Upcoming Zoom Workshops 2021 

-Filling Fast!- 

Portrait Workshops  

April 21 and 23rd with the Maryland Pastel Society 

10am-12pm,  lunch break, then 1pm – 4pm

Learn the system of finding a likeness quickly with the “ThIrds of the Head” methodology. NO more remembering the “math” dividing up the head.  It doesnt’ work– because we are all different! Then the afternoon will focus on Light- understanding it,  seeing it and painting it.  The LAW. The rules. Ever wonder if you have errors in your work from working from photos?  Now you will absolutely know…This class will apply to any subject matter, but I will be teaching how light acts across the complex topography of the head.

Then on Day 2 we hit the  good stuff….This class is about understanding the pastel medium. Learn my philosophy of the “Power of Pastel.” Take control of this medium and master those dusty sticks. Know when to use which brand. Know which pastels play nice with each other and which do not.  This workshop is for the artist that is used to pastels and has many sticks already but needs to understand them better.  I promise, you will never look at your sticks the same way again. And color? oh yes, let’s talk.

*** Must already possess a wide variety of pastels. No specific brands needed, just pencils and wide variety of pastels from different companies. (which most pastellists tend to collect!) $300 for 2 days payable through PayPal 

 Email Christine at christine@swannportraits.com to register


 ZOOM ZOOM!!! Online Workshops 

 “Take Control of Any Painting” Workshops

I believe in the 3 ‘C’s” of painting…Composition, Color and Control. This knowledge applies to every medium and to every subject.  

Join me for my next 2 zoom workshops in June. 


Wednesday, June 23rd 

10am-12pm,  lunch break, then 1pm – 4pm

Learn the dynamics of diagonals and how to implement the Pythagorean Theory of Harmonic Divisions of the Rectangle.  This system was used by masters for centuries to control their compositions. Vermeer, Sargent, Degas, Valesquez…..Find out why composing a painting can be like music and based on “good math” but with no measuring. Promise! 

$150. Reserve a spot at christine@swannportaits.com



Friday, June 25th 

10am-12pm,  lunch break, then 1pm – 4pm

Everything you need to know to understand color.  Hue families, chroma, color sensitivity and how to set up color harmonies. Go beyond using only  “complimentary” colors  and truly master the color wheel. Color is also like music- find your song!

$150 Reserve a spot at christine@swannportaits.com

“Study with a Master” Series
“The Portrait in Pastel”. CANCELLED- to be rescheduled soon.  

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.


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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