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Pennsylvania’s Premier Craft School


Painting & Drawing Workshops

2021 Workshop Season Update:

Touchstone is pleased to be able to offer a modified 2021 workshop season. Based on best practices related to Covid-19, workshops will run at a reduced capacity of 6 participants, all multi-occupancy lodging has been converted to single-occupancy, and mask and social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced. Our updated cancellation policy* can be found​​

HERE and our Covid-19 Policies and Procedures* can be found​​ HERE *Subject to change.


NEW! Updated Artist Residency Program in 2021!


To learn more please CLICK HERE.

2021 Registration Is Now Open!

Register early, class size is limited, workshops will fill quickly.

JUL 12-16 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) 

Introduction to CAD (Rhino 3D)

Instructor: Michael Nashef

$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$15-$35 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This workshop will expand on the possibility of the use of CAD in major art disciplines such as ceramics, woodworking, metals, glass and many others. Introductory and Intermediate commands will be covered as you learn techniques and applications for the use of Rhino 3D as a creative studio for product design. Come learn the basics of Rhino 3D CAD software and how to articulate your designs in 3D with Michael as your guide! Please note that you will need to bring your own laptop computer. Specifics can be found in the student materials list.


Michael holds a B.F.A. in Metals/Jewelry Design from Kendall College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. in 3D studies from Bowling Green State University. Throughout his career, he has managed a jewelry store, worked as a CAD designer, and launched his fine jewelry company Intersecting Hearts. Michael worked as the area coordinator and lecturer at Towson University in Maryland, and is an instructor at Kalamazoo Institute of Art.


Instructor website:
Instagram: @Nashefm


Making Your Mark

Instructor: Phil Ashworth

All Levels (Ages 14-17)
$615 Non-Member 
$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​​​​​

In Making Your Mark we will be learning the fundamental techniques of drawing to establish a strong foundation and then build off that, diving into more involved projects. We’ll be focusing on studying perspective, contour, light and dark values, different mark making techniques and how all these can help you create unique, dynamic images. From carefully studying and working from still-life, landscape, and portrait-drawing, we’ll take the knowledge we’ve obtained from these exercises and explore the avenues we can go down to further develop our own personal voices in the images we create.

After graduating from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2008 with a BFA in illustration, Phil Ashworth made his way to Brooklyn, NY to chase his big city dreams. Since then his work has appeared on books, magazines, posters, skateboards, apparel and in various gallery shows throughout the US. His illustrations have been recognized by American Illustration, 3X3, the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles and have also been featured in The New York Times Fashion & Style, NPR’s Studio 360, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is available for commissions and movie marathons.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @philashworthstudio



Journaling: Drawing & Painting from Life

Instructor: Roger Hyndman

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$50-$80 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​


Throughout the course you will learn the benefits of keeping an artistic journal and how to utilize this tool of original drawings and paintings to create one of a kind works of art. Come explore a variety of creative materials such as ink, pencils, charcoal, Craypas, pastels, paint, and mixed media through the process of journaling. Drawing & Painting from Life will introduce you to changing sources of space, composition techniques such as perspective, focal point, balance, color, value, movement, size, and shape. No experience necessary – individuals of all skill levels will enjoy the creative benefits of beginning a journaling practice!

Roger has conducted workshops for artists, arts councils, arts organizations, professional organizations, educators, and engaged in artist residencies.  Roger has partnered with the VIEW (Art Center/ Old Forge, NY), Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, Yates County Arts Center, Mid-Hudson Teacher Center, SUNY New Paltz, Hartwick College, Syracuse University, University of New Hampshire, Fletcher Farm School, Touchstone Center for the Arts and Crafts, Sagamore Great Camp, and the Saratoga Arts Council.  As an exhibiting artist, Roger has organized and coordinated travel across the United States, Italy, Sicily, Scotland, and France.  Several recent intaglio prints reflect the influence of NANO images, and his travels to the Shetland Islands, Fair Isle, Italy, Sicily, Scotland, France, Canada, and the American landscape.

