Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style
$125.00 USD 6 week online class ~with Jane LaFazio Perfect for beginners! or as a refresher course!
Be inspired to record your life, a special trip, or your daily adventures in a loose, quick
journal style format. Jane who is known for her friendly, encouraging teaching style, will
teach drawing and watercolors using a straight-forward, intuitive approach. You’ll draw what
you see, capturing the details of everyday objects and the small details of life on
watercolor pages. Everyone has their own drawing style, just like handwriting, and Jane will
help you to see and then record what you see on paper. The class is geared for beginners,
but all levels are welcome.
(Really, even if you haven’t drawn since 3rd grade, Jane can teach you!)
Jane will help you compose your journal pages, and show you a number of other creative ways
to enhance your pages. Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to new lesson, with a
different subject or technique. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a
downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from each week. There are videos and examples from
Jane’s sketchbook to support the lessons. Just like in a real classroom, you’ll be able to
see fellow students sketchbook pages and will be able to comment and praise their work and
they’ll be able to see your pages too (as long as you post them!). And you’ll get honest and
gentle critiques on all your work from Jane. (The step by step pdf lessons are yours to keep and the classroom will close 3 weeks after the last lesson is released.)
You’ll receive the complete list of materials (with links and descriptions) when you sign up. Basically we’ll be using 5×7 inch watercolor paper, watercolors, a watercolor brush (I recommend the Niji Waterbrush), and a permanent ink pen, pencil and eraser. Don’t buy the stuff until you get the actual materials list.
Christine wrote about my online classes: It’s been a lot of fun to share an on-line class with a responsive teacher and an affirming group of amateur artists. I very much appreciated Jane’s clear and concise comments and participants’ enthusiasm and encouragement.
Check out these free videos, to get a look at my teaching style.
Wondering which class to take and how online classes work?
Q: I don’t know how to draw.
A: Take Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style it is perfect for those who need to learn to draw first and a great class to start with. Also, a great class to refresh your skills and get used to how I teach.
Q: I ‘ve never or rarely painted with watercolor.
A: I’ll teach you. I’d suggest you start with “Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style”
first. (You can see a small sampling of student work here.)
Q: Which class should I take?
A: Well, the short answer is all of them! Once you’ve done “Sketching and Watercolor:
Journal Style” you’ll be ready for any of the other watercolor classes that I teach. “Sketching and Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal” or “Watercolor Sketchbook: Designs from Life.”
Q: Will you rerun these classes and what’s the schedule?
A: Yes, I rerun the classes throughout the year. You can get the
first notice of my classes by signing up for my newsletter online here.
Q: Do I need to be on my computer a certain time of day?
A: No, the lessons will be released once a week but you can access them anytime,
once they are released. And past lessons will be available for you work from and post
anytime during the 9 weeks the class is online)
Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the pdf lessons~ those step by step lessons are yours to keep and print out. I
suggest downloading them each week.
Q: I can’t access my computer during one of the weeks of class?
A: The lesson will be there, when you get access to your computer and you can post the
lesson anytime during the 9 weeks.
Q: How many pages will Jane comment on?
A: You can share as many pages, from each assignment, as you like. Jane will comment on
each one during the 9 weeks the class is online.
Q: I’m not very comfortable on the computer. What’s involved?
A: You’ll need to be able to photograph or scan your sketchbook page as a jpeg. You will
then upload it, from your computer or iPad, to the online lesson. There is a video, when you
start class, which explains how to use the online classroom. And support at Ruzuku (the classroom platform) is very helpful!
You might want to watch this video by Ruzuku to see how the classroom works.
Q: Do I have access to the classroom and videos forever?
A: No.The step by step pdf lessons are yours to keep and the classroom will close a few weeks after the last lesson is released. I like to create a community of students and to comment on each and every posted page, so the classroom time is limited.
A few reviews of Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style online class
• I learnt to just let go, and ignore the voice in my head that says “you can’t draw”(those High School teachers who saw me as the science kid cast a long shadow!). My biggest fear was the critique of yourself and my fellow students – but that critique was nothing but constructive, true and instructive. Everyone has been lovely, and supportive, and kind – and truly engaged in what we were all doing. I discovered something which has brought me real pleasure and makes me look it everything in a slightly different and more engaged. Possibly
the best £50 I have spent in years! Thank you so much Jane for being such a great, great
teacher and for bringing out our best in a really honest but gentle way. Your instructions
and guidance are outstanding, but the real strength is the thoroughness of your feedback and
the non-judgmental approach you take to your instruction and critique. Quite simply, thank
you for opening my eyes and my mind to art journalling!”
