What do you want to learn?

I’ve been planning on creating new online lessons for some time and, with that in mind, we brought along some portable video equipment with us to South Carolina last week. Little did I know how timely my filming would be. With more people staying at home and workshops being cancelled (as many of mine were), now seems like a great time to finally share some of the things I’ve been wanting to teach.

My first go at this is an on-location video of me sketching the ruins on Spring Island. There’s so much to learn about filming on location. The sound, the lighting, the colour, and of course the unexpected — like a lawn mower going by. We are still figuring it out! But I’m happy we got the ball rolling, because now my first video is ready.

In a few weeks time I will start to roll out more lessons. They will likely be studio-based because it’s still too cold in Montreal to shoot outdoors, and because I can now say with some certainty that I will not be travelling anywhere warm in the near future. Look for a variety of lessons, both free and reasonably-priced (artists have to find new ways to pay the bills these days!), on topics that students have been asking about for years.

So my question to you is: what would you like to learn? I’ve had so many requests to create new classes as a follow-up to the lessons currently on Bluprint.com. Do let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And as a start, go on over to YouTube to catch my first on-location video. Future content will be more structured and comprehensive, but for your first glimpse, have a look at this one.

108 Comments on “What do you want to learn?”

  1. Sid Brown says:

    Just to say I am very very glad you are doing this!


  2. Holy Cowabunga! I have taken all your video classes in the past. I would like a demo of a painting like the one you did on Sanibel of a boat in an inlet last year.
    Sign me up, girl!


  3. Connie Kuhn says:

    Hints for negative painting. You make it look so easy! Connie Kuhn Prospect, KY

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Ritzie says:

    Great video, Shari. I would say just keep doing what you do, EXPLAINING each step as you go….letting us know your thinking, and of course also the colors you choose.

    Rita The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” *1Samuel 16:7*


  5. Anne Tarbox says:

    Painting water, puddles, ponds, fountains everything wet, shiny and reflective!


  6. lwells1053 says:

    Hi, Shari,

    I am scheduled for your urban sketchers workshop on Madeliine Island in July and crossing my fingers it will not be cancelled. In the meantime, I am rewatching my classes of yours on blueprint.com . I would like to see a class using your limited palette suggestions. Thanks so much, and hope to meet you in July.

    Sincerely, Lynn



    • Hi Lynn, I am crossing my fingers that Madeline Island will still be on. We did have a conference call the other day, and nothing has been decided yet. They are watching the situation and hoping things will improve by the summer.
      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll add it to my list.


  7. Debbie Leslie says:

    People (I know you’re supposed to say “figures”) and/ or forest paths, trees. I live in BC. Took and loved your courses. Thanks!


  8. Ellen Jenkins says:

    That’s wonderful Shari!! I’d love to know how you added gouache to the sunrise watercolor sketch series you posted a couple of months ago. and all of the things from previous comments! Thank you for always sharing.


  9. Ann Berry says:

    Oh, trees please! Thanks for all you are doing for us!!

    Ann Berry

    Sent from my iPad


  10. IRENE REINHOLD says:

    Thank you Shari. I would love any of the above.


  11. monarchd says:

    Specifically how to create better depth. When I urban sketch, I struggle separating background, middle and foreground. I can’t figure out if it’s my color, the opacity of my watercolor application, line detailing, etc that’s causing problems. I’m onboard with ant new offering you post, your instruction is easy to understand and the style is such I don’t feel stressed trying things out.


    • Thanks so much for your suggestions. I think that creating depth is something I do in almost every sketch, so I will try to remember to be very specific about that in my lessons.


  12. Margaret Horak says:

    Hi Shari, I’d like to hear about how you decide to paint a scene. I sometimes get too ambitious, or back a couple of years ago, when you taught in Anacortes, you pointed me to the “pilings” at the marina. I never would have painted that without your encouragement. The painting was one of my best. Anyway, stay safe and warm up there! Margaret Horak


    • HI Margaret, It’s so nice to hear from you. Hope you are well! Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to remember that in my lessons. I love those pilings and hope I get to sketch them again soon, in person. Stay healthy!


  13. sepowerswebb says:

    Love this! I continue to review your blueprint classes, but would enjoy anything new you put out!


  14. Judith Lais says:

    Thank you so much for doing this, Shari. Maybe you’ll get to MA sometime this summer for “real time” in person class, which I’d love to take. All things, Bluffton, Palmetto Bluff especially, and the low country areas are among my favorites. We’re there every winter getaway season for a time.
    I look forward to improving my watercolors from you online in the videos.


