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Two Realistic Drawing Workshops

At the foothills of the Rockies in Louisville, Colorado
Sign up for one class, or both, for a full 4 days of extensive training!

Scroll down for more info or click the registration button 

The One Day Textures and Contrast
class is SOLD OUT
But, I still have a few seats left
the "BYOP" workshop
you can register 
by clicking the link below:
One Day
The Basics of 
Textures and Contrast
February 12, 2015


You will also learn how to accurately get the basic proportions down on your paper for any subject, and  how to use my techniques and supplies to help increase contrast and texture to make your work "pop". 


One Day Workshop Synopsis

Although it isn't mandatory, this class is recommended for students that haven't taken a class from me before. I consider the information you get in this one day class is invaluable. This knowledge really is the essence of realistic drawing. Once these core principles are understood and put into use, you will see an amazing transformation in your drawing ability. 

It will also get you up to speed with all the (included) supplies I use to create my realistic drawings. 

If you have mistakes in your basic layout, no amount of shading will make your drawing look realistic. That's why we will go over several ways you can get the basic proportions down correctly. 

Next you will learn learn to render both smooth and rough textures. These techniques they can be applied to any subject. 

You will learn all about backgrounds. A background can either heighten the contrast of your subject or diminish it. I'll also show you how, why,  and where you should consider a background in your drawings to give them more depth and dimension. 

Please check out my "previous students work" page so you can see how even beginners have achieved an amazing transformation in their drawing ability. Each student started off with this one day "basics" class. 

Here's the link:
Student Drawings 

Three Day
Bring Your Own Project
February 13 - 15, 2015


Bring any drawing to work on during this three day workshop. Subjects can include portraits, still lifes, animals, or really anything you' would  like to draw. 


Three Day Workshop Synopsis

This is a unique opportunity to learn to apply my techniques to your subjects - with me there helping you every step of the way. 

You can bring drawings in any stage of completion. You can even bring work that you previously thought was finished and I'll help you re-work the piece during class to make it really pop off the page. I will be there to help guide you through your drawing at your pace. If you need more time with the basics, I'm there for you as well.

This class will also include personal emails from me so we can discuss the project(s) you would like to work on in class. I'll give you help to get you going in the right direction so we don't spend class time "undoing" what you have started.  I'd like to recommend that you choose to work on a drawing with a fairly good reference photograph. But if you have your heart set on drawing that 2" x 2" picture of grandma, I'll help you through it, and we will concentrate on turning that bad photo into a great portrait. 

If you can't find a reference photo you would like to work from, I can supply you with the images and photos I use in one of my other portrait or still life classes.

The majority of my time will be spent one-on-one with each student. I will have my live camera and TVs set-up there so I can briefly demonstrate techniques when general questions arise. But if what I'm showing doesn't apply to what you are working on at the moment, you have my permission to ignore me! 

The supplies are included for this class but if you need to bring any pencils etc. to ensure continuity of a drawing in progress, feel free to do so. 

I will have examples of my some of my work on display so you can see the degree depth and realism that is possible using my techniques. 



J. D. Hillberry


One Day - Basics of Textures and Contrast -February 12, 2015
9 am to 4pm

Three Day - Bring Your Own Project - February 13 - 15, 2015
9 am to 4 pm each day


Courtyard by Marriott
948 West Dillon Road 
Louisville, CO, 80027, US

A special Group Rate of $95.00 is available for those that wish to stay at the hotel. This newly renovated hotel includes many amenities including a pool, hot tub, nearby restaurants, and a fantastic view of the Rockies! After registration, I'll send an email explaining how to receive the special rate

Primary Media:

Charcoal, Graphite and Carbon Pencils on White Paper

One Day

A deposit of $94.00 will secure your spot.
(The balance won't be due until January 12th, 2015)
Three Day

A deposit of $215.00 will secure a spot
(The balance won't be due until January 12th, 2015)

All Four Days

A deposit of $289.00 will secure a spot
(The balance won't be due until January 12th, 2015)

Maximum Class Size:

20 Students

Each student will receive one of my Contrast and Texture Drawing Kits
(A $49.99 value)

Opens Flat

Handy pouch holds chamois, felt, erasers, etc.

Stands like on easel

Elastic holds the pencils in place

Band of pencils is removable

Velcro makes it Easy!

Pencil band folds to stand up on its own.

Pouch for other supplies opens at the top

Pencil band forms a convenient pencil cup

For Pencils you are using most often

Includes bonus  DVD

showing how I use all these supplies.

The Kit Includes: 

(9) Kimberly Graphite drawing Pencils (9h, 6h, 2h, f, b, 4b, 6b, 8b)
The widest range of graphite to help with the subtle shading necessary for realism.

