Within 1 week of registering for a class online, you should receive a personalized confirmation letter with information about where to meet for the class and what to bring. If you DO NOT receive this email, please contact our office at (520) 883-3024 or email arts@desertmuseum.org

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Drawing the Desert on Stone Tile
Thursday, Friday
July 26, 27
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:  $115 members/ $165 nonmembers
Try something new! With the desert of the Southwest as your inspiration, choose your subject and capture it in full color on tile. Using this special process, you can prepare the surface of any stone or tile to accept colored pencil. Detail and color building are easy and fun and your completed images will be unique and outstanding. Prepared 6” x 6” stone tiles will be available for purchase on the first day of the workshop.
 
Colored Pencil & Marker Just for Fun
Tuesdays 9am - 12pm
August 21, 28, Sept 4, 11, 18
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee: $160 members/$210 nonmembers
It’s all about having fun while you relax and let yourself go. Learn some basic marker techniques and strokes, choose your own subjects, make designs or pictures. Experiment with color. Learn the basic techniques of colored pencil: layering, blending, burnishing, and then just let yourself go—experience the magic!
 
Mini Landscapes in Colored Pencil & Watercolor
Wednesdays 9am - 12pm
August 22, 29, September 4, 11, 19 
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee: $160 members/ $210 nonmembers
Colored pencil and watercolor partner to create a unique appearance unlike either medium alone. The alliance is perfect for vibrant—and controllable—color. Tint the paper with watercolor, then enhance and add details with colored pencil. Learn to evaluate and match color, then relax and work loosely to create a series of small landscapes, each glowing with color and rich with detail.
  
Colored Pencil on Toned Paper
Thursdays 9am - 12pm
August 23, 30, September 6, 13, 20
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee: $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Take advantage of the complete range of values you can create when you apply colored pencil to tan or grey paper. Now you can use white and light-colored pencils to create bright highlights—then create vibrant mixes with all the other colors in your pencil set. The toned paper enhances every color! Work in a medium-sized sketchbook and concentrate on a series of small compositions or studies inspired by the desert subjects around you.
 
Give & Take: Lifting & Layering in Watercolor
Mondays 9am - 3pm
September 10, 17, 24
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee: $160 members/ $210 nonmembers
It can be overwhelming to do a painting that includes many watercolor techniques, but this class will be concentrating on just two of them. We will be working with pigments that lift easily, are granulating, and create wonderful neutrals that give the richness of carved stone. We will loosely layer on color in some areas, and in other areas we will carefully remove the pigment, leaving soft edges, creating a rich illusion of depth.
 
Take it to the Finish   
Tuesdays 9am - 12pm
September 11, 18, 25
Instructor: Rachel Ivanyi
Fee: $95 members/$145 nonmembers 
Work alongside Rachel Ivanyi as you create (and FINISH!) your own art project in 8 weeks. Come with a few ideas in mind, or let Rachel help you pick a project in the media of your choice. Rachel will be showing her personal art process as well as providing guidance and support. Join us for an inspiring studio space, professional mentorship, and the company of other artists, to complete that art you’ve been thinking about.
 
Mixed Media Marathon: Putting it all Together
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am - 3pm
September 26, 27, 28
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee: $160 members/$210 nonmembers
In mixed media work these days, anything goes! ‘Far beyond putting traditional art materials together like pen & ink and watercolor. Now days you can use anything, and the more creative, the better.  Wire, paper, paint, plastic, fabric, foam & found objects. There are a lot of new products available that open the door wide to let you really express your creativity. Come learn about some of those products, procedures, and design elements, and share your vision with others in an open fun environment.
 
Colored Pencil 1
Mondays 9am - 12pm
​October 8, 15, 22, 29 November 5
​Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee: 
​$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers

Get started the right way! Learn how to use colored pencils from the ground up with an in-depth knowledge of the basics. Get acquainted with your pencils, learn different methods of application, explore color, and experience the unique effects that only the colored pencil can create. Experiment with all the tools, equipment, materials, tricks and techniques. Easy exercises, copious handouts, great examples and demos, along with unique PowerPoint presentations provide you with knowledge, confidence and skill.
 
