Color, Light, Line, and Texture Hands-on Workshop 2020

  • Highlights Foundation Highlights Foundation
  • Pocono Mountains Municipal, Coolbaugh Township, PA, USA
  • Apr 30 - May 3, 2020 (4 days)

About This Event

Join Us To:

Play in paint, explore collage, and dive into textiles during this hands-on art retreat. Work alongside three experienced picture book author/illustrators to get a glimpse into their creative process. Use art as a springboard to make other creative leaps. Explore new techniques that can be used in illustration and/or in other creative projects.

What You'll Learn:

Creativity is front-and-center at this open-to-all weekend. Everyone is welcome: teachers, librarians, writers, artists, and art lovers! NO previous art experience required! You will:

Use paints, paste, and paper to create and to spark new ideas.

Discover the joy of creating, even if (or maybe especially if!) you're not an artist.

Learn new art techniques that can be used in illustration and in your personal projects.

Hear our super-creative faculty author/illustrators talk about their style and their books.

Enjoy creating alongside like-minded people, and making new friends.

Attend If:

You're feeling a little "blocked." Anyone who wants or needs a creative retreat is welcome!

You're an illustrator who wants to change up their style. Our faculty shares a variety of techniques during the weekend.

You're a picture book author. Illustrators are your partners in creating picture books--get a taste of what their job feels like.

You're an art teacher looking for new ideas. Many of the techniques you'll learn can be brought back to your classroom.

You're an alum of other illustration workshops. If you have taken one of of these workshops you may find this course of special interest: Crafting a Picture Book Dummy; Illustration Intensive; Picture Book Illustration: From Conception to Birth.


Our faculty hasn't finalized what types of art they'll be sharing this year, but here's a sampling of past sessions:

Layering with Gouache

Collage meets portraiture meets Calligraphy

Pastel Painting - Landscapes


Gilded Quotes

3-D illustration

Accordion Books and Pocket Books

And here's an idea of what happens each day:

Day 1


Arrival and check in


Appetizers and Dinner

After dinner: Introductions and first activity

Day 2



Art activity, Denise Fleming



Art activity, Ashley Wolff


Appetizers and Dinner

After dinner: Hands-on workshop with special guest

Day 3



Art activity, Ashley Wolff



Art activity, Denise Fleming


Appetizers and Dinner

After dinner: Hands-on workshop

Day 4



Wrap-up, Q&A, sharing


Lunch and farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas


Tour Denise Fleming's Studio

7 Reasons to Attend

Guest Post: Dylan Teut--An Interview With Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming, featured at the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog

Ashley Wolff: Channeling Sam Cannon

Faculty Interview: Denise Fleming

Ashley Wolff: Gouache over Black Gesso 101

Ashley Wolff: 2 Color Lino Block Printing

Video: Judy Schachner talks and draws with The New York Times Books.


"Ashley and Denise are a wonderful team and I would love to attend another workshop with both of them. The balance between studio work/explanation during the day and the talks at night was just right."

"I loved this workshop exploring a variety of techniques."

"I went home exhausted in the best way possible, my heart full and my spirit rejuvenated."

"Each presenter was excited about the subject, helpful, and the projects were fabulous. I love learning about the processes they use to make their art."

Scholarships Available

Three scholarships are available for this workshop from the Jerome Weisman fund:

Full tuition

Half tuition

Partial tuition

Application deadline is February 10, 2020. Scholarships will be announced March 11, 2020.

Click here to apply!

For more information about scholarships, click here.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
Get full details...

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Because I sometimes work up to 16 hours a day, and need time to stop and breathe. Mary

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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