A gift for you


If you love colored pencil as much as I do, you will have fun using sgraffito — a technique borrowed from pottery making — to create a cozy nest cradling a clutch of little eggs. The video lesson below will take you through the process step-by-step, and I have included a color printable pdf with the steps as well.

Happy drawing!

The video password is nest


…And here is your printable pdf:

3-13 Colored Pencil Nest


Start anytime: JOURNEY Through the Natural Year

cover photo

All new content, all year long… Get video lessons and printables in your inbox every Thursday. Botanicals, birds, wildlife, nature journaling, pencil, ink, watercolor — and the course is yours to keep forever.

Love hand lettering? One lesson each month includes a new, original hand-lettered alphabet project.

The course will follow the changing seasons. Draw and paint the lush beauty of summer, the gentle winding down of autumn, the hidden life of winter and the explosion of new life with the return of the spring. If you took my previous all-year course, Draw Paint Letter, this will follow a similar calendar, but with all new material.

Deepen your understanding of the natural world and sharpen your creative skills. Explore watercolor textures and masking, realism in pencil, expressive ink and much, much more in 52 weekly videos.

The supply list is very short — just 10 basic items plus the paper or sketchbook of your choice. See it here:   JOURNEY Supply List

The cost of the course is $30 per month, with new lesson cycles always starting on the 20th. PayPal invoices will be sent out monthly. Stop anytime or continue all 12 months.

Journey through the natural year with me! Click to sign up:
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Fresco update: almost done!

fresco update

It was awfully hard to put down my paintbrush last night. Layering the magenta, brown, pink and green to build up another tulip is such a mesmerizing process… light, then dark, then light again and suddenly a flower has formed on the plaster surface! I am learning with every brush stroke, and looking forward to teaching this medium to you.

Watch for a post of the finished fresco.

Original art giveaway!


Spring, the season of new beginnings, has arrived. The first butterflies are back. New green shoots are poking up through the garden soil. Slowly, slowly, the calendar rolls forward and the planet tilts her face toward the sun.

I want to celebrate this time of hope and promise by giving away an original watercolor-and-graphite March Hare. One person on my studio email list will be selected (randomly by computer) on March 31. Please sign up here:


Good luck!

Obituary for Mark Perez

As many of you already know, my wonderful partner Mark died suddenly last week while in Texas on business. So many have asked for funeral details that I will post his obituary here. Thank you for the hundreds of kind messages that have arrived over the past few days — they have been a deep source of comfort and encouragement.

Donald Mark Perez, 53, passed away unexpectedly February 16, 2018, in Dallas, Texas. He was born December 24, 1964, in Mobile, Alabama, to Donald Edward Perez and Carole Moncada Perez.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where his quick wit and warm personality led to lifelong friendships with his brothers in Delta Chi.

He was successful in a number of careers. As a young man, he combined his love of the culinary arts with his talent for organization to staff and develop new Cracker Barrel restaurants across the southeast. Later, Mark returned to his hometown and joined his father to become a custom homebuilder. He served on the board of the Home Builders Association of Metro Mobile. Most recently, he worked as an insurance adjuster for Worley Claims Services.

Mark loved his family, his friends and his community, and was always generous with his time and talents. He organized culinary workshops and taught them in his own kitchen. He was a founder of Mobile SketchCrawl, a quarterly public arts event that continues to grow and thrive, and Postcards from the Gulf, an international arts fundraiser to help with disaster recovery. Mark was happiest when he was helping someone else.

Preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Cynthia M. Perez, Mark is survived by his partner, Val Webb of Foley; stepdaughters, Hannah Milne (Joe); Nissa Gordon (Ricky); Zarah Webb; and five grandchildren.

He also leaves two sisters, Karen Perez Leonardo (Joe) of Tampa, Florida; and Kathy Perez Baker (Patrick) of Memphis, Tenn.; nephews Greggory J. Leonardo of Elmhurst, Illinois; Matthew J. Leonardo of Boston, Mass.; Kevin Baker (Noelle) of Waco, Texas; and nieces Allison Baker of Dallas, Texas; and Laura Baker of New York, New York.

Funeral services will be Monday, February 26, 2018, at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, 308 East 22nd Avenue, Gulf Shores, Alabama. Visitation will be at 9:45 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of Mark at 10:30am, and burial will follow at Pine Rest Cemetery in Foley.  A reception will be held afterward at The Gift Horse Restaurant, 209 W. Laurel Avenue, Foley.

Mark also will be missed by his rescue dog, Atticus. Memorial donations may be made to Mobile SPCA, 620 Ziegler Circle West, Mobile, Alabama, 36608.

Bird, Butterfly, Botanical art courses $40


Never had an art class before? That’s fine — I’ll provide step-by-step videos and illustrated printable pages to get you started on your way. Now is a perfect time to jump in: through Sunday, I’m having a $40 Flash Sale on any course about birds, butterflies or botanicals.

You can choose from the following courses, work at your own pace (take up to a full year) and get unlimited instructor feedback:

  • Birds in Watercolor & Beyond
  • Birds in Colored Pencil
  • Draw Owls: Designed for the Dark
  • 8 Flowers 8 Ways
  • Heirloom Garden in Colored Pencil
  • Botanical Sketchbook Painting
  • Draw and Paint 6 Culinary Herbs
  • NEW! Vintage Postcard Birds & Butterflies

Click here for full descriptions and supply list info.