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Courses

Get inspired . . . try something new or enhance what's familiar

Running as multi-week sessions or as one-day classes in the evenings and on weekends throughout the year, the CCA Extension program takes place on our Oakland and San Francisco campuses.

Register online with TouchNet. You do not need to apply to CCA or create a profile before you register. You can register as a guest!

We are planning our winter/spring 2020 classes and hope to open registration by December 13th. Go here to add your name to the notification list

DESIGN

Intro to Graphic Design

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This course offers a broad introduction to the profession and practice of graphic design. Through in-class exercises and take-home assignments—supplemented by critical readings, lectures, and critiques—students learn visual communication skills and experience a wide range of design contexts.

Topics include (but are not limited to) graphic design history, informational hierarchy, grid systems, typography, color theory, icon and symbol systems, and visual storytelling. Slide presentations accompany many of the lectures.

Computer skills and software programs will not be covered but are essential to the implementation of assignments and projects. Access to Adobe Illustrator and InDesign is strongly advised.

Bring to first class: One example of good and one example of bad design—in your opinion. Be prepared to explain your reasoning. A notebook/loose sheets of paper and basic writing/drawing supplies (i.e., black pens/markers, pencil).

Typography Fundamentals

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Prerequisites: Working knowledge of Adobe Indesign/ Adobe Illustrator

This course offers an introduction to the fundamentals of typography in the digital design age. Through weekly take-home exercises and 3 core projects—supplemented by lectures, demonstrations and weekly critiques—students learn practical typography and communications design skills.

Students will create 3 projects: hierarchical typography, letterforms as shapes, typographic system-such as an event invitation: card, RSVP, program, envelopes and tickets. Topics include (but are not limited to) type design history, type as emotive tool, grids for organizing information, type foundries, and font pairing. Slide presentations and demos accompany many of the lectures.

Computer skills and software programs will not be covered but are essential to the implementation of assignments and projects. Access to InDesign is required and Adobe Illustrator is strongly recommended--Lynda and youtube.com tutorials are suggested at the first session.

Bring to first class: One example your favorite typeface of any kind printed out. Be prepared to share your reasoning. Bring a notebook and writing supplies (i.e., pen or pencil), Sketchbook (any form that you prefer), assortment sketching tools: pencils and markers for example, C-Thru E-scale and pica ruler- or similar.

Required textbook: 'Thinking with Type' by Ellen Lupton, Princeton Architectural Press

Intro to Interior Design

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In this studio-based overview of the practice of interior design, you review the history and current applications of the practice. Participants explore the multifaceted technical and aesthetic principles of design.

You also examine concepts of programming, planning, and three-dimensional form. Principals of light and lighting, color, materiality, furniture overview and layouts are covered through hands-on exercises.

You develop one long-term project of your choice from conception through presentation. SketchUp, a free software application, may be used in place of hand drafting.

Bring to first class: a 12” roll of trace paper, an architectural scale, and a rollerball pen.

Ideation Sketching and Visual Notation

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Whether you are a designer, artist, or filmmaker, what inspires you to create art and design are the pre-visual concepts that arise in your mind. These previsualized concepts may potentially become the foundation of a great painting, product, movie, or advertisement.

In this class, students learn how to form and evolve ideas that arise from their imagination through the use of various drawing techniques. These methods allow students to create accurate images directly from their imagination without the need to have a model or photo for reference. Students then use these images to communicate their ideas with clients, art directors, or in meetings, using sketch techniques. Class time is divided among demos, short lectures, and in-class studio time.

This class instructs students to learn the fundamentals of translating 3D space and objects onto 2D-drawn space. Topics covered include using 1, 2, and 3 point perspective, laying out your ideas, using backgrounds, and finding your style. Various types of notation (arrows, typography) are explored to help clarify your drawn ideas. Weekly homework assignments assist in practicing in class topics.

Bring to first class: A 14" x 17" pad of layout paper and a pad of tracing paper, a variety of drawing pencils (2H, HB, 2B), a ballpoint pen or sharpie.

Fashion Design Workshop

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This fashion workshop introduces students to free-form draping, fabric manipulations, and simplified garment construction (i.e. minimal in terms of technical method and construction) to explore creative form-finding for designing garments.

Workshop projects allow students to explore these innovative methods while mixing fabrics and other materials to construct tops, pants, and accessories, as well as combining existing garments.

Through instructor demonstrations and individual student practices, students enhance their ability to create and build garments.

Bring to first class: 2 yards of plain weave light to medium weight woven fabric, such as cotton, silk, muslin etc.

