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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.


Graphic Design: Introduction
Mondays, Oct 21 - Dec 2 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 11/25
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365
A graphic designer is a creative problem solver who conceptualizes, plans and executes a design that communicates a message. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of working in the field of graphic design by examining the meaning of graphic design, the design process and the role the graphic designer plays in society. Students respond to presentations and engage in hands-on assignments intended to provide a glimpse of the RISD|CE Graphic Design certificate program and the broader field of the professional graphic designer.

Drawing I
Thursdays, Sep 12 - Dec 5 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 11/28
12 sessions | 36 contact hours | tuition $525 | model fee $30
Drawing is an essential means of communicating, and central to every artist’s and designer's practice. This class is a more rigorous and sustained introduction to the drawing medium. Drawing I students begin learning to define shapes and forms with line: investigating weight, direction and speed through gesture, contour and planar analysis. Then moving on to value, using both additive and reductive ways of working, they learn to utilize the power of light and dark to create a sense of texture, volume and space. Spatial systems, including perspective, are investigated as well as fundamentals of composition to construct dynamic imagery. Measuring and attention to negative space are essential skills used and reinforced throughout the learning process. Transcribing what is seen or imagined into visual form utilizing multiple approaches -- from note taking to rendering to diagramming and sketching -- is explored. The course is structured around demonstrations, guided exercises, and sustained drawing of varied subject matter including still-life, landscape, architecture and the human form. Please note that in addition to the lab fee, you can expect to have to buy additional supplies for this class. We try to keep this cost under $100, but for specialized classes (jewelry, wood, metals) this may be higher.

Woodworking at Westerly
Wednesdays, Oct 23 - Dec 4 | 6-9pm | No Class: 11/27
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365 | lab fee $30
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of working with wood using power and hand tools. Step by step, students learn the safe and effective use of machinery, and how to develop and execute a realistic plan/design for a simple piece. Students are introduced to ways of understanding wood, both in what to look for in selecting it and considerations when shaping it, work with table saws and sanders, and learn which machines are most effective in achieving their chosen project. Demonstrations and presentations further the learning. This hands-on introductory class helps students gain confidence with machines and working with wood and is ideal for beginners.

Acrylic Painting: Technique Intensive
Saturday + Sunday, Nov 16 - 17 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | 12 contact hours | tuition $275 | lab fee $15
Experience with acrylic paint lays a foundation for learning to work with other paint, such as oil or gouache. Through acrylic paint, students in this workshop gain in-depth knowledge of color mixing, composition and paint application -- essential skills for any painter, illustrator or designer. The workshop is designed to help students quickly gain a command of color and an understanding of the process of painting. Students then use these fundamental skills to create dynamic compositions and to explore paint application. The first day, students practice simple painting methods through exercises, including how to mix colors, apply paint, create layers, control opacity and transparency, and create thick vs. thin paint. On day two, students prepare a background for painting, create a preliminary drawing, and learn how to transfer the drawing onto that background. Everyone works from a simple subject of their own choice. Clear, step-by-step instructions enable students to fully understand the process. This workshop is intended for absolute beginners, as well as for experienced artists who want to gain confidence and skill with the medium. 

Watercolor: Technique Intensive
Saturday + Sunday, Nov 9 - 10 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | 12 contact hours | tuition $275 | lab fee $20
Using a more controlled approach to painting with watercolors, students in this workshop gain confidence and skill through comprehensive demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Techniques include brush control, applying flat and gradated washes, masking and layering to create form. Students experiment with different papers and effects, including wet in wet, dry brush, lifting and texturing. The essential issues of color mixing, composition and value are addressed through quick studies, progressing toward larger color pieces. The instructor provides subject material, and students are encouraged to work from their own sources.

Gaining Control of Your Digital Camera
Thursday, Oct 24 | 6:30-9:30pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $85
Do you have a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera but feel unsure about how to use it effectively? This workshop is for you if you have little or no experience using a DSLR and want to gain a basic understanding of how to use it to maximum advantage. We cover everything from initial setup and deciphering the camera's menus and settings, to making accurate exposures and dealing with focusing and white balance issues. We also explore the different options available for controlling lighting in various situations. You'll leave with a newfound confidence in handling the DSLR and producing consistently pleasing images. Note: Please bring your camera, its instruction manual and a willingness to learn to this fast-paced introductory workshop.

