The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna is offering classes as of late and I was lucky enough to manage to get into one of the first classes: "Mal was anderes..." a play on the word "malen - paint" and "mal - once".
We had 6 evenings where during the first three we got the chance to look at a painting (without reading it's title or description), then in the studio we talked about the composition, light, color, what did we see, what situation could it repressent, sketching relationships, dividing into areas, finding centers, both geometric and for the action, then we were told what the painting represented, discussed the story behind the painting, what and how the painter told the story. Afterwards we painted or drew, one or more paintings, whatever technique or material we wanted to use. At the end of the evening we laid out our works, tried to find groups, discussed how each of us brought his or her own view to the theme.
Salmakis - a quick sketch of the whole painting. Salmakis - just the figure.
The return of the lost son. I loved the way the arms and hands were the center of the painting and I tried to capture this in indian ink. The last three evenings we either got a copy of a part of a painting (first in color, the second in b/w) and on the last evening our teacher only discribed the painting in words. Then we were free to work. At the end of the evening we went up to the painting, had a chance to look at it in depth, discuss it and then we went down to the studio and again analysed our own work. The painting above is the result of the b/w part of a painting by Rubens, where he shows the moment Maria is told about being chosen as Mother of Jesus.
This class was absolutely fascinating and I would have loved to have more evenings than just 6!