Continuing & Professional Education

Visual Arts

Courses for everyone

Start by exploring connected careers: — get insights into Alberta salaries, job forecasts, and more

Painter, Sculptor and other Visual Artist
92 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Artisan and Craftsperson
42 positions open annually
employment snapshot
No longer accepting program applications – courses continue to be offered

Students currently enrolled in the programs will be able to continue their studies and should plan to meet their program requirements by June 30, 2023.
Currently enrolled and wondering how many courses you have left? View your Advisement Report: Bear Tracks > Manage Classes > Academic Requirements > Click on your program or 'view report as pdf'

Visual Arts individual courses are not affected by these changes and will continue to be offered to anyone who wants to hone their art skills or learn new techniques. Click on the course names below to enrol or to learn more about our offerings—and look for new and exciting art classes coming soon!

Give your art prac­tice the ded­i­ca­tion it deserves by expand­ing your knowl­edge and explor­ing new skills with our Visu­al Arts course col­lec­tion.

Geared at begin­ners and casu­al artists of all lev­els, our diverse port­fo­lio of cours­es will present you with new and excit­ing ways of engag­ing with your art. Explore fun­da­men­tal con­cepts in tra­di­tion­al areas such as draw­ing, paint­ing, design, and his­to­ry as you receive feed­back and prac­tice under the guid­ance of pro­fes­sion­al artists.


Just what I want­ed: it teach­es you new art skills and helps you get ready for a career as an artist. I found the con­tent and instruc­tors excellent.

Visu­al Arts

A rig­or­ous cur­ricu­lum deliv­ered by excel­lent instructors.

Visual Arts None - collection of courses student

The instruc­tors were very knowl­edge­able. I learned a lot from them.

Visu­al Arts student

Develop your creative thinking and refine your individual mode of expression.

Gain insight into the history of art and find inspiration in pivotal art movements.

Explore different techniques and create a substantial body of work.

Register Today

This course serves as an introduction to western art, focusing largely on artists and objects that comprise the art history canon, from early 14th century art to modern art of the 20th century. In this introduction to the discipline of art history, you will be exposed to various artistic movements, and will be provided with a working knowledge of art history terminology.
September 27
already started
Online learning, synchronous. With Kimberly Johnson
What do all art forms have in common? How do artists use the elements and principles of design to help develop and unify their work and ideas? What is the "language of art"? Explore these questions and others in this introduction to design fundamentals. The characteristics of line, shape, texture, colour, and space are emphasized through examples, demonstrations, discussion, and visual problem-solving, as well as studio work with pencil, pen and ink, and acrylics. Enhance your appreciation of art and the process that makes it possible.
September 10
already started
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Samantha Walrod
Drawing is one of the cornerstones of art training and is fundamental for visual arts. Learn the essentials of drawing from observation. Employing pencil, conté, or charcoal on paper, class projects use still-life motifs to introduce you to the basic elements of drawing line, form, tone, and texture. Develop your awareness of seeing and understanding the factors that work in good picture-making and apply them to produce a finished drawing.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Build on your drawing and design skills as you apply them to the principles and techniques of painting. Work in oil or acrylic to bring your own style to still life motifs in exercises that examine the planning, development, and composition of paintings. Completion of EXART 3003 and EXART 3005 is strongly recommended.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Apply your basic painting skills as you further explore techniques, colour theories, and descriptive and interpretative methods of oil or acrylic painting in the studio. Completion of EXART 3010 is strongly recommended.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Explore various aspects of the creative processes as they pertain to pictorial art. A series of projects will examine spontaneous approaches to painting. Emphasis will be placed on a diversified use of media and the sources of meaningful imagery. You are free to work in any media. Completion of EXART 3011 is strongly recommended.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
This course is concerned with the compositional realization of the portrait. While painting from a model, you will become familiar with the art and historical approaches toward creating a successful portrait. Capturing likeness and expression will be emphasized. Become familiar with the bone and muscle structure of the human head as well as with the Western European technique of building flesh tones through layers. Completion of EXART 3010 is strongly recommended.
January 10
starts in 3 months
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Izabella Orzelski
Explore themes, develop research strategies, and gain personal direction in your art production. We'll explore content and meaning of various themes and through directed research, choose appropriate materials to convey a visual message. This course is ideal for gaining direction in thematic development in preparation for your portfolio review, project course, and solo exhibition.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Expand the skills and ideas introduced in Visual Art and Design I into a creative and inventive format. Participate in an individual cumulative project that will develop over the length of the course. Elements of art and design will be put into practice while problem solving both media and subject, including drawing, painting, craft, mixed media or other. Prerequisite: EXART 3003
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Explore the principles of drawing from the life model. A number of exercises, including quick and sustained studies, the study of basic human anatomy, and the relationship of the figure versus background, are employed to assist you in drawing the human form. Pencil, conté, and charcoal are recommended drawing media. Completion of EXART 3006 is strongly recommended.
September 15
already started
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Izabella Orzelski
Participants will learn the basics of watercolour painting such as colour mixing, flat wash, graded wash, and wet-in-wet technique. Properties of individual watercolour pigments will be addressed. In addition to working with still life motif, students will be introduced to landscape painting, floral study and abstract work.
January 14
starts in 3 months
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Amy Loewan, Amy Loewan
Make the shift from representational to abstract painting. Gain an understanding of why and how artists create abstract works. Examine how changing technologies in the 19th and 20th centuries have influenced of abstract art. Experiment with other artists' processes and discuss how to use colour, line, and texture to create rhythm and mood in abstract work. Examine how social movements and changing philosophies have influenced abstract art.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Invaluable in developing and communicating design ideas, experience architecture's creative aspects and decode architecture's visual language by learning how to think spatially. Learn to see spaces in new ways and sketch what you see with accuracy by applying the rules of perspective and the fundamental skills of proportion and scale, space and volume, and materials and textures. Suitable for beginners and experienced artists alike, immerse yourself in the world of architecture drawing - you'll never look at buildings the same way again!
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
In the modern art movement, influential western artists, particularly the abstract expressionists, studied and integrated eastern philosophies and brush work into their artistic practices. Students will be introduced to the works of some of these artists and will have hands-on experience using basic art materials of Chinese brush, ink, and shuen (rice) paper in drawing and in painting.This course will explore brushwork techniques alongside connections to the mind, body, and spirit in the creative process.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Build on your skills from Drawing I and further explore the fundamental elements of line, shape, texture, space, tonal value, and compositional principles and considerations such as figure-ground relationships, rhythm, and scale. Employing dry and wet media on paper, projects will focus on observational drawing from still-life and the human figure. While emphasis will be on representational drawing, achromatic linear, and tonal value studies, the use of colour, abstraction, and collage will be introduced. Completion of EXART 3005 is strongly recommended.
September 10
already started
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With James Davies
Working on location en plein air is an excellent way to carry skills out of the studio and into the day-to-day practice of making art. Work on location at various sites and work in different media to stretch your limits and make drawing more accessible. Develop sketchbook skills where any location and any time become the mantra of your art making. Pen and ink is a portable flexible media which may be drawn, painted, splattered, and pushed to the limit to acquire results while on location. Depending on the skill sets of the students, oil pastels will be used as a bridge between drawing and painting. Completion of EXART 3006 is strongly recommended.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
This course aims to expand spontaneity in your picture-making. Pursue drawing with mixed media such as charcoal, graphite, ink, watercolour and acrylics. Experiment with brush, pen and other drawing instruments. You will learn various strategies to work with mixed media and methods to effectively integrate them in your work. Expressive use of media to convey feelings will also be explored. Completion of EXART 3005 is strongly recommended.
January 18
starts in 3 months
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Samantha Walrod
The sketchbook is perhaps the most all-encompassing tool established across the disciplines of art, craft, and design. By noting an event, an idea, or a diagram in a sketchbook, the artist saves that memory to work with when back in the studio. Students will discover a variety of ideas and methods of sketchbook practice, along with the practical application of methods and materials. This includes choosing suitable supports and mediums, and gathering and recording information. The course provides instruction, suggestions, and information on the use of a variety of different media and on the addition of photographs, found objects, and mixed media within sketchbooks.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Encaustic painting is an ancient technique commonly used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, in which coloured pigments were mixed with molten wax and painted on panels. In this course students will learn how to apply the encaustic technique to contemporary paintings. This medium consists of a mixture of beeswax and resin to which pigments are added to create paint. The waxes can be reworked or removed, added to or abraded. This technique will give the paintings either a great luminosity through the application of a number of transparent layers or a thick, matte texture. This technique will become a springboard in the students' self-exploration of abstract and/ or representational art. The creativity of this medium is unending.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Learn to compose and interpret the figure in watercolour. Work from a model and apply various watercolour techniques. Completion of EXART 3007, 3525, or 3010 is strongly recommended
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Learn techniques to guide your personal interpretation of painting a portrait in watercolour. Completion of EXART 3005, 3525, or 3010 is strongly recommended
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.

