Skip to Main Content
Art and Art History Courses
lavender flower painting Drawing with perspective    Watercolor with ducks
Lifelong Learning Class Schedule How to Register

Lifelong Learning Studio Arts and Art History Courses

Lifelong Learning courses are designed primarily for students age 50 and over. Not all listed courses are offered each semester. See schedule of Lifelong Learning classes to find current schedules, location, dates, and costs.

Art History: Food For Thought
Studio Arts: Food For Thought

Barbara Evans, Faculty Outstanding Service Awardee

Barbara Evans, Lifelong Learning Art History Professor, was presented with the Faculty Outstanding Service Award. This award is given in recognition of Prof. Evan's exemplary contribution to the Lifelong Learning Institute.

Natasha Sacks, LLI Program Director stated "What distinguishes Barbara's teaching is her in-depth knowledge of the subject that includes the social and historical context of the art period she covers, an artistry in presenting the topic in a very engaging manner, superb skills in utilizing technology to make paintings come alive with her stories and ability to engage students into active learning."

Studio Arts Classes:

Drawing with Pencils, Charcoal, or Pastels, LLI-879, Hours:  12

This course is designed to help students develop fundamentaldrawing skills. Basic techniques such as blocking in thecomposition with pencil; shading with charcoal; and usingpastels to create vibrant color will be explored. Students willbegin by drawing a still life and move onto landscape andportrait drawings from photographs. In addition, students willexamine these subjects using a variety of media (pencil, colorpencils, charcoal, pastel, ink, and watercolor). This class is

designed for students of any skill level. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

How to Paint Like an Impressionist, LLI-652, 12 Hours

This course will introduce you to the Impressionist movement and explain how it came about. The historical context, style, and inspiration for the movement will be discussed. Techniques such as pointillism, impasto, use of palette-knife, layering, and Impressionist use of color will be demonstrated and explained. You will then apply these methods with individual instruction to create your own Impressionist painting with watercolor or acrylic. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Landscapes and Seascapes, LLI-705 - Hours: 12

Learn to paint exquisite landscapes and seascapes using photos! By incorporating fundamental principles such as composition, value, color, and texture we will create lively and expressive landscape paintings. Rather than simply “copying a photograph” we will learn to interpret our reference material to express our artistic voices. You can use watercolor, acrylic, or oil. For inspiration, we will analyze the work of the French Impressionists and Post Impressionists such as Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh, and Cezanne. By the end of the course each student will have developed a portfolio of landscape and seascape paintings. Students of all levels are welcome. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Watercolor Techniques I, LLI-609, Hours: 12

Explore the beauty and magic of watercolor painting through a structured series of exciting classes that focus on basic watercolor techniques. You will have a chance to learn techniques of various washes, “wet-in-wet,” and dry brush on wet and dry paper by watching the instructor demonstrate before performing the technique yourself. Basic drawing will be re- viewed as needed. After the basic sessions, you will have an opportunity to practice the techniques, painting from a still life or photo. Creation of an individual style is encouraged. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Watercolor Techniques II, LLI-514, Hours: 12

Students will learn how to paint watercolor landscapes and seascapes using various washes. “Wet-in-wet” and dry brush on wet and dry paper will be demonstrated by instructor. You will have the opportunity to practice the techniques for several sessions after the demonstration. A materials list is available at learning/arthistory.html-. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Advanced Watercolor, LLI-560, Hours: 20

This course is designed to expand the knowledge of water- color techniques for people who have experience painting watercolors. Learn to apply a variety of techniques such as dry brush, wet-on-wet, stippling, controlled spray, lifts, and graded wash to create textural effects in a realistic or abstract painting. You will also learn the John Pike technique for “layered” watercolor painting using many glazes to achieve dark areas and bright colors. Prerequisite: Watercolor Techniques I and II. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Sculpture, LLI-557, Hours: 30

This course will provide opportunities for experience in the studio area of sculpture. Beginning students will be introduced to the basic techniques involved in additive and sub- tractive methods in both relief sculpture and sculpture in the round. Advanced students will further develop proficiencies with materials and techniques of sculpture, and expand their understanding of the field. Materials may include clay, wood, stone, modern plastics, plaster, and metal. The course will include individual and class criticism of work, with integrated references to art history and to traditional and contemporary concepts of aesthetics. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Expressive Portraits: Painting and Drawing LLI-834 12 Hours

Turn your favorite family photos into brilliant works of art in this exciting portraiture class! Inspired by a diverse range of traditional and non-traditional portrait artists, including John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, and Chuck Close, we will create images that express the personality of our sitter. Learn to draw and paint a variety of personalities using charcoal, pastel, oil, and acrylic. Special emphasis will be placed on how to take engaging photographs that reveal the character of the person being portrayed. This class is ideal for beginners and experienced students.

Paint with Acrylics Like 20th Century Modern Artists LLI-910 12 Hours

This course provides a fundamental theoretical and technical approach to understanding modern art and painting with acrylic on canvas. While reviewing the works of selected 20th century Modern Art Masters students will explore the history of the relevant discipline and have an opportunity to reproduce a master’s work of art. In addition, an overview of color, composition, perspective drawing, basic color-mixing, and paint handling will be included. This course is intended for students of all levels.

