Acrylic Painting & Mixed Media
Great class! Karen is totally inspiring!
Fridays, from 1 PM - 4 PM
Beginning in March 2020, we went online, for the duration of the pandemic, for current students (if you're on the email list, you'll get instructions about how to connect).
New students: Please see Karen's new 12-week class, Online Acrylic Painting — Acrylic Painting for Intermediate and More Experienced Students
Have you been wanting for years to get back to painting — or to learn how to paint for the first time? Or are you a painter who wants to explore things from a different perspective and acquire new skills?
Karen looks forward to being able to welcome you at the Calistoga Art Center once again, when we all get through these times, so you can join us and dive into painting with acrylics!
I've learned more about how to make a real painting in three hours than I had in three years.
About the Classes
In this class, you will
• explore acrylic paints and learn how to use them
• learn how to mix and use color harmoniously
• learn different ways to apply paint to a surface
• develop your painting skills
• learn the basics of values, composition, and design
• learn different ways to approach a painting, looking at the work of many artists for inspiration and education
• create paintings based on what interests you.
We do not copy other people's paintings in this class. You will learn how to create your own original work.
Are you interested in painting landscapes, still lifes, portraits, or anything else you see around you? Abstract painting? Mixed media painting with collage or relief printing? You decide what directions call to you, and Karen will help you get there.
Our approach is to paint with a spirit of experimentation and discovery, and to learn to see anew. Acrylic paint is a versatile medium – there are lots of possibilities! This class is designed for beginning, intermediate, or more advanced painters.
Classes are generally scheduled in four week sessions (one class a week for four weeks). You may begin at any session. Repeat the class as many times as you like... you will always be doing something new!
2023 Class Schedule
All classes are currently online!
Acrylic Painting classes online for current and former students on Fridays, from 1 PM - 4 PM
Class Fee: $75 for each 4-week class card
Drop-in fee: $25 per class (bring your own materials or some materials can be provided at a small cost) — Contact Karen in advance to let her know you're coming!
You can download a class materials list here.
You may register online at www.calistogaartcenter.org
Where is it? Beginning on March 16, 2020, we began meeting online, for the duration. We look forward to being able to return to the Calistoga Art Center when we are able to!
You can download the current class flyer here. Classes continue on a fairly ongoing basis throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why paint with acrylics?
Acrylic paints are the most versatile and forgiving paint medium available today.
Versatility? You can make them look like oils — but they don't smell, and they dry more quickly; or like watercolors — but you can paint over what you've already painted without ruining it, if you want.
You can combine them easily with other media, including for collage, and you can use acrylic mediums to create a whole host of special effects.
Wish they took longer to dry? Try using Open Acrylics, which have a longer drying time and more buttery consistency.
Acrylics are also the most forgiving paint medium. Don't like what you're working on? Give it a little time to dry, and you can paint over it.
Can I choose what I want to paint in class?
Yes! Only you know what you feel most called to create.
If you've new to painting, or to class, you'll get a good grounding in color mixing, brush strokes, composition, and the process of a painting, to start off with.
After experimenting with a couple of simple approaches to painting, you determine where you want to take it. Karen will help you get there, and help you continue to develop the skills every painter needs.
Will we be copying other people's paintings or photographs?
No. We will look at the work of other artists, historical and contemporary, to learn and be inspired.
But in this class you will learn the skills and get the tools to create your own work. The whole point is to tap into your creativity, right? It pretty much defeats the purpose if you're not learning how to paint your own paintings, and discover your own style.
"When I considered starting this class I contacted Karen Ingalls and asked if she wold be able to take a "Rank Beginner" in the class. I knew nothing of brushes, paints or technique. She said "Absolutely!" and welcomed me into the group wholeheartedly.
During this course I learned a lot about technique, mixing colors, and looking at objects more closely. I can't tell you how enjoyable it has been and how tickled I have been about being able to produce some paintings. I'd even have to say that an onlooker could identify what I was painting!
Karen also is great at presenting work of the Master Painters, discussing their techniques and style, and encouraging each student to grow with your own personal style. I saw a lot of development in all of the students in the class."
— Cindi Buell, Santa Rosa
"Classes with Karen are fun. She does formal teaching at the beginning of each class, but most of the time is spent painting. Every one gets individual attention.
I had no idea if I could paint when I started taking her classes. It's very subtle, but you learn a lot, and everyone makes continual progress. She is very supportive of individual styles and gives really constructive feedback. Thanks, Karen, for a wonderful, relaxing three hours every week!"
– Patricia Campbell, Santa Rosa
"I have been taking classes from Karen Ingalls for approximately two and a half years. She is an amazing teacher. Her demos have always been very instructive and helpful, yet she allows each of her students to create/paint where their interests lie. I have been painting off and on my whole life, but have never understood how to use a palette of three to four colors to blend and create a painting that is so much more pleasing to the eye.
She has also taught me how to create a focal point using lines, color combinations, shapes, etc. She is always positive when critiquing our work, but also encourages us to move out of our comfort zones into a place that enables us to grow in our own individual styles. She NEVER paints our paintings for us (which I appreciate!!), as some of my teachers in the past have done. This always made me feel that the painting was not truly my own. I have learned so much from Karen, and plan to learn more as I continue to take classes from her!"
– Sally Briggs, Calistoga