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Realistic Drawing Workshop

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

March 28 and 29, 2015

Subject: Still Life Textures & Portrait Basics

This special two day class will give you
a little of everything

Day 1: Still Life (contrast, textures, backgrounds)

Day 2: Portrait Basics (skin texture, facial features, hair)

All supplies are included! 

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

Click below to register


"White Bouquet"
Charcoal, Carbon and Graphite Pencils

"Luck is an Illusion"
Charcoal, Carbon and Graphite Pencils

Learn to create the secrets to increasing contrast and texture to make all your drawings "pop".


This first day will get you up to speed with the supplies, and pencils I use to create my realistic drawings. 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 the 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. 

Charcoal, Carbon and Graphite Pencils

"The Perfect Baby"
Charcoal, Carbon and Graphite Pencils

Learn skin textures and facial features including eyes, nose mouth and hair


The second day is a unique opportunity to learn the techniques I use to render realistic portraits. Time won't allow us to create a finished drawing but you will learn the basics of creating both smooth and rough skin texture as well as the methods I use to draw all the facial features including hair. With your new knowledge and supplies, your next portrait will be a remarkable step up in regards to realism and contrast.  

As usual, I'll have my HD camera attached to my drawing board and everything I demonstrate will be projected onto a big screen. After I demonstrate, I walk through the class to give everyone individual attention. Click here to see the workshop set up.

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


March 28 & 29, 2015 
9 am to 4pm 


Holiday Inn Express Bradenton West
4450 47th St West
Bradenton, FL 34210

The hotel is just minutes away from the famous Ringling Museum of Art.  Bradenton and Sarasota Florida consistently rank among the top art cities in the Nation by American Style Magazine. 

Thanks to the 40 miles of clean white-sand beaches, the 2013 title of “Best Waterfront View to Visit” was given to Sarasota by USA Today.

A short drive from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key sits adjacent to the glittering Gulf of Mexico and its Siesta Public Beach has been named one of the nation’s best. 

Away from high rise condos, Anna Maria Island is clean, laid back beach community with clear waters and soft white sand.         

All this makes this location a perfect getaway for inspiring art, fantastic ocean views, and warm relaxation. 

Primary Media:

Charcoal, Graphite and Carbon Pencils on White Paper


Total cost $290.00 
(Deposit of $145.00 will secure your spot and the balance won't be due until February 1st, 2015)
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:

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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