Upcoming Workshops

The Sweetwater Center for the Arts is now closed. We will update you with online classes instead, if they become available.

Portrait class with Christine Swann

Location:  Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley PA.

8 weeks. All mediums welcome. This class will focus on understanding light, structures of the head and how to get better photo references to use as a basis for a portrait.

“Study with a Master” Series
“The Portrait in Pastel”

Location:  Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley, PA
All levels welcome
This is an intensive study of the head with a focus on understanding light and how to interpret the live model.
$425 Cost includes model fees.

Workshop in association with the Pastel Society of Central Florida.

The Power of Pastel/ Still Life
Information to come

The Law of Light Figure/Portrait
Information to come

Location: Leesburg Center for the Arts
429 West Magnolia St.,  Leesburg Florida

Attendees can take either two days or the entire 4 days of the workshop

Demo on October 10th


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

Follow Christine on social media!