New online course!

Gentle Garden: Botanicals & Pollinators in Carbon Pencil
12 lessons – lifetime video access
PLUS one live streamed session (details below)     $90

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botanical art

Less smudgy and easier to control than charcoal, richer and darker than graphite — and with no graphite “shine” … carbon pencil is a sensitive and satisfying medium for botanical drawing. In a series of 12 step-by-step video lessons, learn new techniques while drawing a wide range of flowers and their pollinators. Each video is accompanied by illustrated printable pages and a selection of licensed reference images.

KEEP YOUR COURSE ACCESS FOREVER. There is no expiration date for your video access; the password-protected site is yours permanently. Beginning October 1, a new lesson will post weekly for 12 weeks. Work at your own pace. Unlimited instructor feedback is available anytime you like, via email. You do not have to complete a lesson each week — your site password will never expire.

NEW! BEGINNERS WELCOME – THIS IS A “FREEHAND OPTIONAL” COURSE.  Please don’t let a lack of drawing experience keep you from the course. Every lesson begins with a demo of how to draw a preliminary sketch in 2B pencil before we begin to layer the carbon pencils… BUT if you prefer to concentrate on carbon pencil blending and shading now, and save the freehand sketching practice for later, I will also provide printable preliminary sketches you can transfer and use to get started. Happy to help!



  • Week 1.  Skill builder  – soft blending and surface patterns.  Draw a carbon pencil study of heliconius butterfly Red Postman.
  • Week 2.  Botanical drawing – Use soft blending / surface patterns to draw the dazzling heliconius butterfly Zebra Longwing on flowering lantana.
  • Week 3.  Skill builder  – creating depth and contrast with layering, also drawing textured stems and leaves.  Draw a carbon pencil study of long-stemmed plants you choose.
  • Week 4.  Botanical drawing – Use techniques for creating depth and textured leaves to draw hardworking bumblebees on bearded iris.
  • Week 5.  Skill builder – drawing over soft tones to create furry, shiny, and velvety textures. Draw a carbon pencil study of the world’s cutest pollinator, the honey possum (Australia).
  • Week 6.  Botanical drawing – Use drawing over soft tones to draw flying fox (Pteropus bat) and the exotic wild banana blossom.
  • Week 7:  Skill builder – combining carbon pencils to create metallic textures. Draw a carbon pencil study of the wonderfully metallic aquatic leaf beetle.
  • Week 8:  Botanical drawing – Use combined carbon pencils to draw a water lily leaf beetle on Nymphea odorata, a fragrant white water lily that traps its pollinators!
  • Week 9:  Skill builder – Four steps to a rich solid black background. Draw a carbon pencil study of a creamy magnolia blossom isolated on a black background.
  • Week 10:  Botanical drawing – use four-step background technique to draw a moonflower and its nocturnal pollinator, a beautiful sphinx moth, in a nighttime setting.
  • Week 11:  Skill builder – blending and detailing to create brick texture and wood texture in carbon pencil. Draw a carbon pencil study of a patterned daylily with weathered brick background.
  • Week 12:   Botanical drawing – use blending and detailing to draw heirloom multiflora petunias spilling over a window box, and their hummingbird pollinator.

PLUS – THIS SESSION ONLY! WE WILL HAVE A LIVE-STREAMED DRAWING SESSION TOGETHER.  During the course, at a date and time we will mutually decide based on time zones for all students, I will host a one-hour open drawing session in real time using Zoom, a group meeting app where you can simply log in on your phone, tablet or computer and we can talk to one another directly. I will draw during the live session, to help answer any technique questions you may have. More about this as the course unfolds.



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