DIGITAL TOOLS

Adobe Creative Cloud Intensive (San Francisco)

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  • San Francisco campus
  • EXCOM-1300-1
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sun, 10 a.m -4 p.m, Oct 27- Nov 10
  • 3 sessions. $310. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: a solid understanding of computer skills, Mac or PC. Students will also need an Adobe ID to access software. Create an ID here

Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for digital imaging and publishing. This three-day intensive introduces students to Adobe's InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

The first day is spent learning to draw and alter vector images in Illustrator; the next day covers learning the basics of photo editing, color correction and manipulation in Photoshop. In the third session, the class puts it all together in InDesign, learning layers and multipage document setup while exploring type styles and basic layout.

Throughout, participants explore the tools, palettes, menus, and essentials of each application through a series of hands-on, in-class exercises designed for beginners. Course topics may change to best suit the individual needs of the class.

Optional : Participants may bring USB flash drive or use an off-site storage service for copying exercises or class work. One student per Macintosh computer.

Adobe Creative Cloud Intensive (Oakland)

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  • Oakland Campus
  • EXCOM-1300-2
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sun, 10 a.m -4 p.m. , Dec 1 - Dec 15
  • 3 sessions. $310. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: a solid understanding of computer skills, Mac or PC. Students will also need an Adobe ID to access software. Create an ID here

Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for digital imaging and publishing. This three-day intensive introduces students to Adobe's InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

The first day is spent learning to draw and alter vector images in Illustrator; the next day covers learning the basics of photo editing, color correction and manipulation in Photoshop. In the third session, the class puts it all together in InDesign, learning layers and multipage document setup while exploring type styles and basic layout.

Throughout, participants explore the tools, palettes, menus, and essentials of each application through a series of hands-on, in-class exercises designed for beginners. Course topics may change to best suit the individual needs of the class.

Optional : Participants may bring USB flash drive or use an off-site storage service for copying exercises or class work. One student per Macintosh computer.

Illustrator I

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  • San Francisco Campus
  • EXCOM-1102-1
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sat, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Nov 2
  • 1 session. $150. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Solid understanding of computer skills, Mac or PC. Students will also need an Adobe ID to access software. Create an ID here

In this one-day workshop, participants learn how to use Adobe Illustrator to create high-quality illustrations, logos, posters, and other custom artwork.

Using the various vector tools, students discover how to transform existing shapes and add color to drawn objects as well as how to transform a scanned raster image into editable vector artwork.

Participants also use layers to organize their artwork and explore the options for exporting Illustrator files.

Throughout the class, you explore the tools, palettes, menus, and essentials through a series of hands-on, in-class exercises designed for beginners.

Optional: Participants may bring USB flash drive to class for copying exercises or classwork. One student per Macintosh computer

Digital Drawing and Painting

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  • Oakland campus
  • EXMED-1200-1
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sat, 10 a.m -4 p.m, Nov 9 - Dec 7 (No class Nov 30)
  • 4 sessions. $300. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Photoshop Basics or equivalent. Previous drawing, painting, or illustration experience recommended. Students will also need an Adobe ID to access software. Create an ID here

Discover your digital workflow! Today, many artists prefer the convenience and versatility of digital tablets for illustration, concept art, storyboards and more.

This hands-on workshop introduces the Wacom® tablet as a digital drawing and painting tool using Adobe Photoshop CC.

The first half of the course emphasizes tablet setup, handling and care of the tablet and stylus, and setting up an efficient digital workspace. Students build hand-eye coordination, confidence, and spontaneity with the tablet through mark-making, gesture studies, and methods for building value, texture and form.

Custom brushes and techniques for coloring line art and grayscale images are also covered.

During the second half of the course, students work on assignments using photographic reference and scanned drawings to give a greater context to the skill-building exercises and to explore creative problem-solving.

Bring to first class: USB flash drive, sketchbook, 1-3 digital or printed examples of your artwork (optional), and pen or pencil. One student per Macintosh computer. Students will use CCA's tablets and drawing pens

FINE ARTS

Basic Drawing & Beyond

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This introductory studio course, focuses on the fundamentals of drawing while exploring a variety of media, techniques, and subject matter from still life and landscape to the figure.

Using traditional and experimental approaches to drawing, students develop an understanding of proportion, form, line, gesture, and tone.

Through demonstrations, practice, and class discussion, participants also hone the verbal and analytical skills necessary to examine their work critically. This course is appropriate for beginners and those wishing to further develop their drawing skills.

Bring to class: 20” x 26” drawing board with clips, 18" x 24" Strathmore drawing pad (other brands are fine, but paper must be drawing quality), soft vine charcoal, compressed charcoal (Char-kole brand), white plastic eraser, sketchbook (any unlined notebook), pen/pencil, and a portfolio for transporting drawings.

Halloween Figure Drawing by Candlelight

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  • Oakland Campus
  • EXDRW-1101-1
  • Instructor: Alison Frost
  • Sat, Oct 26, 1:30 p.m - 4:30 p.m.
  • 1 session. $50. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: open to anyone age 14-100+ with previous figure drawing experience

Embrace the dark side in preparation for Halloween with this themed Saturday afternoon workshop. Draw by candlelight from a costumed model, exploring how to work with the low, flickering light of candles to create moody, mysterious drawings.

