Learn how to draw and paint

Have you always wanted to paint a landscape or draw a scene while out on a hike? Do you like color and drawing materials, but are just not sure how to get started? Would you like to capture the effects of light and shadow on the landscape, with vibrancy and realism, in your own drawing or painting? One or more of my Workshops may be a good fit for you! I have been teaching art and design at the Academy of Art University for over 20 years.  I thoroughly enjoy helping students at all levels to improve their skills, increase their artistic confidence, and reach their creative potential.

Instructor: James Freed

Classes offered: Introduction to Landscape Painting in Oils, Perspective Drawing For Artists, and Creating an Illustrated Field Journal

Private Lessons: Private lessons are available for any of the courses above. Please contact me directly for rates and scheduling.

Media Taught Oil, watercolor, pencil, ink and ink wash.

Locations:  Depending on the workshop selected: Point Reyes National Seashore, CA, the Sonoma County Coast, or at my studio in Sebastopol, CA.

Workshop Information:

You may request the current schedule of workshops by checking the Calendar page, or by going to my Contact page and sending me a message. Be sure to provide the title of the workshop you are interested in attending in the subject of the message. Payment of a course deposit will secure you a spot in the workshop. Workshops are normally limited to just 8 participants so as to provide a maximum of instructor attention for each student. Minimum registration for a workshop to run is 5 students, so invite some friends! Deposits will only be refunded to participants if the class registered for fails to run due to low enrollment, or due to cancellation by instructor. Further information, a class materials list, and directions to the workshop location will be sent to you via email upon receipt of the deposit.

Workshop Descriptions:


Introduction to Landscape Painting

Introduction to Landscape Painting with Oils- This two and one half-day workshop will help both the beginner and intermediate oil painter alike feel more comfortable and achieve better results when working outdoors or en plein air. Site selection, equipment, view framing, value contrast, shadow shapes and form, composition, perspective, focal points and color mixing and application will be discussed and demonstrated. A short presentation and then some color mixing on the first evening will be followed by some studio work on Saturday, followed by working outside as weather permits on both weekend days.

7PM to 10PM on Friday evening, 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday. 

Workshop cost = $350 ($100 deposit holds your place.) For more information and how to register for this workshop see the Calendar page.


Perspective Drawing

Perspective Drawing - This two-day workshop will delve into the theory and practice of linear perspective drawing as it pertains to the working artist. Eye level, vanishing points, position of view, picture plane, cone of vision, light and shadows, will all be discussed, demonstrated and practiced. 1 Point System, 2 Point Systems and 3 Point systems will be demonstrated. Would you like buildings or rooms in your drawings and paintings, and the people in them, to look more realistic? Do roof line angles drive you crazy? Want to learn how to draw stairs convincingly? This is the workshop for you! Studio work and some drawing outdoors weather permitting.

10 AM to 4 PM, both days.

Workshop cost = $275 ($100 deposit holds your place.) For more information and how to register for this workshop see the Calendar page.

What my Perspective Drawing students have to say about the workshop:

“The information you taught was great because it covered the basics at first and then you helped us forward into more advanced ideas (which is the mark of a great teacher). Because you begin with everyone where they currently are, and then take them as far as you can, everyone’s learned.” - Jeanette

“You’re a great teacher. You have an ability to connect with people where ever they are and your enthusiasm is contagious. I’ve struggled with perspective and I was excited over the little water tower sketch. I’m going to take your advice and draw every day for a little while.” -Karen

“The environment we were in—your studio and the land surrounding was a really nice setting for the class and such a cool surprise! The way you structured the class made the information easy to understand as you flowed from one to two point perspective and I really enjoyed the history portion and video—for me, knowing how perspective drawing came about, helps with recognizing the method being applied in the work and makes it possible to understand and learn when viewing other’s drawings.” -Kamaren

“You are a very well organized and engaging teacher. I came away with a broader understanding of the principles of linear perspective and the tools to put it better to use in my own work.” - Tim


Creating an Illustrated Field Journal

Creating an Illustrated Field Journal-
I love being outdoors. And when I can combine my love of drawing with being outside that is a very good day. During this two-day workshop, I cover the practical basics of drawing on location, and keeping an illustrated field journal. Two days of instruction will include examples, observational drawing and demonstrations. I’ll provide you with some effective tools and techniques that will help you to improve your drawing and create a field journal filled with your own direct from life illustrations.

10 AM to 4 PM, both days. 

Workshop cost = $275 ($100 deposit holds your place.)  For more information and how to register for this workshop see the Calendar page.

What my students have to say about the Nature Up Close Workshop:

"I adored your class. Thank you for your ideas and insight into field journaling!" Nicole.

"Thank you so much for the handouts, and the class. I loved the class!" Shirley.