds, mix colors and develop pictures along with other painting skills.

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Watercolor Painting

For beginners or continuing students refining their watercolor skills, this class will be filled with technical information, demonstrations, individual instruction and lots of time to paint. Learn brush handling, color theory and watercolor techniques such as washes, glazes and textural effects. Choose subject matter from photos, book references or still lifes as the class explores painting styles from realism to abstract.

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Mixed Media Watercolor Painting

For beginners or continuing students refining their watercolor skills, this class will be filled with technical information, demonstrations, individual instruction and lots of time to paint. Learn brush handling, color theory and watercolor techniques such as washes, glazes and textural effects. Choose subject matter from photos, book references or still lifes as you explore painting styles from realism to abstract. This is a mixed media course with emphasis on watercolor. Explorations with media such as graphite, ink, color pencils, oils and more are incorporated into watercolor painting. Instructor is bilingual in English and Spanish.

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Oil Painting

Students will have the opportunity to observe the instructor demonstrate oil painting techniques and can choose to paint along with the class project or may select a subject of individual preference.

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Painting for Pleasure

Painting can be a way to relax or a form of self-expression. Students will have the opportunity to observe the instructor demonstrating acrylic painting techniques and can either choose to paint along with a class project or may select an individual project. The instructor will accommodate all levels of painting skills, from beginning to advanced, will help students with ideas for subject matter, composition, color, etc., and will encourage each student to develop their own painting style.

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Other

Additional Noncredit Art Courses

Discover Zentangle!

sample zentangle

We live in a world full of technology and distractions... what if you could have a tool to help you take a break and have some fun? Discover the Zentangle® method, learn to produce patterns step by step, and relax, de-stress, and complete your own Zentangle art! No experience necessary, and all experience levels welcome! Whether you can't draw a stick figure or if you've already created your own masterpieces, this class is for you. The Zentangle® method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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Tangled in the Water

As a child, you may have been admonished to stop playing in puddles... In this class you'll be encouraged to splash and run through colorful puddles as much as you want! We'll celebrate the arrival of spring and summer with bright and colorful palettes and tangles that remind us of gardens and nature. Each week explore how to use watercolor techniques to create colorful abstract  backgrounds. Delve into several organic tangle patterns and use a watercolor background as a frame or "string" for the tangles. Try new tools to create depth through shading and highlighting. Each week you will create 1-2 finished pieces and have additional projects to tangle on at home. The Zentangle® method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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Calligraphy/Mixed Media

If you've ever wanted to learn the art of making beautiful notes, letters, and signs, then this is the class for you. Basic alphabets are used so students will finish the course with elemental knowledge of the use of the chisel-edge pen. Uses of calligraphy are discussed.

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Intro to Bookbinding

Have you wanted to try bookbinding but weren’t sure where to start? This workshop will let you create up to four projects and learn basic bookbinding techniques, including two kinds of stitching, and how to cut and glue covers.

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Color Theory

Do you dabble in arts and crafts? Are you interested in sewing, graphic design, painting, or other artistic pursuits? Have you often wondered why some works are so appealing, while others end up so drab? Join us for this experiential class in color theory and learn how color is created, how colors work together, and how to mix colors effectively.

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Digital Painting

Prepare to look at digital art in a whole new light. This class is a beginner level exploration of the tools, theory, techniques and tricks of working with Adobe Photoshop. You will learn techniques for producing digital paintings and conceptual art by applying traditional art skills in a virtual environment. Be prepared to immerse yourself in practical assignments that will build your digital painting skills from the ground up.

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Floral Design Workshop

floral workshop

Students learn the basic principles and mechanics of floral design using fresh flowers, and will create and take home flower arrangements. This class is for beginners as well as the advanced students.

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Wedding Floral Design Workshop

Are you planning a wedding and would like to make the flowers yourself?  In this workshop you'll learn about the care and handling of wedding flowers, types of flowers to use, how to determine how many stems to buy, and a working timeline. Learn how to make a bridal bouquet, corsage, boutonniere, and centerpiece.

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Matting & Framing 1

Learn how to mat and frame pictures, making them more appealing while protecting them. Design the mat and frame, and then construct your design. The class covers several procedures for finishing frames, combinations of frame moldings, restoration procedures, and conservation materials and procedures. Designed for both the new and the continuing student. Experienced students will learn advanced mat cutting and decoration as well as more complex frame building. Some current techniques are covered as well as an exploration of the latest materials.

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Matting & Framing 2

The class presents information and techniques that are new to beginning students and a review for more experienced students. This course also offers more advanced techniques in matting, v-grooves, French lines and panels, open v-grooves and more for the experienced students. Techniques on joining various mouldings to produce different profiles, different finishing applications such as gold/silver leafing, antiquing, staining, dry brushing, and restoring are among the techniques introduced and reviewed. The course is an open lab after the first session and is tailored to the individual needs of the students.

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Woodcarving

This hands-on class will give students a basic knowledge of different knives, woods, and finishes. Students will develop, sketch, or transfer a picture or mental image into wood. If students' skills and interest develops, carving can become their art.

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Stained Glass Courses

Stained Glass Suncatcher Workshop

suncatcher

Take this short workshop to find out if creating stained glass art is for you. Join us to make a star-shaped suncatcher using cut glass and additional bevel pieces; no experience is necessary. With step-by-step instruction on glass cutting, pattern preparation, foiling, and soldering, you will complete a 6-8" star suncatcher to take home with you.  There will be three patterns to choose from.

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Stained Glass Animal Suncatcher Workshop

Take this short workshop to find out if creating stained glass art is for you. Join us to make an animal suncatcher; no experience is necessary. Pattern choices will include cats, birds, butterflies, etc.. With step-by-step instruction on glass cutting, pattern preparation, foiling, and soldering, you will complete a piece to take home with you.

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Stained Glass

Construct a stained glass piece using standard principles and techniques. This class is designed to acquaint students with basic stained glass cutting, copper foil method, and soldering in making stained glass art. Continuing students have the option of learning lead method, mosaic art, stepping stones, lamp making, etc.

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Registration

To register, use the course links above to locate an upcoming section and add to cart, or phone (608) 258-2301, ext 2, for registration assistance.

No application is needed, but you will be prompted to login or create an account.