Enrichment Academy Instructor Lan Augustus is providing Villagers with her expert knowledge in creating art.

Lan Augustus, of the Village of Charlotte, takes a look at drawings by her students in the Portrait Drawing for Beginners class of the Enrichment Academy at Colony Cottage Regional Recreation Complex. Augustus has drawn portraits for more than 30 years.

Even a beginner can create a work of art when guided by a skilled hand.

Enrichment Academy instructor Lan Augustus is taught students how to draw portraits in her latest class Portrait Drawing for Beginners.

In the class, students learn the basics of portrait drawing,  something Augustus has been practicing for more than 30 years. This includes skills such as shading, color, lighting, blending and highlights.

A Villages resident herself, Augustus understands the unique student body she teaches.

“My students are all usually in their retirement, all over 60,” said Augustus, of the Villages of Charlotte. “Many take my class because this is something they couldn’t do while they were young.”

Augustus said this was one of her favorite things to do — help people find their hidden passions.

“To some, I’m bringing out their childhood dream,” Augustus said.

Augustus said she wants students to find their own style from the fundamentals she teaches.

“You don’t have to draw or paint like me,” Augustus said. “But I teach the basics so people can apply and enjoy making art at their home.”

All students bring in pictures to use for tracing out their portraits.

Many bring photos of their grandchildren and other loved ones.

Roberta O’Donnell, of the Village of Pennecamp, brought a portrait of her father, a WWII Navy veteran.

“He’s been dead a long time,” O’Donnell said. “All I have is photos left of him. I wanted to do a portrait of him for myself.”

O’Donnell is thankful to have taken the class with Augustus, who she said of was, “very, very good”.

“It’s been great — I’ve never done a portrait,” O’Donnell  said. “I’ve always wanted to.”

O’Donnell said she was already looking to take another one of Augustus’ classes.

 Augustus also provides examples and demonstrations to help students through hurdles.

Nancy McMorrem, of the Village of Collier, faced many hurdles having come in with no artistic background.

McMorrem is happy to continue to learn with Augustus.

“She is very good and knowledgeable,” McMorrem said.

McMorrem decided to create her portrait of her husband, Scott, and was excited to improve her “basic skills.”

She is very pleased with what the Enrichment Academy offers, which brings out Villagers’ creativity and challenges them.

“I’m very impressed with the whole Enrichment Academy,” McMorrem said. “It’s just phenomenal-there aren’t many places with this many offerings available.”

Augustus is returning with even more classes that bring out residents’ artistic abilities in the next semester of the Enrichment Academy. The new semester’s catalog is set to come out Wednesday.

For more information, visit theenrichmentacademy.org

Staff Writer Garrett Shiflet can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5367, or garrett.shiflet@thevillagesmedia.com.