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SOLD OUT: Virtual Class: Drawing from the Collection

This class is sold out. Join us for a dynamic virtual drawing class open to newcomers or experienced sketchers. In these weekly workshops, led by skilled teaching artist Kenneth Wenzel, you’ll learn sequential skill-building through group and individual instruction. Sessions begin with a short presentation and discussion on works in Mia’s collection that highlight the various technical, historical, and stylistic issues the class will be addressing. The instructor will then demonstrate techniques as students practice on their own, sketching from the elements of Mia’s collection objects to produce their own works. This is a series of six sequential classes. Each class is 90 minutes in length.

Class Fee: $135, $108 for My Mia members. Scholarships available, please email

This is a virtual event that will take place over Zoom.


Class 1: The Role of Subject Matter

Art involves the interrelationship of subject, form, and content. Subject is the starting
point for the viewer, and often for the artist. We will discuss and define subject matter
and its role in the processes of creation and viewing in artworks. Students will learn
techniques of finding the axis of a subject and blocking in with straight lines to begin the
drawing process.

Class 2: The Role of Form in the Visual Arts

Form is the language of the visual arts and includes both the Visual Elements and the
Principles of Design. It is through form that the artist makes their statement in the work
of art. This class will introduce the interrelationship of forms and statement thorough
examples from Art History. Students will build on blocking exercises by seeing how free
curves are created within a blocked drawing.

Class 3: Gesture Drawing

When beginning to draw it is important to focus on process rather than the product.
Gesture drawing is an exercise that teaches you to see and respond. It is foundational
for all works of art. This class will introduce the technique of gesture drawing. It will
extend the use of curves and explore the expression of movement in a static work of art.

Class 4: Positive/Negative Shape

Shape is a critical Visual Element. Any two-dimensional work of art is just a compilation
of shapes on a flat surface. There are many types of shape in the visual arts. This class
will define the concept of Positive/Negative shapes, also called Figure/Ground.
Techniques for seeing both the positive and negative will be covered to help students
with this important concept. Practice will be done on two-dimensional works from the

Class 5: Creating a Sense of Mood

Value is the range of darks and lights in an artwork. Color and value have a great deal
to do with the mood and emotional content of works of art. In this class we will discuss
the interaction of color and the value scale in establishing and communicating feeling in
a work of art. Shading techniques will be demonstrated and practiced.

Class 6: Content and Interpretation in the Visual Arts

Content is the meaning of a work of art, its interpretation. It comes to the viewer though
emotions and ideas created by the combination of material application, subject, and
form. The joy in looking at art is to engage in this process, and the joy in making art is to
put the works theme into its form. We will discuss and practice this process and
decisions one makes in effectively expressing their theme.

About the instructor

Kenneth P. Wenzel received an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and a
B.F.A. from the School of the Visual Arts in New York. His work has been exhibited

Materials List

  • Paper: 11 x 14 in., 12 x 18 in., or 14 x 17 in. medium-weight white paper for
    drawing with a variety of mediums, including pencil
  • Several blending stumps
  • Any and/or all of the following drawing materials:
    Graphite drawing pencils (several each) of grades HB, 2B, 4B, 6B
    Kneaded eraser
    Small pencil sharpener with container for shavings
    Color pencils: Berol Prismacolor Thick Lead Art Pencils or equivalent (set of 12,
    more if desired)
    Oil pastels: Sets of 12 or more. Pentel and Panda brands are student-grade
    materials. Rembrandt is professional grade. Choose what feels right to you.
  • Small packet of dry facial tissue
  • Moistened wipes to clean hands

About CODA Creative Aging Classes: 

As we age, our capacity for creativity increases but often goes untapped. In this series of classes designed for adults aged 55+, we’ll engage with a variety of art forms to discover our personal capabilities while forming meaningful connections with other participants.

Generous support for this class is provided by Aroha Philanthropies.