Drawing School

Summer Advanced and Specialty Classes



• Begins Monday, June 26th —Ends Monday, August 4 (+ Tuesday, August 8 due to July 4th closure)

• All classes are IN-STUDIO unless marked otherwise

robot painting
  • THURSDAY: 6:30-8pm IN-STUDIO

AGES 10 & up
• Watercolor, Acrylic and Oil Paint
• Prior drawing skills recommended


This Introduction to Painting class is designed for younger students who want to learn real painting skills. This is NOT to say it’s appropriate for very young children however. Students who have completed the Basic-2, Intermediate, or higher level classes are ideal candidates for this class. Since many artists prefer to have a simple drawing in place when starting a painting, students should have basic drawing skills in place already.

Students will learn about watercolor, acrylic and oil paint and materials, and variety of techniques.

Because each medium is distinctly different in the way it is used, technique is extremely important, and that’s what we’ll be teaching.

If you’ve got a budding painter in your home, this is a perfect way to get them started on the right path. And it’s a killer deal since we provide all the needed materials, saving you hundreds of dollars in supply costs.

Call 978-266-1600 for more information, or register online today!

Julie Ripley, the instructor for this class, is a John Peto National Trompe L’oeil painting competition award winner.

oil painting

  • FRIDAY: 4:30-7pm IN-STUDIO

AGES 14 & up
• Prior drawing skills required


LEARNING TO PAINT WITH OILS is far easier than you might think and incredibly satisfying. This full trimester introductory class is designed for teens and adults. The class will be presented by Julie Ripley, a superb professional oil painter and also a regular drawing instructor at ActonArt. Julie has an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is frequently featured in galleries throughout New England. Julie is also a John Peto National Trompe L’oeil competition award winner.

THESE CLASSES WILL PRESENT A SERIES OF PROJECTS, most of them multi-week, designed to teach and guide students through basic processes that are common to many oil paintings. Students will typically be able to choose their own subject matter but reference materials will always be available to assist them if needed.  We recommend that students have some drawing ability however since we will be making simple underdrawings that our paintings will be developed upon.

It’s easy to see why so many people equate oil painting with “fine art.” So many of the master artists we commonly think of worked primarily in oil paint and the iconic masterworks of centuries past tend to be paintings done in oils. It doesn’t take an art conservator to understand why oils have claimed the mantle of popularity among artists. They are remarkably versatile to work with providing artists a broad range of creative options on the canvas. The pigments mix cleanly providing rich colors with clarity and depth. Once cured the medium is stable and capable of enduring many hundreds of years without severe aging effects. The surface can even be cleaned to remove airborne grime and contaminants.

We provide all needed supplies including water soluble oil paints that allow for easy soap and water clean-up at the end of a day of painting. No more toxic solvents and noxious fumes. Life is good, and oil painting is great!

If you have ever found yourself attracted to the idea of learning to paint with oils this is a perfect opportunity. The price is right, the instructor is top notch and the curriculum is serious but completely approachable for beginners. We hope you'll join us!

pastel dog
  • TUESDAY: 6:30-8:00pm IN-STUDIO

AGES 13 & up
• Prior drawing skills recommended


Charcoal Drawing, is a foundation class for students who want to develop their ability to see and represent a full range of light and shadow on paper. Charcoal is quite likely the oldest drawing medium. It provides unparalleled flexibility and the ability to work fast. Because of this studio artists frequently use charcoal studies as a starting point for developing new ideas. Managing this smudge-prone material also helps students develop “clean” habits that carry over into other mediums as well.

We've included Pastel painting in this class as well since the working characteristics are so similar, however color and color theory are huge subjects that are too large for the scope of this class. While color picking and blending will be covered it will be in a fairly simple presentation.

Anyone considering an art school or arts major would benefit from working in charcoal and pastel before college! Some project artwork from this class may be useful for portfolios.

watercolor eye
  • TUESDAY: 4-5:30Ppm IN-STUDIO

AGES 11 & up
• Prior drawing skills required


Introduction to Watercolor is a beginner to intermediate level painting class. This is NOT to say it’s appropriate for beginner artists however. Students with Basic to Intermediate level drawing ability are ideal candidates for this class because we will not be able to provide drawing instruction. Since many artists prefer to have a simple drawing in place when starting a painting, students must have basic drawing skills already.

Students will learn about watercolor using variety of techniques. - Blending, masking, wiping out, also combining watercolor paint with pen and watercolor pencils.  Subject matter will incorporate student interests along with still lifes, landscapes, etc.

If you’ve always wanted to try watercolor painting this is the perfect class to learn the foundation skills.

