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Students in southern Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut can take advantage of a number of art and design courses from Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education (RISD|CE) that, until now, required commuting to its Providence campus. A select group of RISD|CE courses are now offered at the Westerly Education Center, giving students the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty in a range of visual arts and design disciplines. RISD|CE course offerings in Westerly span a variety of creative choices in artistic mediums, but all focus on developing the key building blocks to establish a working knowledge of spatial organization and visual problem solving to further your abilities as an artist.

Clink on the course links to register or visit ce.risd.edu when you enter keyword "Westerly" in the keyword search field.

Teen at Easel

Start Cartooning

Saturdays, Jan 12–Feb 9 | 9am–noon
5 sessions | tuition $285 | lab fee $10
Cartooning is the art of creating characters with outrageous personalities and memorable names like SpongeBob, Groot, Calvin and Bugs. They come in simple shapes and are drawn with dynamic lines and always have fascinating stories. This course is about telling those stories as students learn to create wild characters who are musclemen, monsters, critters and cuties. Students learn to use the drawing tools essential to the art form, and how to hand letter a gag, a thought or a holler to show words and pictures coming together.

Focus on Faces: Portrait Drawing Workshop

Monday, January 21 | 9am–4pm
1 session | tuition $140 | lab fee $10 | model fee $10
In this drawing workshop, you'll study the anatomy of the face, and practice capturing likeness or facial expression so that you can accurately draw heads and faces. You'll participate in a series of exercises and studies, using a variety of drawing materials that are specifically chosen to strengthen observational and rendering skills. Whether or not your desire is to become a portrait or comic book artist or just improve your skills at drawing faces, this course is sure to provide valuable and readily applicable skills.

Pattern Design: Rhythm + Repetition in Graphic Design
Monday, February 18| 9am–4pm
1 session | tuition $140 | lab fee $10
Art students are fortunate to have a set of guiding principles for design; this course pairs those principles with easy-to-understand exercises that will provide a foundation for deeper exploration. In this course, students practice pattern design as a way to comprehend the primary goal of visual unity and its generative processes of similarity, rhythm and repetition. These concepts are revealed through a project that involves drawing organic forms, using a geometric structure with simple tools. The resulting patterns on paper are made without digital technology, and are evidence of a student's understanding of simplicity vs. complexity, which is vital to understanding design thinking. 

Photography: Introduction

Thursdays, Jan 10–Feb 14 | 6:30–9:30pm
6 sessions | tuition $365
This course for new and amateur photographers introduces ways of seeing through the lens and illuminates the underlying two-dimensional design issues and visual concepts hidden within the photographic image. Through weekly assignments and critiques, students explore ways to use photography and photographic conventions for their unique personal expression. Lessons include the technical operations like focus, shutter speed and aperture common to all cameras, and how they influence artistic choices. Whether students are interested in traditional or digital photography, this course provides a strong foundation for any subsequent photographic pursuit.
Applies to the following certificate programs: AN-E, GR-E, IT-E, NS-E, PG-R, PS-E

Introduction to SketchUp

Tuesdays, Jan 8–Feb 12 | 6:30–9:30pm
6 sessions | tuition $425 | lab fee $30
Students can start drawing, designing and rendering their ideas with SketchUp, 3D modeling software that's easy to learn and used by architects, designers, builders, makers and engineers. This course teaches students about the use of this free downloadable toolkit as a design and rendering tool. The instructor presents the fundamentals of the interface, and how to model original spaces and objects from scratch or import prebuilt objects from the Google warehouse. The accelerated format allows for faster learning as students quickly move on to advanced topics like texturing objects and creating simple animation. This course is recommended for novice designers or design students interested in learning how to incorporate 3D into their work.
Applies to the following certificate programs: ID-E, JM-E, PM-E

Drawing: Technique Intensive

Saturday + Sunday, Feb 16 + 17 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | tuition $275
Drawing is the foundation of artistic study, practice and communication. In this fast-paced weekend experience, students explore the fundamentals of drawing and learn how to render what they see. Students begin by describing shapes with line, weight and stroke direction, and move quickly to the study and observation of light and shadow. The class explores additive and reductive methods with the aim of completion of an accurate drawing using a range of values. Aided by student examples and instructor demonstrations, students develop their skills. Drawing materials include graphite, charcoal and erasure. Subjects, including natural and everyday objects, are provided.

Watercolor: Introduction
Wednesdays, Jan 9–Feb 13 | 6:30–9:30pm
6 sessions | tuition $365 | lab fee $10
Both compelling and at times mystifying, the medium of watercolor is broken down in this step-by-step introductory course. Students learn that producing a well-designed and dynamic watercolor is no accident; success comes through careful planning. Along with planning and learning how to control paint, an understanding of the transparent qualities of the medium is essential. Students explore value, composition, and color theory as they learn the subtleties and complexities of this transparent medium. Both wet and dry techniques are covered, as are washes, color lifting and glazing. Demonstrations and class exercises promote an understanding of watercolor's possibilities and limitations and equip students with the skills and experience to use watercolor effectively to achieve lively results.
Applies to the following certificate programs: NS-E, PS-E

Starting a Sketchbook
Tuesday, Feb 5 | 6:30–9:30pm
1 session | tuition $85 | lab fee $10
Want to dive into art making but don't know where to start? Starting a sketchbook is a perfect entry point. Quick and easy strategies are introduced as you begin generating work for your sketchbook, including line exercises and collage techniques. Emphasis is on discovery and working through processes in an intuitive and spontaneous way, enabling you to surmount any preconceived ideas and respond naturally to prompts and visual stimulus.
Applies to the following certificate programs: NS-E, PS-E

Applied Color
Tuesdays, Jan 8–Feb 12 | 1–4pm
6 sessions | tuition $365 | lab fee $15
Color is one of the most powerful, and complex, tools at the artist's disposal. Bridging the divide between color theory and color practice, this studio course distills the essentials of color mechanics into workable studies and projects. Students explore color through creative exercises using collage and paint to understand color and how to use it effectively. Explorations of the role of light, the psychological impact of color, and how such factors as hue, value and intensity affect design are integral to the learning. Slide-illustrated presentations address the historical background of the use of color. Through the process of experiencing the interface of color theory and color application, guidelines toward developing a personal palette are discussed. Mastery of color is essential in the work of artists, illustrators, craftspeople and designers, making this course an ideal starting point.
Applies to the following certificate programs: AN-R, GR-R, ID-R, IT-R, NS-R, PG-R, PM-R, PS-R

Creativity Workshop
Saturday + Sunday, Feb 2 + 3 | 10am–4pm
2 sessions | tuition $275 | lab fee $10
Within a fully supportive and constructive environment for the artist and non-artist alike, this workshop helps students tap into their creative energy, generate new ideas and develop new ways of working. Accessing individual creativity begins by diving right in, through a series of hands-on exercises designed to work with unconventional mark-making tools and prompts that focus on speed, attention and reaction. Students are challenged to let go of preconceptions and encouraged to experiment, play and make. Ways to trigger ideas and accelerate individual creative practice are emphasized. The class is ideal for students looking to invigorate their life and fuel their art practice.




One of the oldest colleges of its kind in the US, Rhode Island School of Design stands out as a leader in art and design education. RISD Continuing Education educates students of all ages in art and design with high quality, accessible programs. The division serves more than 4,000 individual students per year in its non-credit courses, six-week Pre-College program for high school artists and designers, and Summer Programs for college credit. RISD|CE also offers non-credit certificate programs for adults and teens. For more information about RISD Continuing Education, visit http://ce.risd.edu