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Filoli is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Art Classes at Filoli


How to Register

Use the link below each class to register or call 650–364–8300, ext. 508, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Refund Policy

Click here for our Education Programs Refund Policy.

Guy Magallanes instructs a student Guy Magallanes gives one–on–one instruction to a student during Watercolor for Beginners. “Guy is a fabulous teacher and a master watercolorist” —From a student of Watercolor Glazing with Guy.

The picturesque surroundings of Filoli make a wonderful venue for art and artists, providing inspiration and a range of valuable resources. Students can experience one-on-one instruction and personal guidance while attending one of our 2 – 5 day classes or work on their own during special Artist Access Days.

Artists are invited to join our registry of art exhibitors. Filoli presents a new schedule of exhibits each year.

Our students say it best . . .

“Susan is a wonderful encouraging instructor. I love her teaching style.”
—From Macro Photography Workshop with Susan Rosner

“Loved this class and look forward to learning more from Caroline.” From iPad Art I with Caroline Mustard

“Wonderful teacher — very pleased.”
“I shall come back for the next class.” From Oil Painting for Beginners with Laurie Johnson

“Wonderful class and instructor.” From Landscapes in Pastel with Jan Prisco

“This was a fabulous hands on class. Guy is a master teacher as well as a master artist.”
—From The Fall Palette with Guy Magallanes

2017 Art Classes

Grandma's Garden by Guy Magallanes

Grandma’s Garden by Guy Magallanes

Watercolor for Beginners

Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Guy Magallanes

If you are new to watercolors, or need to build your confidence, then this class is for you. Learn how water, paper, and pigment react to each other and discover how to manage and control this immediate medium through demonstrations and discussion. Then through step–by–step instruction and personal guidance you will practice your newly found techniques while creating beautiful floral painting.

Fee for each class: $225 members; $270 non–members

Foundational Italics by Sara Loesch Frank

Foundational Italics by Sara Loesch Frank

Calligraphy Workshop Foundation Calligraphy

Thursdays, February 23 through March 16, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Sara Loesch Frank

Calligraphy is Greek for “beauty writing.” It is graceful, elegant, legible writing. This style of writing became standard in Europe and was developed after insular scripts. Discover the skill of lettering through careful instruction and practice using a broad-edged pen. Add flair to your correspondence, journals, invitations and announcements, artwork, and more. Former students are welcome to attend to further their studies through independent instruction and refresh themselves for other upcoming classes.

Fee for each class: $150 members; $180 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Fee for each class: $300 members; $360 non–members

Grandma's Garden by Guy Magallanes

Photo by Jacqueline Deely

Photography Workshop Getting out of Auto

Saturdays, February 25 or September 30, 2017, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm or
Thursdays, June 22 or July 13, 2017, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Instructor: Jacqueline Deely

This NEW one–day class is just right for entry level photographers who would like to break free from using automatic modes. Students will learn how to take control of their cameras through the use of manual/semi–automatic settings and, in turn, how their images ultimately look and feel. Topics covered will include lighting, composition, exposure, shutter speed, aperture/depth of field and ISO. Class will include an easy to follow presentation, hands on assistance and practice in the Filoli Garden, plus a review and discussion of the day's results. Students must have a basic understanding of how to operate their own equipment; please no point and shoot cameras.

Fee for each class: $120 members; $145 non–members. Fee includes all materials.

The February class will be held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Icelandic Poppies

Poppies by Tiffanie Turner 

The Art of Paper Flowers Poppies

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Instructor: Tiffanie Turner, Paper SF

Using a variety of colorful crepe paper learn to create the beautiful curling stems and flowers of Iceland poppies, complete with bursting sepals. These colorful poppies can be displayed on their own or worked into floral crowns, garlands and more.

Fee: $75 members; $90 non–members. Fee includes all classroom materials.

Filoli painting with rabbit

Art Walks

Wednesdays, March 15, May 17, July 19, or September 20, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Guide: David Landsidle, Filoli Docent

Take a guided walk and learn about Filoli’s significant art collection that was amassed by the previous owners, the Bourns and the Roths, as well as through donations. The collection includes the portraits of Filoli’s owners, English and American marine paintings, works by John Singer Sergeant, 17th and 18th English portraits, a major 1700 Dutch still life, and several large paintings of Ireland commissioned to decorate the 70’ ballroom.

Fee for each class: $10 members; $20 non–members

skyline oil paintingt

by Laurie Johnson

Oil Painting Workshop Understanding Color and Value

Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Laurie Johnson

This class for beginners, and for painters with some knowledge of oils, will teach students about great color choices, color mixing and the importance of value in a painting. So often painters don’t realize that value is more important that color, and the right mix of color and value makes a painting come alive. Followed by insightful demonstrations, and through personal guidance, you will practice your new techniques to create a set of lovely paintings using fruits, vegetables and flowers from the Filoli Garden as subjects.

