In an effort to reach out to local year-round residents, the Cape Coral Art League is offering two summer classes during the off season for the first time, along with a discounted membership.
Exploring Watercolor Techniques is a four-week class, while Basic Techniques of Oil Painting is a three-week class. Exploring Watercolor Techniques starts July 9 and will run Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Basic Techniques of Oil Painting starts July 11 and will run Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.
Exploring Watercolor Techniques costs $80 for members and $100 for non-members.
Basic Techniques of Oil Painting costs $45 for members and $65 for non-members.
Both classes are for ages 16 and older, and participants use their own supplies.
Board member Pat Gilbert explained that the league offered its first summer class last year.
"It was very well received by our members and we were able to fill the one class," she said. "That's why we decided to try and do it again. It's a little bit more this year than we offered in the past."
The league typically offers between eight and 10 classes during season in different mediums, along with workshops. The summer classes were picked based on what is popular among the members.
"Watercolor and oil are two of our most requested classes," Gilbert said.
Registration is required to participate.
As of Wednesday, Basic Techniques of Oil Painting was about half full and Exploring Watercolor Techniques still had several openings. At least eight people are needed for the watercolor class.
Both classes will be smaller than a regular, season course.
For example, about 22 people are usually registered for watercolor.
"It's really nice in the summertime because you get a lot more individual attention," she said.
Dianna Willman is teaching Exploring Watercolor Techniques.
"We're going to be dealing with a transparent watercolor, not an opaque watercolor," she said, adding that the opaque is different. "It doesn't have the lightness and sparkle that transparent watercolor has."
With transparent, the light shines through and bounces off the white paper background.
"You can see through the watercolor. You can layer on different colors and the light still shines through," Willman said.
The class covers the different techniques of painting, including blending colors, mixing mediums, pouring and glazing. A demonstration will be given for each, followed by individual assistance.
"We'll work on landscapes. We will probably work on some florals - mostly, those two things," she said. "We'll maybe mix up some different mediums, like combining pen and ink with watercolors."
An overhead mirror in the class enables students to follow along with the demonstrations.
Participants should have some prior experience with watercolors.
"I don't think it's for beginners, probably for intermediate or those with some experience," Willman said, adding that advanced students could use the class as a way to brush up on their techniques.
The instructor for Basic Techniques of Oil Painting is Terry Halek.
Learn stroke-by-stroke painting, how to use the correct brushes and how to mix paint colors.
"There are so many basic things to begin with, it gets confusing," she said, adding that the class also covers perspective and distance. "We'll be going over and over some of those elementary subjects."
Participants select their own painting or subject to paint.
"When someone else tells you what to paint, you don't have the link with the painting. You want to paint what you love," Halek said.
Students typically display their first piece.
"Everybody saves their first painting," she said.
The class is a perfect introduction into oil painting or continuing education for others.
"They are not advanced painters. They are mostly beginners," Halek said.
An oil painter for about 37 years, she compared the medium to a form of therapy.
"I've tried all the other mediums. Oil paintings is the most forgiving of all of the mediums," she said. "There's always a way of improving what you've done. It gives you a chance to do something better."
According to Gilbert, creating additional class sessions for the summer is an option.
"It will be ongoing if there are enough students to continue it," she said.
"I'd like to make it more of a year-round art league," Gilbert said.
Along with the summer classes, the league is offering a $20 membership for the rest of the year.
The mid-year special is a 50 percent savings as an annual membership costs $40.
"If you're interested in taking classes in the fall, it really pays to take advantage," she said.
The league currently has approximately 260 members.
For information or to register, call (239) 281-4544 or visit: www.capecoralartleague.org.
The Cape Coral Art League is at 516 Cultural Park Blvd.