Jean Mackay - The Artist Sketchbook (Online); Tuesdays, February 23-March 16, 2021

Date: Tuesdays, February 23-March 16, 2021
Time: 3:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time / 6:00-8:00 PM Eastern Time
Level: All (some drawing experience helpful)
Medium: Pencil, Ink, Watercolor

Supply List pdf

Our live online classes are taught via Zoom. Students have the opportunity to interact with the instructor and other participants, watch live demos and receive feedback and instruction. You will have access to a class chat forum on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions. You will also have access to recordings of the class that will expire 30 days after the final day of the course.

To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.

You will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Find out how to access the class group message board here. 

The artist sketchbook is a powerful tool for learning and growing artistically. Free from the expectation of “creating a masterpiece,” working in a sketchbook will give you the freedom to experiment, practice, and record your experiences. We’ll focus on sketching on location with pencil, pen, and watercolor and explore ways to capture subjects including nature, travel, and common everyday subjects. Each session will include demonstrations and exercises, with sharing and feedback in a supportive group. Optional assignments will be geared to help you practice techniques and develop a weekly sketching habit. This class is suited for beginners to advanced artists, though some experience with drawing is helpful.

Session 1: Jumping In: Overview, essentials, and basic techniques.

Session 2: Creating Pages: With nature as our subject, we’ll explore different types of page layouts, including close ups, panoramas, single species sketches, grids, and collections.

Session 3: Taking it on the Road: We may be confined to our homes now, but one of the great joys of keeping a sketchbook is taking it with you, especially during your travels and vacations. We’ll focus on travel sketching, making maps, and ways to add local flavor.

Session 4: The Art of the Every Day: Ordinary household objects and food may not be your go-to subjects, but they are perfect for keeping your sketch habit going and learning new techniques. We’ll have some fun with everyday objects to broaden your sketching horizons close to home.


Jean Mackay is an artist, educator, and naturalist. She has been keeping an artist journal for more than nearly 20 years a way to study and share the beauty and diversity of nature, as well as to record the art of everyday living. Working in all kinds of settings, from tide pools to farm fields to her own backyard, Jean’s journals reflect a keen eye for detail and profound sense of wonder. Jean teaches at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine and at the Art School of Columbia County in New York. Her blog, Drawn In, shares the ordinary, yet extraordinary things that she encounters close to home and farther afield.

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