(1) Kimberly Graphite (9xxb)
Special unique formula allows dark values with no graphite shine.

(3) Primo Euro Blend Charcoal Pencils (hb, b, 3b)
Smooth, Dark, Rich Charcoal for even darker areas and rougher textures not possible with graphite.

(1) Primo Elite Grande Pencil
The darkest charcoal I've ever found. This pencil allows extreme contrast to make your drawings "pop".

(1) General's Charcoal Pencil Extra Hard (2h)
The hardest charcoal I've ever found.  Holds an extremely sharp point without breaking or crumbling. Without this pencil, it would be impossible to create the sharp focus realism I'm known for.

(1) Carbon Sketch Pencil (Soft)
Combines the smoothness of graphite with the deep rich blacks of charcoal. The hardness is approximately 4B. 

(1) Carbon (Hard)
 This new pencil from General's can hold a sharper point than the carbon sketch for more precise details in carbon.

(1) Layout Pencil
Perfect for getting your basic values down. Easily erasable, yet dark values are possible.

(2) Blending Stumps
High quality compressed paper stumps for blending graphite, charcoal, and carbon.

(2) Tortillions
Perfect for blending extremely small areas.

(1) Chamois Square
Used for very soft, smooth blending and shading. Also perfect for lightening values.

(1) Felt Square
Used to create rougher textures through blending

(1) General's Kneaded Eraser
This eraser can be formed into any shape. Use it to keep your drawings clean and highlights bright. I also use it to gently lighten areas to adjust values and create textures.

(1) General's Factis Magic Black Eraser
This black eraser was formulated especially for charcoal. It does not smudge, cuts a clean edge and won't harm the paper.

(1) Pen Style Vinyl Eraser
This is an extremely important erasing tool I use to "cut back" into darker toned areas to make a clean white line. Excellent for rendering hair, wood, fabric and many other textures. It's like drawing with white.

(1) General's Little Red All-Art Sharpener
The same sharpeners we use in my live drawing workshops. Designed to sharpen charcoal, carbon, and graphite pencils without breaking and is able to sharpen the fatter pencils like the Elite Grande and the Carbon Sketch.

(1) Sandpaper Paddle
This is how I get my pencils to a needle sharp point when I need sharp edges and precise detail. You can also use it to collect charcoal or graphite powder to spread with one of the blenders.

You will also receive a supply of (10" x 14") Arches 140lbs HP Watercolor paper to complete your classroom projects. 

All these supplies are yours to keep and will be waiting for you when you arrive!


Comments from Previous Workshop Students:

"Far exceeded my expectations!!! You will see me again."

"Excellent Class! JD is able to teach any student at any level."

"What a wonderful experience - great size class - full on attention. JD makes sure that everyone is understanding each step."

" JD clearly explains techniques by verbal and visual samples. I learned more in this class than reading many, many books."

"This was the best workshop I've ever attended. It was so nice to have the supplies provided so I had the tools for class without having to find each one. The techniques I learned will enhance every part of my art including painting."

"My experience in this workshop was great. I had tried to use charcoal before in my drawings, but never with any success. I learned techniques to apply the charcoal smoothly, how to use it with graphite as well as making different textures.  I'm excited and proud of my progress. And, I came away with a nice drawing and the materials needed to make more art! Very Pleased!"

"I liked the non-threatening environment and JD's personal attention to all participants. The cost was very reasonable for what I got from this experience. I also love the drawing kit!"

"The step-by-step progression and clear demonstrations were excellent. JD's demeanor was low key and helpful. I appreciate his patience."

"I had no idea how to draw and was able to astonish  family with the work I produced in class. JD's demonstrations were excellent."

"I had never drawn but wanted to learn. Despite my lack of experience, I fit right in and JD made me feel comfortable."

"Very positive and encouraging. The one-on-one critique was very helpful as was the constant reinforcement as JD went student to student. The over all attitude was light and fun and time flew!"

"I have learned more in this class than I have learned anywhere else. JD is a fantastic instructor and incredibly patient. I can't wait to take more workshops!"

"I would highly recommend JD's class to anyone - even if you think you can't draw - because he can teach you!"

"Many people can paint or draw exceptionally well – but most of them are not equipped to teach. This was not the case with J. D. – presented a very well thought out program – very easy to understand."

"Great course, lots learned in short time – will improve my portrait drawing. I will sign up for additional classes"

"Having taken art classes in drawing, this is by far the best instruction I’ve ever had. This was a first class affair! From start to finish. It is sad for the people who missed it."

"J.D. is very thorough and has a very good way of explaining things in an informal - relaxed atmosphere."

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