Art Classes at The Painting Workshop

This post is part of the ‘In 7′ photo series., where I share a moment in 7 pictures.

In the past, I never devoted significant time to exploring painting, drawing, and other traditional art mediums. So for 9 months, I took various evening art classes at The Painting Workshop. My classes included: Intro to Painting, Carving & Printing, and Drawing.

The Painting Workshop is located in Baltimore, Maryland and offers workshops and classes to children and adults. All my classes were taught by my now good friend, Laura Riveiro. I appreciated the open, inclusive, and understanding (e.g., bringing my toddler when I didn’t have evening childcare) the studio provided. These Monday evenings were important for managing my mental health, getting out and meeting people, and fueling creativity.

Here are my 7 photos that highlighted some of the work I created during class and what I learned with a photo-by-photo breakdown below:


I did this splatter painting during my first class at The Painting Workshop. I learned two things: 1. It’s incredibly freeing just to let go and throw some paint around, and 2. Splattering paint is hard.
Carving and Printing was the class that I didn’t know I needed. Thinking about negative space was quite challenging for me. I also learned a lot about different papers, how they interact with different mediums, and the impact paper has on a piece.
Laura Riveiro started many of her drawing classes with a “quick sketch” exercise. We would have to draw our classmates posing in 1 minute, then 40 seconds, then 20 seconds. It was a great way to focus on form and make choices about what to capture.
My first-ever soft pastel piece (with hints of oil pastels) was a study of Franz Marc’s Blue Fox. Soft pastels take a lot of work to build up color intensity. I appreciated learning various ways to tackle this medium.
A graphite drawing of my Teddy as an infant. I gained a huge appreciation for doing studies before tackling a finished piece. I did about 3 studies of this drawing before drawing the image above.
Laura Riveiro asked us to pick 3 object colors and a background color to create oil pastel portraits of our classmates. This has easily become one of my favorite exercises. I often do it on my own.
Laura Riveiro asked us to interpret a poem into a layered drawing piece. My poem was Caminante, No Hay Camino/Traveller, There is No Road by Antonio Machado. I used a mix of markers, graphite, and charcoal for the various layers.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out the rest of the “In 7” photo series.

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Smiti Nathan

I’m an archaeologist that travels around the world for both work and pleasure. I have a penchant for exploring ancient and modern places and the people, plants, and foods entangled in them. I write about archaeology, travel, and productivity.

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