Summer Art Classes at the Center

All classes are held in our downstairs (air-conditioned) studio space at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free. To register, email us or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to "NCFA" and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Painting Spectacular Skies and Clouds with Robert Masla

All day workshop on Saturday, July 7, 10am-4:30 pm

Fee: $150 / Materials: Click here for Watercolor or Click here for Oils & Acrylics

The sky and its various manifestations and component parts of atmospheric conditions, clouds, etc. is the crux of a landscape painting. It not only sets the color consistency and relationships of the painting, but sets the mood as well.

Learn how you can easily paint a sky that not only is convincing, but is spectacular! Clouds that are at the same time solid, soft and weightless. The sky can run the gamut between warm and inviting to ominous and threatening. Understand how to paint a sky that will both support and enhance a landscape and capture your imagination. Discover how the sky portrays moods, emotions, action and can convey a sense of being. Learn information, methods and techniques for portraying the limitless sky through color, form and formlessness. Masla will also share tips and techniques for rapidly capturing the sky while painting in plein air. You will learn about preparing “sky panels”, mixing different media for faster painting and complete several variations of different sky paintings in the course of the day. Masla will be demonstrating with Rembrandt watercolors and acrylic paints as well as Cobra non solvent (water mixable) oil paints on Fredrix all media canvas paint boards and Fabriano Paper.

Draw Like A Painter, Draw Like Crazy with Robert Masla

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 3 Workshop Series on Monday evenings 6:30-9 pm: July 9, 16, 23

Fee: $150 / Click here for materials list or more information on the class

Join artist Robert Masla in the continued journey of creative expression, learning and fun though drawing. He creates an atmosphere where both absolute beginners and advanced artists alike feel themselves nourished, growing and stretching. Masla will lead you further in the exploration that will help you to see and think visually and uncover your unique creative signature as you learn to draw like a painter. Investigate the depths of your individuality and vision with several processes to access your creative expression and painterly mark making. Draw like crazy — and have fun doing it! Regardless of your skill level or the media you choose to work in, you will take with you tools, techniques, and methods that you can apply to your art and exercises you can use to strengthen your skills and be a better painter through drawing. You will also take away a few handouts to supplement the experience.

The Shape of Water with Robert Masla

All day workshop on Saturday, July 14, 10am-4:30 pm

Fee: $150 / Materials: Click here for Watercolor or Click here for Oils & Acrylics

Have you struggled to paint water in your painting, not quite sure how best to capture its energy and form? Of all the elements of landscape, water is perhaps the most elusive, hardest to pin down and paint -especially when it is constantly moving! Masla reveals to you the anatomy of waves and perception of both still and moving water, the effects of light reflection and transparency, the qualities of mist and atmosphere, as well as the tools and techniques to capture the appearance and feel of water. Learn about the properties of water in different conditions and how to paint it and how to paint the “mood” of water under different conditions. After experiencing this in-depth workshop, when you paint, either in plein air or the studio, you will have both a better understanding of what you are seeing and want to portray as well as greater ability through knowledge and technique, to express it and capture mood and feeling in your work. During this class you will also paint along with Masla's demo as you create a powerful painting of a wave crashing agains rocks. He will be using Rembrandt watercolors and Cobra non solvent, (water mixable) oil paints on Fredrix canvas all media paint boards and Fabriano paper. 

Waterscapes in watercolor with Deborah Rubin

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A two-week intensive on Monday and Wednesday evenings 6:30-9pm: July 30, August 1, August 6, August 8
Fee: $160 plus supply list below.

Learn about painting waves, splashes, and reflections in a four-session class held twice weekly for two weeks during mid-summer . You'll be working with all kinds of whites, blues, and grays to create at least two paintings.

Instructor: Deborah Rubin

1 full sheet (22 x 30) rough watercolor paper, 140 lb.
8x10 or larger spiral watercolor pad (cheap is ok)

To hold 15 x 22 size paper
Masonite is best though corrugated cardboard and foamcore will do.

Please avoid cheap sets like Reeves, Maries, Sakura etc. They will create poor paintings. Tube paints only and please bring all the tubes to class. I’m nixing Winsor Newton Cotman tube colors which are the student grade paint – they’ve changed their color formulas and many colors aren’t accurate. 
Stick to quality brands like Winsor Newton professional, Grumbacher, Da Vinci, Holbein, Schminke, Graham, Daniel Smith, Van Gogh. The catalogue stores/online like Dick Blick and Cheap Joe’s (American Journey) have their own brand which is very good and cheaper. Colors: any white, any black, ultramarine, pthalo blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red (or hue or winsor red), cadmium yellow (or hue or Winsor yellow), and yellow ochre.

Good brushes – a combo of synthetic and natural- are essential. Poor brushes lose many hairs and flatten out when used which will frustrate the painter. So stay away from cheap sets. Rounds: Sizes #4 and #12. Flats: 1”. Also, a Japanese Hake brush at least 1 1/2” wide or a good natural bristle brush 1 1/2". The hake brushes are very inexpensive...between $4 and $10. A good natural bristle brush can run $50.

Large rectangular palette with wells for at least 8 colors and large mixing areas.

Blue painters tape (like masking tape) from hardware store
Liquid mask (sometimes called frisket) non-permanent
White vinyl eraser
#2 pencil
Rubber cement pick-up
2 Water containers (deli containers, big yogurt container)

If you have problems finding everything, please get in touch with me. I have many items to sell and since I order frequently,I can put an order of something in for you as well. Unfortunately Winsor Newton Cotman seems to be the popular paint in Michaels and A.C. Moore. I’d rather have you order something else through Dick Blick, Jerry’s Artarama, Cheap Joes, or ASW Express, than buy paint that will frustrate you!

Any questions, email Deborah: or cell: 1-413-253-7922