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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!


Intro to Graphic Design


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This course offers a broad introduction to the field and practice of graphic design. Following a brief survey of the history of graphic design, the class examines contemporary design practice, including typography, color, layout, grid systems, symbol & identity, print and digital design.

Students cultivate the ability to combine core design elements to convey meaning through a number of assigned design projects. Computer skills and software programs are not covered; however, these skills and personal access to a computer with Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch, or similar programs that can manipulate type and images will be beneficial in carrying out assignments and projects.

Expect to work both by hand and on the computer.

Bring to first class: examples of your graphic design or other visual work (if applicable), sketchbook for note taking, pen or pencil.

Suggested materials after the first class

  • Sketchbook (any form that you prefer)
  • Art materials such as colored pencils/pens/markers, gouache or watercolor, india ink, paint brushes in a variety of widths, black drawing pens, graphite pencils & eraser
  • #1 x-acto knife + blades (#11), metal cork-backed ruler (12/18”), cutting mat (12/18”). These three items can be substituted with scissors, but this is much less accurate and the 3 items above are tremendously useful.
  • Glue stick or rubber cement
  • Graph paper; tracing paper (letter-sized or larger) or design vellum
  • Pushpins/tape to hang work up in class

Intro to Interior Design


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.

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.


Adobe Creative Cloud Intensive (Oakland)


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  • Oakland campus
  • EXCOM-1300-01
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sun, June 9- June 23, 10 am- 4 pm
  • 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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  • Oakland campus
  • EXCOM-1102-01
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sat, July 13, 10 am-4 pm
  • 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

After Effects I: Introduction to After Effects & making abstract animated gifs

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  • San Francisco campus
  • EXMED-1201-02
  • Instructor: Helene Park
  • Wed, July 17 and 24, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  • 2 sessions. $150. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Experience in Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator using the pen tool (creating paths, editing points, using the handles), working with multiple layers and comfortable with creating shapes and masks. Students must also bring a laptop with After Effects on it

This two-day workshop introduces participants with some design background (at least Photoshop and Illustrator) how to make motion graphics and animations through the use of Adobe After Effects.

Students start the course exploring the After Effects interface and the best practices of working with the program. Topics covered include: Creating compositions and pre-compositions, creating shapes with solid layers and shape layers, creating a moving texture, and learning how to import images. the basics of motion curves, frame rates and keyframe animation.

We will look at movement in the natural world as a model for movement of abstract shapes. Through observing and animating live objects such as plants, ribbons and balloons moving in the wind, students will develop an understanding of weight, lightness and balance, in order to create animation that has an intuitive feeling of satisfaction.

Students will export their animations into videos, and convert video files into animated gifs.

Bring to Class: Laptops with After Effects

After Effects II: Using After Effects for Original Motion Design


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  • San Francisco campus
  • EXMED-1204-01
  • Instructor: Helene Park
  • Sat, Aug 3 and 10, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • 2 sessions. $150. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Knowledge of After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students must also bring a laptop with After Effects on it

This workshop can either deepen the practice begun in After Effects 1 or help designers, who are already proficient in After Effects, approach motion design from an intuitive, organic, and artistic angle.

Objects, patterns, and behaviors in nature are the core building blocks of great motion design, and these are the key principles explored here.

Using traditional approaches inspired by the classical animators of the Walt Disney era, the workshop takes a close look at various instances of organic movement. Through careful observation and replication of real objects in motion, students develop a keen eye towards weight, lightness, and balance. We will explore animating from a place of sense and natural intuition.

Bring to Class: Laptops with After Effects

Digital Drawing and Painting

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  • Oakland campus
  • EXMED-1200-01
  • Instructor: Eugene Young
  • Sat, July 20- Aug 10, 10 am-4 pm
  • 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


Basic Drawing & Beyond


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  • Oakland campus
  • EXDRW-1500-01
  • Instructor: Melisse Herman
  • Sat, June 1 - Aug 10, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (No class July 6)
  • 10 sessions. $360. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

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.

Drawings of Place: Capturing Indoor and Outdoor Space


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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, June 29th. In the event of weather or unforeseen conflicts , this class will meet on Wed night June 27 as the last class.

Mixed Media Explorations

Mixed media

In this mixed-media course, we will be experimenting with combining acrylics, inks, watercolors, dry media, collage, and transfer techniques onto a variety of surfaces.

Through process work, both the picture plane, surface and preconceived ideas of surface will be challenged. Learning techniques will be followed by exercises and in-depth projects designed to put into practice new methods of working.

The class will consider and discusses contemporary artists using alternative materials and methods. The course emphasizes the creative process, developing new ideas and a personal approach to subject matter.

Bring to first class: 1 surface (22" x 30") and 5 small format surfaces. Some or all of the following in your tool box: vine charcoal (medium size, soft), Alphacolor charcoal, conte 2B charcoal, chamois, kneaded eraser, magic rub eraser, scissors or other cutting tool, tape, pastels, acrylic paint and brushes, glue, fabric, bits of paper, anything that inspires you.

