Drawing & Painting

Drawing and Painting Workshops at Penland


Penland School of Craft offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week workshops taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include oil painting, watercolor, encaustic, life drawing, charcoal and pencil drawing, color theory, composition, abstract art, and much more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

NOTE: Many aspects of Penland workshops will be altered for 2021 because of the pandemic, but we’re moving ahead with optimism and care. Before you apply, please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. And know that, if conditions force us to cancel workshops, you’ll get a full refund on your payment.

Drawing & Painting Summer Session 1
May 23 – June 3, 2021
Julie Snidle
Encaustic and Mixed Media

This workshop will give you a safe and thorough foundation for painting with the fascinating medium of encaustic with plenty of time to explore its possibilities. We’ll begin with a brief history and then cover safety, tools, materials, painting, and fusing. Daily demonstrations will focus on technique and wax’s special characteristics, such as opacity, temperature, adhesion, and texture. Techniques will include collage, transfers, and combining oil and wax. And we’ll venture outside in search of nature’s inspiration, tools, and stamps. This workshop will also cover studio setup, framing, and presentation of work. All levels. 

Studio artist; teaching: International Encaustic Conference (MA); core support artist educator for R&F Handmade paints, artistic ambassador for Ampersand Art Panels; exhibitions: Marin MOCA (CA), The Painting Center (NYC); representation: Kolman & Pryor Gallery (Minneapolis).


abstract composition in shades of peach, blue-grey, and white
Julie Snidle, "Moment of Truth," encaustic on panel, 24 x 24 inches
Drawing & Painting Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Harriet Hoover
Stretch It, Flip It, Reverse It

This workshop will give artists from all disciplines an opportunity to bust open their studio practice while stretching the endpoints of drawing. With an emphasis on play, process, and experimentation, we’ll use chance-based prompts to forage patterns, discover spatial relationships, make marks, and create works that extend past the flat surface. We’ll work the spectrum of scale and materials, starting with mark making and moving from the studio into the environment. Expect to use your whole body to generate large works while also making pocket-sized drawings of your day. All levels.

Studio artist, teacher at Wake Technical Community College (NC); North Carolina Arts Council fellowship; exhibitions: Weatherspoon Art Museum (NC), Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, LIGHT Art + Design (NC).


graphic composition of black and white stripes with pops of color
Harriet Hoover, "Check this Aura," gouache, ink, sewn paper on vinyl and paper, 
51 x 38 inches
Drawing & Painting Summer Session 3
June 20 – July 1, 2021
Brandon Donahue 
Air + Brush = Ing

This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of airbrushing, including control of the double-action airbrush, the use of stencils, color blending, shading and highlighting, rat-tail strokes, freehand techniques, drills, and tips. We’ll also cover different types of airbrushes, air sources, safety, preparation, and airbrush media. Airbrushing on different media will be highly encouraged! This workshop will be excellent training for everyone from absolute beginners to professionals wanting to fine-tune their skills. All levels.

Studio artist working in painting, assemblage, and sculpture; teaching: University of Tennessee, University of Maryland, Arrowmont (TN), Penland; David C. Driskell Center residency (MD); exhibitions: David Lusk Gallery (Memphis, Nashville), Elephant Gallery (Nashville), Frist Museum (Nashville), 13th Annual Havana Biennial (Cuba); representation: David Lusk Gallery.


Brandon Donahue, "Legos (Jayda)," airbrushed acrylic and spray paint on concrete, 15 x 10 feet
Drawing & Painting Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Steve Johnson
Drawing Inspiration from the Figure

This workshop will explore the processes and materials used in traditional and nontraditional figure drawing. Students will work from the nude model, learning basic-to-advanced drawing techniques with wet and dry materials and experimenting with a variety of papers, tools, and media. Individual meetings will help students define their artistic goals and advance their problem-solving skills. We’ll also spend time sketching outdoors and gathering inspiration from Penland’s beautiful grounds. All levels.

Associate professor at College of Charleston (SC); Fulbright-Nehru Teaching Fellowship, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop residency (NYC); exhibitions: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (SC), Blackburn 20/20 (NYC), 111 Minna Gallery (San Francisco); collections: Library of Congress (DC), Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.


