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Continuing Education at PAFA



CE Courses by Medium/Discipline

All About Acrylics (In-Person)

$295

with Frederic Kaplan

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 12, 2024 at 9 am, runs for 6 weeks

Fridays, 9 a.m - 12 p.m. 
Instructor: Frederic Kaplan 
Six-Week Short Course (18 Hours)
Credit: Non-Credit Only

This complete acrylic painting course covers basics to advanced methods. Learn to use quick-drying acrylics expertly in thin, transparent layers as well as thicker, more opaque applications that produce textural and impasto effects. Materials like fluid mediums, gels, and pastes will be demonstrated, along with both brush and palette knife techniques. Several different color palettes will be introduced as students work from still life subjects. This course is ideal for students looking for a non-toxic, flexible painting medium, as well as anyone seeking to explore acrylics’ excellent potential for representational and abstract work. Drawing experience is recommended.   

Image: Fred Kaplan. 

Register by: July 5
Materials List  
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies 

In-Depth Watercolor, Session 2 (In-Person)

$675

with James Toogood

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 12, 2024 at 9 am, runs for 6 weeks

Fridays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Instructor: James Toogood 
Six-Week Condensed Course (42 Hours)
Credit: Non-Credit or 1.5 Undergraduate Credits (See Below)

Enrich your knowledge of painting with an in-depth look at watercolor. Thoroughly investigate a wide range of watercolor materials and techniques from your choice of landscape, still life, portrait, and figure subjects. Open to watercolorists of all levels and to acrylic/oil painters looking to broaden their skills.  

Learning Objectives  

  • Students will learn about color theory as applied to watercolor.  
  • Students will receive a comprehensive explanation of watercolor materials and tools, with particular focus will be paid to the properties of paint and pigments as they interact with the paintbrushes and paper.  
  • Through both discussions and demonstrations, first time participants and beginners will learn a variety of techniques that are fundamental to watercolor, presented in a systematic step by step method. Participants can expect to have regular individual instruction, given at their current skill level.  
  • Focus also will be paid on acquiring the skills needed to achieve a richness of color and a feeling of light.  
  • Participants will work from direct observations from the still life and model, as well as from one’s own source materials.  
  • Those not taking the class for credit will have the option to work on landscape, still life, portrait and figure or abstraction, as they wish.  
  • Participants will be exposed to a variety of watercolor styles and encouraged to discover one’s own personal aesthetic.  
  • The course is ultimately designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to make accomplished, personally rewarding watercolor paintings.   

Optional: This Condensed Course is available for 1.5 undergraduate credits for $995. Select credit option with price adjustment when registering. 

Image: James Toogood, Venice

Register by: July 5
Materials List
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies

Land Art and Mindfulness Workshop (Online and Outdoor)

$125

with Colleen O'Donnell

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 13, 2024 at 9 am

Saturday Zoom Intro, 1 – 3 p.m. and Sunday Outdoors/On-Location, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (See below for rain date.)
Instructor: Colleen O’Donnell
Weekend Workshop
Credit: Non-Credit Only

Nature can stimulate creativity and mindfulness, and likewise mindful creativity can amplify one’s appreciation of nature. Improve your ability to be conscious in and with nature by creating a temporary artwork in a natural setting using the materials found there. Making an artwork onsite not only amplifies attention to the beautiful details of one’s surroundings, but also the ephemeral, or impermanent, nature of land work releases the artist from preconceived ideas or pressures of making a lasting "product" so that they can be concerned only with living and creating in the moment. The class will meet first via Zoom to discuss ideas of land art, view examples, and plan for their activity.  Students will then gather and create their works in Montgomery County's peaceful Fort Washington State Park, and afterward photograph it or make a short video to preserve the memory. This workshop is a great way to use art-makingas a way to relax and connect with nature.No prior experience necessary. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Note: Please reserve rain dates of July 20 – 21. Regular refund policies apply to original dates only; no refunds available for students unable to attend rain dates. See CE policy guide below for withdrawal policies.

Image: Colleen O'Donnell, Oceanscape, driftwood, shells and plastic straw, 6 x 18 x 6 in.

Register by: July 26
Materials List
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies

Figure Painting: The Extended Pose (In-Person)

$330

with David Wilson

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 13, 2024 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks

Saturdays, 10 a.m - 1 p.m. 
Instructor: David Wilson 
Six-Week Short Course (18 Hours)
Credit: Non-Credit Only

Paint from a life model in a single pose for the entire course. Extended time with a single subject allows students to work with the instructor to tailor exercises that address their individual interests, including the development of one large image or several smaller studies. The first session will include time for gestural and thumbnail drawings in preparation for the model’s final placement. Instruction will cover a variety of topics including glazing, broken color, surface texture, composition and design, the relationship of the figure to the environment, the creation of atmosphere and color harmony, disrupted realism, and open- versus closed-form painting. All levels welcome. Students are welcome to draw-only, or use other appropriate media, if they wish. Note: Tuition includes a $35 models fee. 

