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It’s not your typical botanical drawing course. My new online class series, “Draw & Paint Six Culinary Herbs,” will incorporate all the things that make the humble kitchen garden a place of a thousand small delights. In addition to learning to create softly shaded pencil studies, spirited ink-and-wash sketches and richly layered color renderings that combine watercolor and colored pencil, we’ll also explore the history and folklore associated with our six herbs. Each lesson will include art demo videos, printable illustrated instruction pages and photo tutorials posted on our private class website — as well as illustrated tips on growing, harvesting and using our culinary collection. I’m also sharing my own stock of organic herb seed (from my garden, while supplies last) with anyone who asks when they sign up. Email me for a list of available varieties.

The course is designed so that you can work at your own pace, without ever feeling rushed. Lessons will appear weekly beginning January 7 on a private, password-protected website. All 10 lessons will remain there until May 6. During those four months, you have access to the lessons anytime you wish to work on them. Feel free to take a week off (or even a month) for other activities. You’ll still have plenty of time to complete the course. Each lesson will include:

  • My video demo with step-by-step guidance for each new technique
  • Printable color instruction pages
  • Examples for each lesson, created to guide and inspire you
  • Personal help when needed, and feedback when each lesson is completed
  • Access to our own private online group where you can share comments and images with others taking the course around the world. (Participation in the group is optional. No instruction will take place there.)

Art topics covered in the course include:

  • How to develop the habit of looking deeply at your subject, so that you clearly see and understand its structure
  • Three steps to creating a quick and accurate foundation sketch
  • How to draw leaves in perspective
  • My “gentle pencil” technique for softly shaded pencil studies
  • How to combine ink and wash for fast and elegant herb drawings
  • Traditional layering of watercolor and colored pencil to build a richly detailed rendering
  • Color matching and color mixing – including highlights and shadows
  • The structure of an herb plant, and some basic terminology

Absolutely no experience is necessary. The supply list is simple, and contains no exotic materials. (In fact, if you recently took my online watercolor lettering course, you already have the brushes you’ll need. You can check them off your list!)

What about technology? Well, you will need four basic tools to “attend” this online class:

  • A computer, or access to one
  • An email account to receive informative messages or send in your work for feedback
  • A way to print out your illustrated instruction pages
  • A way to send images of your completed projects to me for feedback. You can use either a scanner or a digital camera to create an image, then email it.

The cost of the entire course is $50, which is payable by personal check, money order or through PayPal. (To use PayPal, let me know you want to join the class and I will send you a secure PayPal invoice with an embedded “pay now” button.) Email me to sign up, or if you need additional information. See you soon!