• Wow, I am so very amazed at the progress I’ve made in a few short weeks, thanks to
your excellent and very clear lessons. Seeing you in action in the videos was particularly
helpful. Working on drawing in this class brought home a couple of important life lessons: I
really can do things that I think I cannot do, and it is so important to see what is really
there, rather than what you are expecting to see. Thank you so much!!!
• I learned that if I look closely at something and pay attention and try to follow
the shapes, I can actually draw things! Previously the camera has always been my mark maker
and now I can create in a new and different way! I never thought it would be
possible…….but this class has opened up a new and vast world.
• I have learned so much from you and your students–it has changed my life. When I
draw or paint I feel like I am entering another world–my only problem is that I don’t want
to leave that world and come back to regular life!! It was a bold step for me to post my
artwork. Your support along with everyone else’s has helped build my self-confidence. So I
am inspired to keep drawing and painting and sharing my artwork. Thanks so much for bringing
us all together for this wonderful art experience.
• I have learned that doing the type of work we’ve been doing in this class is a
really nice way to make art a regular part of my life. That I don’t have to have hours upon
hours to create something, but if I have an hour or so, I can quickly pull out my materials
and create something in a journal.
• And taking time to create art feels . . . selfish in a way, even though I know it
shouldn’t! But I am learning that I need to do this for myself, that it is not okay for me
deny myself the opportunity to do something that gives me so much . . . joy . . . and makes
me feel more like me. And the day my daughter pulled out a paper when I was painting and
wanted to paint alongside me, I learned that it is good for her to see me do this too. And,
I learned that art is an activity we can share!
• It is so wonderful, and so motivating to be able to post and share and get feedback,
and also so inspirational to see what others are doing!
• I HAVE LEARNED……… that if I take my time, as much as I need, and that might right
now be a lot of time – it is just the right amount of time for me, and that I can after all,
draw. DRAW. I can draw. … that I love and value and hold close to my heart the encouraging
words of fellow painters. I post an offering of mine and then rush back in a frequent and
humorous way to find out who has said what, who has a suggestion (Jane, of course, most of
all). I find that for the last couple of weeks, I have been living in quite a different
place in my head. Between the experience of this workshop, that I don’t feel the same –I
feel a little less edgy, a little more expansive, a little softer, a little fuller – or
deeper – of spirit. I’m not kidding.
• This has been really enlightening, and I see a lot of things with a whole new
perspective. And the journalling part of this, which I find a little difficult, is a major
part of the enlightenment – now I need to think about what I see, not just see it. I think
life goes by in such a big blur, and I’ve enjoyed slowing down a bit to do this
• Not only did I gain confidence and learn I really CAN draw (still new) but I learned
to paint the objects, had a ton of fun and found a new medium I LOVE. I have really enjoyed
this adventure and YOU, my teacher, are amazing! I never felt judged or thwarted…only
encouraged and guided. Jane…that is priceless. I think so many of us natural creatives
have been road blocked by well-intending but unskilled (socially) teachers. You. Are. Not.
That! Thank you, for giving me so much more than the skill to sketch. I’ll see you in the
next one. THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!!! And thank you to all my fellow students who
were kind and encouraging along the way.
• This class gave me confidence to do this work, and Jane made it fun at the same
time. You broke it down into manageable steps, just like a good yoga teacher, so it felt
attainable. I especially learned about really observing, slowing down, and leaving white on
the page. Doing each lesson was like a meditation for me, just had to get my butt into the
chair and then the rest just flowed. Thank you so much.
• This has been an awesome class, great format, simple to follow and helpful exercises
to stretch the mind. I loved the very encouraging and fun comments from people all over the
world! Also getting to learn from seeing others’ work and the comments related to them.
• I’ve really enjoyed this class and I have learned SO much. I appreciate the careful
sequencing of lessons, the great models from your sketchbook, the clear taped
demonstrations, and the wonderful easy-to-follow lessons. But the best two things about this
class are the timely and useful feedback from you and my classmates — and the fact that I
have actually finished some little pieces of art over the past few weeks. In some of the
“real life” classes I’ve taken, feedback was rare and not terribly useful, and I’ve finished
many a term with pages started but nothing finished. Thank you, Jane.
