Foundations & Creations • age 8-adults

Foundations & Creations • age 8-adults

Our comprehensive course for beginners, intermediate, & accomplished artists who want to expand their knowledge base

Ages 8 and up, Teens, and Adult Classes.

Foundational art lessons for new artists, as well as those who have been working on their talents for years. Learn how to draw more accurately, learn different techniques for drawing and painting, and learn how to mix colors. We teach with our 3-part approach, which includes InsightsTechniques, and lots of freedom for Self-expression. Taken one school year at a time, this course has two years of curriculum that students can begin at any time in the cycle. Artists work on a variety of projects focusing on the core concepts that every artist needs.

We explore many of the tools and mediums each Fall. The Winter sees more of our color journal work, a few lessons on drawing specific things more accurately, and some fun projects with self-expression take up much of the Spring. There is a final project in May, where each class works as groups to design and paint a project all together. Some classes paint chairs, some will work on doors or walls, and one class (teenage advanced AC class) gets to paint Mr. Dennas’ car! Adult classes work on a final personal project.

Homeschoolers have special classes at 2:00 on Wednesdays. Afterschool Students have many classes to choose from. See our Schedule page.

Before & after eye lesson

IMG_0232

D E T A I L S

  • Qualified teachers who care about their students
  • Maximum of 10 to 12 students.
  • 1 HOUR & 45 MINUTES – once per week.
  • Supplies 15% off in our store
  • Free open studio once per month on the first Saturday of the month, from 1 to 4 pm
  • Parents are welcome to stay and observe or hang out in our waiting room, but you can go run errands in Cool Springs if you want to.

2YearCycleGraphic

REGISTER

N o w

SCHEDULE

of C l a s s e s

TEXT

M e s s a g e

A personalized art class just for you.

FUNSalesPoint

CURRICsalesPoint

TRAINsalesPoint

4YouSalesPoint

“When I pick [her] up from class, she asks me if she can have art class every day after school!
Parent
Parent

KidsART • ages 4-5 and 6-7

KidsART • ages 4-5 and 6-7

Our Big-Picture, Big-Fun art classes for early artists.

KidsART Pre, for ages 4 & 5 (pre-k & kindergarten)
KidsART, for ages 6 & 7 (first & second grade)

Our super-popular KidsART is a fun class that has two years of lessons so kids never repeat a project. We teach real art concepts, not just play and fun, but the kids will think it’s all about the fun! They spend time using markers, oil pastels, watercolors and tempera paints. We also make some 3D projects and play learning games. Most of the class is spent giving young artists the materials and simple directions they need to explore as well as encouraging them in their work. The lessons reflect the same concepts that are found in our regular courses, but they are woven into the fun class-time activities so students feel like they get to show off their awesome art skills instead of being told what to do.

Homeschoolers in 1st & 2nd grades have special classes at 2:00 on Wednesdays (ages 6 and up). Afterschool Students have many classes to choose from. Check our Schedule for times.

IMG_0032

D E T A I L S

  • All of our KidsART classes have a teacher, and an assistant
  • Maximum of 10 students.
  • 1 & 1/2 HOURS – once per week.
  • All supplies included!
  • Open studio once per month on the first Saturday of the month, from 11 am to 12:30.
  • Parents are welcome to stay and observe or hang out in our waiting room, but you can go run errands in Cool Springs if you want to.

2YearCycleGraphic

REGISTER

N o w

SCHEDULE

of C l a s s e s

TEXT

M e s s a g e

IMG_0060

IMG_0514

StarrynightkidsA

ToolShark

IMG_0795

FrogSampleArt

IMG_7725

A personalized art class just for you.

FUNSalesPoint

CURRICsalesPoint

TRAINsalesPoint

4YouSalesPoint

“When I pick [her] up from class, she asks me if she can have art class every day after school!
Parent
Parent

Toons (cartooning) age 10 & up

Toons (cartooning) age 10 & up

Our cartooning classes are fun and challenging!