    • Thanks so much Judith. I love painting the low country. As for getting to MA this summer, I have my doubts. It seems like this situation is going to continue for a while and possibly through the summer… Stay well!


  15. Terry Belanger says:

    If you’re in the Low Country of South Carolina you seriously need to go to Brookgreen Gardens (www.brookgreen.org). It’s the country’s largest outdoor sculpture gardens. It’s on the coast in Pawleys Island. Although we have had to close the restaurant and indoor galleries, the gardens are still open and everything is at peak bloom this weekend! Jessamine, wisteria, redbud, azaleas and dogwood all together. I’ve been following you and your art for a looooong time and I work at Brookgreen so I know you would love it!

    Stay healthy,Terry Belangertbelanger@brookgreen.org


    • Terry, thanks so much for this. I am back home in Montreal now, but I will look up Brookgreen Gardens for my next trip to the Low Country. It’s an area I love. You stay healthy too!


  16. Kirk says:

    Enjoyed the lesson. Looking forward to future postings.


  17. israelmeesterkat says:

    I would love to see some landscapes with water. I loved your videos on Craftsy, but now that it is owned by Blueprint I hope you do not publish there. Consider maybe Patreon or something else??? Looking forward to classes!!!!!!!!!


  18. Sheila says:

    Hi Shari I would love to see a few lessons with demos of how you paint plants. Anything from your items you buy i.e. vegetable or flowers to trees, background plants etc. Your works appears so simple but is so very effective at capturing the feeling without a lot of details

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Judy Sopher says:

    I agree with Sheila. Flowers are one of my problems. Yours are always so fresh and real without being detailed. Also snow scenes. Snow shadows. The feel of winter.

    This is a great idea. Enjoyed your demo in SC and will gladly pay for your videos.


  20. jimbounds says:

    Thank you Shari. Sorry I missed you in San Miguel, but have purchased one of your videos on Bluprint. Looking forward to future videos.


  21. jjukes says:

    Hi Shari
    I am pleased that there is a new video on the way. I have both of your videos on Blue print as well as your new book which has proved invaluable in my recent venture into Urban Sketching.
    An expanded video covering colour application and alternate ways of using mixed media in day today sketching, Looking forward to any and all of your ideas.
    John Jukes


  22. Diane Kennedy says:

    Beautiful video! So nice to see when we are all shut in!


  23. Donna Thibodeau says:

    I have all your products. I do plein air air and you are my mentor. I am much too fussy. I am I interested in still life flowers in a vase, flowers in a bed, snow and rain puddles. Thanks for the recent video. So simple but the complete painterly scene is there.


  24. Sue Hampton says:

    I have your classes from Bluprint and refer back to them a lot. Your So Carolina video was great! I appreciate that you showed how you mix colors and how much water and paint you use to achieve the look you are after. Your explanations are thorough. Thank you.

    I am at a point where I like to watch a painting unfold as it is being painted. At the same time, to understand the hows and whys of what you are doing.


  25. Soni says:

    YES YES YES >> HAPPY DANCE >>> a rainbow in so many ways

    Loved the video >> will subscribe and paint with a lighter heart & more informed brush

    Great idea & thank you in all levels

    Wishes for : Painting water • Reflections • all above requests • Composition • solutions for too much water & color mixing

    Stay safe & good health to you & yours


  26. Emily Neel says:

    Woo hoo!
    I would love to learn more about tropical landscapes and reflections in water.
    I’m so excited about your online classes.


  27. Jane Jackson says:

    Hi Shari, many thanks for sharing your video. I would like to learn more about painting trees in different seasons and different species, something on painting garden hedges would be great too. Water both still and flowing, seas, lakes and streams, with reflections and currents and boats. Indoors it would be really good to learn how to paint views of different rooms, how to choose the scene, dealing with perspective, lighting and shadows. Of course guidance on flowers and veg would be welcome too. It seems I want to learn a lot!


  28. Dianne Waite says:

    Hi Shari
    My request in these times of self-isolation is painting indoors from photographs of landscape/buildings etc. My photo subjects of landscapes always have more distance in them and are darker than how the subject appears in reality, so it seems futile to use them other than for a basic reference. There is a difference between what the eye sees and what the camera lens records. I’ve seen some of you comparisons of photo and painting and you seem to work with lighter tonal values and colour than in the photo. Any expert tips would be appreciated. My work is always too dark! Looking forward to all the videos. Thanks, Dianne


    • Dianne, thanks for your reply. My first videos will definitely be from photo reference because I can’t get out to the house anyway. Just trying to find the right image at the moment, but I will keep in mind your suggestions. Many thanks for putting some thought into this.