Instructor website:


A Closer Look at Nature:
Botanical Illustration

Instructor: Robin Menard

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$25-$55 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full

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Surround yourself in art and nature as we take a closer look at the common things all around us – leaves, branches, tree bark – whatever inspires you! Botanical illustration differs from all other forms of illustration in that it involves very close observation and scientifically accurate drawing to capture the habits, details, and color of a plant. Environmental Educators from Powdermill Nature Reserve will be on hand to enhance your learning throughout the week. You will work in graphite and colored pencil on paper in a step-by-step, guided approach beginning with the basics of form and tone, and moving onto color. No experience needed! Ample one-on-one instruction will be provided so both the beginner and experienced student will have the opportunity to develop their own unique style and skills.

Robin shares her love of nature through her art and teaching. A lifelong artist, Robin is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She has a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where she is a core drawing instructor in their Botanical Illustration Certificate program. Robin offers workshops throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Past workshops include Phipps Conservatory’s BioBlitz, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership/Office of Public Art, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Shaler North Hills Library, Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, and Winchester Thurston School’s City is Our Campus program. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society, and the Colored Pencil Society of America. 

Instagram: @robinmenardart

AUG 16-20 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) 

Luminosity, Lines, and
Transparency with Encaustic

Instructor: Lynda Ray

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$75-$105 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​


The layering process of encaustic painting (hot wax painting) produces impressive results with luminous surfaces and textures. During this workshop students will work with transparent colors, imprinting and casting with botanical materials, stencils and texture. You will explore lines, dots and patterns with the stylus. Demonstrations are followed with time to improvise. Understanding the properties of encaustic is the first step to incorporating it into your own work. Participants will emerge with a range of skills to deepen the direction of their work and the confidence to create using the new abilities learned in class.

Lynda attended both Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. and  Skowhegan School in ME where she studied with Agnes Martin and Joseph Campbell. Thoughts she references are “perfection is in the mind” from Agnes and the “work parallels the experience” from her professor Rob Moore. Ray has been awarded many artist residencies and grants, most recently from CultureWorks. Ray’s work is represented by Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA and Space Gallery, Denver, CO.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @lyndarayart

AUG 28-30 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON) 

Seeing Nature as Shapes

Instructor: Ron Donoughe

$410 Member | $440 Non-Member 
$15-$45 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​


Explore the basics of outdoor painting with Ron as your guide. Concentrate on seeing nature as a series of shapes, which will become the building blocks of a painting. Composition, value, color, seeing shapes, and edge treatment will be addressed. The workshop will also touch on the use of photography as an aid to seeing the landscape, so bringing your smart phone or iPad is suggested.

Ron has been painting the Western PA landscape for nearly 30 years. He has taught outdoor painting workshops throughout the US and France. Ron is a Distinguished Alumni of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has won numerous awards for his work. Ron is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and his work can be found in many corporate and private collections as well as The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, The Duquesne Club, and The University Museum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, his collection of 90 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods’ has been acquired by the Heinz History Center as a permanent exhibition.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @rdonoughe

SEP 4-5 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN) 
Intro to Watercolor Painting
Instructor: Dean Simpson

No Experience Necessary
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member 
$15-$45 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List


Learn the basics of watercolor painting and how to paint in a loose, expressive style. Starting with basic color theory and simple sketching, you will learn how to capture an object or scene using a limited palette and just a few brushstrokes. We’ll explore different techniques including wet on wet, dry brush, texture and masking, while learning to control the fluidity of watercolor paints. Enjoy the spontaneity and magic that happens when layering transparent colors and effects in watercolor.

Dean Simpson is an artist and Marketing Manager at Touchstone Center for Crafts. A lifelong learner, Dean studied Fine Arts at Indiana University of PA; Visual Communication at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh; Painting and Art History in Pavia, Italy; and holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Technology from Point Park University. Throughout his career, he has worked in a variety of traditional and digital artistic disciplines.

