upcoming workshops

Joanna is available to teach workshops locally and nationally. Please e-mail her at joanna@joannabarnum.com if your organization or institution would like to host a workshop. Topics include fundamental portrait technique, experimental and conceptual portrait technique, plein air, and general fundamental watercolor approaches.

Joanna Barnum is a Harford County, Maryland based fine artist and illustrator working in watercolor. Her approach to watercolor embraces the fluidity and expressive potential of the medium while emphasizing careful observation of color, light, and form. As an instructor, she believes in fostering the unique voice of each student, teaching concepts and techniques that may be personalized to each individual’s interests and needs. She encourages students to banish fear and reticence with fluid media and to appreciate its unpredictable qualities. Joanna is a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society, and serves on the boards of the Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.


Four week Session in Watercolor at Chesapeake Fine Art Studio
April 2, 9, 16, 30 (no class April 23) mondays 1-4pm
609 Thompson Creek Rd, Stevensville, MD
$165/4 weeks (one day registrations also permitted)

Learn to balance fundamental skills and observation with expressiveness and experimentation in watercolor. Follow the weekly themed assignment, or bring in your independent project. Classes include demonstration, plenty of hands on work, and critique and assistance.  All levels welcome, intermediate through advanced students will learn new approaches and take their work to the next level, while beginners will be introduced to fundamental concepts. 

April topics:

You are also welcome to focus on any personal project instead of the weekly topics below. Any complete beginners will be given introductory exercises.

April 2- Still life from observation
Bring your usual watercolor materials. A still life will be provided.

April 9- Animals from personal photos
In addition to your usual materials, bring personal reference photos of pets or other animals to work from.

April 16- Portraits from personal photos
In addition to your usual materials, bring personal portrait reference photos. Print out TWO copies of your reference at 8.5" x 11" or larger. Non-flash photos printed from a high resolution source recommended, but home prints on plain printer paper are fine- need not be expensive glossy reproductions. One can be printed at slightly higher quality, and one can be a draft copy or even black and white photocopy. Also, bring graphite transfer paper if you have it (Sally's is a good brand) or you can borrow some if you want to try it.

April 30- Experimentation with masking fluid and resists
Bring masking fluid and a few old or cheap craft brushes. If you have them, bring crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. I will also provide extra materials to borrow and share.

E-mail joanna@joannabarnum.com if you have questions about suggested supplies, or need guidance on beginner materials.

  Tyke, 2017,  private commission

Tyke, 2017, private commission


Introduction to Travel Sketchbooks, Presentation at Elkridge Library
May 9, 2-3:30pm
Howard County Public Library, Elkridge Branch
6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075

Joanna Barnum, an award winning watercolor painter and Illustrator, discusses her travel sketchbooks and explains how artists of any skill level can start their own book. Learn about the supplies that she uses to document scenes in her sketchbooks while on the road and see examples. Free and open to the public.


Portraits in Watercolor at columbia art center
may 20, 2018
Columbia, MD


  Naiad (detail), 2016

Naiad (detail), 2016


Luminous Portraits & Simultaneous Realities at millsboro art league
June 25-27, 2018, 9:30am-4:00pm each day
203 Main Street
Millsboro, DE 19966
$175 members, $200 non-members

Join Joanna Barnum, NWS, BWS for a three day exploration of the portrait in watercolor.

Learn a fundamental approach to the portrait by building layers of warm and cool washes over a preliminary drawing to create naturalistic skin tones and build the illusion of three dimensional form. Then, explore how to integrate personal experimentation and storytelling into the portrait, moving beyond simply painting directly from photo reference. Joanna will introduce her technique for splicing together multiple views using masking fluid, and other approaches to creating tension and balance between areas of realism and abstraction.

This workshop will include several step by step demonstrations and the opportunity to work on personally directed pieces with assistance and critique. Students will work from personal photo reference. Recommended for students with basic watercolor and drawing skills.

A limited number of host houses may be available to out of town artists wishing to travel to the DE shore for this multi-day workshop.

  Aurelia, 2017

Aurelia, 2017