Sessional Classes

Arts Umbrella Sessional Art & Design classes
Art & Design classes for young people ages 6-19

Arts Umbrella’s Art & Design classes range from drawing, sketching, and painting, to mixed media and sculpture, to computer animation, and more. Taught by professional artists and educators, Arts Umbrella is dedicated to providing a curriculum that’s based on arts education principles. We work with high-quality materials in our studios, and encourage young people to explore their artistic potential.

Learn more about our full range of Sessional Classes below, and visit our Important Dates page for details about registration.

Location Key
GI = Granville Island
SS = South Surrey
SC = Surrey Centre

Visual Arts

Drawing & Painting

Ages 6-8, 9-12, 13-19*
GI SS SC
Children at early levels build a foundation through play and investigation. As students join new age cohorts, they will hone their visual perception and create original interpretations using more complex materials and methods. Teen artists will complete their classes with a better understanding of art history, critique, and technique, including colour mixing, paint
application, and composition.

*13-19 classes not available at SC

Drawing & Sketching Techniques

Ages 9-12
GI SS
This class helps young artists develop their technique in materials such as graphite, India ink, charcoal, chalk, and oil pastel. Students may experiment with styles—from traditional charcoal drawings to contemporary abstracts—to develop a foundation in art and design. As students progress, they will broaden their ability to accept and deliver feedback.

Drawing, Painting, & Printmaking

Ages 6-8, 9-12
GI SS
Young artists learn techniques such as monoprinting, caligraphs, and stencils to create their own original works. At the 9-12 age level, students will also experiment with materials, discover historical influences, and examine works of fine art. Developing upon their techniques, older students will expand their knowledge, and review their creations through group discussion and critique.


Sculpture

Mixed Media & Sculpture

Ages 6-8, 9-12
GI SS
Based on a foundation of drawing and painting, students apply their knowledge and spatial awareness to combine new materials in mixed media and sculpture works. This engaging journey through the elements of art and design helps young artists develop new hands-on skills combining materials like wood, papier mâché, and more.

Clay Sculpture

Ages 6-8, 9-12, 13-19
GI
Artists create three-dimensional works inspired by contemporary artists and the world around them. At early levels, students learn the fundamentals of hand-building and explore  decorative applications. As sculptors advance through the program, they will develop their skills in ceramic design, such as modeling, pinch pot, coil, and slab work, and learn to critique work through group discussion and self-reflection.

Wood, Clay & Papier Mâché

Ages 6-8, 9-12
GI
Artists use their imaginations to create original works using materials like wood, clay, papier mâché, found objects, and more. Themes from art history and around the world inspire young students, all while introducing children to new tools and construction skills. As students advance, classroom discussion and mentorship give artists a platform from which to explore their art-making.


Architecture

Architecture: Making & Meaning

Ages 6-8
GI SS
This class introduces young artists to the fundamental elements of architectural design. Children explore and create with two-dimensional drawing and three-dimensional model making. They will also discover the fundamental aspects of architecture, such as floor plan concepts, levels, and how to use creative problem solving when designing spaces.

Architecture: Drawing & Model Making

Ages 9-12
GI SS
This class explores the architectural design process, such as form, line, shape, colour, space, texture, balance, and composition. Students explore the crucial relationship between architectural drawings and model making, and explore the fundamental aspects of architecture, such as the function of space and how to use creative problem-solving when designing spaces.

Architecture: Digital Spaces & Places

Ages 9-12, 13-19
GI Build your ideas onto the screen. Students develop digital skills in our Mac Lab, learning to design spaces using SketchUp 3-D modelling software, which allows students to visualize  the sculptural side of buildings. From viewing famous architecture to sketching floor plans, this class covers a lot of square footage.

Architecture & Environmental Design

Ages 13-19
GI
This class explores the relationship between architecture, urban design, and the environment, introducing students to topics such as energy conservation, water management, sustainable landscapes, car-culture critique, and sustainability rating systems. Teens complete individual projects, and large-scale group work brings theories and information to life.


Photography

Darkroom Photography: Foundation

Ages 10-12, 13-19
GI
This class begins with the basics of photography where students learn about 35mm film cameras and the history of photography. Here, science meets art, as young photographers discover how a manual camera works and learn how to develop film in a darkroom. At higher levels, teens expand their skills and develop their ability to critique work.