Image: David Wilson.

Register by: July 5
Materials List 
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies 

Handquilting (In-Person)

$195

with Sheryl Kessler

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 13, 2024 at 10 am, runs for 4 weeks

Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Instructor: Sheryl Kessler 
Four-Week Short Course (12 Hours)
Credit: Non-Credit Only

The act of hand-stitching is a meditative and relaxing process that produces beautiful and unique results without any machine required. Learn the techniques of slow-stitching by creating your own small (wall-hanging)-sized quilt. All techniques will be taught by hand, but students are welcome to bring personal sewing machines if they wish. The following methods will be taught:   

  • Patchwork  
  • Applique (raw edge and turned edge)  
  • Traditional quilting and tied quilting  
  • Binding   

Benefit by working alongside other participants, to enjoy conversation and company and to learn from, and admire, each other’s work! 

Image: Sheryl Kessler, I KEEP ON FALLIN' IN AND OUT OF LOVE WITH YOU.

Register by: June 24
Materials List  
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies 

Watercolor in the Park (Outdoor)

$295

with Keith Leitner

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 14, 2024 at 9 am, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
Instructor: Keith Leitner 
Six-Week Short Course (18 Hours)
Credit: Non-Credit Only 

Capture the colors of summer en plein air through vibrant watercolor! Become comfortable and confident with the practice of working outdoors at picturesque Lemon Hill, Laurel Hill, and other select locations around the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fairmount Park. Instruction will cover means of accurately and expressively depicting outdoor sites, watercolor painting techniques, color mixing, and the history and capabilities of water media. All levels welcome. Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation to painting locations.    

Learning Objectives:    

  • Learn to observe and depict landscape and cityscape en plein air with attendant materials and set up  
  • Learn color mixing and watercolor application techniques  
  • Study of pigment history and development  
  • Learn about watercolor history via short discussions of painters and their motifs 

Image: Keith Leitner.

Register by: July 8
Materials List  
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies 

Alla Prima Portrait Drawing and Painting (Online)

$295

with Al Gury

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 14, 2024 at 3 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, 3 – 4 p.m. (Interactive asynchronous Canvas content supported by weekly Zoom meetings) 
Instructor: Al Gury
Six-Week Condensed Course (30-hour Equivalent) 
Credit: Non-Credit or 1.0 Undergraduate Credit (See Below)

Al Gury, Professor of Painting and Drawing at PAFA and noted author of Alla Prima, Color for Painters, and Foundations of Drawing, presents this in-depth approach to the skills, materials, colors, history, and techniques of alla prima portrait painting and drawing. Working from photographs, masterworks, or available models, learn concepts that will not only improve your portrait painting and drawing, but also grow your confidence in your artistic practice. Video demonstrations, images, and written instructions on the online learning platform Canvas will be supplemented by critiques and weekly discussions. Oil painting will be the primary focus, but all media are welcome as well as all levels of experience. Class meetings will be held on Zoom, and Canvas will be used for assignments and class content.   

Optional: This course is available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $595. Select credit option with price adjustment when registering. 

Image: Al Gury, Beatrice, Oil on panel, 8 x 10 in.

Register by: July 8
Materials List
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies
Information for PAFA CE Online Courses

Composition in Drawing and Painting (Online)

$295

with Al Gury

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 14, 2024 at 4:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (Interactive asynchronous Canvas content supported by weekly Zoom meetings) 
Instructor: Al Gury
Six-Week Condensed Course (30-hour Equivalent)
Credit: Non-Credit or 1.0 Undergraduate Credit (See Below)

An in-depth approach to understanding and using composition by Al Gury, Professor of Painting and Drawing at PAFA, and noted author of Alla Prima, Color for Painters, and Foundations of Drawing. This class presents practical skills and strategies for making strong compositions. Composition, the arrangement of images, shapes, forms, colors, values to form visual balance and strength within the pictorial frame of an artwork, will be explored through projects using still life, interiors, portraits, and landscapes. Each class will contain explanations of the visual compositional strategies in both historic and contemporary art, and extensive tactics for problem-solving and solutions, as well as a weekly assignment and critique of personal work. Class meetings will be held on Zoom, and Canvas will be used for assignments and class content. All media and levels of experience are welcome.  

Optional: This course is available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $595. Select credit option with price adjustment when registering. 

Image: Al Gury, Still Life with Crazy Quilt, 2022, 20 x 16 in.

Register by: July 8
Materials List
Summer 2024 CE Policy Guide, including withdrawal/refund policies
Information for PAFA CE Online Courses 





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