• I have signed up for a couple of other on line water color courses and yours is the
only one I’ve actually participated in. I think it’s because you really engage with us and
actually teach us what to do. I just can’t tell you how invaluable a teacher you are.
• Oh, Jane, I have learned so much. I have learned to see better. The continuous line
assignment was so eye opening. I am mixing my paints better and really showed off the black
I mixed for the last lesson. (I suspect my husband thinks I’ve lost it.) I look at the
ordinary objects I encounter with new appreciation. The group has been so supportive and
I’ve particularly enjoyed the different places we seem to occupy on our art journeys. Thanks
so much for you critiques. I will see you again.
• I made a commitment to myself in January to concentrate on my drawing. I try to draw
every day. This class has kept me on track. I am also a visual learner so the videos and
step by step process in the class were just perfect for me. I think (and hope) I am getting
looser with my watercolor application. That was another goal of mine. I can’t tell you how
much I am inspired by you, Jane. Your supportive comments were very much appreciated. Also a
big THANK YOU to all the other students who posted their work and made comments. It is such
a joy to feel like you are part of an art community.
• Jane, thanks very much for your very thoughtful and helpful feedback for each of the
lessons. The advice you gave me on each of my lessons definitely improved the original work
and helped me in further lessons. It also gave me the confidence to really stretch myself
and try more challenging subjects, and not be afraid to share the results! I’ve also learned
to be bolder (ie more confident!) with my colours, and to remember to draw and paint what I
see, not what I think I see!! I enjoy very much looking at everyone else’s submissions as
well, really inspiring. And I really love your style, Jane, so it was really nice that you
shared so many examples from your own sketchbooks. Thank you!
• Jane, thank you so much! This course has been so much fun. The lessons were clear
and helpful and so engaging. I love that I was fully immersed in the process as I was
drawing and painting. It also gave me some courage and confidence about using more water-
color. I will keep practicing! It was nice to have the weekly deadlines, which helped me to
make time for art in my busy week. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging feedback!
• During the past 6 weeks, I have learned to focus on developing my watercolor skills
and to include few words into my journal pages. It takes courage to add words into my
journal pages as I didn’t have the confidence to try it before. I appreciated the feedback /
suggestion from Jane and other participants in the class – it helped me to collect other
perspective of my work and a way for me to grow and improvise my work. The videos online are
great as I was able to understand the work process for each project. The downloaded
assignments are great also as it helped me a great deal to assure myself that I’m not
missing out anything from the videos. I am amazed at the professionalism of your work and at
the same time for all of us to enjoy as we work along. The generosity on your part is you
shared your travels and of your workshops with us which is very inspiring. Thank you, Jane
for the opportunity to improve my watercolor sketches and journaling as I didn’t make the
time to do it in the past – with your positive feedback/encouragements/insights I’ve been
motivated to do all the wonderful assignments!
• I enjoyed drawing the subjects, truly observing and experiencing them. We assume so
much. I was astonished to realize just how many details there are. Your feedback is kind and
yet direct. Your work inspires me in a unique way. It is refreshing while at the same time
unassuming. I am so glad I took the course. Mainly I thought it would be fun and yet it was
so much more. I learned valuable knowledge of which I will definitely benefit from. Thank
you for being such an inspiration.
• Last fall I started a journey to rediscover my talent. I was rusty and felt most
comfortable with drawing. Then I tried watercolor. My beginner status and the lack of
control drove me NUTS. My perfectionist nature (which I’ve realized a LOT of us have) can
make me not even try, but I really wanted to learn! I found Jane’s watercolor journaling
class and liked the idea of learning while filling a journal. The first lesson was
frustrating – trying to contain and direct the color, ugh. As the lessons progressed and I
received Jane’s advice and input from classmates, I felt more confident in my ability to “go
with the flow.” I actually started having fun! So, now I’ve discovered this loose and fresh
medium that challenges me to lighten up – to turn off the critic a bit. I still need to
improve my comfort with looseness and speed and I’m sure I’ll still fight with the
perfectionist, but, with Jane’s instruction, I’ve also come a long way. I plan to continue
journaling with watercolor. I believe the fun will increase as I gain skill and comfort.
Thanks Jane! And thanks fellow watercolorists!