Community & Workshops

Live to Draw. Draw to Live. Enjoy improving your observational drawing skills. Learn to use your sketchbook for developing ideas, organizing your thoughts, and increasing productivity. Join our small but mighty community as we sketch on the streets, in the field, and in the studio. Learn to draw the moment!

Connect with other like-minded sketchers and drawing coach Rob Court by receving the Scribbles Institute eNewsletter. Scroll down to view our lineup of workshops and events.

Covid is showing signs of retreat! Let’s go outdoors again, keep the distance safe, and draw in small groups. Our on-location sketchbook workshops are a great way to start the summer drawing season.

New! Workshops
Explore! Experiment! Express!
And have fun! On-location workshops help you discover new ways to apply drawing skills to everyday life.

June 12 Sketchbook Basics: Mission Plaza Park

Dust off that sketchbook, pack a lunch, and relax into a pleasant afternoon of drawing. Whether you’re sketching for the first time or improving your skills, this sketchbook workshop at Mission Plaza Park is a great way to get the summer drawing season started. 

Mission Plaza Park Workshop Details & Sign Up
Mission Park offers a variety of drawing subjects including victorian and mission architecture, a towering church steeple, beautiful trees, and interesting people in repose. And it’s just a short walk to the historic Santa Cruz mission.

What You’ll Learn: Basic fundamentals of composition and placing your subject on the page; techniques for sketching buildings, trees, figures; basic perspective. When: Saturday, June 12, 11:00am-1:00pm Where: Meet Rob at the fountain in Mission Park. (MapCost: $50. Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens are cool to try too. Portable chair or camping stool recommended. Health Safety: 🙂 Covid vaccination please. 😷 Masks worn when working together in close proximity. (Guidelines) Workshop is limited to 8 participants. Deadline for sign up is June 10. Note: Premium Membership students can use 1 session to participate in this workshop.
 

Sign Up! Mission Plaza Park Workshop


June 26 Sketchbook Workshop: City Hall

Get acquainted with drawing in town while sketching the grounds at Santa Cruz City Hall. This serene location gives you a choice of learning how to draw buildings or how to draw a variety of interesting plants. Or both!

City Hall Workshop Details & Sign Up

The City Hall Gardens features over 300 different species of botanicals, including many rare and unusual plants that you can get up close and sketchy with. The Santa Cruz City Hall and nearby Civic Auditorium and other downtown buildings are great subjects for practicing your urban sketching skills.

What You’ll Learn: Basic fundamentals of sketching buildings and plants; placing your subject on the page; basic principles in 1 and 2-point perspective; pencil & ink sketching techniques;  optional ink/watercolor wash techniques. When: Saturday, June 26, 11:00am-1:00pm Where: Meet Rob at the fountain near the front steps of City Hall. (MapCost: $50. Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens and watercolor are cool to try too. There is some seating but portable chair or camping stool recommended. Health Safety: 🙂 Covid vaccination please. 😷 Masks worn when working together in close proximity. (Guidelines) Workshop is limited to 8 participants. Deadline for sign up is June 24. Note: Premium Membership students can use 1 session to participate in this workshop.
 

Sign Up! City Hall Workshop


July 17 Observational Sketching: Wilder Ranch

One of our most popular field sketching workshops is an afternoon at Wilder Ranch! Relax at this scenic ranch setting while exploring methods of composition and how to capture subject matter quickly while drawing historic buildings, animals, trees, and antique farm equipment. Open to adults, all skill levels—especially beginners 

Wilder Ranch Workshop Details & Sign Up
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What You’ll Learn: Basic fundamentals of sketching landscapes, buildings, trees, and plants; pencil & ink techniques; placing your subjects on the page; basic principles in perspective; optional ink/watercolor wash techniques. Where: Wilder Ranch State Park (Map). Meet Rob at the Victorian yellow house near the entrance, starting at 10:30pm. When: Saturday, July 17, 11:00am-1:00pm Cost: $50. Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens are cool to try too. Portable chair or camping stool recommended. Bring a jacket just in case it gets breezy. Workshop is limited to 8 participants. Deadline for sign up is July 15. Health Safety: 🙂 Covid vaccination please. 😷 Masks worn when working together in close proximity. (GuidelinesNote: Premium Membership students can use 1 session to participate in this workshop.

Sign Up! Wilder Ranch Workshop


July 31 Urban Sketchbook Workshop: Downtown Santa Cruz

Sketch the rhythm of downtown as you capture the sights and sounds of Santa Cruz. Enjoy sketching people, buildings, and cars from a sidewalk vantage point such as an outdoor restaurant venue. We’ll enjoy learning how to put the hustle and bustle of the 3D world on the 2D page. 

Downtown Workshop Details & Sign Up
What You’ll Learn: Observational skills, selecting your subject and placing it on the page; composition; gesture sketches of people; basic principles in 1 and 2-point perspective. Where: Downtown Santa Cruz, location to be announced. When: Saturday, July 31, 11:00am-1:00pm Cost: $50. Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens are cool to try too. Workshop is limited to 8 participants. Deadline for sign up is July 29. Health Safety: 🙂 Covid Vaccination please. 😷 Masks worn when working together in close proximity. (GuidelinesNote: Premium Membership students can use 1 session to participate in this workshop. 

Sign Up! Downtown Workshop


Past workshops that we’ve loved! We look forward to doing them again in the future! 