Exploring Light and Shadow in Colored Pencil
Mondays 1pm - 4pm
​October 8, 15, 22, 29 November 5
​Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee: 
​$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers

Create depth, dimension, and drama as you explore the relationship of light and shadow on color. Learn to see and reproduce the effects of different kinds of light—from the high contrast of sunlight to the subtle nuances of low light. Begin with black and white, then expand your expertise as you see and recreate those same effects in color. Learn to develop the contrast and value that make your work dramatic and distinctive!
 
Colored Pencil on Translucent Surfaces
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6
Instructor: Janie Gildow 
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Experience the fun of working on a nearly-transparent surface: work on the back, work on the front, combine images and backgrounds for exciting effects not possible with any other medium. Choose your surface (Mylar, Denril, paper tracing vellum) and be as creative as you like. Add graphite or ink, create collages, combine layers, and work over a variety of background colors and images. It’s totally different from working on white paper!
 
Colorless Creations in Pen & Ink
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Get familiar with this fascinating and timeless medium with an expression all its own.  Learn about the different options of materials, a great variety of strokes, and techniques for making textures and a wide range of values with simply black on white.  Instructor lectures, demos and individualized attention all help you to discover how this could lead you to consider pen & ink as the end result, rather than just the beginning of a great piece of art!
 
Light on Form: Capturing Light
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Acquire confidence capturing values that create the illusion of 3D form using a variety of media, beginning with black and white, then transitioning into color. Explore plants and landscape through a series of drawing and water based painting exercises. This class will increase your ability to see and render varied qualities of light, from direct sunlight to subtle contrasts of light and shadow. For artists of all skill levels who love to paint or draw in any medium.
 
Take it to the Finish Line
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6, 13 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Rachel Ivanyi
Fee:
$300 museum members/$350 nonmembers
Work alongside Rachel Ivanyi as you create (and FINISH!) your own art project. Come with a few ideas in mind, or let Rachel help you pick a project in the media of your choice. Rachel will be showing her personal art process as well as providing guidance and support. Join us for an inspiring studio space, professional mentorship, and the company of other artists, to complete that art you’ve been thinking about.
Bonus: Periodic animal and botanical visitors will offer inspiration!
 
Colored Pencil & Watercolor: the Next Step
Tuesdays 1pm – 4pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 members/$210 nonmembers
You’re familiar with the colored pencil. Now combine colored pencil with another medium. Pair the brilliance of watercolor with the control and detail of the colored pencil as you achieve results not possible with either medium alone. Employ watercolor as a means to an end--not the end itself. You don’t have to have any experience at all with watercolor—you’ll still get great results. New avenues of exploration and discovery will open to you!
 
Pencil I
Wednesdays 9am – 12pm
October 10, 17, 24, 31 November 7
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee: $160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Come just for the fun of drawing and study with a skilled instructor who will point the way to new creative endeavors. Start with helpful discussions about line, shape and form, along with demonstrations and plenty of exercises to give you a solid foundation in drawing with graphite pencil. Artifacts from the Desert Museum collection will keep you intrigued and focused on the beginning steps of drawing.
 
Intro to Photoshop Elements 2018: Today’s Digital Darkroom
Wednesdays 9am – 12pm
October 10, 17, 24, 31 November 7
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee: $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Learn to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 – a low cost yet powerful tool for basic digital image processing. Beginners will learn easy ways to correctly size images, remove color tints, use layers, select parts of one image to add to another, retouch, and much more! If you are ready to take the next step with your digital photographs this “beginner friendly” class is for you.
 
No Fear Plein Air: A Beginner’s Guide to Sketching Flora Outdoors
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
October 10, 17, 24, 31 November 7
Instructor: Sharon Schafer
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Escape the studio and get outside to sketch the diversity and beauty of plants in nature. Experience the fulfilling immediacy and intimacy that occurs in your sketching that only occurs when you take the time to slow down and record your surroundings while you are outside. Receive instruction on basic equipment, techniques and tricks to creating successful watercolor and graphite plant sketches en plein air. Beginning with short lectures in studio on technique as well as botany we soon escape to the museum grounds where we can practice what we just learned while observing and recording the amazing beauty and diversity of the museum’s flora.
 