Watercolor: Introduction
Wednesdays, Jan 8 - Feb 12 | 1-4pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | 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. Please note that in addition to the lab fee, you can expect to have to buy additional supplies for this course. We try to keep this cost under $100, but for specialized classes (jewelry, wood, metals) this may be higher.

Interior Design: Introduction
Tuesdays, Jan 7 - Feb 11 | 6:30-9:30pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365
This introductory course focuses on the process of design as it applies to interior spaces. Students build an acute awareness of core principles -- scale, proportion, light, circulation and progression -- as a means to create visual harmony. Functional, utilitarian, economic and safety requirements of interior spaces in an architectural framework are examined and students develop a process book that is a document of their new appreciation for lighting, acoustics, textiles and materials choices. Through exercises and a final project, students learn to apply the basic principles of visual design to interiors, and to better understand how form and function can be translated into practical designs for livable interior spaces.

Starting a Sketchbook
Tuesday, Feb 4 | 6:30-9:30pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | 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.

Drawing: Technique Intensive
Saturday + Sunday, Feb 15 - 16 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | 12 contact hours | tuition $275 | model fee $15
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.

Photography: Introduction
Thursdays, Jan 9 - Feb 13 | 6:30-9:30pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | 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.

iPhone Photography Workshop
Saturday, Feb 8 | 10am-1pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $85
Your iPhone is about to get even more useful to you -- even if you didn't think that was possible! In this workshop you'll learn how to take professional-looking photos with just your iPhone. Whether you're looking to photograph your own artwork, or seeking the perfect social media aesthetic for your brand, these skills can be applied to many aspects of your creative life. You'll develop tricks, tips and insights into a few of the instructor's favorite (free) photo editing applications; how to take product/food shots; and how to make use of natural light. You'll also gain resources on local printing companies to print all of your favorite shots.



Fashion Illustration
Saturdays, Oct 26 - Nov 23 | 1-4pm
ages 13-17 | 2019/CF-TEEN-3725
5 sessions | 15 contact hours | tuition $285 | lab fee $10 | model fee $10
All fashion designers start their planning on paper, well before they ever see their garments worn and walking the runway. Students in this course explore the fashion drawing techniques used in the industry, such as basic fashion figures (or 'croquis') and mood boards -- the process tools for translating a creative idea into a sophisticated design. Students also communicate the ideas, moods, motion and details of a garment by visually interpreting fashion apparel, including the body proportions used in basic fashion drawing. As students create various croquis bodies and draw from a model, they develop their personal style and drawing skills, as well as an appreciation for the role fashion illustration plays in the design business.

Cartoon Anatomy
Saturdays, Jan 11 - Feb 8 | 1-4pm
5 sessions | 15 contact hours | tuition $285 | lab fee $10
Zombies, barbarians and Ninja schoolgirls all begin in the same way. But two legs, a twisting torso and clenched fists are not enough to turn a sketch into a distinct character that is ready to become the centerpiece of a comic book, video game or animation. This cartooning course reveals the essentials of good character design that begin with the creative application of human (or inhuman) anatomy. The importance of facial expressions, hairstyles and costume design options are also highlighted as students give their drawings personality and style. Finally, the drafting of tools and weapons becomes the hot topic so that students' character designs of mermaids, angels and faeries can morph into cyborgs and Transformers.

2D Animation for Teens
Saturdays, Jan 11 - Feb 8 | 9am-12pm
5 sessions | 15 contact hours | tuition $285 | lab fee $10
Build a foundation for digital two-dimensional animation techniques and begin to develop your personal animation style. You'll discover the technology that makes it all possible, as you're introduced to the concept of the frame (animation's atomic unit), how it turns into a cycle, then a sequence and finally, a story. As a class, we'll review group exercises and student projects to develop a common understanding of what "good" animation looks like and how to discuss this exciting art form.

Introduction to Product Design
Saturdays, Jan 11 - Feb 8 | 1-4pm
5 sessions | 15 contact hours | tuition $285 | lab fee $15
Product design is all around us. From your sunglasses to your mobile device, everything you touch began as a bright idea, was realized as a drawing and then given manufactured reality. In this course, you'll be introduced to the design process and the skills needed to become a product designer. Through a series of exercises and demonstrations, you'll discover how to bring concepts to life through research, concept generation, refinement and drawing. By the end of the course, you'll have a better grasp of this all-important career choice.

Drawing: Focus on Faces
Monday, Jan 20 | 9am-4pm
1 session | 7 contact hours | 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 you'd like to become a portrait or comic book artist or just improve your skills at drawing faces, this course will provide valuable and applicable skills.



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