Fine Arts

Figure Drawing made by student in Expressive Mark making

image from Expressive Mark Making

Register online »

Basic Drawing & Beyond

  • Oakland campus
  • EXDRW-1500-01
  • Instructor: Maureen St. Vincent
  • Sat, June 16-August 11, 1-4 p.m.   
  • 9 sessions. $325. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none
This introductory studio course, focuses on the fundamentals of drawing while exploring a variety of media, techniques, and subject matter from still life and landscape to the figure.

Using traditional and experimental approaches to drawing, students develop an understanding of proportion, form, line, gesture, and tone.

Through demonstrations, practice, and class discussion, participants also hone the verbal and analytical skills necessary to examine their work critically. This course is appropriate for beginners and those wishing to further develop their drawing skills.

Bring to first class: 20” x 26” drawing board with clips, 18" x 24" Strathmore drawing pad (other brands are fine, but paper must be drawing quality), soft vine charcoal, compressed charcoal (Char-kole brand), white plastic eraser, sketchbook (any unlined notebook), pen/pencil, and a portfolio for transporting drawings.

Register online »

Drawings of Place: Capturing Indoor and Outdoor Space

  • Oakland campus
  • EXDRW- 1512-01
  • Instructor: Eddie Chau
  • Sat & Wed, June 2-June 23, 10 a.m-1 p.m (Sat) and 6:30-9:30 p.m, (Wed)   
  • 7 sessions. $250. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Some drawing experience is helpful, but not required

In this mobile drawing studio, a combination of in-class demonstrations and discussions complement outdoor and indoor drawing sessions at various locations in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Students learn freehand drawing fundamentals, observe and record outdoor environments, and work with an assortment of drawing media. Locations may be dependent on weather, transportation restraints and student interest.

Students work in pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, and/or charcoal, and pastel, with different paper types. Subject matter and sites include local architectural and landscape environments where students capture unique features, vistas, people, details, and site character. At the end of each session, the class reviews and critiques one another’s work.

Bring: Pencils (HB or F, and 2B leads), erasers, black felt tip pens, and  14x17 Strathmore drawing pad. Instructor may suggest other materials to be discussed on the first night of class

Student Making Jewelry in Jewelry Design class

Register online »

Intro to Jewelry Design

  • Oakland campus
  • EXMTL-1500-01
  • Instructor: David Casella
  • Wed, June 6- August 4* (no class July 4th), 6:30-9:30 p.m. * Sorry, this class is full. Please email to be added to a wait list*
  • 9 sessions. $325; $25 lab fee payable at registration; $40 materials fee payable to instructor at first session. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

In this course, students explore basic metalsmithing and jewelry processes. Participants are introduced to various techniques for cutting metal, methods of joinery, soldering, forming, fabrication, and various means of surface treatment.

Students may work with copper, brass, or sterling silver as they create jewelry or other small forms.

*Please Note, Last class will be on Sat, August 4, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Toolkit deposit: Each student is required to submit a check in the amount of $140, payable to CCA, at the first session. Checks will be returned to students on the last day of class upon the return of tool kits.

Materials fee covers some copper, silver, and additional supplies. Download the materials list here


Painting student at cca

Register online »

Intro to Painting

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXPNT-1500-01
  • Instructor: Micah Wood
  • Tues & Thurs,  July 10-Aug 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m. 
  • 10 sessions. $350. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

This course is designed for beginners and those who have minimal painting experience. Students learn a variety of techniques and skills, including color mixing, creating texture, painting alla prima, glazing, scumbling, impasto, etc. while exploring a wide range of subject matter, including still life, portraiture, abstraction, and the model.

Individual critiques, slideshows, and group discussions supplement the studio experience. The course emphasizes learning different techniques to assist in developing a personal painting style.

Bring to first class: two pre-primed canvas boards 16" x 20" or larger, acrylic or oil paint: (ivory black, titanium white, cadmium yellow light (or hansa), yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, cadmium red medium (or napthol red), burnt sienna and alizarin crimson (or magenta). Some preferred brands include Golden, Winsor & Newton, Liquitex, and Gamblin. Palette knife, disposable gloves, painting smock/old shirt, palette paper or plastic tray, a couple of brushes (flat, round, filbert btwn sizes 4-10), a few jars with lids, rags; if working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits: Gamsol prefered. NO Turpentine or Turpenoid, which is quite toxic, as is Turpenoid "natural".

Register online »

Intermediate/Advanced Painting

  • Oakland campus
  • EXPNT-1401-01
  • Instructor: Merl Ross
  • Sat, June 2-July 7, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • 6 sessions. $225. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Intro to Painting or equivalent experience

Intended for those students who have completed an introduction to painting course and wish to further develop their visual explorations using acrylic or oil paint.

A variety of themes are explored, some through direct observation, others drawing upon imagination.

Emphasis is given to developing a personal vision. Individual feedback and group critiques assist students to examine the properties of color and its application, along with other technical concerns.

A field trip might be taken to the UC Botanical Garden for sketching and inspiration in the garden for a landscape painting.

Bring to first class: several brushes, a few jars, rags, a pre-primed canvas (at least 16" x 20"), palette paper , palette knife, acrylic or oil paints (titanium white, mars black, cadmium yellow light hue or lemon yellow, hansa yellow medium, cadmium red medium hue or napthol red, quinacridone violet, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue). Please no pure cadmium colors only cadmium HUES. If working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits, Galkyd, or linseed oil. NO Turpentine or Turpenoid, which is quite toxic, as is Turpenoid "natural".

