ArtVentures International

 Field School for Artists 

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Bariaco (Trichilia triacantha) Guánica, PR. Field painting by studio and field Chief Instructor A.E. Soto-Canino. Watercolor, ink and gold on watercolor paper. Fieldwork portraying a highly endangered species in its natural habitat.


We welcome you or your youngster to the field practice of the artist, a deep practice all its own that differs greatly from, but complements, studio practice.

Fieldwork encompasses a great many things. But, to qualify as fieldwork, the bulk of the work must take place beyond the artist’s studio.

The field artist works most anywhere beyond the studio: out in open wilderness, or surrounded by cultivated environments, or within rural or urban regions. We also sketch, draw, paint, sculpt, etc. in indoor spaces that are not studio, such as a sculpture gallery, a museum exhibit, a corner at a restaurant, etc.

Join us to explore the many wonders of field work. To date, we have taught and shared field practice with our students across southern Africa, Puerto Rico, and all sorts of memorable spots across the great northeast, USA.


— A.E. Soto-Canino, Chief Instructor.

Course Offerings

Sealed In (2015) Jenkinson’s Aquarium, NJ, USA. Field sketch by studio and field Senior Instructor Aaron S. Balavram. Graphite on paper (9×12”).

Great Green Wall (2015) Giant Malachite sample at Museum of Natural History, NY, USA. Field sketch by studio and field Senior Instructor Aaron S. Balavram. Wax color pencil on paper (9×12”).

Randall Covered Bridge, VT, USA (2009). Field sketch by studio and field Chief Instructor A.E. Soto-Canino. Ink pen and water brush on paper (12 in x 16 in).

Core Course:

Foundations of Artwork in the Field

Level 1 Introduction to Artwork in the Field

In Introduction to Artwork in the Field, AAHP Instructors Ana E. Soto-Canino and Aaron Balavram introduce you to, and guide you across, the basic sense-abilities, skills and operations that inform and drive fieldwork beyond the studio—whether you are sketching, drawing or painting in another indoor space, or outdoors.

Dates: Sundays, starting September 12, 2021. These Sunday classes for adults run through June 2022, across all seasons. As in our live studio practice, you can enter, leave and return to classes at your discretion. But please note that the best learning is ongoing learning.

Class Hours: 2 – 4 pm

Rates: Full tuition is $199.00 a month, or $189.00 with a 5% discount. Click here for more billing information.

Important Notice: Processing of your registration requires a minimum of five business days

Course Details

Art Forms: 
This course focuses on field sketching (line work) and field drawing (tonal work).

Media & Supports: 
Materially, we work on good or high-quality sketch and drawing journals. Nothing larger than 9 x 12 inches(22.86 x 30.48 cm) will be necessary. This level of the course focuses on the countless and beautiful possibilities of graphite pencils and color wax pencils. At this level of practice, we use dry, not water-soluble, versions of these media.

Rendering Skills: 
Technically, this introductory level allows practitioners to revisit, review and refine basic drawing sense-abilities, skills and procedures when observing subject matter with the naked eye, and under the always-changing conditions we find beyond the studio.

Foundational Ideas & Norms: 
Conceptually, this course focuses on time-honored concepts concerning safety, comfort, and technically sound practice, specifically in regards to working in the field.

Subject Matter: 
Thematically, this course focuses on an introductory assortment of stationary subject matter, both natural and human-built, and which we portray as small vignettes (examples: outdoor furniture and  furnishings, architectural elements, plants, trees, etc). Please note that we do not work with full scenic panoramas at this level.


Course Requirements

Basic drawing skills: Those entering this course should already be able to draw a sketch from direct observation of anything, such as a pair of old shoes on the floor, or a bowl of fruit on the table. They should also be able to tonally shade said work with graphite and/or color pencil. 

Do not judge yourself harshly; many adults who have loved to draw and paint—no matter how itinerantly—can do this well enough. This course lets you constantly review and refine these matters at your most comfortable pace. But to be fair and transparent, please know that these basic matters cannot be taught or learned from scratch out in the field. They must be learnt first in the studio, or though technically sound self-teaching.