Beginning Photography: Learning in Nature
Wednesdays 9am – 12pm
October 10, 17, 24, 31 November 7
Instructor: Sharon Schafer
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Must have a camera that you can adjust ISO, aperture and speed
A good photo is a careful blend of a good composition and an understanding of your camera. There are many ways to get "correct" exposure, and the end -results all look very different and tell different stories. Learn how to make wise choices on ISO, shutter speed and aperture to take control of your image. There will be 4 optional weekly morning field trips off the museum grounds where we can explore discover and practice what you have learned.
 
Oil & Water: When Acrylics & Oil Paint Work Together
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
October 11, 18, 25 November 1, 8
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 members/$210 nonmembers
Learn how fast-drying acrylic can be used to create an underpainting, allowing a quick overpainting of traditional oil paint. Block in, tone and layer with acrylic and finish with oil glazing, a fun new way to paint!
 
Colored Pencil on Colored Paper
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
October 11, 18, 25 November 1, 8
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 members/$210 nonmembers
Colored pencil looks great on white and is elegant on black, but on color it gains a whole new dimension. The color of the paper mixes with every pencil color—enlightening and enhancing your work. Try colored pencil on terra cotta, turquoise, scarlet, emerald, and amethyst—and be amazed at its sumptuous rich glow! Colored mat board is recommended—and is available for purchase in class.
 
Perspective: Creating the Illusion of Depth
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
Do your drawings often look just a little bit “off”?   Do you need a different perspective?   Or is that the problem . . . the perspective they have is wrong!  Here’s a concentrated workshop on 1 point, 2 point, 3 point perspective, aerial & atmospheric perspective.  Work your way through each of these step by step, with a patient instructor in a friendly environment.  Learn all the key tips to making things look ‘right’.
 
Scratching the Surface: Beginning Scratchboard
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
October 11, 18, 25 November 1, 8
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 members/$210 nonmembers
This introductory course to the art of scratchboard will cover a variety of tools and a step-by-step approach for starting a scratchboard with beginners in mind in a welcoming atmosphere. If you like to draw, particularly detailed subjects, this is the class for you. With emphasis on contour drawing, the instructor will demonstrate the strokes one uses to create fur, feathers, landscapes and more. Some drawing experience is helpful, but not essential.
 
More Than a Nature Journal: Creating a Visual Chronical of the Natural World
Mondays 9am – 12pm
October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12
Instructor: Sharon Schafer
Fee:
 $160 members/$210 nonmembers
So much more than a journal or a diary, a visual chronicle is a is a powerful tool that offers a place to record and consider your thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations, and relationship with the natural world around you through the expressive skills of sketching and writing.  This class will guide you through an artful journey of discovery with simple activities designed to increase your powers of observation of the external world while exploring and reflecting upon your personal inner responses to it.
 
Journaling: Creative Touches
Mondays 9am – 12pm
November 12, 26 December 3, 10, 17
*This class skips November 19
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Get out your journal or sketchbook. Freshen up your drawing skills; choose your own theme or subject. If nature is your passion, explore and capture the wonder and beauty of the Southwest. But it’s not just about nature! You can concentrate on any subject—or subjects—that interest you. The real fun is in experimenting with a variety of materials, techniques, and approaches to add color, interest, and excitement to your sketchbook or journal pages.
 
Colored Pencil 2
Mondays 1pm – 4pm
November 12, 26 December 3, 10, 17
*This class skips November 19
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I
You’ve learned the basics: you know your pencils, you’re familiar with the tools and equipment, you’ve practiced the techniques, and found your “stroke.” Now take it a step farther and explore the world of surfaces that accept and enhance the wax pencil. Learn about different kinds of papers: experience colored pencil on black, on color, Mylar, pastel paper, velour paper—and more. This class provides plenty of time to learn and practice what you’ve learned.
 
Color Mixing with Colored Pencil
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Is choosing the right color the most challenging aspect of colored pencil for you? Deciding what colors to layer together to build the color you want? Finding the combination that creates a color match? Unlock the secrets in this class as you work with limited palettes. Learn how color works to develop rich, glorious, and vibrant mixes. Principles apply to any color medium. Predict your color mixes with confidence and never be intimidated again!
 
