This week I found out that a large number of my studio contacts never received the earlier email, so…
This week only, my TWICE-A-YEAR FLASH SALE is going on. Buy any online art course and get a second course (for you or someone else) FREE. Lifetime access, full-length videos, illustrated printables. Choose from 30 different courses!And thank you for your support of my little studio.
Receive an artisan sketchbook – made from an antique book – in the mail (free shipping in the US) and use it to create beautiful vintage style botanicals using ink, gouache and colored pencil. This limited enrollment course will cover:
5 Sketchbook techniques that use your art supplies in unexpected ways
A full-length lesson on page planning and hand lettering
Drawing warm-ups and practice exercises
A bonus project using a vintage postcard bound into your sketchbook
Tips, ideas and prompts to help your sketchbook habit to thrive
Each lesson will include videos and illustrated printable pages.
IMPORTANT:Sketchbooks will ship April 1 and April 15, and the course will launch May 1.Sketchbooks will be shipped outside the US for the actual postage cost. Email me for international postage rates.
AIR MAIL: Ballpoint Birds on Antique Letters 4 Lessons – Videos and Printables LIFETIME ACCESS $45
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.
When I’m not drawing, I like to prowl thrift shops and library sales for old books. Then I rebind them, preserving some original pages and illustrations, and filling them up with velvety Bristol vellum made at a heritage mill. My latest batch is posted to my online shop, if you’d like to take a peek:
Painting with Gouache 8 Lessons LIFETIME ACCESS $85
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.
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!
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.
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