This summer, we’re excited to introduce our new art class instructors! At Yosemite Conservancy, we offer art classes for adults that cater to everyone, regardless of whether or not you consider yourself artistic. In fact, visitors who have never picked up a paintbrush before are often the ones who enjoy our classes the most.
Our art classes are held Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. between April and October, and are designed specifically for beginners. You don’t need any previous artistic experience or skills to participate.
Our classes are a great way to slow down and take in the iconic landscapes of Yosemite Valley. You’ll have the opportunity to see the park in a unique way, and even take home a souvenir of your time here.
In 2023, we’re adding 9 new art class instructors to our seasonal schedule. Check out our lineup below or visit the art homepage for our full program:
Join artist Lindsey Fox in Yosemite Valley for a beginner-friendly art class that focuses on capturing the unique patterns and forms found in this dramatic landscape. Students will learn basic techniques to get them started and use those techniques to develop abstract paintings of Yosemite views. This class encourages students to let go of perfection, embrace observation, and create playful representations of Yosemite’s beautiful landscapes.
Deepen your connection to Yosemite in an interactive workshop that brings together two mediums: watercolor and ink. In this four-hour class with Qinqin Liu, an accomplished artist and environmental scientist, you’ll work with watercolor paints and Chinese ink as you learn basic elements of artistic design, including how to mix, adjust, and apply different colors, and how to use light and dark values to add depth or create focal points.
Come explore your creativity in this pen & ink drawing class with Kyle Monhollen. The class will spend time outdoors admiring the towering landscapes and simple moments of Yosemite Valley. Kyle will help students practice observation, sharing basic drawing techniques to help them capture the landscape around them using the simple tools of pen and pencil. By the end of the class, you’ll be filled with curiosity and ready to explore new places with your drawing kit!
Nature journaling is an accessible and meaningful way to connect to a place, and in a nature journaling class, everyone is an artist. In this workshop, you’ll learn to observe your surroundings in Yosemite, from the big dramatic rocks to the small plant life that surrounds them. Artist Casondra Cunningham will share basic nature journaling skills and lead the class through engaging exercises. Students will use watercolor paints to bring their journals to life. Each student will start their own journal, and be ready to take it out on their next adventure!
Demystify drawing in this travel journaling class with artist Kelvin Nguyen. Using simple supplies — pen and marker — students will learn quick drawing techniques in a travel journal. The class will explore how to quickly draw rocks, plants, people, and wildlife to help students create a journal that communicates their experiences in Yosemite. Drawing can help us remember our experiences and enrich the experience as we are living it. This class is for all artists, especially beginners, to help them learn how to draw what they see without stress.
A sketchbook offers a unique way to record your experiences and help you remember them. If you’re curious about watercolor pencils, sketching, or drawing, this class will support you in learning new techniques and practicing them judgment-free. The class starts with learning how to make your own sketchbook, being guided through some skill-building exercises with watercolor pencils, and then heading outdoors to explore whatever inspires you in Yosemite Valley.
In this unique class with Bunny Paivine, you’ll learn unconventional techniques and embrace your sense of play while painting Yosemite’s landscapes with acrylic paint. Students will let go of expectations and get back in touch with their inner 5-year-old who wasn’t afraid to commit to making marks on a canvas. In this class, students will use palette knives instead of brushes, and for those who aren’t afraid of getting a little messy, finger-painting techniques are also an option! Bunny will work with the class step-by-step to help them create a painting to take home.
In this class, students will learn how to create scratchboard illustrations with artist Caleb Blatz. Scratchboard is a unique medium — you’ll learn to use etching tools to scratch into a clay board. This tactile experience offers students a different way to look at creating a drawing, and an opportunity to meditate on the interplay of light and stone. You’ll explore texture to create high contrast images, starting with highlights instead of shadows. Flex your brain and see things a little differently in this class.
In this charcoal class, students will learn and practice different drawing techniques, guided by artist and instructor John Tullis. You’ll be prompted to practice making marks, creating shadows, and exploring textures on your paper. Charcoal is a dramatic medium that represents Yosemite’s dynamic landscape. Each participant will have a hands-on learning experience outdoors in Yosemite Valley, learn some new skills, and take home a drawing that represents a day of creative camaraderie.