FAQ (about courses)

Online Course Questions
(in-class questions listed at bottom of page)

What am I offering?

Online group art classes

Art classes will be similar to what I’ve been offering in the past, with the addition of some new topics! (To see what I taught in-person visit here.)

How the class runs depends on the topic, but this is generally what you can expect:
  • Course topic, outline, and materials are reviewed (this information will also be sent to students who registered before class starts).
  • Introduction to the online classroom and how to make sure it is a easy and fun learning experience!
  • Depending on the course. My video feed may switch to example visuals, documents and what I am calling my “demo camera”. My demo camera is another camera I have set up, that I can easily switch to, that is focused on my table top or easel. I will be giving live demonstrations from there.

Why are you using the Live online format?

I have decided to use a Live Online Format for a few reasons. The main one is to stay physically distanced and safe during these times. But also, because they are synchronous events. That is, we will meet virtually at scheduled times to watch my live demonstrations, participate, receive feedback and basically learn together in real-time. As always, my students can communicate with each other and with me during the class time. I believe this is the best way to simulate the regular in-person classroom environment! (Not to mention you can take the class in your comfy clothes, have snacks near by, and there’s no commute to class!)

How does this work?

I teach using Zoom, an online video conferencing tool. It is a free application.* Although you do not need an account with Zoom to join a class, you do need to download the application. If you can, try it yourself ahead of time (with the free plan) to become familiar with the application before class. Visit zoom.us and click ‘Sign Up’ OR download the app on your smart phone or tablet device.

Tips for online learning through Zoom:

  • Join your class a couple minutes early to ensure a proper connection. If you joined before the class officially starts you will be placed in a virtual “waiting room.” Just sit tight and the class will begin shortly!
  • Keep your Zoom application updated. (If you’ve had Zoom for a while, you may get a notification to update it the next time you use it.)
  • It is common practice to keep your microphone on mute. And un-mute when you want to speak. This makes sure no unexpected sound disruptions occur in class.
  • Wearing headphones/ear buds appears to help with audio.
  • Turn off your camera if your internet has a weak connection

How do I sign up for a class(s)?

Each course description will include the price, contact info, and a registration link. The link will direct you to the art center that I am working for – for that course. (The Ottawa School of Art, Dovercourt, and/or the City of Ottawa recreation and culture.) Follow that link to register. If you have any problems please contact the art center directly.

What if I sign in to start the class, but nothing happens?

  • Check if you are still connected to the internet. If you have a slow connection, give it some time.
  • If the problem persists, restart your computer (or phone/table device and try again.)
  • There is also a rare chance that perhaps the art center/instructor (me!) is either experiencing a very unexpected power failure or I have lost internet connection. Stay online/keep trying to join in and hopefully our system will be back online. If it persists I will email everyone to schedule a make up lesson.

What do you need to participate in your online classes?

  • Internet connection
  • PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android phone/tablet device
  • Some basic art supplies (which will be listed in my course descriptions)
  • A nice spot at your place to sit down and make some art!

What kind of at home set up will provide the best learning experience?

  • Because these are art lessons, the bigger the screen the better. If possible, I would shy away from using your phones to join the lessons.
  • For traditional art lessons, have some decent table space and a comfortable chair to watch your lesson from.
  • For digital art lessons, you will need to have access to a desktop computer or laptop/notebook, mouse, and keyboard. If possible, having two screens is helpful. One to watch the lesson and another to follow along with.

I sometimes have “bad” internet, what should I do? Here are some tips:

  • Make sure no one else is downloading/streaming content on your home network
  • Keep your video off. You can always turn it on temporarily if you want to show your instructor or your classmates your work.
  • If you know there are parts of your house that has better internet connection than other parts, I suggest you set up your work space there.

Do I have to show my face or speak during the class?

You do not need to, but it is recommended. Most laptops, smartphones, tablets, and some desktops have a built-in camera and microphone already. Or you can use an external webcam connected to your computer. Having the ability to hear and see each other adds to the learning experience in a positive way. Students can easily share how their art is doing and ask questions. It helps me to gauge how you and the class are doing, so that I can deliver an enjoyable learning experience. It is especially helpful for certain classes where I divide the class up into short discussion groups.

However, you can always simply watch the lesson and follow along at home. There is a chat function for those who are not able to, or don’t want to use the audio/video options. And if the internet connection is slow, I may temporarily turn off student video to aid in the delivery of information.

What are you doing to make sure the Zoom class is secure?

I’ve gotten into the practice of using the suggested settings to prevent the security problems: Using a unique ID room # and password (that are not made public – they are sent via email after people register), enabling a waiting room, limit share screen capabilities, confirming names (class attendance)…

Where do I get art supplies?

I am aware supplies may be hard to come by right now, so I’ve tried my best to keep our material requirements low and as simple as possible. If you need to make any purchases, below is a list places where you can currently get arts supplies. If you feel you don’t have even the bare minimum, please email me and we’ll try to figure something out.
Note: check each store to see what their options are first (delivery/curbside pick up/in-store shopping and any reported delivery delays…as things keep changing)

In-Class Course Questions

What do I need to bring on my first day of class?

Your course outline will specify what materials you will need on the first day. If you did not receive one, please contact the school you registered with. All additional materials will also be listed on the outline, but if you are unsure, I will review all materials needed for the rest of your course on the first lesson.

I want to take a class, but I might be away for a lesson or more, should I still register?

Although I recommend that you never miss a class, this is not always possible. I will try my best to send you supplementary materials for lessons missed upon your request. Also check the course outline first to see if the day, or days you are missing is something important to you or not. Depending on the course you register in, this might help you find your answer.

Where can I get art supplies in Ottawa?

Here is a list of some places that sell art supplies: