• Napa Valley Art Supplies (map)
  • 3250 California Blvd
  • Napa, CA, 94558
  • United States

Rhoda helps you develop skill in sketching what you see as simply and boldly as possible, using a few very basic art materials. Rhoda demonstrates techniques suitable for beginners or intermediates who want to develop more confidence in drawing, as well as skilled artists who would like to “loosen up”.


Class is a series of THREE sessions (3 Saturdays this month), with lessons developing from basic to more advanced. You would sign up for the whole series, at a discount: $100 (instead of $120 for 3 separate classes).
We meet at the art store for some warmup sketches, then go out on location to a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. 

Class dates are: January 16th, 23rd, and 30th. Starting at 10:30am and ending at 1:00pm.

Session #1 Display of sketches by Rhoda and her students, showing a variety of subjects, locations and styles.

  • Getting acquainted with the art materials. Practice sketching from photos. Sketching objects (shoes, chairs, etc.). Choosing your point of view (POV) and zoom level. ”Less is More.” Minimize the number of elements needed to capture a subject. Use the fewest pen or pencil strokes possible. Keep your pen or pencil on the paper at all times. On location: INTI import shop 1139 First street ______________________________________________________________________ 

Session #2 Buildings and landscape:

  • Making very small “thumbnail” value studies to explore layout and tonal arrangements. Organizing the elements in a scene into a new composition. Creating a focal point. Creative scribbling for repeated patterns. On location: Riverfront area, or Embassy Suites ______________________________________________________________________

Session #3 Sketching people.

  • The basic proportions of the human head and body. Practice from photos of head shots and people in action. Gesture sketches to capture the essence of a pose. On location: Starbucks on First & Main. We will scatter around the room and draw each other, followed by “stealth” sketching other people without being noticed.


  • Capturing the essence of a subject
  • Developing observational skills
  • Making a colorful travel journal
  • Using “down time” to advantage: cafes, airports….


  • Sketch book: 5 x 8” to 8 x 10”: 100 to 180 lb. paper with slight “tooth” (texture). DO NOT use Watercolor paper—the surface is too rough. Stillman & Birn Alpha or Beta series is the best quality, or Visual Journal with a “mixed media” or “drawing” surface
  • Black Faber-Castell Pitt pens with M (medium) tip, or Micron pens .05 or.08
  • Pentel Brush tip pen (black), with extra cartridges (about $20). This brush-pen can create bold marks with a lovely dry-brush effect. A much cheaper alternative (about $3) is Faber-Castell B (brush) tip pen, which can make a bold stroke, but without the dry brush look.
  • Aquarelle (water soluble) pencils: Caran d’Ache or Albrecht Durer brand, about 8 colors: burnt sienna, olive green, indigo, red, purple, orange, teal, yellow ochre. DO NOT settle for cheaper brands, as they tend to have very poor quality.
  • Waterbrush: with water reservoir (medium or large tip), used to liquify the pigment in aquarelle pencil strokes.
  • Accessories: viewfinder, pencil sharpener, clear vinyl pouch for everything but the sketchbook.


Parking: We have a small parking lot, so please feel free to park along Industrial Ave, or across the street over at the Napa Humane Society. If you park across California Blvd, please use the cross walk just a few yards south of the Humane Society. 

DISCLAIMER: Sign ups let us know if you (our customers) actually want these demos. This class has a small class size, sign ups are required. No drop ins.