Darkroom Photography: Image Making

Ages 13-19
GI
This class reviews the basics of black-and-white photography, followed by lessons on how to develop film and create original prints in Arts Umbrella’s darkroom. Throughout the
session, students learn about topics such as lens selection, exposure, depth-of-field, composition, and presentation.

Darkroom Photography: Projects & Portfolio

Ages 13-19
GI
Prerequisite: Completion of Darkroom Photography Foundation or Image Making.
Students learn about black- and- white film photography, with a focus on shooting and developing photos for their portfolios. Teens explore other techniques, including photo manipulation, editing, and printing. The class also discusses student work and shares other inspiring photography.

Digital Photography

Ages 10-12, 13-19*
GI SS
Students uncover DSLR camera features such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and apply their knowledge to take photos that unveil a unique artistic expression.
Young photographers compose images and work with editing software to complete their vision. At higher levels, field trips and photo critiques help teens build skills and further
develop their artistic voice.

*Granville Island location only


Media Arts

Cartooning

Ages 6-8, 9-12*
GI SS
Children explore their creativity, bringing stories to life with hand-drawn cartoons and a cast of favourite characters. At the foundation level, this class covers basic forms and shapes, and explores how facial expressions help tell a bigger story. As students progress, they will learn to further develop characters with expression and emotion, and give them a voice.

*Granville Island location only.

Character Design & Illustration

Ages 10-12, 13-19
GI
Students advance their technique to draw stylized or realistic character concepts for use in comics, cartoons, and animation. Older students will participate in classroom discussion and critique to better their illustration practice and create compelling characters.

Classical Animation

Ages 6-8*, 9-12, 13-19*
GI SS
Children learn about hand-drawn animation, character development, and movement in this program. Over time, storyboarding and technical skills help students grow their artistic confidence as they advance to higher levels where they will get a feel for different animation styles, like cut-out and object animation. Teens will experiment with the medium and discuss work with their peers.

*Granville Island location only

Claymation

Ages 6-8, 9-12
GI
Frame by frame, from backgrounds to characters, children learn the claymation basics using stop-motion animation. They get a sense of movement, pace, storyboarding, props, sound, and pixilation, and also get their hands on Plasticine to mold characters. In 9-12 classes, students expand their knowledge of the software needed to pull a claymation video together.

Computer Animation

Ages 9-12, 13-19
GI SS
In this class, students bring their drawings to life with animation tools and programs in our Mac Lab. At early levels, lessons cover topics such as frame rate, timelines, and the process of frame-by-frame animation. Expanding on that curriculum at higher levels, teens work on projects that challenge their artistic practices.

Film & Video Art

Ages 10-12, 13-19
GI
From short films, to anime, to features, this class introduces students to the artistic processes of filmmaking. Students apply a foundation in design and visual art to projects for the  screen, and get a feel for software programs such as Photoshop, GarageBand, and iMovie HD. As students progress, they use their knowledge of storyboarding, cameras, production
planning, lighting, scene creation, and editing to create unique projects.

Graphic Novel & Comic Creation

Ages 9-12, 13-19*
GI SS
Here, students learn to create a graphic novel from scratch, through character design, scriptwriting, drawing, and composition. At higher levels, students expand on these techniques and skills. All levels use pencils, paper, and brush pens to draw, then scan their completed work to print a unique creation.

*Granville Island location only

Kid Tech

Ages 6-8
GI
Children are introduced to the computer by exploring their ideas using different software in this class. Students create digital art using original photos, Photo Booth shots, and digital downloads. Kids will also record sound and explore their new understanding of animation.

Media Arts

Ages 9-12
GI
Go digital! This class introduces students to various styles of media arts and gets them working with Mac computers and software such as Photoshop, Photo Booth, and Illustrator. Lesson topics range from perspective, movement, and space, to investigating how music affects motion and mood.

Stop Motion Animation

Ages 6-8, 9-12
GI
In this class, students learn animation basics such as movement, pace, storyboarding, character design, props, backgrounds, sound, pixilation and “fliporamas”. Young people will become
familiar with animation software and equipment, as well as different styles, such as stop motion, hand-drawn, cutout and object animation.

Support Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella donors, volunteers, and sponsors share the same belief: that arts education can transform a child’s life. Whether attending an event, making a monthly gift, or donating time, our supporters are vital to helping us inspire creativity for good through the arts.