Events & Classes


Thank you for your interest in taking art lessons for yourself or for your youth!  Perhaps you are interested in attending an art show or other event!  My art lessons are kind and inclusive with an emphasis on personal advancement.  I have been instructing art for over 26 years and am a board member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists. You can be assured that the instruction you receive is rooted in the tradition of the masters while upholding a Mother’s instincts for the natural progression of learning!   You may be glad to know that I am also a current and active Girl Scout Leader and have been for over 10 years now.  The girls in my oldest troop (64146) ALL earned their Girl Scout Gold Awards and my Cadette Troop (64171) have earned their Silver Awards and are currently working towards their Gold Award Projects!    Nothing could be more rewarding than sharing the joy of art and creative discovery with others!  Sign up today!

Parent Testimony:

“Evan has been busy sketching since he left you. I can’t believe how much he has improved! Thank you for sharing your gift.” Traci Elliott July 2018

“Hi ShawnaLee, I just had to share that Maddie did a wonderful charcoal of a friends dog and gave it as a wedding gift! Thank you for inspiring her…. Thanks, Amy”  Blais July 2018

During the 4th of July  at the MRA, I was treated to an update from a parent of a student from several years ago when I taught through parks and recreation.   “My daughter is showing her art work in Greenwich now (2019) and did very well in her High school AP Art classes!  She attributes her time spent in your classes for giving her the art foundation that has supported her continued success in art!”  Father of Rachel Ali

Please scroll down to see all of the events & Art Lessons available! I update this frequently, so please stop by often!  If there is something that you would like to see, or if you have more questions, please send me an email! I look forward to hearing from you!

NEW!  ZOOM Art Classes:

In response of our need to be socially safe!!!!  See “Zoom” Classes below! I will be adding more classes and lesson opportunities soon!  Let me know what you’d like to see and what times are good for you! 


Private Art lessons are perfect for any artist wishing to improve their skills. Lessons  are catered specifically to your strengths and learning style.  ShawnaLee has been providing students with the gift of a strong Fine-arts foundation that will serve them well throughout their lives for nearly 30 years!  So much More than just busy work, ShawnaLee will provide real instruction that you can benefit from immediately.  Sign up today! or

Private Lessons/consultation:  Starting $50/hour.   During our current epidemic, private are lessons will be via Zoom.  Classes may be held at ShawnaLee’s private art studio, Co-Worker Hub or other agreed to location within the Middlebury area.  A materials list will be provided upon registration & payment. 

WEDNESDAY Youth AFTER-SCHOOL ART SERIES: Suitable for youth ages 8 – 18*

Due to Covid-19 – this class will be modified -by being taught outdoors and online for inclement weather days. (I am working hard to finish my basement art studio that has 4 outdoor openings for ample ventilation for use as the weather gets colder.) 

Taught Wednesdays after-school.  Sign up for Fall, Winter, or Spring. Each session is 10 weeks. 4:30-5:30pm 

Class space is limited; starts September 16th 2020. Currently there are 2 openings.

Fall, Winter & Spring into art through the joy of drawing & painting while utilizing a variety of quality artists materials.  Warm-ups will consist of each season’s ever changing natural bounty of beauty followed by projects inspired by your artist!  Students will be guided through the artistic process according to each individual’s needs & abilities. Classes will begin with a warm-up “quick-sketch” of a still life, and then transition into varied projects including a few seasonal “surprises”.  Older and more advanced students (as well as continuing students) will gain experience learning how to see and think like an artist through time-tested exercises coupled with projects that offer the opportunity to put their skills to use. Improved observation skills and memory will go far beyond art class and spill over into every subject at school. Lessons will develop the artists eye and hand while exposing students to varied art materials and practices.  Students love this class and develop a strong artistic camaraderie!  Enrollment is limited. Students will be encouraged to enter local shows.    Class policies are listed at the bottom of this webpage. 

I will share that we have a cat that believes she has an important greeting role for my art students. If your youth isn’t comfortable, I will help “Miss Beauty”  find something else to do so that your artist is comfortable.  Hand sanitizer will be available for immediate use as needed.

Pandemic Portraiture Art


Seven students ages 11 through 15 participated in a special art lesson program supported by an Artist’s Respond Grant from the State of CT over the summer of 2020.  See their artwork created in ShawnaLee’s class!

See the Grant Program Virtual Art Show!

October 2020:

Howl-O-Ween Art Class with ShawnaLee

Thursday October 29th 2020

4-5:30 pm

$20 Sign up here!  limited seats! 

Howl-O-Ween is coming! Grab your art pencils and join professional portrait artist, ShawnaLee, for a fun Howl-O-Ween drawing class on Zoom!  Learn methods of drawing and rich artist techniques while immediately using your new skills in spook-tacular ways as you follow along.  We’ll learn to sketch ghosts, spiders, pumpkins, and all sorts of spookerific creatures while incorporating sound artistic  practices into our works!  Creativity is encouraged in addition to sharpening your observation skills!    You’ll end up with a collage of howl-tastic-sketches!  Sharing and discussion will be encouraged as we enjoy the creative side of art! 

A link to join the art class will be sent one hour before class starts. Be sure to have Zoom on your device and “join the waiting room” 10 minutes before class starts.

