Expressive Techniques in Painting

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  • with Donna Downey
  • LIVE Hybrid ONLINE workshop
  • Lincolnton, NC

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  • About

    Online Hybrid (Zoom) Painting 1-Day Workshop

    Expressive Techniques in Painting

    This hybrid LIVE ONLINE workshop focuses on techniques & processes for artists looking to grow and better develop their skills as expressive painters. 

    This course includes: 

  • 5 hours of LIVE class instruction with demos and real-time student/teacher feedback 
  • An additional Private 30 minute one-on-one Zoom mentor session
  • 12 instructional videos
  • ALL lessons done in both OIL & ACRYLIC
  • Full linkable Supplies List .pdf including suggested substitutions
  • 10 downloadable jpg images

  • Techniques taught:

    • Paint mixing: choosing colors for success
    • Develop monochromatic understanding of color and value
    • Working with tools that create loose expressive marks
    • Mediums for making acrylics look more like the texture of oils
    • Using a Sta-wet palette to extend the life of your paint mixes
    • Using value to intensify depth of color
    • Using stroke to create visual textures
    • Techniques for creating vibration and movement in your strokes
    • Catalyst Wedge vs. Paintbrush demos
    • Learn to be looser for bolder strokes
    • Develop contrast using warm and cool colors
    • Ditch the inner critic for the freedom of artistic expression


    Once registered you will have immediate access to:

    Advance Prep before workshop

      • Supplies list
    • IMAGE: paint tubes
          • VIDEO: Supplies 
          • Sketch downloads
            • IMAGE:Oil Demo (finished art)
      • IMAGE:Acrylic Demo (finished art)
      • IMAGE:Line Sketch (cardinal)
      • IMAGE:Color Sketch (cardinal)
      • IMAGE:Sketch Overlay
          • VIDEO: Using a Projector to Sketch 
          • Paint mixing video tutorials 
            • VIDEO:Acrylic paint mixing/p1 
            • VIDEO: Acrylic paint mixing/p2 
            • VIDEO: Oil paint mixing 

          First Session

          • Zoom (Live and session will be recorded)/ Welcome 
            • Introductions
            • Overview
            • Process instruction/Demos
              • Mapping in value
              • Shadow and light
              • Thin vs. thick applications
              • Using direction and size for more compelling marks
            • Developing shadow and light color
            • Make painting easier by mapping out value
            • Developing your stroke as an expressive tool
            • Using the catalyst wedge vs. paintbrush
            • Live one-on-one interaction and questions
            • Instructional videos
              • VIDEO: Mapping in Oil 
              • VIDEO:Mapping in Acrylic 

          Lunch Break

          Second Session

            • Zoom (LIVE and session will be recorded)/Blurring the lines
              • Insight into the Artist’s Creative Narrative
                • Beauty in the broken
                • Finding your “Why?”
              • Commit to your marks
              • Make your marks bolder
              • Making marks that impact movement
              • Strokes deliberate
              • Paint thicker using the mapped-in layer below as a guide
              • Make marks in different directions so that they vibrate off of each other
                • VIDEO: Building up layers in OIL 
                • VIDEO: Building up layers in ACRYLIC
                • Blur the line between the subject and the background
              • Be fearless!
              • Learn to correct marks that do not make you happy
              • "Destroy" the line between the red and the white
              • Live share 
              • Group Discussion
              • Individual Critiques
          • VIDEO: Blurring the lines in OIL 
          • VIDEO: Blurring the lines in ACRYLIC 

          •  Bonus Session/Independent Study

              • Bonus Lesson - Using up extra paint
                • Students will complete this assignment on their own
                • Making the most of your leftover paint
                  • VIDEO:Using leftover paint to create another painting 
                  • Example downloads
                    • IMAGE:Leftover OIL Painting 1
          • IMAGE:Leftover OIL Painting 2
          • IMAGE:Leftover ACRYLIC Painting 1
          • IMAGE:Leftover ACRYLIC Painting 2

          • Private one-on-one Follow-up 

            • Zoom (LIVE) one-on-one call
              • Everyone needs a little feedback and support. This private one-on-one mentor conversation is just for you the student and is personalized to what you need. Whether it is a follow-up check in, personal critique and/or feedback, this time is for you!
              • I know that schedules are all different. I will work to get each student locked into their mentor session shortly thereafter our live class sessions.

          About the teacher

          donna downey

          Donna Downey is an accomplished painter, bestselling author, instructor, and entrepreneur with a passion for nurturing the creative development of other artists. Her artist studio, located on 23 secluded, wooded acres in an idyllic setting has been an escape to many artists seeking to grow and fulfill their potential. Through her own endeavors, Inspiration to Action Retreats, mentorship opportunities, and creative development, she has helped foster the creativity and journey of countless artists. By applying proven methods and experiences, I seek to equip and empower artists to discover their full creative potential. Whether you are an accomplished artist or just beginning your creative journey, I invite you to join me and grow.

        • Frequently Asked Questions

          What airport do I fly into?

          Charlotte Douglas Airport in North Carolina

          Do I need to rent a car?

          We offer complimentary rides (at specified times) to and from the airport and shuttle you each day to the studio. For more info, click here.

          Where do I stay?

          You can either book a room at our new studio or get a special rate with one of our hotel partners.

          To book a room at our studio, email or call us at 704-240-8076 or For more info on rooms, click here.

          To book a room with a special rate with our hotel partner, see below:

          Quality Inn (located 2 miles from Donna Downey Studios)
          1550 E Main St, Lincolnton, North Carolina, 28092
          Phone: +1-623-432-0782
          Book Here

          Hampton Inn (located 2 miles from Donna Downey Studios)
          129 Roper Drive, Lincolnton, North Carolina, 28092
          Phone: +1-704-736-2000
          To register online for the special event rate, click here or call and use Donna Downey Studios corporate code 0002759994

          What is the cancellation policy?

          Purchased class spots are non-refundable. In the event that you cannot attend, and the workshop is sold out, please email to be put in contact with the first person on the waiting list. From there, the payment must be worked out between both parties. If there is no waiting list, we are unfortunately unable to provide any refund or credit.

          If you would like to enroll in a workshop that has been sold out,
          please send an email to and you will be put on a waiting list.
          Questions? Contact