creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization







Five individual four-week remotely-instructed classes (four Wednesday evenings each) focusing on
the most essential skills and knowledge to serve the beginning or novice painter.

Try one, or take them all!


Painting Essentials

Series Instructor: Samantha Haring, Manifest Resident Instructor

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.” – John Ruskin

For any creative with a basic awareness of drawing and a curiosity about color, understanding the mechanics of painting doesn’t have to be intimidating. Learning how to paint can be as simple as learning the quirks of a new material. Painting Essentials is a series of classes designed to walk you through the basics of painting, from preparing surfaces and drawing with paint to developing a more nuanced eye for color, edges, and composition.

This series is ideal for beginning students with some drawing experience who want to start painting. Whether you’re picking up a brush for the first time, or looking to refine your skills after a studio sabbatical, Painting Essentials is the perfect place to start. This 5-class series offers a foundation in basic observational painting practices and techniques, in a continued effort to unite the hand, the head, and the heart.

You may sign up for any class within the series individually, as a “refresher” on a specific topic, or you can register for the entire series as a whole for a significant discount.

This is an online class. Instruction will be given through a combination of live video (Zoom) group sessions and emailed individual correspondence. Samantha will email a connection link and course info to all registered participants before class starts. You’ll need an internet connection and a computer or tablet with a webcam to participate.

Series Instructor: Samantha Haring, Manifest Resident Instructor


Individual 4-week Classes: $185

Full Series Price: (all 5 courses): $700 (a discount of $45 per class!)

Course Schedule: Wednesdays 6-9pm

Minimum Enrollment: 3   (max: 12)

Level: All levels are welcome. Painting Essentials is geared towards beginners (even those who’ve never picked up a brush) and those wishing to brush up on their basic painting skills. Each class will feature short demonstrations, specific lessons, and individual feedback for each student. Painting is a practice that has a far reach, and whether your artistic goals are for pleasure or profession, we believe that making art is one of the best ways to appreciate the world more deeply.


Instructor Bio:
Samantha Haring is a Midwest painter from Des Plaines, Illinois. She makes quiet paintings that discuss the nature of loss and the inherent duality of absence and presence. Haring earned her MFA from Northern Illinois University (2014) and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011). She has also studied in Italy at the International School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture; it was there that she fully developed her commitment to light, color, and observational painting. Haring’s work has been shown nationally, most recently in Chicago, Cincinnati, and New York. Her work is published in issues #119 and #123 of New American Paintings, as well as the Manifest International Painting Annuals 4 and 5. She was one of the 2015–2016 Manifest Artists in Residence, and has been Resident Instructor at the Drawing Center since 2016. In addition to teaching at Manifest Drawing Center, Haring is a Drawing Instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP).



2023 Schedule
4 Meetings Per Course: Wednesdays 6-9pm

(See full descriptions in Essentials menu below.)

COURSE SCHEDULE (links to course details)

Painting from the Ground Up
            January 4 – 25
            Registration Deadline: January 1, 2023

Shining the Light on Painting - Value and Composition
            February 1 – 22
            Registration Deadline: January 29, 2023

Color Basics - Temperature and Limited Palettes
            March 8 – 29
            Registration Deadline: March 5, 2023

Painting on the Cutting Edge – Boundaries and Transitions
            April 5 – 26
            Registration Deadline: April 2, 2023

Surface Play
            May 3 – 24
            Registration Deadline: April 30, 2023


LOCATION: Unless otherwise specified, all courses are hosted at Manifest's new facility at 'M1' in Clifton at 3464 Central Parkway (see map and directions below). Manifest's new facility provides multiple studio classrooms, private lesson space, a darkroom, a film processing room, and a multi-purpose lecture and class meeting space as well as on-site parking, grounds, and exterior spaces in which to relax, discuss, and make art. The studios are outfitted with professional equipment, furniture, and study aids.


Map to Manifest's M1 Studios   |   Studio Calendar   |   Darkroom Calendar

What people are saying about the online format...

“Sam’s thoughtful curriculum design provides nice continuity to her Drawing Essentials content… the online format allowed Samantha to easily integrate art history, philosophy and critical analysis into her content presentations. Our class discussions were made so much richer by her knowledge of art and artists. Examples of paintings are easy to pull up online in the moment, easy for viewers to see details highlighted with the cursor, making each discussion well-rounded and elevated. I have learned so much!”

-Cindy S.Y.


“This class has provided a more profound engagement for me as a studios-to-studios class than I would have experienced in a traditional class setting. While many of us in this class have floated around one another in pre-COVID classes, we coalesced into a cohort of beginning artists through alchemy (or perhaps careful mentoring) to riff off one another. The Zoom sessions have allowed the cohort to participate in a more intimate mode with one another’s critique time with the instructor and share our building studio practices over the past season. I do not have screenshots, but I think I have seen everyone’s Zoom time go from kitchen tables to studios to canvas-covered studio walls… The virtual classroom removes the logistical barriers of getting to and from class, carrying supplies, and trying to listen and see the critiques of our fellow students from the distance of our easels.  At the base of its experience, the virtual classroom has shown me that creativity is where you are when you are.”

-Bill O.  






January 5 – 26
Registration Deadline:
Sunday, January 2, 2022

The first step in learning to paint is becoming familiar with the materials. In this section, we start from the ground up: preparing different surfaces, drawing with paint, and tonal painting techniques. Start your journey as a painter here with what you already know about drawing!
Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to fundamental materials
  • How to stretch a canvas, and other surface preparations
  • Drawing with paint
  • Open and closed grisaille painting

Materials List: (link to pdf)


February 2 – 23
Registration Deadline:
Sunday, January 30, 2022

It’s all about light and shadow. Mixing clean colors and controlling your values is an important skill for any painter. Here you’ll gain greater familiarity with how to manipulate paint on a variety of surfaces, while exploring the power of light in composition.

Topics Covered:

  • Tonal paintings
  • Exploration of light and value relationships
  • Local value of color

Materials List: (link to pdf)



March 2 – 23
Registration Deadline:
Sunday, February 27, 2022

Color is painting’s most powerful element of design, and it can be the most challenging to master. Through a variety of guided exercises, you’ll build your color confidence and increase the clarity of your color mixtures.

Topics Covered:

  • Color mixing and color relativity     
  • Limited palette paintings
  • Creating unified color worlds
  • Sensitive lines

Materials List: (link to pdf)


April 6 – 27
Registration Deadline:
Sunday, April 3, 2022

Painting is all about edges – color next to color, shape next to shape, figure next to ground. Whether you prefer high contrast and crisp boundaries, or soft atmosphere and gentle transitions, here you’ll learn to control and modulate your edges.

Topics Covered:

  • Color spot painting
  • Modulating edges
  • Exploration of various mark-making tools

Materials List: (link to pdf)




Lennart Anderson

Samantha Haring

May 4 – 25
Registration Deadline:
Sunday, May 1, 2022

There’s a reason that painters choose paint over any other material. The painted surface offers so much potential for creative expression – from thin watery washes to thick, crusty impasto, from hyperrealistic renderings to playful abstractions. Explore different surface textures while reveling in the painterliness of the paint, and learn how to make this material work for you.

Topics Covered:

  • Glazing and scumbling
  • Alla prima techniques
  • Palette knife painting
  • Alternative and experimental processes

Materials List: (link to pdf)


 Josephine S. Russell
Charitable Trust, PNC Bank Trustee

Manifest is supported by sustainability funding from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about Manifest's mission for the visual arts.

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tues-fri 12-7pm, sat noon-5pm
closed on sun-mon

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2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map (m1)
3464 Central Parkway
cincinnati, ohio 45223



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