  29. Iona says:

    Thank you Shari, for generously sharing the video. It’s really good to hear how you make your decisions about colours. I have your landscape class and your book, both are just great.
    I would love to know more about how to edit what you see to make a sketch or a painting, such as what to leave out, how to crop all that scene in front of you and decide what to draw and/or paint. Thanks! And stay safe and healthy!


    • Hi Iona, thanks for your reply. Glad you like the class and the book! I will try to talk about simplification and compositional decisions in my videos. You stay safe and healthy too!


  30. Geoffrey Bladon says:

    Hi Shari,

    Great idea!

    Trees, flowers, and foliage, please.




  31. Belinda says:

    Hello Shari,
    What a treat to hear and see you paint live. I’d like to know how you prepare your palette before you go out sketching. Your paint seems to need so little work to “wake” up, and your painting is so juicy. Also if you could tell us what size of brushes and type & size of paper you are using prior. Take care.


  32. Ginny says:

    Puddles of water on the street, rain, reflections!


  33. Arlyna says:

    This is exciting and can’t wait to see more… I have purchased your classes on Bluprint but wonder if you can have bitesize classes on Skillshare. Sometimes I have trouble getting thru an online class because of the length. Thank you and it’s a really heartbreaker that the Barcelona class has been cancelled.


    • Hi Arlyna, I hope to have videos of different lengths and subjects. Hopefully something will suit your time frame. And yes, I am so sad about Spain too. Hopefully we will do this again when the situation improves.


  34. joantav says:

    I really enjoyed watching the video. It was almost like standing next to you. Thanks for sharing how you did the Spanish moss. Well done!


  35. Patricia says:

    I would love to learn more about limiting how to keep a painting harmonious in color rather than using every color on the pallet. How do you decide what colors to use and what colors not to use before the painting gets out of hand and turns to mud. I would like more about Color mixing, how to paint shadows, reflective and cast of each color.
    I would like to learn brush strokes.There are so many things to learn it’s never ending.
    How do you teach your new students from the beginning? I would love to get back to basics.
    Love your work Shari. Thanks for all the post you make and painting lessons.


    • HI Patricia. I hope to always talk about keeping colours harmonious and using limited palettes. There are so many topics I can cover. Just setting up the video equipment this week. thanks for your suggestions.


  36. Denise says:

    i look forward to seeing whatever you do. Videos of the many requests posted from these followers will keep us all happy for quite some time!


  37. Chris kopet says:

    I would like the flower vignettes and other vignettes. Plus composing them on a sketchbook spread.


  38. Betsy says:

    This is great news for your online fans, though I’m very sorry your travel workshops are cast into doubt.

    I can’t wait to go and look at the video. Your blog and sketches, and watching birds and nature, are keeping me sane during this very anxious time. Nothing could be better to take the mind off of current events than to immerse oneself in a course video, so hooray.

    I would love to see you demo your painting process all the way through, especially with one of your classic free and expressive style of painting for flowers and foliage. Also would love to understand how to portray reflections and wet surfaces. Negative painting oh yes, especially for those complex scenes. Trees, foliage, flowers, expressive painting, how to plan out one of your “spontaneous-looking” works, etc.

    And just watching you do color-mixing would probably be magical. A lesson in lively, juicy color mixing and application.

    Also, everything everyone above said. 🙂 Thank you Shari!


    • Betsy, thanks so much for your thoughtful response. It really helps to read all of this. I noted down all of this, and lots of what you mentioned has been said by others, so I am starting to see what are the most popular suggestions.


  39. Barbara says:

    Great video, look forward to more. Would love to see a lesson on shadows – when to use a deeper local color and when to use a neutral shadow color. Understanding the theory would be helped by seeing it practiced in different sketches. Thank you for the instruction!


  40. Mario Salvatori says:

    My principal difficoltà Is to do the correct mix betwin water and pigment. Often mine is too much liquid and I’m not able to reduce It


  41. Lynn Holbein says:

    Shari — Having taken your weekend workshop in Vermont and both your Craftsy classes, I am very excited you are doing this. Please don’t be shy about charging for these classes. Top of my list is sketching people to populate urban and rural scenes.


  42. Heidi Simons says:

    Thank you so much for that youtube link.
    These days sharing is caring. I’m afraid I can’t subscribe for lessons , but I so much appreciate your blog with sketches and the youtube.
    Heidi S.