Your small tonal drawing would reveal very basic skills: that you do not outline draw, but instead start from the very basic shapes that define all objects and surfaces; that you have simple familiarity with proportion and scale, even if you feel off at times; that you may have simple solutions for foreshortening; that you can show familiarity with the basic elements that make for a strong composition. Your use of line and shading should reveal a basic understanding of the play of light you observe.

Materials: Please view the materials list here.

Safe access to two sites at one’s own home:
— a safe seating area in one’s own outdoor garden, yard or lawn
— a safe indoor site during inclement weather, ideally one that allows you to view outdoor scenery from a door or window

Electronics: This level of the course requires participants to access the live classes online via Zoom, and to use a mobile phone that can receive text messages and send photos of one’s work via text messaging.


    Live makeup classes are not available outside of the class schedule. Any enrolled practitioner who misses a class can access the unedited video recording of that same class for a limited period of time. Practitioners can present their sketch or drawing, as well as questions and commentary with instructors and peers at the very next class, and/or live if later attending a Field Seminar.

    Let’s Go! Field Seminars

    To complement your online training at home, come do fieldwork with us outdoors, as a group! Field seminars include live demos, as well as one-on-one field instruction as pandemic protocols allow, and weather permitting. Instructors will require signed release forms from all participants.

    When: Monthly, weather permitting.

    Who: Open to both enrolled students and their guests, as well as adult members of the public and prospective students wishing to meet us.

    Seminar Fee: Donations welcomed, on-site.

    Other Fees: Where applicable, participants pay individually for such things as vehicle parking, on-site shuttle transportation for visitors, admission tickets, edibles and refreshments, souvenirs and accessories, etc. 

    To view and register for these outings, go to the Field School Event Calendar by clicking below.

    Let’s Launch This!

    To kick off our return to artistic practice together, we are happy to announce a chance to regroup in person, and outdoors. We’d love to see you at for this gathering:

    • At Sandy Hook, gateway to the NJ Shore. September 8-10, 2021
      Meet up with Ana at Sandy Hook National Recreation Area here in NJ. She’ll  be sojourning at the tip of this spit of land, specifically at Fort Hancock, to work on her giant mixed-media scroll, which you may have seen in the studio.

    Meet Ana at The Hook anytime during park hours, and as weather permits, as she’ll offer free demos and pointers for building your fabulous field kit/s. 

    Note that the National Park Rangers charge $20 at the gate per vehicle, per day, only through Labor Day; the park fee program should be done and gone by then, though things are always changing in this new COVID landscape. Please check the park’s website.

    Summer Leaves, Autumn Comes (2010) Alder Lake Loop Trail, NY, USA. Field sketch by studio and field Senior Instructor Aaron S. Balavram. Wash color pencil on paper (10×7”).

    Painted African Dogs at High Noon, Zimbabwe (2009). Field sketch by studio and field Chief Instructor A.E. Soto-Canino. Ink, watercolor and gouache on Mexican amate bark paper.

    Beyond Introduction to Artwork in the Field

    Intermediate Artwork in the Field

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Artwork in the Field 

    Not offered in studio year 2021-2022

    Advanced Artwork in the Field

    Prerequisite: Intermediate Artwork in the Field 

    Not offered in studio year 2021-2022

    Beyond Foundations of Artwork in the Field

    All courses that follow the three levels of advancement of the Foundations course also have their three levels of advancement. When the pandemic allows, course offerings for those who have completed the three levels of Foundations will include one or more of the following:

      • Watercolor Painting in the Field
      • Painting with Inks in the Field
      • Landscape Oil Painting in the Field
      • Seascape Oil Painting in the Field
      • Landscape Acrylics Painting in the Field
      • Seascape Acrylics Painting in the Field


    Ship’s Wheel (2013). Field sketch by studio and field Chief Instructor A.E. Soto-Canino. Pencil and watercolor on handmade Kadhi paper rough. Field notes read: “Salvaged ship’s wheel, ‘African Queen,’ portrayed on deck of the Catfish Running on Aug 10, 2013, Okavango Delta, Botswana Africa.” The good vessel was a two-deck houseboat built by hand by our artist host.

    Where the Buffalo Roam (2013) Hemingway African Gallery, NY, USA. Field sketch by studio and field Senior Instructor Aaron S. Balavram. Ink and graphite on paper (9×12”).