Colored Pencil on Black
Tuesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Discover the richness and power of the colored pencil on black as you explore the dark side of color and work on a black surface. First evaluate your color palette and experiment with how color reacts on black paper. It won’t be anything like colored pencil on white paper! Then learn how to predict color in the lower values and apply your knowledge to create compelling compositions that glow with elegant color.
 
Color Mixing: Agave Inspired!
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Agaves are such an interesting plant and have so many wonderful characteristics and uses that are special just to them . . . and they have their own individual coloring too! In fact many of our desert colors hardly resemble “green.” In this class, we’ll be getting some specialized recipes and learning key principles of how to make your greens match this beautiful desert.  Instructor demonstrations will be in watercolor, but you may use your medium of choice.
 
Outside the Box: Adventures in Abstract and Nonobjective Painting
Wednesdays 9am – 12pm
November 14, 28 December 5, 12, 19
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
This class provides an opportunity to explore an intuitive approach to painting. Part of the technique requires a willingness to follow one's instincts with regards to combining color and shape, while pushing your work towards abstraction. The instructor will provide several examples of how to start such a project. Acrylic is our medium. Take a chance, and look for the happy accidents.
 
Scratchboard as Mixed Media
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 14, 28 December 5, 12, 19
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
By definition when one medium is used in combination with another medium it’s termed “mixed media.” Many scratchboard users combine colored inks, watercolor, pastels, or watercolor pencils with scratchboard, forming a mixed media. This class will introduce you to adding traditional oil paint with either watercolor or inks, thereby creating a triangular mixed media. This is a technique that is rarely seen, and one the instructor has perfected in his own search for more originality in his use of scratchboard. Discover the variable looks and techniques that can be achieved by combining transparent and opaque mediums in a mixed media format. The instructor will provide his own photographs to work from, but also encourages students to bring a photo of their own choosing, preferably a photo of their own or one they’ve been given permission to use.
 
Love Stinks: Sonoran Desert Skunks
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
November 15, 29, December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor:  Rachel Ivanyi
Fee: $170 museum members/$220 nonmembers
Meet the Desert Museum’s Fab Four! Arizona is the only state with four species of skunk and you will get to know all of them in person during this class. Celebrate the biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert while you discover and express your individual art making processes while taking time to study these loveable mammals. You will be exposed to a variety of seeing and art making that you may not have experienced in the past. The instructor will offer both natural history and expressionistic viewpoints. Bring your medium of choice and be open-minded to trying something new. Don’t worry, the skunks won’t spray you, but they will inspire you!
 
Colors of the Desert in Colored Pencil
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
November 15, 29 December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Mauve, sage, slate blue, ochre, terra cotta, periwinkle, henna, burnt carmine...you’ll find all these colors—and more—in the desert of the Southwest. In this class the main emphasis is on COLOR. Color combinations and formulas will be provided to get you started. Then concentrate on an area that fascinates you—desert plants, animals, landscape elements—observe, record, and ultimately capture your subject in the glowing colors of the desert.
 
Developing Textures with Colored Pencil
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
November 15, 29 December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Texture—the way things feel: rocks, tree bark, leaves, flower petals, yarn, string, fabric, stuffed animals, leather, bricks, rusty metal, weathered wood… the list goes on and on. An understanding of texture and pattern is essential for creating realistic surfaces. Plan to observe textures, identify the light source, evaluate shadows, build color and recreate values. Keep a record of your observations as you explore the rich textures around you and develop them with colored pencil.
 
Color Drawing with Nu-Pastels
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 28, December 5, 12
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
$90 museum members/$140 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Pencil I & II
Have you ever experienced the richness of drawing in color on toned paper? Color vibrantly pops! Our emphasis will be on exploring the act of drawing - from realistic color assessment into expressive and playful color…wherever you are most comfortable. We will begin with learning to see the subtleties of reflective color and color interaction all the while using nu-pastels on paper. Landscape, desert flowers, desert wildlife will be our subjects…Accurately translating what you actually see to paper - proportion, perspective and value - will be our focus all the while drawing with exciting, vibrant color!
 