Art History Classes


A Visual Tango: Tour of Twentieth Century Latin American Art, LLI-701, 8 Hours

This course will provide a general overview of 20th century Latin American art starting with the modernists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo through contemporary artists ranging from Helio Oitticica and Lygia Clark to Doris Salcedo and Alfredo Jaar. Learn about Latin American art practices and the diversity of its cultural production (how artists in Brazil differ from those in Argentina, for example). Explore how these artists fit into the different artistic movements of the time and their own regional context. The short lecture series will make wide use of imagery from Latin American Museums and will culminate with a weekend visit to the Art Museum of the Americas, located in Washington D.C., for a lecture and tour. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Art: Hellenistic Bronzes LLI-894 2 Hours NEW

In ancient times, bronze was more highly prized than marble; however, bronze was also easily melted down for recycling and most pieces have been lost to time and history. Power and Pathos at the National Gallery, from December 13, 2015-March 20, 2016, brings together 50 or so of the most spectacular surviving sculptures in bronze in one exhibit and tells the story of the artistic achievements of the Hellenistic era (4th to 1st centuries BC). Join Barbara Evans for an introductory lecture on this unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.

Authentic or Revival: American Antique, Furniture LLI-897 7.5 Hours NEW

Emphasis will be placed on the major style movements of the 18th and 19th century and their global influences, as well as the unique details that prevailed in various manufacturing regions. Students will learn the skills of a connoisseur by becoming skilled in the vocabulary used by antique professionals, and gain awareness of the tool marks and period construction that can assist in determining the age of a piece. This course is designed for anyone who enjoys antiques; no previous experience is required.

Great Masterpieces of Sculpture from Bernini to Rodin LLI-900 9 Hours New

This richly illustrated 6-week class will explore the history of European sculpture from 1600-1900. Select Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and 19th-century sculptors and their works will be discussed in detail. Some of the sculptors to be discussed will be: Gianlorenzo Bernini, Antonio Canova, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Antoine-Louis Barye, Camille Claudel, and Auguste Rodin.

Holocaust Art: The Possibility of Creating After the Unimaginable, LLI-806, 6 Hours

This course will introduce students to a body of works now called Holocaust art that arose in response to one of the Modern history’s watershed moments: the eradication of six million Jewish and other “undesired” people during WWII. We will explore the artists, ranging from the unknown to the very famous, who have risen to the challenge of creating after that alteration of our moral terrain. Their works include memorials and museums as well as contemporary works dealing retroactively with this event. The most artistically successful and controversial of these still warrant consideration today. We will grapple with issues still relevant today: political responsibility, historical “witnessing,” and art’s potential functions. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Italy in the Age of the Renaissance, LLI-612, 8 Hours

This course provides an overview of Italian history for anybody wishing to broaden their understanding of the Italian Renaissance. Explore the late medieval commercial and political history of major Italian territories and centers of the Renaissance. Analyze the status and influence of the Papacy and Catholic Church, position artists in their appropriate social contexts, and study the revival of ancient learning and values that we call Humanism. These four broad topics will help you better understand and appreciate the art and artists of the Renaissance. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

New Exhibit at The Phillips Collection LLI-907 8 Hours

Seeing Nature: The Landscape in Western Art
Explore the evolution of European and American landscape painting utilizing masterworks from an extraordinary private collection, the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, which corresponds to an exhibition being shown at the Phillips Collection in Spring 2016. The exhibition, and the class, will explore the evolution of landscape painting and its increasing emotional and intellectual power by examining masterworks from five centuries, with particular emphasis on works by Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and Modernists (including Monet, Cézanne, Klimpt, O’Keefe, Hopper and Hockney, among others).

Salvador Dali and Surmounting the Surreal LLI-843 8 Hours

Whether it was melting clocks, flying tigers, reflective elephants, or representations of children born of geopolitical conflict, Salvador Dali dominated Twentieth Century surrealism. Dali offered a long and often controversial set of contributions to the art world. This course presents, discusses, and analyzes the work of Salvador Dali. Dali’s work will be presented in the context of deep discussion of surrealism as a movement. Twentieth century art, physics, and psychology will come together and come apart in this class.

The Golden Age of Art in the Dutch Republic LLI-911 8 Hours-NEW

For most of the 17th century the Dutch Republic’s trade domination and capitalism development created a very prosperous society and flourishing of the arts. Calvinism’s rejection of religious art in the churches steered artistic subject matter towards portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, and scenes of everyday life. The course focuses on how artists such as: Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter Claesz, Vermeer, and others, addressed Calvinism.



Treasures of the Louvre: A History of Western Art, 1300-1850 LLI-861 16 Hours

Examine the development of Western painting through representative works from the Louvre’s vast collection of Southern and Northern European paintings, beginning with the Early Renaissance and continuing up to the birth of Modernism in 1850. Among the artists we will explore are Cimabue, Fra Angelico, Van Eyck, Durer, Cranach, Botticelli, da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Hals, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velázquez, El Greco, Poussin, Gainsborough, Chardin, Boucher, Fragonard, Goya, David, Ingres, Constable, Turner, Gericault, and Delacroix.

Vincent Van Gogh: Paintings and Letters LLI-871 6 Hours

Vincent van Gogh’s painting style was unique and his use of color dramatic. He lived during the artistic revolution of the 20th century, and although only one painting sold during his life, nearly 100 years after his death, his painting “The Portrait of Doctor Gachet” sold for $82.5 million. In addition to painting, Vincent van Gogh also wrote many letters - over 900 of these have been published. His life and art, with insight from his letters, is the focus of this course.


Contact Us:
  • Natasha Sacks, Program Director
  • Tracy Ritenour, Program Assistant
  • Lynda Schrack, Program Assistant
  • Montgomery College, Workforce Development & Continuing Education
  • 12 South Summit Ave. 4th Floor
  • Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


©2018, Montgomery College