Using ink washes as well as white on black, experience the power of shade. There may even be a pumpkin and skeleton or two.

Bring: white chalk, conte, or charcoal; soft vine charcoal and graphite as desired; black drawing paper; white drawing paper (preferably Bristol); india ink; sumi brushes; three containers for water and ink. Costumes optional!

Drawings of Place: Capturing Indoor and Outdoor Space

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  • Oakland campus
  • EXDRW- 1512-1
  • Instructor: Eddie Chau
  • Sat and Wed, Sat: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Wed: 6 p.m - 8 p.m., Oct 26 - Nov. 23 (No class Nov 20) *
  • 8 sessions. $250. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Some drawing experience is helpful, but not required

In this mobile drawing studio, a combination of in-class demonstrations and discussions complement outdoor and indoor drawing sessions at various locations in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Students learn freehand drawing fundamentals, observe and record outdoor environments, and work with an assortment of drawing media. Locations may be dependent on weather, transportation restraints and student interest.

Students work in pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, and/or charcoal, and pastel, with different paper types. Subject matter and sites include local architectural and landscape environments where students capture unique features, vistas, people, details, and site character. At the end of each session, the class reviews and critiques one another’s work.

Bring: Pencils (HB or F, and 2B leads), erasers, black felt tip pens, and 14 x 17 drawing pad. Instructor may suggest other materials to be discussed on the first night of class.

*PLEASE NOTE: The last class is scheduled to meet for 2 hours on Saturday, 10am-12pm on Nov 23. In the event of weather or unforeseen conflicts, this class will be rescheduled.

Intro to Jewelry Design

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In this course, students explore basic metalsmithing and jewelry processes. Participants are introduced to various techniques for cutting metal, methods of joinery, soldering, forming, fabrication, and various means of surface treatment.

Students may work with copper, brass, or sterling silver as they create jewelry or other small forms.

Toolkit deposit: Each student is required to submit a check in the amount of $140, payable to CCA, at the first session. Checks will be returned to students on the last day of class upon the return of tool kits.

Materials fee covers some copper, silver, and additional supplies. Download the materials list here

Intro to Painting

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This course is designed for beginners and those who have minimal painting experience. Students learn a variety of techniques and skills, including color mixing, creating texture, painting alla prima, glazing, impasto, etc. while exploring a wide range of subject matter, including still life, portraiture, abstraction, and the model.

Individual critiques, slideshows, and group discussions supplement the studio experience. The course emphasizes learning different techniques to assist in developing a personal painting style.

Bring to first class: two pre-primed canvas boards 16" x 20" or larger, acrylic or oil paint: titanium white, cadmium yellow light, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson,

burnt umber and yellow ochre.

Some preferred brands include Golden, Winsor & Newton, Liquitex, and Gamblin. Palette knife, disposable gloves, painting smock/old shirt, palette paper or plastic tray, a couple of brushes (flat, round, filbert btwn sizes 4-10), a few jars with lids, rags; if working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits: Gamsol prefered.

NO Turpentine or Turpenoid, which is quite toxic, as is Turpenoid "natural".

Intermediate/ Advanced Painting

Explorations of Color

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Intended for those students who have completed an introduction to painting course and wish to further develop their visual explorations using acrylic or oil paint.

A variety of themes are explored, some through direct observation, others drawing upon imagination.

Emphasis is given to developing a personal vision. Individual feedback and group critiques assist students to examine the properties of color and its application, along with other technical concerns.

A field trip might be taken to the UC Botanical Garden for sketching and inspiration in the garden for a landscape painting.

Bring to first class: paper towel rolls, several brushes (small, medium, and large), a few jars with lids, rags, a pre-primed canvas (at least 16" x 20"), palette paper , palette knife, acrylic or oil paints (titanium white, mars black, cadmium yellow light hue or lemon yellow, hansa yellow medium, cadmium red medium hue or napthol red, quinacridone violet, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue). Please no pure cadmium colors only cadmium HUES.

If working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits, Gamblin Gamsol (solvent) and Gamblin Linseed Oil, or Walnut Oil (any brand). Gamblin is an art supply brand that focuses on safety. Students must use Gamblin gamsol and linseed oil, no exceptions. NO Turpentine or Turpenoid, which is quite toxic, as is Turpenoid "natural".

Exploring Watercolor

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This course introduces the medium of watercolor painting, while providing an environment where students can experiment with a variety of techniques and materials.

