Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style
$125.00 USD 6-week online class ~with Jane LaFazio
Perfect for beginners! or as a refresher course!
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Classroom opens on April 23, 2023. The first lesson is released on April 28. The classroom will close down on June 30, 2023. This will be the very last time I offer this class.
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 straightforward, 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 a 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 handouts 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 ” or “Art Journaling: Sketching, Watercolor, and Composition.”
Q: Will you rerun these classes and what’s the schedule?
A: This is the very last time I will offer this course. April – June 2023.
Q: Do I need to be on my computer at 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 during the course and you may 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 until the class closes.
Q: I’m not very comfortable with 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. When you start class, there is a video explaining 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.
5×7 inch page
by Jane LaFazio
A few reviews of Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style online class
•Barbara G. I really did enjoy this class because I was accepted and encouraged with each lesson and the support was tremendous for a newbie to “watercolors” and drawing. I have learned not to force things, but to try to be more kind to myself and to move forward consciously with new art challenges. I have also learned that sharing your work with others is key to growing as an artist. That sneaky inner voice that we possess about our creative endeavors can be a challenge, but the supportive community that Jane set up was very beneficial. I loved that she took us through her personal approach to painting through a variety of incredible sketchbook examples, photos, and videos. Her narration and tips were so beneficial and did help us to achieve better results. Who knew that leaving a bit of white adds sparkle to a creation? She was very good at keeping preparations simple and the costs to a minimum, but the materials recommended were of excellent quality. The discovery of the waterbrush from Niji is marvelous and something I have truly enjoyed using. I will most certainly be buying more of these for future use.
Jane’s teaching approach is pleasant and kind and very enlightening with quick dashes of humor. So many of us feel terribly vulnerable as we take on new challenges, but the support and encouragement were genuine with each of our submissions. I loved the fact that she really did comment on each and every single painting that students submitted during the course. While this was undoubtedly very time-consuming for Jane…I think it did make a genuine difference in our learning practices. When I expressed my frustration with achieving better greens, Jane was very conscientious and had actually gone back through my submitted works for a second time to help identify the problem I was having. She gave me some excellent advice that I will continue using. It was an “aha” moment when I realized that reviewing your work continually helps us to improve and shows us where we came from and the progress we have made. The lovely quotes used in our lessons and for our submissions were well-picked. I remember from the first lesson I was very, very nervous about submitting my work, but when I read the quote about “not comparing our beginnings to someone else’s middle” it helped me work through the trepidation I was feeling. Setting up a community of learners who had different skill levels and encouraging each of us to review our fellow students’ work and make positive comments was empowering. It was amazing and truly inspiring to see the work generated by others and how they interpreted the lessons and the results they achieved. This was a huge incentive to keep me going and to tackle something more than once. Having a creative community and interacting with like-minded individuals was so very valuable. Thank you Jane for making that happen.
- I learned 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 journaling!”
- • 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.
5×7 inch page
by Jane LaFazio
• 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 to 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, and 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 journaling 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 the 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, I 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, the 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 online watercolor 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 your 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 colors, 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 in using more watercolor. I will keep practicing! It was nice to have 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 to 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 another 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 on 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 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/encouragement/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. 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!