SEP 11-13 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Figure Drawing & Painting

Instructor: William Pfahl

$410 Member | $440 Non-Member 
$85-$115 Studio and Model Fee
Download Materials List​


Learn solid methods for painting the figure from life. Techniques using grisaille (a method of painting in gray monochrome) and limited palette colors will be explored. Students will acquire painting and pastel techniques for creating dynamic figurative art. Various models will be used as subjects.

Bill holds a BFA in painting from RISD and is a member of the AAP and PSA. His passion in his creative life is painting from direct observation, exploring the environment, and responding to it in the moment. He has been painting plein air cityscapes since 1989 and recently completed 40 paintings of Sharpsburg street scenes. Bill is actively engaged with fellow artists, painting and drawing from the model and in active critiques. Bill was Touchstone’s 2015 Artist of the Year.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @williampfahl-fineart

SEP 18-19 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN) 
The Studio of Nature: Observing and Drawing from Found Objects
Instructor: Julia Castor

No Experience Necessary
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member 
$15-$45 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List


In this workshop, we will be focusing on an in-depth study of the natural world with an emphasis on the flora and fauna around Touchstone’s beautiful campus. We will explore different drawing techniques through observation and the rendering of found objects gathered from around campus. Students will learn how to capture texture, form, and light, as well as develop their compositions skills by creating botanically detailed still life’s of plants, animals and other natural articles.

Julia Castor is a fine art painter and potter from Bucks County Pa. Her work focuses on a dialogue between the world of fine craft and that of fine at, a dialogue that finds creative force in the pieces she creates. She has had the privilege of studying with many masters, professors, and mentors in both fields, and she is always seeking to push and develop her work further through focused study. Julia sells her work locally and nationally through her online store, various shops and galleries, and numerous craft shows and festivals in the Bucks County area.

SEPT 25-27 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Understanding & Exploring
Modern Portraiture

Instructor: Paige Tibbe

$410 Member | $440 Non-Member 
$30-$60 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List


Develop portraiture techniques while completing a portrait of your own using a mix of graphite, charcoal, and oil paint. Over 3 days you will learn the importance of the under-drawing, tips for checking proportion, tricks to mixing flesh tones, as well as some history of portraiture and what it means to make thought provoking portraits. This course is for those who are looking to develop their portrait skills and those who are at the curiosity stage and ready to explore. You are highly encouraged to bring your own photo as reference for the portrait you will be working on. Please no selfies.

Paige is a visual artist based of of Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Seton Hill University with a BFA in Studio Art, is a member of both the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Society of Artists and has exhibited at galleries in the surrounding Pittsburgh area. Paige’s work has been included in notable exhibitions such as the Students of Artists Who Teach at the Westmoreland Museum of Art and Physique at Panza Gallery at which she was awarded Jurors’ Choice Award (2018). Paige’s inclusion in the juried exhibition, Art of the State, in Harrisburg, PA was awarded with Honorable Mention for her painting titled Mike (2019). She works out of the Susquehanna co-studio spaces located in Homewood.

Instructor website:
Instagram: @tibbe.artworkx

Workshops are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Many fill quickly. Please register at least 15 days ahead of the start of any workshop so that we can count you in! Touchstone makes the determination of whether a workshop will run 14 days in advance of all workshops’ scheduled start date, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day workshops.

Nonrefundable COVID-19 Fee: A $10 (1- & 2-day workshops), $15 (3-day workshops), and $20 (5-day workshops) COVID-19 fee will be charged per participant, per workshop during the 2021 season to help offset the extraordinary additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health, safety, and social distancing requirements as outlined by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This fee is nonrefundable.

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2021 Student Guide.

Touchstone Center for Crafts prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or association preference. Touchstone Center for Crafts also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities and programming.

Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts stands in solidarity with the Black community and condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear. As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

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