Online: Capturing the Essence

UPDATE: 2020 currently unavailable

I wanted to find a way to combine the wonder and healing aspects of my art workshop here at the farm, where people commune with the donkeys and we draw them. But I wanted to go further, and combine elements of my book "Creative Illustration Workshop" providing lessons of seeing, thinking, capturing the essence in a painting and much more.

Sign up period: You will have 2 months from the date you pay to finish your lessons. After that, links will no longer be live on the private blog.

  • No refunds after payment
  • All class content is ©K.Dunn and videos are private to class members only
  • It is a violation of copyright to share the videos
  • I am not responsible for your selected browser's technical trouble
  • Links will be disabled after after your two months are up

"Capturing the Essence" online workshop Cost: $129.50
Price includes 11 sessions - most with video - and narrative. Scroll down page to see Lesson Plan.

Once you pay below, I will ask you for your email so I can sign you up on the private blog.

Before you start the course, you will need a Google account to sign into the private blog.
I will enter your email address into the list of allowed blog readers. For each email address I enter, the Google account associated with that address will be given access to view the blog. If an address is not associated with a Google account, i.e. if you don't have a Google account , that email address will be sent an invitation email with a link to do one of three things -

1] sign in to an existing account,

or 2] create a new account

or, 3] view the blog as a guest for two weeks after which that email expires and I'd need to reenter it [which will become a big time waster for all of us]. I've tested this out on people, and none had trouble.

So make sure you get a Google account [and do not be afraid of this, it is easy]. Once you have a Google account it will allow you to stay signed in.

You have 2 months after you pay to finish the lessons
You go at your own pace.

Once you pay and your name is added to the private blog and to all movies that go with lessons.

Each [or most] lessons will have a video - or videos - so you need to have high speed or you might go mad. There will also be narrative by me in each video, along with samples, demonstrations and more for each lesson.

This is not your typical 'artist standing at her drawing table making step by step art' lesson plan. The goal for me is to share how I see and merge myself into creatures, objects, shapes, feelings and characters as little bits of inspiration that translate into a painting or story. The world is your library of images and textures and characters. The animals of Apifera will be the main focus of the early lessons and we will work on gestural drawings [loose, fluid drawings to capture the flow, motion, spirit of each creature - the 'essence"].

We will move on to looking at a moment in the barnyard and seeking the story in it - and you will be prompted to tap into your own past or characters that might intertwine here. We will work on a 'mini memoir' in drawing/painting. We'll look at organic shapes as patterns [always wonderful additions to your paintings]. And finally, I will demonstrate from start to finish a painting of an animal to show my techniques - but also my random thoughts as I go through it.

The sidebars of the blog will have "Extra Fun" project prompts. And I will provide narrative posts about nasty critiques I've lived through, overcoming fear, staying motivated and many other topics.

And there will be puppet interludes and more to make you laugh and sing...or ponder.

Lesson Plan:

Introduction and Materials A quick view of materials we'll be using - with other suggestions if you feel like straying,

Gestural Drawing
This video was made of last year's on site workshop here at the farm - it will give you a brief look at 'gestural' drawing. Watch, listen, feel, emote as you create fluid gestural drawings of the Apifera creatures. Demonstrations, videos of the animals and more. We will also focus in on some elements of these drawings and you will be guided to create more 'finished' pieces if you wish using elements you like or respond to.

~ Lesson One: Dose of donkey   
~ Lesson Two: Pig love   
~ Lesson Three: Goat Soul Walking   
~ Gestural Evolves Into Drawing
Child in the Barnyard
Remember when you were a child and you'd converse on and on with imaginary friends, a doll or yourself? Bring that little person back.

~ Lesson Four: Child in Barnyard   
~ Lesson Five: Nonsense Songs   
~ Lesson Six: Your mini memoir

Organic Landscapes
A sea of ears becomes a background, a beard of goat flows into patterns, the wind inspires line. Let's open up to shapes and negative space and see their beauty and essence. They can add to your library of images.

~ Warm Up: Senses   
~ Lesson Seven: You See Ears, I See Leaves   
~ Essence of a Moment

~ Can my friend take it with me for the cost of one? The Head Troll will know, and since this is how I make my living, please don't do that. But each $129.50 will cover one email.

~ I can't draw very well...can I still take it? Yes, please do - this is for all artists, non artists, stuck artists, stressed out folks who need to stop and look, animal lovers, farm wanna bes, thinkers, writers, bankers.

~ I bought your book, Creative Illustration Workshop". Is this just a repeat of that? No, not at all. It is much more hands on, still full of inspiration and art and whim and heart like the book - but much more about you taking notice of the power - both spiritually and art wise - of really taking time to look. I will repeat some tips and such, of course, but will also have new material.

 ~ I changed my mind, can I get  a refund? No refunds after payment.

~ Do I have to go in sequence? I think it would be best - but you can go back and forth later on. I'm a firm believer in thumbing though books and then going back and starting over.

~ I am deaf - is there closed captioning?All movies are captioned so the deaf can take the class.

~ Copyright terms of art you make Entire contents of movies and media on the Workshop site and movies are ©Katherine Dunn. Any of your own art is yours to share online. Your art might be used to help promote the Workshop and might be included in future workshops [with credit to you of course]. The art you make is your copyright - But the characters, animals, ideas of Katherine Dunn and Apifera and name "Apifera Farm" or "Apifera" are the property and copyright of Katherine Dunn. Any art that derives from these lessons can not be resold or licensed commercially using the names of the animals/characters here. I.E. you can not draw "Pino the donkey" or use the names of other animals here and sell it as cards or product. Direct [identical] paintings of my copyrighted photos or my art may not be used commercially in any way. These lessons are not meant to be exercises in simply mimicking my copyrighted photos but are to explore feelings, reach for new ideas within yourself and spark your heart and imagination. Questions on copyright, just ask.

~ Can I share the posts and Lessons on my blog to promote you? No direct word for word sharing of any of the Lessons, please, and no sharing screen grabs, content, video. But encourage people to take this course if you like it, by sending them to this page link or by writing on social media or blogs about your time here, and sharing the art you made.

~ How will you participate in each lesson? I will be both a background observer and mentor. This is a self motivated course and my instruction will come through the videos and narratives. I will answer specific emails as quickly as I can.  While I am here for certain issues, I will not be posting day to day responses on the blog. I also decided to allow comments on each lesson from attendees. There is a specific section on the blog for participants to commune with each other.

~Can I use my ipad? A student already asked me this, so I was grateful to be alerted. It does work. Go to the sidebar videos to see if they work for your ipad or whatever device you use.

Can I use a Mac or PC? What browser? The last time we had this workshop I had the videos embedded in the private blog, with Vimeo. There seemed to be glitches for some. I have switched to having the movie part of the lessons hosted on my You Tube page - where they will be private and only for students. Many students liked the factthat now they will open the movie and it pops up in a new windo/browser, so they read the lesson, and rewatch the movie as much as they want.

~ Will there be a materials list? The material list is very easy. The gesturals are done with one color and regular drawing paper using pastel or conté chalk. The costs of materials is very minor. It is detailed in the lesson plan once you sign up.

~ Will the puppet partake? Oh yes, the Puppet is integral in the Workshop.

More questions? Please email me.