Register online »

Painting: Abstraction

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXPNT-1516-01
  • Instructor: Patrick Dintino
  • Mon & Wed, June 4 to July 9 (no class July 4th),  6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • 10 sessions. $350. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

Abstract painting has been with us for over a century. Where do we go from here?

In this course, you explore the challenge of creating truly original abstract work as it relates to current times. The development of a unique approach is emphasized while the creation of a process for experimentation is intensified.

Both source material and internal inspirations are used.Practical information for presentation is provided as well as strategies about how to navigate through the art world. Confidence building and critical analysis are included.

Bring to first class: two preprimed canvas boards 18" x 24", acrylic or oil paints (black, white, yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium red), palette knife, palette paper, several brush sizes, a few jars, rags; if working in oils, bring linseed oil and odorless mineral spirits, Gamsol preferred.

No Turpenoid (or Turpenoid "natural") due to toxicity.

Register online »

Monoprint: The Painters Print

  • Oakland campus
  • EXPRN-1505-01
  • Instructor: Jaime Knight
  • ** This class is not available during this session. Please email to be added to a notification list when this class is offered again*
  • 10 sessions. $350. $65 lab/materials fee payable at registration Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

Monotype is a versatile and flexible print medium that utilizes the strategies of both painting and printmaking to create unique works of art and very short variable editions on paper.

Students learn the ins and outs of the print studio and its tools in order to successfully create prints using painterly brush strokes, the crisp lines of stencils, and a developed sense of color.

Topics covered include ink mixing and manipulation, paper selection considerations, water- and oil-based techniques, plate construction, and printing in both monotype and monoprint.

The lab/materials fee of $65 covers ink, plexiglass, paper and studio access.

Register online »

Comics Craft-Writing Image

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXILL-1506-01
  • Instructor:Trinidad Escobar
  • Tues & Thurs, July 10-Aug 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m.    
  • 10 Sessions. $350. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

Founded on the theory and work by industry greats (Will Eisner, Lynda Barry, Trina Robbins, and more), this course provides an introduction to comics theory, creative writing, and sequential illustration -- the combined skills that go into the creation of comics.

Participants deepen their understanding of what makes comics storytelling effective by reading and examining a wide-range of inclusive comics and excerpts from graphic novels. Students work individually toward creating their own dynamic, polished comics.

While no prior comics experience is required, students who have existing scripts or pages from personal projects that they wish to work on are welcome to bring them in. 

Bring: One sketchbook that is at least 6x8 inches,notebook or ruled paper for note-taking, one pencil and one pen.


Illustration techniques for artists using watercolor, ink and gouache

Register online »

Innovative Illustration Techniques

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXILL-1508-01
  • Instructor: Cleo Papanikolas
  • Mon & Wed,  July 9-Aug 8, 6:30-9:30 p.m.  
  • 10 sessions. $350. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Some basic drawing and watercolor experience or an adventurous attitude

Learning to combine old-school illustration techniques with new media, participants in this course start with pencil sketching and transferring and manipulating images and letterforms. From there, students add color with ink and gouache.

The class explores different digital sources for reference material and how to use images from phones or tablets for their creations.

In addition, discussions of different art markets for illustrators and the variations in style and business practices in each field give students insight into the illustration profession.

Bring to Class: Sketchpad, pencil, eraser, tracing paper, washi tape. Please bring (if you have) a smartphone / iPad  or other tablet. The instructor will also show examples of other materials  to buy later, such as wet media paper, gouache, brushes, acrylic matte medium..


Ceramics made in wheel throwing class by students

Register online »

Wheel Throwing

  • Oakland Campus
  • EXCER-1500-01
  • Instructor: Rachel Steiner
  •  Wed,  June 6-Aug 8 (no class July 4th), 6:30-9:30 p.m. *Sorry, this class is full. Please email to be added to a waitlist*  
  • 9 sessions. $425. $30 lab fee payable at registration. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: None

Suitable for beginning and advanced students alike, this course is designed to promote individual expression and ideas while gaining an understanding of the nature of clay and the ceramic process.

Wheel-throwing, glazing techniques, and firing methods provide insight into one's own artistic perspective. 

By looking at examples of both historical and contemporary work, students are encouraged to experiment in creating pieces such as bowls, mugs, plates, and vases that operate beyond the solely functional.

Tuition includes outside of class access on:
Friday 6:30-9:30p and Sunday 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

No studio access on:
M/Tu/Th 6:00p-9:00p
S 10:00a-6:00p

Lab fee covers materials for making ceramic glazes. Bring to first class: Beginning students should purchase a basic wheel throwing tool kit.  Experienced students should come prepared with their preferred tools. Clay can be purchased from CCA's Ceramics department at $10/bag

Register online »

Intro to Digital Painting

  • San Francisco Campus
  • EXMED-1505-01
  • Instructor: Stacy Tang
  •  This class is not available during our current session. Please email to be added to a notification list for the next time it's offered
  • 8 sessions. $520, Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Photoshop Basics or equivalent. Previous drawing, painting, or illustration experience recommended

This course introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and techniques of digital painting using Adobe Photoshop.

Participants focus on developing a strong foundation -- learning how to to render form, realistic lighting, and material surfaces effectively through a variety of painting studies. Class time is used for demos, practicing painting exercises, group discussions and critiques.

While designed primarily for beginners and those with minimal digital painting experience, a basic knowledge and some hands-on experience in painting using traditional medium would be helpful.  

Bring to first class: Examples of past artwork (traditional and/or digital)