Announcing a new class filmed entirely on location: The Broken Mill

I’m so thrilled to launch a new class today. “The Broken Mill” was filmed entirely on location, in Pointe Claire Village, with the soundtrack of red-winged blackbirds and in the company of many bugs and the occasional dog walker.

What excites me about this course is that I get to share everything I love about urban sketching, taking you along with me as I compose the scene, share the story of what inspires me about the location, and show you how I plan and sketch (in ink and watercolour) the windmill from start to finish. I also get to finally show you my full compact plein air setup that I take with me on daily sketch outings. In fact, this course is as close as I can get to the experience of an in-person workshop these days!

My subject is one I’ve sketched often — a 300-year-old windmill in Pointe Claire that is situated on a peninsula that juts out into Lac St. Louis — and is interesting not just for its historical significance but also because it was recently damaged in a storm (hence the “broken” in my course title) and is awaiting repair. For me, that enriches the story behind the sketch. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Plein Air Sketching Tools: My own take on a compact, transportable sketching kit
  • Narrative: Choosing a subject that tells a story
  • Good Planning: Creating a values thumbnail to establish composition, along with lights and darks
  • Preliminary sketch: Using rough pencil lines to block in shapes and composition
  • Ink and wash: Combining ink and wash to create a lively under-structure
  • Shadows: Using shadows to add volume to your subject
  • Darks: Finishing with details that “finish” your sketch

Along the way, you’ll also see how I deal with changing light, and how I mix colours on my palette for stone, sky and trees.

“The Broken Mill” includes:

  • Eight video demos
  • A downloadable reference image
  • A full list of materials for my plein air sketching setup

For a preview of “The Broken Mill,” check out the trailer.

10 Comments on “Announcing a new class filmed entirely on location: The Broken Mill”

  1. Denise says:

    Can’t wait to sign up for this next course! All of your on-line offerings have been excellent resources for improving my painting. I’m sure this one will not disappoint. Thank you for these efforts!


  2. Yvonne says:

    Sign me up!!! Well, I already signed myself up, lol! I can hardly wait to see the contents 🙂


  3. All signed up. I really enjoy watching you …oh, I also do the lessons. Thank you for continuing to offer these workshops.


  4. Tracy says:

    Shari, I loved your classes on Craftsy and have been wanting to sign up for your new classes. Thank you for the sketchers bundle for the first three classes….I’ve just signed up (I lost my job in the pandemic, have finally picked up some contract work, and just really needed a “treat” and the reduced pricing is super helpful). I’m especially eager for the water one!


    • Hi Tracy, I’m sorry to hear about your job, but happy to hear about the contract work. I tried to keep the pricing on the courses reasonable, and I think people appreciate the trio too. Glad to give you a treat. Enjoy!!


  5. Judy Sopher says:

    Just signed up for Light, Color, Shadow. The others are on my list. Now that I have a laptop again, I’m looking forward to catching up.


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