  43. Tracye says:

    I would love to see you do a still life in watercolor class!


  44. Leonie McLaren says:

    Love your work. I am a beginner and struggle with starting then when I do it doesn’t look right – i think it’s perspective but some ideas on where to start that’s achievable so that I can keep going and not be so critical. i think I pick complicated things but not sure what’s not. I am on blueprint and love how you make it look easy.. But how can i do it?


  45. Janine says:

    Whatever you are teaching is what I want to learn. 🙂 Thanks for doing this! Specifically, boats, water and reflections, how to simplify a scene, and even some drawing refreshers would be great. Trees, too. Stay healthy and safe!


  46. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear Shari,

    Just amazing,I have no more words.
    Because already all your admirers used all of them.



  47. tim says:

    Shari: Show me the water. It can be water in puddles, creeks, rivers or oceans. I’d like to see how you handle them. Thanks for keeping me motivated and occupied especially during these times of “house arrest”. Keep up the good work.


  48. Nicki says:

    This is the best news I have to yell out~~I’ve been waiting for your new online videos for so long! And thank you for thinking about that. I am recently watching your online courses maybe the fifth time. Every time I come back to watch again, I feel I understand more and get some more improvement. I really love how you simplify the scenes and make the paintings look so clean, transparent, vivid and minimalistic. Really want to learn how you draw different types of trees, rocks, and water. And the way you capture the light is definitely the best and I really eager to see how you approach that. Thank you Shari! Really hope that one day I can join your workshop. But now I hope we are all safe and healthy and pray for the world to be back to normal as soon as possible.


    • Nicki, thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. It made me happy to read this. I think I will probably start with a water scene since this is a very popular topic for most of my readers. You stay safe too!


  49. Suzanne says:

    Ooh, this is exciting. Some things I’d appreciate seeing in a video lesson. You’ve just parked the vehicle and now you’re going to set up and sketch/paint. You’ve walked to the perfect spot to paint cows in a nearby pasture. Seeing you unpack your stool, set up, tips about where the sunlight is, how you use and mix the right amount of water…and the pack-up!! How do you pack up and protect your 2-3 freshly painted watercolour paintings? Do you have to wait around for your palette to dry? How do you transport your sketches/paintings?
    How do you protect or prepare your watercolour paintings to mount on your wall, to protect or prevent the fading?
    How do you scan your work? Sorry for so many questions.
    I’d happily pay to learn 👍❤️


    • Wow, I think you’d probably like me to film my day from start to finish! I will try to show more when I am on location. As for scanning, mounting and transporting, perhaps that’s something I can talk about in a blog post. Stay healthy Suzanne!


      • Suzanne says:

        Haha! Yes, that would work for me.
        Alice must be wondering why her family is staying in the house day in day out. Wishing you continued good health as well Shari!


  50. Cora Brown says:

    I’m excited about all of these suggestions. I’d like to learn how to get better contrast in my sketches. I have the right pigments, but my darks always need to be darker than I can get them. I have both of your Craftsy classes, and was looking forward to the Madeline Island retreat. If it doesn’t happen, I will transfer to your Santa Fe workshop in 2021.


  51. Romana Davies says:

    Thank you for the wonderful lesson. Your way of teaching is excellent. Currently I am working through your Craftsy lesson on landscapes. Would love a lesson a course on water, waterfalls and river and streams.
    Thank you for keeping us continuously inspired.


  52. Stephanie Katchmar says:

    Hi Shari:

    I would love to have lessons from you on painting water!


    From: The Sketchbook Reply-To: The Sketchbook Date: Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 12:42 PM To: Subject: [New post] What do you want to learn?

    Shari Blaukopf posted: ” I’ve been planning on creating new online lessons for some time and, with that in mind, we brought along some portable video equipment with us to South Carolina last week. Little did I know how timely my filming would be. With more people staying at home”


  53. mira akoi says:

    Hi Shari!
    Great news , thank you and looking forward to your new videos! I Would love to learn more of your approach on how to breakdown detail to simple shapes particularly in tress, foliage etc. And Light and shadow! And painting flowers! Your paintings always capture the freshness with a minimum of fussy details!
    Hope you are keeping safe and healthy !
    Take good care!


    • Hi Mira, It’s so nice to hear from you! Thanks for this. In fact, my new video which will come out soon should cover some of this. Of course simplification is something I could teach in every video. Hope you and your family are all staying healthy!! You take care too.


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