Help the Academy serve 150,000 people in the greater Lynchburg region through the arts in 2024!

Learn More
Loading Events

Expressive Figures with Advanced Artist Donna Downey

Time: August 12, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Number of Classes/Day: Saturday & Sunday
End Date: Aug. 13
Venue: Peggy Burruss Art Studio
Cost: $400
Instructor: Donna Downey

Join Artist Donna Downey from North Carolina for a unique opportunity to learn in her advanced painting workshop!

Rendering the human figure is both vulnerable and intrinsically beautiful. You will learn to paint the movements of the body and explore expressive intentions and emotions through each mark of color. Your painting will evoke a powerful, dreamlike quality.
My personal style is to render the body in abstracted block of colors and bold brushwork. The figures emerge as broken, but beautifully constructed and expressively raw.

Course will focus on:

  • Complete 1-2 figurative paintings.
  • On Day 1 we will work together from the same image (image will be provided prior to class) and on Day 2, I encourage a student choice for individualized work.
  • This workshop can be done in acrylics or oils (or both).
  • We will not be striving for realism but strictly focussing on the expressive quality of painting the figure.
  • We will explore paint colors, skin tones and color mixing.
  • Elements of composition.
  • Subjects should be drawn onto surfaces prior to class (I will also bring my projector for anyone who may want assistance in getting the image onto the canvas)
  • Defining the body through shadow and light.
  • Highlighting the stylistic differences each artist brings to their own painting.



SUPPLY LIST: Expressive Figures Description & Supply List


Students may also choose to register for Donna’s “Bold Expressive Florals” workshop.

See link below:

Donna Downey’s Bold Expressive Florals


Students may choose to take one or both of Donna’s back-to-back workshops. If registering for both workshops, use discount code “watercolor” to receive $25 off each class.

*Must register for both to use promo code.

SENIOR DISCOUNTS (ages 62+) Enter your DOB and apply the coupon code ‘SENIOR’ for a $25 discount off any class over $75.

Expressive Figures with Advanced Artist Donna Downey

Expressive Figures with Advanced Artist Donna Downey

Artist : Donna Downey 

Empowering artists to take creative risks and realize their creative potential.

I consider myself to be on a creative journey that continues to surprise me every time I step in front of my canvas. My paintings continue to evolve in style and technique, but one thing stays constant: I am in love with painting the human figure. I use unfinished lines and painterly strokes to express the emotional vulnerability of human existence in everyday life. The impermanence and fragility of life is the essential focus of my work.

I love to experiment with either a monochromatic palette or an explosion of vibrant colors, depending on my mood. The process of applying paint to canvas is an emotional experience for me and I even find it a bit sexy. Exploring the use of shadow and light as a push and pull of interest for the viewer is a constant theme in my art. I often start each painting with a simple concept or idea in mind then I start placing color throughout the canvas, letting the colors intuitively reveal the composition. The paintings develop in response to the energy created between myself and the paint. I use painting as a meditation and I deeply enjoy the never ending challenge to evoke a particular mood or emotion for the viewer.

Visit Donna’s Website :

Sponsored by:


with Education Access Program Discounts Underwritten by

Foster Fuels