Fee for each class: $210 members; $250 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

3 at work in Filoli's Sunken Garden in the late afternoon sunshine

Artist Access

Thursdays, March 23, April 20, May 25, June 22, July 13, August 24, September 28, or October 26, 2017, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Filoli extends the opportunity for artists and photographers to have access to the gardens after hours. Experience the quiet beauty and stunning vistas of this rare and historical country estate. Artists may work in the medium of their choice; provide all their own materials and storage containers for the removal of all used water and non-toxic cleaning fluids.

Fee for each class: $20 members; $30 non–members
Non-members: Fee includes same day admission to Filoli. You are welcome to arrive anytime between 10:00 am – 2:30 pm to visit the historic House and Garden and scout locations for your next masterpiece.

Sunken Garden at Filoli in Pastels

Late Afternoon Filoli Gardens by Jan Prisco

Landscapes in Pastels

Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Jan Prisco

Pastels provide a natural medium for plein air painting due to their immediacy and their vibrancy of color. Classes will cover valuable pastel tools, techniques, and the importance of sketches and value studies in order to create a solid composition prior to beginning a painting. Then go into the Garden, a serene and beautiful setting for artists, and create a lovely painting or more if time allows. All levels of pastel painters and watercolor painters who wish to learn to apply pastel on top of their watercolor paintings are welcome. Demos and lots of individual attention will be included.

Fee for each class: $265 members; $315 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Photo by Jacqueline Deely

Photo by Jacqueline Deely

Photography Workshop The Art and Craft of Bird Photography

Saturdays, April 22, 29 and May 6, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (except April 29, field trip day, 7:00 am – 10:00 am)
Instructor: Jacqueline Deely

Bird photography is one of the most popular yet challenging genres of nature photography. This class will introduce students to the various techniques, practices and post processing procedures used by professional bird photographers. Gain an understanding of how lighting, composition, exposure, shutter speed and depth of field all contribute to the final result, in addition to etiquette and safety in the field. Sessions will include presentations, field practice and a positive image critique. All levels of experience are welcome however students must have a general understanding of how to operate their equipment in "non-automatic" modes. DSLR or similar camera recommended with a minimum lens focal length of 300mm, tripod optional; please no point and shoot cameras.

Fee for each class: $145 members; $175 non–members. Fee includes all materials.

assorted tea roses

Roses by Tiffanie Turner  

The Art of Paper Flowers Hybrid Tea Roses

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Instructor: Tiffanie Turner, Paper SF

Discover how to use double-sided and ombre crepe papers in a beautiful array of colors to create your own hybrid tea roses complete with leaves and stems. Students will be given extra materials to work with at home.

Fee: $75 members; $90 non–members. Fee includes all classroom materials.

Yellow Stretched Rose by Guy Magallanes

Yellow Stretched Rose by Guy Magallanes

Watercolor Workshop – The Stretched Gallery Wrap

Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Guy Magallanes

Imagine not having to frame your watercolor painting. Find out how to stretch your watercolor paper over wooden stretcher bars for a different approach to hanging your artwork. The instructor will demonstrate this method then you will practice it using a full sheet of watercolor paper and 1 ½” wooden stretcher bars. The instructor will then show you how to varnish your piece for a finished gallery look.

Fee for each class: $300 members; $360 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Italics by Sara Loesch Frank

Italics by Sara Loesch Frank

Calligraphy Workshop Italic Variations and Watercolor Florals

Thursdays, May 4 through May 25, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Sara Loesch Frank

Be introduced to a casual italic variation of lettering while focusing on the alphabet and experimenting with height of letters, pen angle, and pressure. A basic italic becomes a very distinct form for both lettering projects as well as a visual design element. Then, using a chisel brush, you will explore some "floral inspired" loose watercolor strokes. These brush stroke florals are appropriate for cards, journaling or as enhancement to calligraphic projects. No art background is required for the brushstroke florals Students who have knowledge of the basic italic alphabet and working with a dip pen will design a greeting card. Newcomers to calligraphy will work a bit more on the alphabet before learning the florals.

Fee for each class: $150 members; $180 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

skyline oil paintingt

Oil Painting Workshop Still Life in the Garden

Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Laurie Johnson

Transport yourself through time as you create beautiful still life painting in the sunlit Garden at Filoli. This workshop will begin in the House while the instructor shares with you the works of John Singer Sergeant as well as the beautiful display of flowers and antiques to help create this feeling from the past. Then go into the Garden where the flowers, and items from the era such as antiques and brocade fabrics, will inspire you to create a timeless piece of artwork.

Fee for each class: $180 members; $215 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Artist painting in nature preserve

Oil Painting Workshop Plein Air in the Nature Preserve

Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Paul Kratter

Plein air is French for “in the open air.” It is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, a practice made popular by the Impressionists. Experience the tranquility and beauty of Filoli’s nature preserve while learning to paint plein air. Understand the process of composing a plein-air painting from equipment use and preparation to drawing and painting. One–on–one critiques at the easel and group discussion will be held daily. The class size is very limited in order to provide plenty of individual attention.