Urban Sketching: Squid Row

What better activity to enjoy a Saturday afternoon? Going outside to sketch, of course! We’ll find some excellent vantage points to sketch the hustle and bustle of Santa Cruz. What You’ll Learn: Practice quickly capturing buildings, trees, and Surf City’s fascinating street life. Open to adult beginners. When: Date to be determined. 12:00-2:00pm Where: Meet with Rob at location to be announced. Cost: $50 Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens are cool to try too. Limited to 8 participants.

Squid Row Info

Arboretum Field Sketching

Stroll, with sketchbook in hand, through a wide variety of plant and tree species in this tranquil setting overlooking the Monterey Bay. What You’ll Learn: Practice outdoor field sketching skills while observing various plants and trees. Open to adult beginners Where: UCSC Arboretum. Rob will be at the Gift Shop near the entrance. When: Date to be determined. 12:00-2:00pm; Cost: $50. Materials needed: Sketchbook and 2B-9B drawing pencils; various ink pens are cool to try too; a portable chair or camping stool is recommended.

Arboretum Sketching Info

UCSC Arboretum Pics

Zen Pen Workshop

Grab a fist full of assorted pens and mix it up with random lines and shapes on a nice, big piece of paper! This workshop is for beginners and advanced artists.

Experiment with a variety of pens and ink, including Tombow pens, Micron pens, and Speedball tips. Explore various techniques such as stipple and cross-hatching Where: Location to be determined. When: Date to be determined. 12:00-2:00pm Cost: $50. (materials included) Refreshments served. Limited to 8 participants.

Zen Pen Info

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Flower Drawing Workshop

All day workshop! Join drawing coach, Rob Court for this 1-day intensive workshop. Rob will show you how to use his Block, Sketch, Draw method for drawing flowers. Learn to block in dominant shapes and angles, study and capture realistic organic form; then finish with a beautifully drawn composition.

When: Schedule to be determined Where: Location to be determined. Cost: $75 includes all materials. Prerequisite: Level 2 or 3 Drawing Lab at the Scribbles Institute or equivalent (contact Rob if you have questions)

Seating is limited to 8. Refreshments and healthy snacks will be served, but you may want to bring a lunch.

Flower Drawing Info

Abstract/Expressive Drawing

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What you’ll learn: Begin with foundational skills by learning to express yourself with lines, shapes, patterns, and rhythm. You’ll learn to draw out your inner artist and learn basic composition skills while listening to different genres of music. If you’ve taken this workshop before, Rob will have more advanced lessons for you to work on, too Where: Location to be determined When:Date to be determined. Cost: $50 (materials included)

Abstract/Expressive Info

Prismacolor Pencil Drawing

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Adult beginners explore using Prismacolor pencils to achieve realism while drawing simple objects. What You’ll Learn: Blending colors, 3D modeling, measuring proportions. Recommended prerequisite: Level 1 Drawing Lab skills. Limited seating. Where: Location to be determined. When: Date to be determined. Cost: $50 (materials included)

Prismacolor Pencil Info

Pastel Drawing

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Learn basic skills in composition & blending colors. Where:Location to be determined. When: Date to be determined. Cost: $50 (materials included) Refreshments served

Pastel Drawing Info

Figure Drawing Workshops

We’d like to plan an Introduction to Figure Drawing course and regular drop-in figure sessions. We may do this as a 4-evening course or possibly consecutive Saturdays. Let us know what you think. Where: Location to be determined When: Date to be determined Cost: To be determined.

Figure Drawing Info

SketchTribe Workshop Pics!


On-Location Workshops & Events

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The Scribbles Institute is proud to serve the Central California Coast. We are always eager to work with important organizations such as the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, shown above. Here are some of the various workshops and events we are involved in:

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Church St. Fair

Happy sketchers, young and old, visit our booth at the Church Street Fair in Santa Cruz. We offer free lessons as well space for sketchers to unleash their freestyle drawing powers. Participants are free to draw for as long as they want and return the next day. The fair is part of the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival and attracts a huge Central Coast crowd as well as visitors from around the world.  Where: On Church Street, in front of the Civic Auditorium, downtown Santa Cruz Info: Event Website Cost: Free

Church St. Fair Pics!

Lenz Arts Drawing For Beginners

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Extremely Fun Drawing Skills For Absolute Beginners—Especially Adults Who Think They Can’t Draw. Rob Court enjoys doing regular workshops at the coolest art store on the planet to conduct his popular drawing workshop. Reconnect with your childhood thrill of drawing as you’re introduced to basic observational drawing skills and techniques. What you’ll learn: We’ll start by learning the overhand, underhand, and tripod pencil grips. Then we’ll begin building foundational skills by drawing with lines, shapes, and patterns. You’ll be introduced to drawing from observation and composition as you learn to measure proportions and see positive/negative space. When: Coming Soon Where: Lenz Arts 142 River Street on the corner of North Pacific and River Street in beautiful Santa Cruz, California Cost: Free! Materials needed: Sketchbook (8.5 x 11″ preferred), Drawing pencils (4B, 6B, 9B recommended)

Beginners Workshop Pics!

Beginners Workshop Info

Drawing at MAH

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We’re proud to working with Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) in engaging events for the whole family such as Art That Moves. Rob Court helps museum participants learn to draw action sports figures such as surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, and cyclists.

Art That Moves Pics!


Join Us! Connect with other like-minded sketchers and drawing caoch Rob Court by receving the Scribbles Institute eNewsletter.


Workshops For Your School, Company, Gallery, Organization, Event

Bring Rob Court and the Scribbles Institute to your school or business. See photos of workshop participants at Santa Cruz and Monterey schools and MAH.

Connect With Rob!

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Drawing For Work, School, Enjoyment