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How our Traditional
Art Classes work

Kids | Teens | Adults

The Basics

  • We have 30 classes to choose from, with 6 age levels.
  • over 200 students each week
  • Class size limit is either 10 or 12 depending on room
  • Classes are on weekdays only.
  • Students in courses get 10 free Open Studio Saturdays
  • Cartooning classes are also available
  • We teach from a carefully planned curriculum we’ve personally designed to help artists know how to reach their goals
  • Courses are a full school year, not monthly
  • Payments can be for the full year or made monthly.
  • We have a separate summer program.

Tap to enlarge the Schedule. Zoom to see more details.

Our registration page shows current availability in each class.

Designed by Artists, for Artists

Classes for all ages and all skill levels.

MEDIA

We Use

 

Pencil

Charcoal

Ink

Oil Pastels

Acrylics

Watercolor

TECHNIQUES

We USE

 

Drawing

Palette knife

Pastel Blending

Opaque layers

Glazes

Hatch Shading

 

MORE

INFO

 

We have many sources of reference materials, including a small library, an image bank, and a still life object library. Subject matter is carefully chosen to facilitate a specific project.

Students are encouraged to bring other media and try new techniques, after their first two years, including Oil Paints, Digital Media, and Colored Pencils.

Cartooning is a different course. Please visit this page.

 

You may join a class at any time.

About our Courses

“What do your course names mean? As in Foundations, Creations, and Expressions?

Since we take a long-term training approach, we have several levels of instruction. Our minimum sign-up is one school year, but our curriculum is designed to work for students for as long as they want – up to 12 years. We have three levels in our traditional art program. The first two levels have 2 years each. There are 72 lessons for each of these levels. After that, the training is focused on guiding the student towards their own vision, with a coaching approach.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Foundations

Beginners And
Intermediate

First Two Years

We are a safe place for first-time artists, or anyone who has never had training before. More than that, at Firstlight, beginning artists discover and practice the critical things that make art work – the Foundations. The lessons are clear and simple. Our Foundations course, for your first 2 years, includes 72 individual lessons covering everything an artist needs to feel competent. Techniques are presented with detailed demonstrations and well-designed projects. Artists will use these foundational insights every day as their skills grow.

But these lessons are not scaled down or simplified. Our Foundations curriculum is based on college-level art school curriculum. We have made things easier to understand, and more concrete, but still robust. So Foundations is also important for intermediate level artists who have not been at Firstlight before.

We cover many insights, such as how to draw accurately, and color mixing. We learn all the most basic techniques in traditional media, keeping it simple to keep materials cost down. We also try to have as much artists’ choice as possible, allowing for personal expression.

Creations

Intermediate And
Advanced

Next Two Years

After the 2 years of Foundations, we have 2 years of Creations curriculum. We place these students in the same rooms as the Foundations classes. Students need to practice using the foundational lessons they’ve learned so they don’t lose the concepts. Being in the same room, they hear the lessons they took two years before, sometimes even helping the newer students. It’s been discovered recently that teaching helps you learn even better than repetition

The Creations students are given special instructions when they arrive. They have more challenging versions of similar projects using the same techniques – and more freedom too. The teacher helps them individually just like the Foundations students.

You can think of it as an athlete being able to lift more weight. You use the same tools and techniques every day, but you are becoming a stronger artist

This is why we have courses where both names are used: Foundations/Creations

Expressions

Advanced With Coaching

Year 5 and beyond

Artists who want to move towards a higher level are encouraged to continue moving up to Expressions. Students work with their instructor to create a vision and work on their portfolio. The instructor coaches you through your projects. Artists who are working towards going to art school get help with admissions letters and portfolio requirements. Many of our advanced artists have been in the program for 8 years or more. Our ultimate goal is to see our students move away from needing lessons and into their own studio or gallery.

Learn more about our curriculum and approach further below on this page.

Give us a call. We're happy to answer your questions.

All Courses* include

10 FREE passes to our Saturday open studios

Open Studio $5 - Now EVERY Saturday During The School Year

  • KidsART for ages 4 - 8
    11:00 am to 12:30
  • Everyone else ages 8 and up
    1:00 to 3:30 pm
    Kids, teens, and adults all have separate rooms

No supplies? No Problem, it's only $5 more to use ours.

Open Studio is available to Everyone!*

Please sign up for a session using one of the buttons below, based on your current registration status.

Everyone must sign up for Open Studio sessions. Thank you!

*We do not currently offer an Open Studio time for Special Needs Students. We hope to in the future.

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