Steve Johnson, "Interweave," graphite on paper, 66 x 55 inches
Drawing & Painting Summer Session 5
July 18 – August 2, 2021
Timothy Maddox
Sign Painting

This workshop will explore the lettering, materials, and design that help define the art of sign painting. Students will learn to draw and paint many different letter styles, explore the use of different lettering brushes, choose the best brushes, tools, and materials for each project, and develop a stronger understanding of composition and color for all types of signs. We’ll mix traditional sign painting education with flexibility and fun through presentations, demonstrations, lots of practice, and individual projects. We’ll cover topics such as gold leaf signs, wall signs, and window signs depending on student interest. Whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced sign painter, this workshop will be an exciting way to engage in the history and practice of this once-disappearing art form. All levels.

Sign painter, owner of Mighty Fine Signs (Portland, OR); teaching: Penland (NC), Arrowmont (TN); Windgate fellowship.


Timothy Maddox, "Random Lettering Sheets," alkyd poster paint, matte board, each sheet: 22 x 14 inches
Drawing & Painting Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
Leigh Suggs
Changing Perspective: Experimenting with Paper

This workshop is about changing your approach to paper. We’ll explore ways to transform paper—both technically and conceptually—into more than just a flat surface. Students will use simple tools to turn basic sheets into sculptural forms by cutting, folding, collaging, weaving, and using a variety of 3-d paper constructions. We’ll use natural and synthetic papers and create samples that will introduce you to the nuances of the material. There will be daily demonstrations, discussions of contemporary work, and time for experimentation. All levels. Note: this is not a hand papermaking workshop. 

Studio artist; teaching: Virginia Commonwealth University, Arrowmont (TN), Penland; exhibitions: Penland Gallery, Racine Art Museum (WI), Weatherspoon Museum (NC), Taubman Museum (VA); collections: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke College (VA); representation: Reynolds Gallery (VA).


Intricately cut vanishing pattern on blue paper
Leigh Suggs, "On Our Way," handcut acrylic on Yupo, 36 x 36 inches
Drawing and Painting – Fall One-Week Session
September 19-25, 2021
Hollie Chastain
Exploring Paper Art and Collage

Collage is a vast and playful medium with unlimited options for exploration. In this workshop we’ll experiment with a variety of substrates and adhesives and combine them with techniques such as painting and mark-making, adding embroidery and woven paper elements, and template building. You’ll leave with several finished pieces, but most of the time will be spent experimenting and gathering skills, inspiration, and techniques to carry forth into your own paper art and collage practice. All levels. 

Studio artist, illustrator; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Squam Art Workshops (RI); exhibitions: The Arts Company (Nashville), Kentuck Art Center (Tuscaloosa); publications: Create Magazine, Colossal, Gestalten Books; author of If You Can Cut You Can Collage (Quarto Press); representation: dk Gallery (GA), Chauvet Arts (TN). 

holliechastain.com | @holliechastain

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

collage by Hollie Chastain
Hollie Chastain, Psychopomp 1, paper collage, 8 x 8 inches
Drawing and Painting – Fall Weekend Session
October 22-24, 2021
Lara Call Gastinger
Discovering a Landscape Through Drawing

How do you immerse yourself in and capture the beauty of a new landscape? This weekend workshop will delve into making discoveries and seeing plants with new eyes by drawing with a pen and using watercolor to enrich the drawings. Students will go home with a treasured accordion nature journal depicting the inspiring plants and landscape of Penland. The skills learned will be adaptable for use in any travel or perpetual journal. All levels. 

Botanical artist and illustrator; two Royal Horticultural Society Botanical Art Show gold medals (London); numerous American Society of Botanical Illustrators (ASBA) exhibitions; illustrations published in Flora of Virginia, Peterson’s Field Guide to Mushrooms, ASBA’s Botanical Art Techniques Handbook.

laracallgastinger.com | @laragastinger


This workshop begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and workshop activities will end at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday; students are welcome to stay through Monday morning. Monday breakfast will be the last meal provided; please plan to depart campus by 10:00 a.m.

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

Lara Gastinger, Fal Perpetual Journal, pen and watercolor on paper, 9 x 11 inches
Lara Gastinger, Fal Perpetual Journal, pen and watercolor on paper, 9 x 11 inches