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!  More than just busy work, ShawnaLee will provide instruction that you can benefit from immediately.  Sign up today for a consultation and see for yourself the difference quality instruction can make! Or just dive into lessons!

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.

Private Zoom lessons:

30 minutes: $30/lesson

60 minutes: $50/lesson

*An initial consultation is recommended for creating a planned artistic curriculum that is specific to you or to your child’s artistic needs and development.  It may involve a Meet & Greet; Show & Tell of artwork, Portfolio review, a discussion of artistic goals, strengths and challenges, learning about what to expect during art lessons and a brief mentoring  Sketch together.  This consultation provides a perfect transitional platform for informing your unique goals and introduction to Art with ShawnaLee!  A materials list will be provided upon registration. 

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

Taught Wednesdays after-school.  Sign up for Fall, Winter, or Spring. Each session is 10 weeks. Two classes offered:  3:15-4:15pm  OR  4:30-5:30pm. Sign up for both!

10 weeks ONLY $160 most materials included/class.  Private Art Studio;  LIMITED SPACES. to register:

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 will go far beyond art class and spill over into every subject of theirs 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.  *mature seven year olds may join the 4:30pm class.  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. 

WINTER “Feel the Cool” Art 2019-20:    Class will be offered next winter 2020-21.

SPRING into art 2020: POSTPONED UNTIL WE ARE SAFE FROM THE CORONA VIRUS!  April 1,8,(skip),22,29; May 6,13,20,27;  June 3, 10, 17, 24

Fall Into Art 2020: September  *fingers crossed*  Class size will be limited for safe social distancing. 

Due to the State of Emergency in CT and our need to practice social distancing, OnLine Art Classes are now being offered!   If you need help with an art project for school, please feel free to email me a pic of your art for support (FREE Courtesy)!  I am really looking forward to sharing the joy of art with all of you soon!!!! 

May & June  2020:


Pandemic Portraiture Art Lessons ~ FREE ~ limited to 8 students ~ first come first served.  For details and sign up via eventbrite. for more information, waiting list:

VIRTUAL ART SHOW: WAA COVID-19 Members Exhibition & Sale

Washington Art Association is committed to bringing art into the lives of those living in Northwest Connecticut. Normally, we do so in a variety of ways – through studio classes, exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Unfortunately, these are not normal times, and such face-to-face encounters are not possible during the current health crisis. Click below for the gallery.

My Charcoal of Happy & Jumper, Charcoal Coffee, Olive&Pickles, Connor&Gunner at the WAA art show!


Richter Association for the Arts

First Ever Virtual members show and sale!

Show goes up Friday May 31st.  I will post a link to the gallery as soon as it becomes available.


Newtown Cultural Arts Commission ~ Fine Art Fridays ~ Virtual Art Shows and Artist highlights.


NWCT Arts Council Virtual Art Show “Resiliency”

I have entered a new Oil Painting of an infant born during the CoronaVirus.  Direct link to my Oil Painting, “Baby Brody”


Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists

2020 Faces of Pandemic Frontlines

CSOPA members bring their professional skills to honor workers in healthcare, food services, and other essential businesses in and around Connecticut during the COVID19 pandemic.  Mark your calendar!  Meet the Artists and their Heroes! Virtual Gallery Opening with Zoom Sunday June 14, 3pm : Meeting ID 495 834 3774             Password: CSOPA


Online Art Class!
Watercolor Summer Beaches with ShawnaLee
Thursdays, June 4, 11th,
from 10-12noon
Register via Eventbrite:

Summer brings all of us an explosion of warm and cool colors that bring a refreshed spirit to all! In this online art class, we will explore methods and techniques of watercolor painting while appreciating the beaches we long to be at safely!

Students will learn techniques and put them to immediate use by creating paintings of Summer Beaches! Students of all levels and abilities will benefit by sharpening their observation skills in this relaxing and informative fun class.

Please gather what materials you have on hand!
You will need:
`Watercolor paper – at least 3 pieces for each class, 9×12″ or `11×15″ are good sizes – Can be ordered from Jerrysartarama or `DickBlicks. Strathmore watercolor recommended min. 300 lb.; 400 lb better.
`An assortment of brushes – various sizes and types
`Watercolor paints – Tube or solid – if you use tube paints you will need a palette
`Pencil and eraser
palette: OK non-absorbent paper plates, ice cream lids; Best: porcelain palette.
paper towels and/or cotton rags

Other items to gather: ruler, sponges such as kitchen or natural; old toothbrush or stiff old paint brush, Salt (household, bath or Himalayan), clear or light colored crayons/wax/oil pastel, painters tape, Q-tips, clear plastic to cover your electronic device.