Julie Ripley, the instructor for this class, is a John Peto National Trompe L’oeil competition award winner.


AGES 12 & up
• Prior drawing experience suggested


Do you have a pile of sketchbooks sitting in your closet that you have no idea what to do with? Maybe you’re not sure what to draw in them, or they don’t quite fit your drawing lifestyle - this is the class for you! Not only do we discover techniques to promote creativity and beat back “artist block” - but also how to create our own sketchbooks that fit our preferred materials, drawing styles… and backpacks! Class involves some light manual dexterity with paper folding and assembly, as well as materials including pencil, pen, marker, colored pencil and other drawing tools.

graphite pencil portrait

AGES—11 (minimum) & up


Our Portrait Drawing class is designed for Intermediate and higher level students who have a desire to spend time focusing exclusively on drawing faces. Portraits are an engaging challenge that many people are attracted to. Students will learn how to use both predictable proportions, and specific measurements to make portraits that are very good likenesses of their subjects. Every project in this class will be a portrait drawing, including front-on, ¾ view, and profiles.

Students should have a solid working knowledge of concepts including: Line, Light and Shadow, Texture, Perspective and Proportion. Because this kind of drawing requires patience and attention to detail students should have the ability to stay on task for a full 1.5 hours.

Learning to draw accurate portraits is a skill building class. Many students will see significant improvements in their overall drawing skills as a result of a class like this.

stylized portrait drawing

AGES—12 & up
• Prior drawing skills required


This class demonstrates and utilizes illustration techniques to make images that are both informative and appealing. Unlike fine art, this style of image making is driven more by a desire to communicate information visually, rather than create moods, emotions or expressions. The artist must learn how to highlight details of interest and suppress extraneous detail that does not add to the final result. While this style of artwork is often beautiful, its appeal often results from the decisions made by the artist as it is composed and developed. We recommend that students in this class have prior drawing experience including the use of colored pencils. While it's not absolutely necessary it does help to have a working knowledge of the materials and techniques commonly used. This class is online only, and students will need to have access to Zoom as well as the following materials: pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, multimedia drawing paper.
Colored Pencil

AGES—12 & up
•all supplies included In Studio


A popular but often misunderstood medium, color pencils are easy to come by and easy to use! In this class we will learn about techniques for using the pencils, how to blend, choose the right colors, and different mark-making techniques to create texture and depth. While previous drawing skill is not required, it is highly recommended as this is a medium and technique focused class. Class involves use of drawing materials (colored pencils) and potentially markers.
live model figure drawing

AGES 15 & up
• all supplies included In Studio


ADVANCED STUDIO DRAWING & PAINTING is a high-level, fine art class for students who have demonstrated understanding of the most complex visual perceptions and wish to further develop their skills and techniques. Emphasis will be on three dimensional subjects including tabletop sets, textural objects, lighting effects, figure-drawing models (clothed) and more. Projects in this class may take weeks to complete since students will be expected to fully develop the art. A variety of ActonArt instructors will lead this class giving students access to their individual strengths and experience with various mediums and techniques. Students will be the primary decision makers regarding the execution of their artwork. There may however be specific learning objectives presented to challenge them and direct them toward useful experiences.

Advanced Studio students will be offered the options of working with:

• Graphite (in all forms)
• Charcoal (block, powder, vine, etc.)
• Colored Pencil (professional quality, unlimited techniques)
• Soft Pastels (sticks, pencils, powder, etc.)
• Oil Pastels
• Pen or Brush & Ink

• Oils (professional quality, water-soluble
• Acrylic
• Watercolor and gouache (Winsor Newton, Cotman)
• Airbrush
• Palette knife

• Dimensional paper sculpture
• Any media combinations that work!

Advanced Studio Drawing & Painting students are expected to be able to work independently. Students should expect to use a variety of resource materials, tools and techniques including some that they may develop on their own. Projects will frequently require multiple weeks to complete.

Port Dev

AGES 15 & up
• all supplies included In Studio


For students who intend on applying to art programs with portfolio requirements, this class is designed to help them analyze their goals and help focus on projects and complete artworks needed for portfolio submission. While self-directed in terms of specific projects, the teacher is there to guide students with suggestions on how best to tackle their independent projects and give specific critique about each piece. The collective work environment also gives them space to interact with fellow students and discuss their artistic goals. Previous experience with drawing and painting mediums is highly recommended as this is not a technique-instructed class. Samples of current artwork required for new students.

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ActonArt: 69 Great Rd, Acton, MA 01720 * 978-266-1600 *

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