Two Realistic Drawing Workshops

Coming to Westminster, Colorado
Sign up for one class, or both, for a full 4 days of extensive training!

All supplies are included! 
Scroll down to see the huge list of drawing supplies that are yours to take home after class

Class size is limited to maximize individual attention.
My drawing board has an attached HD camera that is fed to a large projection screen so the class can easily see the detail of the demonstrations.

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One Day

Basics of Textures and Contrast
(Rough and Smooth, Dark and Light)
April 30, 2015

Click below to register:

Three Day

(Rough Skin, Beards, Backgrounds)
May 1 - 3, 2015

Sorry this workshop is


Learn how to increase contrast and texture to make your work "pop"

This special one day class will get you up to speed with the supplies, and pencils I use to create my realistic drawings. If you haven't taken a class from me before, it is highly recommend you take this one. 

You will also learn the basic principles to create more texture and contrast in all of your pencil drawings. You will learn how to create various backgrounds of both smooth and rough textures using the supplies in my pencil kit. 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. 

Don't worry if you think you may not be "good enough" to take my class. This workshop is geared for beginners to professional artists. I'm able to take all levels because a good portion of my time is spent walking through the class, giving each student the individual attention they need to achieve the desired result. Click the link to see some student's drawings - both before, and after a class. 

Learn to create this Character Study Portrait entitled "Hook"

In this class you will learn the techniques I use to create realistic portraits with rough, wrinkled skin, white hair and beards. Students will also learn how to create a graduated  background from light gray to dark black and learn how the great renaissance masters used this technique to create more depth and dimension with their subjects. These techniques are very different than what I use to create smooth skin portraits.  

The first day everyone gets familiar with the pencils and techniques to create rough textures. The next day you will learn the methods I use to add sparkle to the eyes in a portrait as well as the methods I use for rendering a realistic nose, mouth, teeth, hair, and clothing.  The final day, we all work on the same portrait. I furnish all the reference materials, and supplies needed to create the drawing and these are yours to keep at the end of the workshop. 

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. The goal is to get your work to have the same degree of realism and "pop". 



J. D. Hillberry


One Day - Textures and Contrast - April 30, 2015  
9 am to 4pm.  

Three Day - Rough Skin Portraits - May 1 - 3, 2015
9 am to 4 pm each day: 
email [email protected]  to be placed on the waiting list

SpringHill Suites by Marriott
6845 W. 103rd Avenue
Westminster, Colorado 80021 USA

A special Group Rate of $99.00 is available for those that wish to stay at the hotel. This hotel includes a complimentary hot breakfast, pool, hot tub, and nearby restaurants. Spacious suites include a kitchenette, wet bar and separate living area. The area has beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains.
After registration, I'll send an email explaining how to receive the special rate.

Primary Media:

Charcoal, Graphite, and Carbon Pencils on White Watercolor Paper

1 day
Textures/ Contrast

Total cost $188. A deposit of $94 will secure your spot
Tuition includes 1 pencil kit
3 days
Total cost $430. A deposit of $215 will secure a spot
Tuition includes 1 pencil kit
4 days Textures/Contrast

Total cost $578. A deposit of $289 will secure a spot
Tuition includes 1 pencil kit you will use in both classes

Maximum Class Size:

20 Students

Each student will receive one of my new 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


If you have any question at all about my classes, please call (303) 469-0059 or email me at:
  [email protected]

Comments from Previous Workshop Students:

"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."

"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!"

"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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