All butterfly & bird courses $35

This week, I’m offering my butterfly and bird courses for $35 lifetime access – 10 courses to choose from – with a portion of the class tuition going toward the purchase and planting of butterfly host plants. Later this summer, I’ll have seeds to share. As I learn more about butterfly conservation, I see how important it is to include these plants in your yard or garden. (Bonus: many of these plants also attract hummingbirds!)

This special price includes:

  • The Best Nest: Nests/Eggs in Colored Pencil
  • 5 Little Songbirds: A simple painting technique
  • Butterflies in Colored Pencil
  • Birds & Words: Joyful Ink and Watercolor
  • Birds & Butterflies on Vintage Postcards
  • Birds in Watercolor and Beyond
  • Birds in Colored Pencil
  • Birds in Ballpoint on Antique Paper
  • Draw Owls: Designed for the Dark
  • Springtime Watercolor Lesson Collection


Mini Course: Ballpoint Birds on Antique Letters

AIR MAIL: Ballpoint Birds on Antique Letters
4 Lessons – Videos and Printables

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Artists around the world are discovering this unexpectedly beautiful drawing tool: a simple disposable ballpoint pen can create rich textures and soft, subtle shading with a look that resembles vintage illustration.

In this mini course, we’ll learn ballpoint drawing basics (including how to tint your work with colored pencil) and then polish those skills in short practice exercises. The practice lesson includes a session on drawing leaves and bark, so your birds will have places to perch.

Next, with step-by-step guidance we’ll create three finished bird drawings on antique paper backgrounds. I will provide a collection of high-quality scans of antique letters and papers, so you can print your favorites directly from the course website.

The course is hosted on a private, password-protected website, and your access will never expire.

No extra art supplies required! Here’s the tiny supply list. 🙂

1. A stick pen

Any BIC plain stick pen (no clicker, just a cheap plastic disposable) will work well. There are lots of different handle styles (BIC Crystal is clear, for example) but the ink and tip is the same. BLACK ink.

2. A click pen

Any inexpensive ballpoint with a clicker button that retracts the point. Many of mine are free pens handed out by businesses. Must have BLACK ink.

3.  2B drawing pencil, any brand.

4.  Kneaded eraser

5.  Several sheets of regular white copy paper

4.  4 sheets of white cardstock

5.  A small set of colored pencils, any type you like. (I will be using Prismacolor in the videos.) Be sure your colored pencils include the following colors: a primary blue (such as True Blue in Prismacolor); a rusty reddish brown (such as Burnt Sienna, Sienna Brown, or Terra Cotta) and white. The other colors can be any shade.

6.  You will need access to a printer, to print the antique letter backgrounds on your cardstock.

Gouache Painting course!

Painting with Gouache
8 Lessons

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It’s thick and creamy. It can look just like acrylics… or just like watercolor. It’s beautifully opaque, so you can easily paint over mistakes. Originally developed for illustration, gouache (pronounced “gwash”) is versatile and easy to use — and in this course, we’ll explore several very different techniques that show the wide range of effects it can produce:

Lesson 1. Skill builder: Night Garden (color mixing, layering light on dark). Create a vibrant garden of moths and night-blooming flowers.

Lesson 2. Project: Fantasy Fox Forest (pattern, plant forms). Paint a stylized forest and foxes inspired by Medieval tapestry.

Lesson 3. Skill builder: Botanist’s Notebook (using thinned gouache). Create a Victorian-inspired page with botanical or insect specimens and text.

Lesson 4. Project: Ancient Oak. Combine a soft ink sketch with both diluted and opaque layers of gouache to create a gentle glow.

Lesson 5. Skill builder: Beautiful in Black and White (dry brush, painting texture). Create modern dry brush studies of creatures with black and white fur or feathers.

Lesson 6. Project: Pileated Woodpecker (dry brush, toned paper). Paint a realistic portrait of this striking bird.

Lesson 7. Skill builder: Farmer’s Market (combining gouache and line). Create a splashy, playful, colorful collection of heirloom veggies, fruits and herbs.

Lesson 8. Project: A Forgotten Artist (combining pencil and gouache). Make an elegant Edwardian-style study of white flowers using a lovely technique inspired by a forgotten botanical artist.

It’s giveaway time

I’m giving away an artisan sketchbook created from a repurposed vintage 1960 book of animal tales. It contains a selection of original pages (and beautiful illustrations) plus 40 sheets of heavyweight Bristol vellum from a heritage mill.

Follow Bindweed Sketchbooks on Instagram or Facebook to be entered automatically. Winner chosen randomly on Saturday, May 7. Good luck, everyone!

Go to Bindweed Sketchbooks on Instagram

Go to Bindweed Sketchbooks on Facebook

In case you missed it…

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make my Lesson Collections successful. I appreciate every signup, every share on social media and every kind comment. You are wonderful!

If you missed the original announcements, here are quick links to all four Lesson Collections. Click the collection title to see more photos and a complete list of projects. All are lifetime video access.

Springtime Watercolor Lesson Collection
6 complete video tutorials + Bonus lesson
28 printable pdf pages

Ink Drawing Lesson Collection
7 complete video tutorials + 2 bonus lessons
35 printable pdf pages

Colored Pencil Lesson Collection
8 Video Lessons + Bonus
36 Printables

Draw & Paint Wild Creatures
10 Lessons – 18 videos
30 Printables

Draw & Paint Wild Creatures

My biggest lesson collection yet!
10 Lessons – 18 videos – 30 printables

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Selected from the archives of my Journey Through the Natural Year, these 10 lessons cover pencil, colored pencil, watercolor and ink techniques for 13 different complete projects. (One project is a special watercolor lettering technique you can combine with other projects.) Work at your own pace with permanent video access. Topics include:

  • Understanding animal proportion
  • Drawing and painting a variety of fur types and textures
  • Layering watercolor and colored pencil for rich, detailed colors and patterns
  • Seeing and sketching basic body forms
  • Mixing watercolor for natural-looking fur and feathers

Step-by-step projects are demonstrated in full-length video lessons. Here’s a list of our creatures:

  • Owls in moonlight (watercolor + ink)
  • Lynx/bobcat in colored pencil
  • Koi fish in wet-on-wet watercolor
  • Mourning cloak butterfly in watercolor + colored pencil
  • Red fox in colored pencil
  • Egyptian geese painted in ancient style
  • Field mice, moles and voles in pencil
  • Field mice and moles in watercolor
  • Chipmunk on tree in pen and ink
  • Watercolor Brush Lettering

My monthly giveaway

In addition to drawing and teaching, I make artisan sketchbooks from repurposed vintage books. My online shop hosts a monthly giveaway, and this month you can choose ANY sketchbook from about 70 that are available right now. I use a velvety heavyweight Bristol vellum (70% recycled and acid free!) made by a heritage mill founded in 1908. You will love drawing on it!

To enter, just visit Bindweed Sketchbooks and choose your favorite sketchbook. Then come back here and comment with the name of your choice. On Tuesday, one winner will be randomly selected to win their sketchbook!