Watercolors of Summer  ZOOM CLASS! 

Through Brookfield Craft Center

Tuesdays June 16,23,30

We may be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean we need to give up the pure joy that Spring brings! Gather an explosion of delicate and vibrant colors from your backyard or local walks for painting!  We will refresh our weary spirits as we Explore methods and techniques of watercolor painting while appreciating New England’s awakening AND keeping socially safe and healthy from the comfort of your own home!  Create paintings of delicate springtime flowers to brighten your home – or your Instagram feed! . Participants will learn vital techniques and methods for watercolor painting! Returning students benefit from additional reinforcement of learned skills while encouraged to explore – and of course, Catching up on all of our news!
Open to ages 16 and older.

Charcoal Drawing ZOOM CLASS

Online Charcoal Drawing with ShawnaLee
June 4,11,18
Register via Eventbrite:

Experience the rewarding drama and mystery of charcoals while learning important drawing skills. Students will gain an understanding of charcoals, the different kinds of charcoal, their techniques and artist uses. Class art projects are designed to help participants put the learned techniques into immediate use. All levels are welcome.

Please upload Zoom to your device prior to the first class session. Please observe Zooms upcoming upgrades (no fee to you). A secure Zoom invitation and password will be sent to you after registration. (look for complete invitation & password from

Needed materials:

A pencil (could be #2)
Kneaded eraser
Vinyl eraser
Drawing or sketch paper, charcoal paper if possible (11×14 to 16×20 is reasonable)
Charcoals: a small assortment that may include vine, stick, and pencils.

Are you adventurous? Make your own charcoal! You’ll need an altoids tin, grapevine or willow branches, and a long evening campfire! Do not open your tin until it is completely cooled to prevent oxygen from ruining the char-coaling process.


Watercolor Summer Beaches with ShawnaLee
Tuesdays, June 2, 9th,
from 6:30-8:30 pm

$65  Will be offered online soon.


Summer brings all of us an explosion of warm and cool colors that bring a refreshed spirit to all! In this class, we will explore methods and techniques of watercolor painting while appreciating the beaches we long to be at! Students will create paintings of Summer Beaches while sharpening their observation skills in this relaxing and informative fun class.  This class is suitable for ages 12 & up and adults of all levels of art! 

A  materials list will be provided upon registration.

Watercolor Summer Beaches with ShawnaLee
Thursdays, June 4, 11th,
from 10-12noon



Summer brings all of us an explosion of warm and cool colors that bring a refreshed spirit to all! In this class, we will explore methods and techniques of watercolor painting while appreciating the beaches we long to be at! Students will create paintings of Summer Beaches while sharpening their observation skills in this relaxing and informative fun class.

A  materials list will be provided upon registration.

Saturday Morning Teen Watercolor Beaches with ShawnaLee
Saturday June 13th
CoWorker Hub


In this one day Teen Art Workshop your teen will gain valuable experience in watercolor techniques through creative exercises. We will use those new learned skills to paint beach scenes. A Materials list will be provided upon registration.

 A permission form will be needed to be signed by parents prior to the workshop.



Catherine’s Butterfly Party

Saturday, AUGUST 22, 2020


Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown CT and will benefit the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

The event is FREE for your family in honor of Catherine’s Birthday! There will be animals to adopt, games, crafts, face-painting, hand selected vendors including “Portraits by ShawnaLee”:

Portraits by ShawnaLee, who will be offering:
~CHILD Portraits while you watch/wait!
~Pet Portrait demonstrations,
~free pages to color,
~art lesson tips,
~and free photography towards your pet’s portrait during the event!
Please “like” “Portraits by ShawnaLee” on Facebook & share your email for a special offer!

ShawnaLee Kwashnak is a portrait artist specializing in pet and child portraiture, a board member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, member of WAA, SCAN and Richter Association and is a DAWS Partner and supporter of Whiskers Pet Rescue. Her sensitive nature goes hand in hand with her heartwarming portraits of children and pets.

Catherine’s Butterfly Party is a free community event, raising awareness of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. It is a fun family festival with a dog, cat and bunny adoption event.

For more information, or to become a sponsor, please visit:

For more information about Portraits by ShawnaLee: or

Fairfield Hills Campus
3 Primrose Street, Newtown




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!!!!
Pre-Orders of the notecards are encouraged as there will be limited number available for purchase this Fall 2019.



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.

Back to the top

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 & 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 (40 minutes) 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 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 pertinent program specific to your student to be implemented outside of class time.