Real Art for Real Children

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I have taught children's art for over 19 years, starting at the Naperville Park District. One of the remarkable things I discovered was ALL CHILDREN DRAW. There is a reason for this. Art is hardwired into all human brains. It is nature's tool for analyzing how we see the world. That is what toddlers are doing when they draw, they are 'figuring out' the world around them and things that interest them in their minds. They lose this interest only in the grade school age because they are stymied in 'how to figure things out'. ART STUDIO specializes in showing how art is really a series of common sense decisions based on some very simple principles that aren't obvious at first. Once seen, 'it makes perfect sense'. 

Art Studio was established in 1998 teaching continuous and real art lessons to both children and adults.   It is not an 'activities class'.   It is real art instruction.   Classes start up throughout the year , depending on availability of times, but are most effective when begun in September and coincide with regular school year.  Summer classes are also available.  These also keep the consecutive learning sequence.  More information on summer session is available on 'Summer activities' page.   Classes of 8 students are formed at the beginning of the school year and kept together through the school year.   Efforts are made to keep children within close age groups in each new startup group, but, as the year progresses, this becomes more and more unfeasible.   Parents shouldn't worry about this either way.   All children are taught EXACTLY the same thing adults are.  All students start with BASIC DRAWING, no matter where they are in the school year, or what they have done before.      

ART STUDIO is not meant to be an 'elite school', but for all who want to learn to draw. Method of teaching is to show 'why' things are the way they are and consistent repetition. There is no grading, only teaching understanding that complex things are made up of a few simple things.

CLASS SIZE is a maximum of 8

Children MUST be going into 1st grade in Sept. of that year.

5 SESSIONS per school year of 6 WEEKS EACH. 2 weeks off in between sessions for adjusting for holidays, etc.


$135.00  for a single child, PER SESSION 

$120.00  for each of multiple children in family, PER SESSION 

$650.00  for one child for ENTIRE year.

$615.00  for each multiple child for ENTIRE year

There are NO partial refunds for interrupted sessions.   Payments for the year are prorated back at full rate for missed sessions.   New students are discouraged from paying for the entire year.   Parents should pay for each session as it comes up until they are sure their children like the classes.

1 LESSON per week for 1 hour and 15 minutes each.

CLASS TIMES are After school Mon. - Fri. (Saturday morning is available, but no one ever signs up for it). Times are 4:15 -5:30 and 5:45 - 7:00.

Art material used in classes is available, at cost, for purchase and use at home. 

LARGE WAITING ROOM for parents and toddlers. Parents are encouraged to listen in on lessons.

When signing up for class, keep in mind classes are formed for the year. It is not a smorgasbord schedule.  The idea is to walk children through art step-by-step, building on what went before. You can quit any time, of course, but at least try and do the first THREE sessions, BASIC DRAWING, Part 1 and Part 2, and BASIC COLOR. These two classes will give your child a significant advantage in art among their peers.  A class starting up in the middle of the year begins with BASIC DRAWING, - always.  Classes formed in the middle of the year are announced when an hour becomes available should a class dip below 4 children.   First consideration is to remaining children, however - either to another class time or to continue with small class if no other time is convenient for majority of students or parents.

These are not glorified 'baby sitting' classes. Children who miss classes, PARTICULARLY Basic Drawing are missing critical information and can be confused. If you can't make one particular hour, every effort is made to make up classes at another time. ART STUDIO is very flexible to parent's busy schedules.   This year, Basic Drawing is being expanded into 2 six week sessions.  This is because over the years, more information has been taught in this class and is deemed too important not to teach. 



BASIC DRAWING- PART 1 (6 WEEKS) and PART 2 (6 WEEKS).  This is the most difficult and important session taught. Don't sign up for it if you know your child will be missing classes! I have taught this class for 13 years since the Park District and kids both 'get it' and love it. Students learn to draw a simple (cartoon) human figure from all views, how to move arms and legs, how to ink drawings and the fundamental geometry underlying all aspects of art. Students are always drawing their own figures. There is no slavish copying from board.  They learn and practice rapid drawing of figures in all poses.

Sometimes, - particularly younger children, are eager to do 'color only' and lose sight that 'you have to be able to draw first'.   It is advisable to make sure your child both finishes these two 6 week sessions and goes to the next.   In the first week of Basic Color session, they will understand what is going on.   That is when the real fun begins.  Basic drawing sets all this up.

BASIC COLOR- This is a VERY easy (and popular!) session compared to Basic Drawing. Students incorporate what they learned in basic drawing and see the same things they learned in basic drawing apply to color as well. Students use Chalk and oil pastels and are free to draw whatever they want.  

DRAWING 2 - This class is being revamped in tandem with Basic Drawing.  Parts of the old class are now a part of Basic Drawing and Drawing 2 now introduces children to composition, putting action in pictures and grouping figures.   Students also learn about hats, costuming, beards, glasses, etc.

WATER COLOR - Another VERY popular class. Always building on 'what went before' students use tube water colors, stretched water color paper, learn to compose a picture and then transfer it for painting. 


See Summer Activities on home page for complete information.


SCALING & PERSPECTIVE - Students learn the basics of scaling and perspective. They are now beginning to get into some very deep geometric principles. Many students have told me they breezed through the same things taught in school mathematics because of this class. Perspective is usually taught in 5th-6th grades in school system, but taught poorly. Careful attention is paid to teach it with the utmost clarity here. This also is a class students really seem to enjoy. 

WATER COLOR 2 - If students began in the summer, this would be the last session of the school year. Students become more familiar with the wonderful techniques of water color. 

GEOMETRIC FIGURES  Students learn the mathematics of the circle to make complex geometric designs.   This is a class that absolutely fascinates children.  Precise geometric designs are made and colored with color pencils.   

REALISTIC ANIMALS  Students learn how even serious art uses "Mr. Zero" to get accurate faces and accurate drawings of animals. 

REALISTIC HUMANS  Students learn about realistic portrait drawing and the basic human torso (Barbi Doll anatomy).

ACRYLIC PAINTING Acrylic painting is the modern version of oil painting, except it dries faster.  

PEN & INK Student learn how to use dip ink pens and india ink.

Any class not taught in 2nd year is covered in 3rd year.


Many student want to continue on for many years after taking the first 2 years of classes.   We call this "Studio Time".   Students review and polish the techniques they have learned.  They are encouraged to try ambitious things on their own. We also do special classes, like resin casting or block print making from time to time.  

To sign up for After School program go to 

'upcoming events and schedules'

1216 Elizabeth Ave.  Naperville, Il  60540