Crystal Cove has a rich tradition of plein air painting that continues today. Every year, artists trek down to paint our scenic cottages, iconic ocean-side bluffs, and relaxing sandy beaches.  During the strange times of COVID-19, we want to invite you to take part from home!

Our nine session Virtual Summer Art Camp program is designed for all ages (even adults!).  We’ve tried to design it so that even the most beginner artist can participate — even if the only tool that you have at home is a ballpoint pen or a marker. Art camp participants will be introduced to the basics of using drawing and painting tools, and will then explore art concepts like shape, value, and composition, ultimately putting them all together to complete your very own Crystal Cove-inspired drawing or painting!

To participate, all you need to do is find your favorite artistic tool and click on the turquoise links below to get started!

Note:  This program is free for everyone!  If you’d like to become a Crystal Cove Conservancy member or donate to support our work, you can do so here!


Session 1: Tools & Techniques
During this first session, you’ll be introduced to a variety of drawing tools and artistic techniques, which you’ll use throughout the course as you create your drawing or painting. You’ll also choose a photo from our Reference Image Catalogue to use as your focus image, which you’ll work with throughout the course.


Session 2: Shapes 
Learn about a variety of shapes used in art, and break down your reference image into basic shapes to begin building a construction drawing.


Session 3: Observation
Learn how to properly observe negative space in your reference image to strengthen your construction drawing.


Session 4: Line & Contour
Learn what role lines and contours play in art, and use contour drawing techniques to finalize your construction drawing.


Session 5: Light
Learn how light and shadow are applied to art, and begin the first step in observing light to break down your construction drawing and prepare it for rendering.


Session 6: Value 
Learn how light and shadow translate into value in drawing and painting, and begin mapping values on your construction drawing to create your first draft drawing or painting.


Session 7: Color (Optional) 
In this optional session for those who want the challenge of using color in your final artwork, learn to match color to value and put together your own color palette.


Session 8: Composition
Learn about the rules of composition and how they can make your drawing or painting more appealing, and create thumbnails to plan your final draft drawing or painting.


Session 9: Putting It All Together
Combine all of the concepts you’ve learned so far to create your final drawing or painting!

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