Ages 10 to 14 – Toons 1
Ages 12 & up – Advanced Toons
Ages 15 & up – Art Associations

Toons (Cartooning) lessons is for beginners, and students who have been working on their cartoons, stories and even their style, for some time. This class of first-year cartoonists covers the basics. Students learn how to develop characters, create strong images, backgrounds, draw from reference material, and create good speak-bubbles. Modeling clay is used for character development with 3D visualization. Several fun projects, like a movie poster or TV show title-screen, help students apply their skills. At the end of the year, they will create a short comic book. Please call for availability, since this class fills to capacity earlier than most.

Advanced Toons continues the same theme of developing characters and working towards a personal style. The projects are more challenging, and we do some projects as a team, just like professional cartoonists do. We’ll work on heads, hands, arms & legs, as well as body stance and action poses. The regular Toons class must be taken previously, or a portfolio can be submitted to bypass that course if the artist has already develped their work and is in high school. It is also good to have taken Foundations for two years, but is not required.

Art Associations is an advanced class for older, dedicated students, who are considering pursuing human-based or anthropomorphic (human-like) illustration or cartooning as a career. Please see the Advanced Teen Page for more detailed information.

fish

D E T A I L S

  • Toons classes are all taught by Mr. Dennas, a professional cartoon illustrator
  • Maximum of 14 students.
  • 1 HOUR & 30 MINUTES – once per week.
  • Supplies 15% off in our store
  • Free open studio once per month on the first Saturday of the month, from 1 to 4 pm

REGISTER

N o w

SCHEDULE

of C l a s s e s

TEXT

M e s s a g e

Dreamway3

elfslipping

claydragon2

Dreamway1

clayhead

A personalized art class just for you.

FUNSalesPoint

CURRICsalesPoint

TRAINsalesPoint

4YouSalesPoint

“When I pick [her] up from class, she asks me if she can have art class every day after school!
Parent
Parent

 

Adult Classes

An Adult Art Class Just For You

You can Join a Class at any time!

What if you found an art teacher who focused on what you wanted to learn?

COME FIND OUT AT

A FIRSTLIGHT

ADULT ART CLASS

We’re in Cool Springs right off the interstate

Fun And Encouraging

“How-To” lessons are easy to understand

Variety of lessons holds your interest

Artists’ Choice gives freedom for self-expression

Knowing what to do leads to confidence

Strong Curriculum

Essential techniques are always demonstrated

Lessons are designed for every age group

We’ve tested and refined our curriculum for over 12 years

Insights take the mystery out of creating art

A Training Approach

We take the long-term path, to really learn art

Small classes with 10 students

One-on-one mentoring during class

36 weeks per school-year, meeting once a week

Designed For You

Join a class at any time on our cycle

4 adult classes to choose from

Free adult-only Open Studio once a month

Supplies are available any time, and always at 15% off the MSRP

You Can Join A Class At Any Time

Firstlight was founded in 2006 by Franklin artist, Dennas Davis.

While over 200 students attend each week, 4 of our classes are specifically for adults, some of whom are beginners, and some have been in our program for over 10 years. We’ve been trusted for over 12 years in the Nashville area, training artists of all ages.

Beginners

Intermediate

Advanced

Overview of Adult Classes

Almost every adult who comes to Firstlight says they were told something to the effect of, “you’re not good enough“, when they were younger. Since we can’t go back in time and tell that art teacher or misguided adult to, “STOP SAYING THAT!”, we work on changing that perception in our artists. Nothing is mysterious. You don’t have to be born with a certain talent. You just have to want to try. Practice and understanding leads to real joy when creating, and that’s what we want our students to experience.

Confidence grows from knowing how to do specific techniques and methods. So we show you, and tell you how to do it. It works! We’ve had many adults in our program for over 5 years.

Our goal for you is long-term, so you end up with the ability to create artwork on your own, in your own expressive way. We don’t send you home with a pretty picture – one that you can’t really make again. That’s not learning, that’s copying. We focus on building your skill.

