Classical Realism – Oil or Pastel PA01

Class will be held at Sweetwater Center for the Arts, 200 Broad Street, Sewickley, PA 15143

DATES: April 3 – May 22, 2019
TIMES: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM (8 WEDNESDAYS)
AGES: 21+

Through demonstration and individual instruction, portrait artist Christine Swann will teach you the techniques that make a painting a timeless treasure through glazing. Understanding forms and the law of light will be studied. Still Lifes will be set up and attendees will have their choice of working in oil or pastel.

Click the link below for a list of materials, additional class details, and to REGISTER:

Upcoming Workshops

The following workshops are in Carnegie, PA. – 10 minutes from Pittsburgh.
To enroll please send an email to:

Color and Composition
March 30, 2019   3rd St Gallery, Carnegie PA

This is a design class to take control of your compositions with an intensive day of building images based on Armatures and Color Theory. This class is limited to 20 students. Don’t miss out, sign up today.

$125 per person

The Law of Light and the Figure
April 6-7, 2019    3rd St Gallery, Carnegie PA

Truly understand how light acts and the rules regarding it so any subject can be painted accurately. Nude models.
All levels/mediums welcome.

$295 per person

The Power of Pastel Workshop
July 25-27, 2019   Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley PA

Learn to control the pastel medium. Starting with a still life, attendees will learn about the complexities and rules of Light.  Then the last two days will be painting live models to understand construction and the planes of the head and how to construct a solid 3-D portrait.
All levels/mediums welcome.

$325 per person

About the Instructor

Christine is known for her powerful depictions of light in her portraits. She is able to teach a few workshops a year. This workshop focuses on better understanding and control of the medium while applying it to portraiture with an emphasis on understanding light. Her casual teaching style and personal attention make the workshops fun and yet challenging. This not a “demonstration in the morning” and then “do your own thing” the rest of the day” workshop!

So, conquer the fear of painting a portrait! Christine’s 5-layer approach to understanding light and controlling the “power” of the pastel medium will help artists create well-designed works of art. Working with a model, students will learn how to take better photo references and then begin working from them, adjusting to how to make a photo work as a reference for a painting while learning the differences between working from photos and from life. Extremely important when trying to capture children! The last day the models are brought back and paintings are finished from life. All levels welcome.


“As an adult beginner I have taken many courses at a well-known traditional art school in PA, and, in the past two years the few courses offered in pastels (typically taught by oil painters) and several out-of-state workshops. I got more out of this three-day workshop than any past class. It is immediately obvious that Christine has devoted several decades of observing and analyzing how pastels actually work in their multiple forms.

She moved the group through a logical sequence with an approach to composition, lighting, photographing, sketching a portrait, and the best use a live model. She attentively took us through her 5 layers of painting process over the three days. There was evidence even among the seasoned pastelists of one eye-opener after another under her guidance. She is a visionary. Not an overstatement.”

“The Power of Pastel workshop with Christine Swann completely resets the button on how to work with pastels.“

– Richard

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