Suggested art materials:

graphite pencils such as a 4B; kneaded eraser & vinyl eraser; drawing or sketch paper.


The Ridgefield Suffragist Portrait Project Dedication will be October 20th at 11am.  Watch for details to watch on Facebook Live. 

Left: ShawnaLee’s Oil Painting Portrait of Amy Escribano. Below, the collection of powerful portraits of women in honor of the suffrage movement.









  • The Gallery at Still River Editions  “Wish You Were Here”.  The exhibition will run from June 13th through the September 25th, 2020.

Drawing Portraits with ShawnaLee

Drawing Portraits with ShawnaLee

Three weeks: Thursdays 11/5-11/19/2020

6:30-8pm via Zoom


Do you Love to draw portraits, but know you are missing some really important information to make them better? in less time? Or is this something you’ve always wanted to learn? Or perhaps you are an art student or AP art student and want to improve your portfolio?

In this 3 week course, you will learn important pencil drawing techniques, proportions and artist tips for measuring, gain experience practicing, be guided through the process, watch demonstrations, and learn specific tools for observing the eyes, nose, mouth, ears and hair of a portrait.

Students will benefit from individual attention throughout the course. Critiques are constructive and caring as they should be!

Class will be held Thursday evenings starting November 5th from 6:30- 8pm via zoom and ends November 19th 2020.

An invitation to join will be sent to all registered artists one hour before the start of the first class. Be sure to have zoom uploaded to your device and test your system prior to class.

Suggested Art Materials/supplies:

  • A collection of drawing pencils of your preference in either Graphite or Charcoal:
  • (H, 2B, 4B, 6B); kneaded eraser, vinyl eraser, sketch or drawing paper sized 11×14 & up (as you prefer), a mirror large enough for you to see your own head and shoulders.
  • photographs of people for referencing.

For more information on classes, policies, or questions: classes/events


email the instructor at:




Watch for Exciting New Classes to be offered!

I am always bubbling with new inspiration and want to expand the types of classes offered!  Please tell me what would be exciting for you to take!!!!!




















NEW to Portraits by ShawnaLee: NOTECARDS of Lake Quassy!!!!
On Sale Now through September 30th 2020!

Surprise your College Student with a beautiful Card from home! These cards are awesome for sending to college as an exciting perk in your student’s mailroom AND they double as room decorations & conversation pieces! Can you guess which ones were of Tyler’s Cove? or where at the MRA the others were painted from? Individual Notecards are $5 Set of Four: $20 Set of Eight: $30 Full Set of Twelve: $40 Safe Pick up at Artist’s Middlebury CT art Studio. These lovely notecards are Exclusively available only through the artist! GET YOURS NOW! Each Folded Notecard is 4.25 x 5.5″ and are $5/each. Buy one, four, eight, or ALL Twelve! Shipping, if needed, is an additional fee.



Invite ShawnaLee to your Troop to teach art lessons on the foundations of drawing skills including a dynamic drawing demonstration.  The Lesson can be catered to any lesson badge / group interest (e.g., animals, horses, outdoors, etc.).  Scout Discount:  $10 per Scout (min. $50/hr.)  Cost includes materials. Your Art Lesson may end with a makeshift “lantern campfire” and pep talk if you wish.  Classes are about 1 1/2 hours in length.

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Interested in an art class? Private Lessons?

QUALITY art lessons for your hard earned dollars.  Your class will be catered to your needs and goals for your artistic endeavors.  My lessons begin with learning techniques and then transition to learning how to apply the learned skills in a way that leaves you empowered with the media.  I will explain, demonstrate and draw/paint you through the process in an enjoyable way while we share life, pets & artsy stories!  My demonstrations will be short to allow you the opportunity to see and try for yourself immediately.   I will also allow you the personal space to explore your new skills..  Many times I will have finished works of art to share as examples for lively group discussion.  

I look forward to sharing the joy and discovery of art with you! 

ZOOM classes are currently being offered.

Email me today! Thanks!


Portraits by ShawnaLee / Art Lessons follow the following policy guidelines as listed below:

Refund Policy – All refunds must be requested one week prior to the first class day.  No refunds will be honored after the class/course has begun except in medical situations with doctor’s note.  There are no make-ups, refunds or credits for missed regularly scheduled classes.  Refunds are subject to a $10 administrative surcharge/materials fee.  Classes canceled due to bad weather (follows Region 15 cancellation) or instructor illness will be rescheduled;  Rescheduled classes typically are added to the end of the session. 

Photographs-Students may be photographed for the purpose of promotion or advertising in future brochures, in newspapers or in other media such as Facebook, Google, Instagram etc.  You provide your consent when signing up for classes.

Behavior–Participants are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior at all times.  Students are to show courtesy and respect to other participants and art instructor.  Only positive comments about art or others allowed, unless framed in a positive “Oreo cookie” art critique format as taught in class.  Students are to respect personal space of self, pets and others. Students will Only draw/paint on their own work.  Students are to Show respect for equipment, supplies and facilities.  Discipline, if needed, will follow a positive redirection or gentle comment.

Art Lesson supportive materials/worksheets may be provided to your student upon request.  Please be advised that you will be billed at $50/hr for the research, thought and custom development of a custom program specific to your student outside of class time.