Online Course Questions
(in-class questions listed at bottom of page)
What am I offering?
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 normally teach when schools are open visit here.)
While private lessons can be tailor made to meet your needs (it can be for one student or for your family or group of friends).
- Lesson starts with a demonstration on how to use the Zoom application for our purposes.
- Topic and materials are reviewed (this information will be sent to students who registered before class starts).
- 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 will this work?
I will be 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.
*Your instructor (me!) has purchased a paid version of the application so that we have access to extra things and longer class times for our lessons! Again, students join Zoom for free!
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.
How do I sign up for a class(s)?
Each course description will include the price and a registration link. Many 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.
(For my independent classes, the registration link will direct you to my art classes registration form. Fill that out and then make an e-transfer (Canadian banking institutions only) to
Once your payment has been processed, you will be sent the link and password used to join your class.)
How do I sign up for a private lesson(s)?
To schedule a private lesson, email me 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 instructor (me!) is either experiencing a very unexpected power failure or I have lost my internet connection. Keep trying to join in for a bit and hopefully my system will be back online. If it persists past 30 minutes we will schedule a make up time.
What do you need to participate in your online classes?
- Decent 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 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, lock meeting once the session is underway… If you use Zoom currently, please make sure you are taking the necessary precautions. Zoom has made announcements that they are ramping up their security and I am trying my best to stay up to date with this stuff!
Where do I get art supplies?
- Wallacks: https://wallacks.com/
- Deserres: https://www.deserres.ca/en/ottawa
- Staples: https://www.staples.ca/
- Michaels: https://canada.michaels.com/
- The papery: http://papery.ca/
- The gifted type: https://www.thegiftedtype.com/collections/stationery-2
- Walmart: https://www.walmart.ca/en
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:
- Ottawa School of art (for basic drawing and paper supplies)
- Select Fine Art Materials
- Michaels (use those coupons!)
- Walmart (has basic painting and drawing supplies)
- Staples (has basic painting and drawing supplies)
- Marshals (sometimes has some hidden art supply gems)
- Chapters Indigo (sketchbooks)