Mixed Media Plein Air
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
November 29, December 6, 13
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
$90 museum members/$140 nonmembers
Loosen up and draw nature with a no-fear approach in a class that honors expression. Try new ways to create art using a variety of media with guidance from an expert. Learn how to put together a versatile and transportable art kit to carry for working outdoors or when you travel. It’s easy and fun to layer watercolors with wax-based colored pencils, conté crayons and more. Experiment as you draw on the extraordinary desert landscape.
 
Compact Camera Crash Course
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
December 5, 12
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee
: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
Want to get the most out of your digital "point & shoot" compact camera? This informative class will help you understand these pocket-sized but capable cameras. Learn to lock focus for asymmetrical balance, overcome backlighting using exposure compensation, set white balance, fill flash and creative techniques using the programed shooting modes. Learn about camera Raw vs jpeg and selecting the proper resolution. We will decipher the user’s manual and have time to practice with our cameras.
 
Photoshop Elements Quickstart
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm - December 6, 13
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee
: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
This simplified, beginner friendly class is designed to get you off to a solid start with Adobe Photoshop Elements. We will concentrate on the most important Photoshop tools you need to know about in order to quickly improve your photographs. Learn just eight simple steps for making fundamental image corrections and properly prepare your photographs for emailing or printing. You will find out how to “rescue” a bad shot, set the resolution of an image, remove color tints and red eye, fix blemishes, improve photos that are too dark or too light and find out how to make your photos really “pop.” Bring your laptop and follow along. Photoshop Elements version 12 or newer must be installed.

 
Photoshop Elements Quickstart
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm - December 6, 13
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee
: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
This simplified, beginner friendly class is designed to get you off to a solid start with Adobe Photoshop Elements. We will concentrate on the most important Photoshop tools you need to know about in order to quickly improve your photographs. Learn just eight simple steps for making fundamental image corrections and properly prepare your photographs for emailing or printing. You will find out how to “rescue” a bad shot, set the resolution of an image, remove color tints and red eye, fix blemishes, improve photos that are too dark or too light and find out how to make your photos really “pop.” Bring your laptop and follow along. Photoshop Elements version 12 or newer must be installed.

 
Holiday Behind The Scenes Photowalk (Dec 24)
Monday 7:30 am – 11am
December 24
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
A Photographer and Museum Curator team up to give you a memorable holiday experience! Did you get a new camera, lens, or camera phone for the Holidays? Do you have friends or family visiting this season? What a perfect holiday experience for a photo enthusiast, animal lover and fan of the Desert Museum! This class is for of all skill levels, no matter what camera you own! Join us for this very special Holiday edition of the Art Institute’s Behind the Scenes Photowalk. Only three walks will be held. In these early morning classes, you will have the opportunity to photograph many of our Museum animals as they react to enrichment activities! You will also get to see and tour “Behind the Scenes” areas of the Museum that the public never gets to see! Come ready to take pictures! No classroom time for this special event! We will maximize the experience by taking photos and visiting locations right away! Note: we may walk a mile or more during this class! Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of holiday fun! Because of the limited "behind the scenes" areas this class only has room for 10 people and fills up quickly!
Holiday Behind The Scenes Photowalk (Dec 25)
Tuesday 7:30 am – 11am
December 25
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
A Photographer and Museum Curator team up to give you a memorable holiday experience! Did you get a new camera, lens, or camera phone for the Holidays? Do you have friends or family visiting this season? What a perfect holiday experience for a photo enthusiast, animal lover and fan of the Desert Museum! This class is for of all skill levels, no matter what camera you own! Join us for this very special Holiday edition of the Art Institute’s Behind the Scenes Photowalk. Only three walks will be held. In these early morning classes, you will have the opportunity to photograph many of our Museum animals as they react to enrichment activities! You will also get to see and tour “Behind the Scenes” areas of the Museum that the public never gets to see! Come ready to take pictures! No classroom time for this special event! We will maximize the experience by taking photos and visiting locations right away! Note: we may walk a mile or more during this class! Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of holiday fun! Because of the limited "behind the scenes" areas this class only has room for 10 people and fills up quickly!