Learn how to use a palette knife as a painting tool to achieve expressive mark-making with heavy paint application. Explore the method of impasto to apply layers of paint and create paintings with thick, textured surface and visible strokes. Through a series of guided projects, you’ll be introduced to various palette knife techniques as you produce studies from observation and copy a few paintings to learn from one of the old masters. Depending on your preference, we will work to create landscape, floral, or semi-abstract paintings. Open to artists of all levels.

Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Gain practical experience as well as insight into past technical developments from a variety of historical periods. While painting from a model and still life, you will become familiar with the use of underlayers, glazing, scumbling, velatura, dead color, and grisaille. Emphasis will be placed upon studying the art works of the Old Masters with a special interest for their use of the transparent paint vs. opaque paint.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
  • Tuition is paid on a course-by-course basis as you reg­is­ter for your classes.
  • Eli­gi­ble for the Cana­da-Alber­ta Job Grant.
  • Unless specified in the course description, art supplies and textbooks are not included in course fees. Costs range from $100 to $150 for introductory courses and up to $200 for advanced courses.

Bursaries and funding opportunities
Funding source
Apply by
Canada-Alberta Job Grant 

Available for businesses in all sectors across Alberta

Two-thirds of the training costs (up to 100% if hiring an unemployed Albertan)
any time
Canada Training Benefit 

Residents of Canada, 25-65 years old, who have $10,000-150,000 in earnings for work.

income tax return
Skilled Immigrant Micro-Loan 

Whether you intend to work in the same field you trained in outside of Canada, or you wish to apply your transferable skills to a new career, this low-interest loan helps you cover the cost of education and related living expenses.

Up to $15,000 loan
Alumni Professional Development Grant 

Any alumnus of the University of Alberta

75% of course fee
monthly deadline

Employed by the University of Alberta as Non-Academic Staff (NASA)

$750 annually
Dec / Mar / Jun / Sep

You may also be interested in

Related credentials:

This unique program, the first in Western Canada, offers you a university-level certificate in the art of interior decorating.