I just wanted to take the time to thank Kathryn Chelin so, so very much for leading such an amazing workshop at Artbarn School. I left the class with more education and confidence than I could have every imagined. I just recently got back into drawing after a 15+ years hiatus, naively thinking I could pick up a fancy pencil and fancy paper and be at the same level as illustrators I admire. That was so far from what happened, haha, my illustrations were terrible!!

But in the past year, I’ve really needed art to help me through life, and have tried to be fearless in my attempts to draw the illustrations I know in my heart that I’m capable of. I love humans, I love faces, I love expressions, but in the past year I also gave up on the idea that I could ever do portraits.

The portrait workshop with Kathryn Chelin ended up being one of the best artistic experiences in my entire life! Kathy set the tone and energy the moment I walked in by welcoming me with her big smile. I really appreciated that she built 3 projects into the day. They were in perfect order of new skills learned that we could add to – at hyper speed, no less! And it was such a cool opportunity to learn and work with new materials. I chose the highlighting method on the black paper because it was so far from what I’ve ever done. Haha! I think I almost had tears in my eyes trying to figure out how to draw Susan Sarandon, but Kathy was always SO patient and helpful and taught me to believe in myself and my work.

I left the portrait workshop proud of myself. I was a completely different artist than the one that walked in just 6 hours prior. I’ve also drawn a portrait since, referencing the handouts Kathy gave us, and the speed and accuracy of which I am getting the image in my head on to paper surprises me. The Artbarn workshop was worth every penny and I can’t thank you enough! I hope to take a class with Kathryn Chelin again in the future.

-Tracy T.