Intro to Jewelry Design


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

Advanced Jewelry: Hollow Forms and Multiples

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  • Oakland campus
  • EXMTL-1201-01
  • Instructor: David Casella
  • Sat, July 13 and 14, 10 am - 4 pm
  • 2 sessions. $225; $25 lab fee payable at registration; $40 materials fee payable to instructor at first session. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: CCA's Intro to Jewelry class or equal experience in jewelry making

In this two-day advanced jewelry and metals workshop, students learn the art of creating metal shapes using an hydraulic press, plastic die, copper sheets, and wire.

This process allows a designer to reproduce the same pressed shape again and again in order to build two- or three-part hollow forms or multiples along a chain.

The result can be used for jewelry, sculptures, or other metal-working projects. Along with making their own custom plastic die, students learn possible surface treatments to use on the copper sheet, prior to pressing it out, and strengthen their skills in cutting, sanding, soldering, fabricating, finishing, and designing. The class explores step-by-step processes for assembling hollow forms and other uses of an hydraulic press.

Final projects may be either a finished piece or samples. All materials are provided, with a materials fee of $ 40 paid to the instructor at the first class. Students may also purchase additional materials if desired

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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  • San Francisco Campus
  • EXPNT-1500-01
  • Instructor: Alison O.K. Frost
  • Tue, June 4 - Aug 6, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  • 10 sessions. $360. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

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: ivory black, titanium white, cadmium yellow (or hansa), ultramarine blue, prussian blue, cadmium red medium (or napthol red), alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna.

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".

Explorations of Color Through Painting

Explorations of Color

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  • Oakland campus
  • EXPNT-1403-01
  • Instructor: Merl Ross
  • Sat, June 1- June 29th, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm*(See note)
  • 5 sessions. $200. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: Intro to Painting or equivalent experience

In this course, participants apply mixing colors to various painting subjects, to gain a deeper understanding of color and it's properties.

Emphasis is given to developing a personal vision, through explorations of still life and the use of warm and cool shadows, landscape and the tonal palette, as well as abstraction and the psychology of color. Individual feedback and group critiques will be an integral part of this course.

Bring to first class: several brushes, a few jars, rags, a preprimed 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 or cadmium yellow medium hue, cadmium red medium hue or napthol red, quinacridone violet, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue).

Please note, pure Cadmium colors are not suitable. Please bring only cadmium HUES which are substitutes.

If working in oils, bring odorless mineral spirits, Galkyd, linseed oil, 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"

If painting in acrylic, also bring Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid in either satin, matte or gloss finish.

PLEASE NOTE: the last class will meet at 1:30pm-4:30pm on Saturday June 29th.

Painting: Abstraction

Painting Abstraction

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  • San Francisco campus
  • EXPNT-1516-01
  • Instructor: Patrick Dintino
  • Mon & Wed, July 1-July 31, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  • 10 sessions. $360. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: none

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.

Making Comics: The Art of Reading


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  • San Francisco Campus
  • EXILL-1510-01
  • Instructor: GB Tran
  • Sat, 11 am- 2 pm, June 8-Aug 10 (No class July 6)
  • 9 sessions. $330. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: No prior comics experience is required, just the desire to tell stories visually

This course introduces students to the foundations of the comics language: creative writing and visual storytelling.

Through exercises, readings, lectures, and discussions we will explore and experiment with the building blocks of comics: scripting, story structure, panel compositions, page flow, and more. Students will focus on bringing their own complete stories to life through a variety of in-class assignments, from 3-panel comic strips to multi-page stories.

By the end of the course, 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.

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

Wheel Throwing


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  • Oakland Campus
  • EXCER-1500-01
  • Instructor:Ken Becker
  • Tues & Thurs, June 11- Aug 1, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm (No class on July 2 and 4 but limited studio access that week. See below for details)
  • 14 sessions. $500. Lab fee $30. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: None

Suitable for beginning and advanced students alike, this 2 month course is designed to promote individual expression and ideas while gaining an understanding of the nature of clay and the ceramic process.

This class will focus on helping individual ceramicists to further develop their own approach to working on the wheel. We will go over everything from basic techniques to more complex forms and concepts while responding to needs and interests of the members of the class.

In addition, this class includes outside of class access to CCA's Ceramic Studio:

The studio is closed: July 4 - July 7

Studio is open daily Monday thru Sunday 9am- 11pm

Students are permitted to attend 3 visits / week outside of class 1 visit = 4 hours maximum

No class meetings on July 2nd and 4th (break week) but students may come in on July 1 - 3 from 9am - 11pm.

Lab fee covers materials for making ceramic glazes.

Bring to first class: Beginning students should purchase a basic wheel throwing tool kit. Experienced students should come prepared with their preferred tools. Clay can be purchased from CCA's Ceramics department at $10/bag.


Comics Workshop

comics workshop

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  • San Francisco Campus
  • EXILL- 1300-01
  • Instructor: Matt Silady
  • Mon - Wed, July 29 - 31, 1:30 pm - 4 pm
  • 3 sessions, $50. Noncredit.
  • Prerequisite: current enrollment in high school

A special opportunity for high school students to participate in a 3-afternoon workshop taught by CCA's graduate Comics students and the MFA in Comics program Chair, Matt Silady. Students enrolled in the workshop will work side by side with CCA graduate cartoonists as they learn the most powerful and creative ways to tell their own stories on the comic book page. All materials are included in this workshop

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


Feel free to email us at

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