Adult classes are offered at several times each week to fit your schedule. Choose from one of these:

  • Evening classes 6:16 – 8 PM (Mondays)
  • Morning classes 10 – Noon (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Afternoon class (Tues) 1 – 3

Pretty Art Can Make Frustrated Artists

It’s true. Learning how to really do your own art, often means working on projects that do not end with a beautiful work of art to take home. Tap the button below to read about how the frustration Dennas’ mother experienced, influences his art curriculum.

What folks say about us

Ann, adult student

The art class is the high point of my week. The teachers are great at helping us each at our level of experience. We have lots of fun, and try all different types of projects. It is a very encouraging atmosphere

Pat, adult student

“You teach art in a way that is not intimidating for beginners.  You are always encouraging and fun and informative.  The class is a relaxed atmosphere and I look forward to being there.  Thanks so much.”

Judy, adult student

What I enjoy most about your class is the encouragement you give to each of us and the positive feedback that we get from you as a teacher.  Even though you teach the basics and I’m glad for that, you encourage the individual to develop her/his own style.
I think it’s great that you have the open studio monthly as well.“

Shea, adult student

“I was completely taken with you and your class!”
“I started Firstlight in 2006, because we needed a community art school that focused on each student’s goals.”

Dennas Davis

Have Questions? Just Call Or Text:

  Adult Instructors :

Dennas Davis

Founder & Director

Illustrator, painter, teacher, and director of Firstlight, Dennas has been a professional artist for 40 years. He has millions of books in print worldwide in over 30 languages, and is also the Founder of The Art Instructor, an online curriculum site for art educators.

Betsy Caldwell

Betsy Caldwell

Instructor

A talented and accomplished artist for many years, with a background in both art and teaching, Betsy has been a huge part of Firstlight for most of our 12 years. She loves painting and drawing in all media, and sells her work and prints in several venues.  Betsy has helped in creating our curriculum too.

Advanced classes for kids, teens & adults

Advanced classes for kids, teens & adults

Artists move up into our higher levels as they complete courses
We have 2 special classes just for teens in high school

Art Creations & Art Expressions – Ages 11 & up
Art Associations & AC Art – ages 15 & up

Art Creations is a continuation of Foundations. Students are in the same classrooms, and follow a similar lesson plan. Hearing the other students learn the Foundation lesson is excellent for reviewing the concepts and techniques, but the projects are new, and more challenging. In Creations, artists are given a chance to use what they learned in Foundations, and apply it to their own vision. Students are coached one-on-one, and learn how to manage their own work-flow.

Art Expressions – A very personalized coaching class. Students are given long-term assignments and taught to plan portfolios, as well as series of artworks. Each student begins to focus on their favorite media, their strengths, vision, and personal style.

AC Art – Teenagers who are in their last few years of high school and are wanting to develop portfolios, move into our AC art class. This is great for serious artists who are looking to attend an art school. We work with individuals, mentoring them into creating and showing their best work, and writing letters of recommendation when needed.

 

All classes – With all of the kids and teen classes, there is a final project in May, where each class works as groups to design and paint a project all together. Some classes paint murals, some will work on doors, and the advanced AC class paints Mr. Dennas’ car every year.

Homeschoolers have special classes at 2:00 on Wednesdays. Afterschool Students have many classes to choose from. See our Schedule page.

sammycolorface

IMG_0071

IMG_0062

 

D E T A I L S

  • Qualified teachers who care about their students
  • Maximum of 10 to 12 students.
  • 1 HOUR & 45 MINUTES – once per week.
  • Supplies 15% off in our store
  • Free open studio once per month on the first Saturday of the month, from 1 to 4 pm
  • Parents are welcome to stay and observe or hang out in our waiting room, but you can go run errands in Cool Springs if you want to.

2YearCycleGraphic

REGISTER

N o w

SCHEDULE

of C l a s s e s

TEXT

M e s s a g e

A personalized art class just for you.

FUNSalesPoint

CURRICsalesPoint

TRAINsalesPoint

4YouSalesPoint

“When I pick [her] up from class, she asks me if she can have art class every day after school!
Parent
Parent