Fee: $265 members; $315 non–members.

acrylic painting

Petaluma Oaks by Jim Caldwell

Introduction to Painting with Acrylics

Wednesdays, June 14 through August 23 (except July 5), 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Jim Caldwell

This class will teach your eyes to see color in new ways and give you the basic skills to translate your vision into paint on canvas. At the beginning of each class we will look at and discuss slides of paintings by such artists as Van Gough, Monet, Sargent, Latour and Thiebaud. By so doing, we will develop a common vocabulary about composition, form, color and brushwork, and deepen our appreciation of the creative process. At the end of each class, we will share each other’s creative energy in a group critique. Basic instruction and demonstrations in color, composition and painting technique will be provided. The class subjects will be a series of progressively more and more complicated still lifes. Some drawing experience is required.

Fee for each class: $450 members; $550 non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Prink Rose Water Color Painting

Roses by Maryjo Koch

Watercolor and Gouache Workshop Roses

Tuesday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Maryjo Koch

With over 300 rose plants in the Rose Garden at Filoli, there is a spectacular assortment to choose from. Discover how to paint these garden beauties and how to give your painting more body using gouache. Practice blending, dry brush techniques, creating texture details of stems and leaves and how to choose the right colors for the flower you choose. This class is well–suited for all levels of experience from beginning to advanced.

Fee for each class: $210 members; $250 non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Classes are held in the Roth Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Drawing by Laurie Johnson

Drawing by Laurie Johnson

Drawing Workshop

Fridays, July 21 through August 25, 2017, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructor: Laurie Johnson

This new 6-week series will introduce students to the techniques needed to be creating realistic drawings. Techniques such as value and form, perspective, and shading will be practiced using subjects ranging from the head and figure to animals and flowers. Your new found skills will not only help you to succeed in your art endeavors but they will also allow you to participate and enjoy other classes at Filoli.

Fee for each class: $300 members; $360 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Dainty Bess by Guy Magallanes

Dainty Bess by Guy Magallanes

Watercolor Workshop – Summer Garden Brilliance

Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Guy Magallanes

Be guided through a floral image from start to finish as the instructor explains composition, approach and technique so you can better respond to what is happening as you paint. Learn to capture the brilliance of the summer garden through insightful demonstrations, step-by-step hands-on instruction and personal guidance. Take home a completed painting of your very own. Guy’s classes are perfect for students with little or no experience working with watercolor.

Fee for each class: $225 members; $270 non–members. Fee includes all materials

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Brush Calligraphy by Sara Loesch Frank

Brush Calligraphy by Sara Loesch Frank

Calligraphy Workshop Lettering with a Pointed Brush

Thursdays, August 24 through September 21 (except August 31), 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Sara Loesch Frank

While using western letterforms inspired by the pointed brush, students will learn various ways to add shadows and depth to their lettering. Varieties of slant and brush techniques with be practices while we work with the Pentel Brush pen, a cartridge pointed brush pen that comes in different colors and is convenient as well as refillable. For clarity of line, please choose a color other than yellow. Color, accents and shading will be used to make your lettering stand out. This contemporary technique will be useful for bulletin boards, charts and larger applications in addition to place cards, name tags and invitations.

Fee for each class: $150 members; $180 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Robin's nest with three eggs

Bird Nest by Maryjo Koch

Watercolor and Gouache Workshop Small Bird Nests

Tuesday, October 3 and Wednesday, October 4, , 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Maryjo Koch

If you have wanted to try painting the details of dry botanicals along with the weavings of a bird nest, you’ll love this class. If this is your first nest painting class the instructor will guide through all the steps using smooth texture hot press watercolor board, precise brushes and the best quality paint. Insightful demonstrations and one-on-one instruction in an inspiring location will allow you to re-create a masterpiece made simply by a bird.

Fee for each class: $210 members; $250 non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Classes are held in the Roth Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

sketch by laurie Johnson

Sketch by Laurie Johnson

Sketchbook Weekend

Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Laurie Johnson

Get out your sketchbooks and create memories of the beautiful sites of Filoli. Begin each day indoors as the instructor shares information about different art supplies and techniques that make journaling interesting. Then go into the Garden, be inspired and have fun making sketchbook entries using pencils, pens, watercolors and anything else that creates magic.

Fee for each class: $180 members; $215 non–members

Classes are held in the Bourn Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 263.

Marigold and Butterfly by Guy Magallanes

Marigold and Butterfly by Guy Magallanes

Watercolor Workshop: The Fabulous Fall Palette

Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Guy Magallanes

Be guided through a floral image from start to finish as the instructor explains composition, approach and technique so you can better respond to what is happening as you paint. Learn to create using the fabulous fall palette through insightful demonstrations, step-by-step hands-on instruction and personal guidance. Take home a completed painting of your very own. Guy’s classes are perfect for students with little or no experience working with watercolor.

Fee for each class: $225 members; $270 non–members. Fee includes all materials.