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Continuing Education at PAFA

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Outdoor Classes

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Acrylic in the City (Outdoor)


with Michelle Oosterbaan

Calendar Next available session starts May 24, 2022 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks

Tuesdays, 10 am - 2 pm

Acrylic paint is the perfect medium for landscape painting in the open air! Explore acrylic’s vibrant color and versatile application and layering methods as you portray the beauty of Philadelphia’s parks in your own personal style. Learn techniques for choosing a composition, mixing color, and working efficiently outdoors as you complete a series of rapid sketches and at least one sustained painting. Fast-drying and easy to clean-up, acrylics will allow you to easily transport your finished work home to admire when you are done with each day’s painting!Open to all levels. Painting locations featuring shade, restrooms, and other amenities may include Clark Park in West Philly, Wissahickon Park in Mt. Airy, and Bartram's Garden in Southwest Philadelphia. Note Students are responsible for their own transportation to painting locations.

Register by: May 13

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

Plein Air at Ardrossan Estate Workshop (Outdoor)


with Joseph Sweeney

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 4, 2022 at 9 am

Saturday & Sunday, 9 am - 12 pm

Paint on location at beautiful Fern Valley Farm, part of the Ardrossan Estate, the 850-acre family seat of the Montgomery/Scott/Wheeler extended family, made famous in the movie The Philadelphia Story with Kathryn Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. 

Built by Horace Trumbauer in 1911, the 50-room, 33,000-square-foot Georgian Revival manor home in Villanova has interior decorations by White, Allom & Co. (who worked on Buckingham Palace) and a treasure trove of art by Augustus John, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Sully, Sir John Lavery, and Charles Willson Peale.  It is the last remaining gem of the old Main Line. 

Landscape painting topics will include color mixing to achieve a sense of light and air, capturing time of day, compositional fundamentals, and sound painting practices. Painting outdoors can be a daunting experience for the newcomer. When learning the intricacies of this art it pays to learn from someone who has over 20 years' experience in the field. In this class, Joseph Sweeney will be your guide.

Register by:  May 27

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

Portrait in the Park (Outdoor)


with RA Friedman

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 5, 2022 at 9 am, runs for 4 weeks

Sundays, 9 am - 12 pm

Enjoy plein air drawing of the clothed/costumed model in summer light and greenery. The class will center around line, light and form using monochromatic media. Experiment with a number of strategies for conceptualizing and building the drawing in order to capture what you see. Essential anatomy, drapery, and working with the features of the face will be covered. Drawing experience is helpful, but not required.  Easy-to-access Philadelphia locations with restrooms and other amenities may include the Rose Garden, areas around the Philadelphia Art Museum, Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row, and Fairmount Park.  Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation. Tuition includes  a $25 model fee.

Image: George Hitchcock by John McLure Hamilton, 1890-1900, watercolor, gouache and pencil on fine linen. Collection of PAFA.

Register by:  May 27

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

The Landscape Sketch Intensive


with Roger Chavez

Calendar Next available session starts Jun 13, 2022 at 10 am, runs for 1 week

Monday - Friday, 10 am - 2 pm

The oil sketch is a traditional way for painters to execute preparatory ideas and quickly capture initial impressions – perfect for plein air painting! Learn useful techniques for rapidly encapsulating color and form while working directly from observation. Select locations along the Schuylkill River will include beautiful Laurel Hill Cemetery and Bartram’s Garden. 

Image:  Landscape Sketch class in progress, Fall 2021.  Photo by Roger Chavez.

Register by:  June 3

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

Drawing the Urban Environment (Outdoor)


with Frederic Kaplan

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 6, 2022 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks

Wednesdays, 10 am - 1 pm

Draw Philadelphia’s picturesque historic and commercial architecture, using fundamental observational drawing techniques to capture the world around you.  Learn simple methods for applying the principles of linear and atmospheric perspective to your drawings, giving them dimension and depth. Students at all experience levels are welcome, with instruction designed to appeal both to those who enjoy portraying landscape subjects in the open air and to students seeking to hone their basic drawing skills. This course takes place in easy-to-access Central Philadelphia and University City locations. Restrooms are available near all sites.  Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Important: All students enrolling in on-campus courses must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and booster (or documentation for a medical/religious exemption request) upon registration. Open the Agreement form during checkout to upload an image of your vaccination card or exemption documentation, or submit vaccine and booster documentation below.Onsite card display and card images emailed to the CE office cannot be accepted. Registration for any on-campus course is pending without vaccination documentation or exemption approval. See the CE Policy Guide below for complete COVID-19 safety requirements. 

Register by: June 24

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

CE Proof of Vaccination/Booster Form

Plein Air Painting in Valley Forge (Outdoor)


with Charles Muldowney

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 7, 2022 at 10 am, runs for 5 weeks

Thursdays, 10 am - 2 pm

Enjoy open-air painting in beautiful Valley Forge National Historical Park, the encampment site of George Washington’s Continental Army in 1777-1778 and now home to a painter’s delight of lush scenery and historic architecture!  Located in Montgomery County, 35 minutes northwest of Center City Philadelphia, the park features great views of the Schuylkill River, Valley Creek, the Valley Forge Farm, Mt. Joy, Mt. Misery, and many valleys, cabins, and colonial houses, with ample parking and access to restrooms.  Working from diverse landscape subject matter, students will learn the essential materials, tools, techniques, and strategies for painting on site.  Instruction will cover a variety of plein air approaches, including painting with a knife and brush, painting from an imprimatura,  Macchiaioli painting, and working from sketches to block in local color.  Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Register by:  June 24

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022

Plein Air in the Park (Outdoor)


with Keith Leitner

Calendar Next available session starts Jul 10, 2022 at 9 am, runs for 4 weeks

Sundays, 9 am - 12 pm

Capture the colors of summer en plein air through vibrant watercolor and pastel. Become comfortable and confident with the practice of working outdoors, using either or both mediums, at picturesque Lemon 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, pastel drawing and layering methods, watercolor painting techniques, mixed media applications, color mixing, and the history and capabilities of each medium. All levels welcome.  

Learning Objectives:  

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

Register by: June 24

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Summer 2022


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