From watercolor painting to the basics of motorcycling, find yourself a new hobby with these course offerings in Northern Virginia.
Back to school doesn’t just have to be about the kids. These quirky classes will reignite your love of learning—no tests required!
Bob Ross Painting Course
Sept. 20-22, times vary
“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents,” so goes the popular refrain of mesmerizing artist Bob Ross. The PBS television personality showed off his talent for painting trees and other landscapes on his show, The Joy of Painting, for more than a decade in the ’80s and ’90s, and now, in tandem with the first solo exhibit of Bob Ross paintings on the East Coast, Franklin Parks Arts Center in Purcellville is offering a Bob Ross painting course, led by a certified international instructor. Just like in the beloved show, paint an 11×14 masterpiece with step-by-step assistance. The exhibition runs Sept. 10 to Oct. 15. // Franklin Parks Arts Center: 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville; $75 (materials included)
Sept. 8, 4-6 p.m
But first, coffee. Join the genial staff at Caffe Amouri for an interesting evening of coffee education. Participants will be treated to a wide variety of delectable caffeinated drinks from all across the globe—and learn about the unique java traditions from France to Finland and Morocco. Afterward, each attendee will receive a gift card to try some of the in-house favorites. // Caffe Amouri Coffee Roaster: 107 Church St. NE, Vienna; $45
Jumpstart in Fashion Illustration
Sept. 14-15, times vary
Karlie Kloss, the Hadid sisters and Cara Delevingne heat up the catwalks and your Instagram feed—but who’s dressing them? Pick up the skills you need to become the next big thing in the fashion industry with this Jumpstart in Fashion Illustration weekend course at the Art League. Spend two sessions studying the anatomy of the fashion figure while learning how to draw them in different poses. // Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; $200
Basic Motorcycling Rider Course
Sept. 6-8, 13-15 & 20-22, times vary
Embrace your wild side and learn how to ride a hog with a basic motorcycle rider course, sponsored by the Virginia Rider Training Program, the DMV and Northern Virginia Community College. Spend 15 hours learning the skills required to get out on the road; participants who complete the program will receive a temporary state motorcycle license—before riding off into the sunset. // Available on NOVA CC Alexandria and Loudoun campuses; $150
Rock Band for Adults
Sept. 21-Nov. 3
Let’s rock! You’re never too old to learn how to jam with your friends. Levine Music offers an eight-week Rock Band for Adults class for students with at least one year of experience on their chosen instrument, that covers topics like chart reading, improvisation and performance skills. The class culminates in a live performance with your newly formed band. High school music class was never like this. // Levine Music VA Campus Westover: 1125 N. Patrick Henry Drive, Arlington; $309