Did you know that the word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin word for ‘sun stopping’? It’s no surprise that the summer solstice has been a significant event around the globe for centuries, marked by celebrations and tradition in many cultures.

In Australia the Summer Solstice will take place on December 22, this means the sun will track across the sky and reach its highest point, resulting in the longest day of the year.

We figured that one way to enjoy the extra daylight is to pick up a new hobby or learn new skills. The CAE has put together a short guide for easy and accessible courses and tours taking place this summer. These art focused short-courses and historical walking tours are the perfect way to make the most of the weather, learn about history and make new friends along the way.

Arts Courses:

Drawing: Beginners

Our drawing classes involve fun and challenging exercises that encourage students to develop their skills and personal style in a supportive learning environment. You will explore and develop some key concepts and skills involved in understanding and making drawings through a series of observational drawing exercises

Digital SLR Photography

Explore the possibilities of your digital SLR camera under the guidance of our expert photography teacher Ananda Sim. This photography course combines classroom based learning with practical shooting opportunities in one of Melbourne’s most iconic coffee precincts.

Watercolours: Intro

Enjoy a studio environment while you learn the basics of painting with watercolours. In this one-day class you will develop confidence in mixing colour and basic watercolour painting techniques including laying washes, colour glazing and lifting out.

Linocuts for Beginners

The art of print making is an exciting and varied one! Discover the basics in this two session course that explores block preparation, designing and transferring your image, carving techniques, paper handling and printing.

Needle Felting

Learn the basic techniques of needle felting, how to make three dimensional shapes, join shapes, add surface details and create unique little felted animal sculptures of your own design. We will work through the design process to teach you skills that will enable you to make virtually anything with needle felting.

Sip and Sketch Journal Cafe

Reveal your artistic side, wine in hand, as you develop sketching techniques in the relaxed, social setting of The Journal Café. Appropriate for all drawing skill levels, this sketching workshop covers simple perspective, composition, tone, shading and more.  Includes a glass of wine, shared nibbles and drawing materials.

Historical Walking Tours:

Melbourne’s Lanes & Arcades Twilight Christmas Tour

Join resident tour guide Isabel Simpson on this very-special Christmas tour! Participants will walk down cobblestone laneways, and enjoy arcades that showcase pristine late-Victorian architecture under the cities dazzling Christmas lights.

Melbourne’s Lanes & Alleyways

Popular tour guide Isabel Simpson will show you Melbourne city’s intriguing network of lanes and alleyways during this iconic walking tour. Commencing in Flinders Lane, you will zigzag across the city and see sites such as Oliver’s Lane, Alfred Place, plus lost sites like a 19th century garden.