We cover traditional and modern paint applications, various techniques and tricks (ie wet in wet, frisket and other masks, layering, inking, blends, etc.), building a portable watercolor kit, how to stretch watercolor paper, and how to make the most out of journaling. We also look at the work of past and contemporary watercolorists for inspiration. We work from life, photo reference, and personal notation. Students at all levels are welcome in this class.

Please bring paper and pens/pencils for the first class. If you already have watercolor supplies, feel free to bring them along. We will go over options for paint, brushes, paper, and supplementary materials on the first day. The teacher will provide a complete supplies list on the first day of class.

Painting: Abstraction

Painting Abstraction

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Abstract painting has been with us for over a century. Where do we go from here?

In this course, you explore the challenge of creating truly original abstract work as it relates to current times. The development of a unique approach is emphasized while the creation of a process for experimentation is intensified.

Both source material and internal inspirations are used.Practical information for presentation is provided as well as strategies about how to navigate through the art world. Confidence building and critical analysis are included.

Bring to first class: two preprimed canvas boards 18" x 24", acrylic or oil paints (black, white, yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium red), palette knife, palette paper, several brush sizes, a few jars, rags; if working in oils, bring linseed oil and odorless mineral spirits, Gamsol preferred.

No Turpenoid (or Turpenoid "natural") due to toxicity.

The Series

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Many artists choose to work in a series to hone and explore an idea beyond its initial glimmer. The Series focuses on painting a chosen subject again and again to create a body of work. In the first session, students choose a subject (self-portrait, still life, photographs, landscape, etc.) that will be their topic for the semester.

Participants begin by developing a list of personal goals for the course, providing a personal structure. Students also write an artist statement that defines the work and keep a painting journal to help document the growth of their ideas, which allows them to see each painting as a step in the creative process.

Each session includes studio time for painting and may also include critique, slide viewing, writing, a field trip, or time with a visiting artist. The goal of the class is to see works not only as individual paintings but also as part of a larger creative practice.

Bring to first class: sketchbook, writing/drawing tools, your own painting materials, ideas and sources for subject matter. If working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits, Gamsol prefered. NO Turpenoid, which is quite toxic, as is Turpenoid "natural".

Illustration Techniques:Keeping up a creative practice

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Each week students learn and execute a new illustration technique, using gouache or ink and any preferred drawing materials. Drawing assignments correlate to discussion topics exploring three aspects: materials and technique, creative process, and artistic outlook. As a group we critique each other’s artistic goals and discuss strategies for maintaining an art practice in the midst of a busy life. The instructor covers concepts from her book "The Opposite Is Also True: A Journal Of Creative Wisdom For Artists.”

We work in an oversized, mixed-media journal with a basic acryla gouache set that you’ll take home (and hopefully use in your homework). Participants have the opportunity to experiment in class with a variety of different brands of gouache, ink, and other materials to gain familiarity with how each medium and brand responds.

Bring to class: a variety of paintbrushes, a pencil, eraser, and any other favorite drawing materials. There is a $45 materials fee to cover the acryla gouche set, the journal, and various other materials.

Making Comics: The Art of Reading

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  • Oakland Campus
  • EXILL-1301-1
  • Instructor: GB Tran
  • Sat & Sun, 10 am- 5 pm, Dec 7 & 8 and Dec 14 & 15
  • 4 sessions. $300. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: No prior comics experience is required, just the desire to tell stories visually

Comics are exploding and they’re capable of telling the smallest moments to the grandest epics through unique interconnectivity of images and words.

This 4-day workshop introduces students to the foundations of the comic’s language: creative writing and visual storytelling. Through exercises, lectures, and discussions we’ll explore and experiment with the building blocks of comics: story structure, character expression, panel composition, page flow, and more.

Each day includes in-class exercises where students bring their own stories to life, from 3-panel strips to multi-page stories. By the end of the workshop, students will have produced an eclectic collection of comics of varying themes and lengths and gained a greater understanding of the comics language and its endless potential.

Students will have a one hour break for lunch each day.

Bring a sketchbook, pencil, pen, and method for note-taking.

HIGH SCHOOL

Figure Drawing for High School Students

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California College of the Arts offers this course as a special opportunity for high school students to develop their drawing skills and experience drawing from a live model.

Please note, a model is not employed for the first class meeting. Students spend the first class focusing on a variety of drawing issues in anticipation of drawing from the model.

All eight subsequent sessions involve drawing from a nude model.

Bring to first class: 20” x 26” drawing board with clips, 18” x 24” pad of newsprint, 18” x 24” pad of 80 lb weight drawing paper, a set of graphite pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B), six sticks vine charcoal (medium or jumbo size), General's soft charcoal pencil, kneaded eraser, masking (artist's) tape.

Contact Us

Questions?

Feel free to email us at specialprograms@cca.edu

510-594-3710 (main line)

Please note, our office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30a-5p and we are closed on the weekends. For any questions regarding class locations call Public Safety at 510-385-1821