January 2014 Colored Pencil Drawing Classes

Brighten up the cold gray winter with colored pencil classes
Create stunning artwork with this versatile medium. You will learn basic techniques and color theory to explore creative possibilities of colored pencils. Colored pencils can be combined with watercolors, acrylics, pastels and ink on various surfaces. Have fun with this versatile medium. 

Uppity Blue Hydrangea
18" x 22" Colored Pencil
© Barbara Goodsitt

Evening Classes, Winter 2014:
I will be offering colored pencil classes in the evenings at Washtenaw Community College on Tuesdays 6:30 pm- 8:25; 6 sessions starting January 21, 2014, ending February 25, 2014. Click here to register
Daytime Classes, Winter 2014:
I will be offering colored pencil classes in the afternoons with Ann Arbor Community Education and Recreation Jan 22 - March 19 on Wednesdays 1pm to 3 pm. Click here to register.


Kansas City, the Chicago Art Institute and a Studio Holiday Open House

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with relatives in Kansas City, MO. It is a city full of fountains, museums, and friendly people. We had a very interesting tour of the World War 1 Museum.

After  an enjoyable visit in KC, we were off to Chicago. I reunited with more relatives, and was also able to visit  the Art Institute of Chicago. I wandered throughout the museum by myself, and at my own pace. It was wonderful!  Here are some photos I snapped of some of my favorite pieces in their collection. Please look up better images on their website.

Mary Cassatt
Marc Chagall

Grant Wood

Georgie O'Keefe

Georgie O'Keefe

Georgie O'Keefe

Gaston Lachaise

Paul Cezanne

Claude Monet

Holiday Studio Open House

Lidia Kaku and Barb Goodsitt in Barb's Studio

Thank you to our friends who stopped in for our Holiday Studio Open House. It was held this past weekend by some of  the artists who rent studios above Dancing Dog Gallery in Ann Arbor.


Safehouse Center Calendar -
“Changing Lives” 2014

Sleeping Model
ⓒBarbara Goodsitt

I am very pleased to have my art included in the 2014 Safehouse Calendar. 
To purchase your calendar, Click on this link http://www.safehousecenter.org/donor-information/changing-lives-2014-calendar/   Proceeds from the purchase of the calendars support the critical programs and services SafeHouse provides seven days a week, 365 days a year. Calendars are $15 each,  three for $40, six for $75, and 10 for $120.

SafeHouse Center provides support for those impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault. "The center provides free and confidential services for any person victimized that lives or works in Washtenaw County. Our services include emergency shelter for those in danger of being hurt or killed, counseling, legal advocacy, support groups, and especially, hope."


Blue Hydrangea in Progress

© Barbara Goodsit

© Barbara Goodsitt

© Barbara Goodsitt

Drawing this hydrangea is a comforting process. I hope to finish it this week. It is full of beautiful shapes, colors and the promise of perennial blooming! I read an interesting fact about hydrangeas: you can change the color of this flower if you adjust the pH of the soil.  Perhaps my next hydrangea drawing will  have a higher pH creating warmer colors ♥



© Barbara Goodsitt
I am almost done with this colored pencil drawing of a cheetah. We saw this handsome guy at the Cleveland Zoo a few weeks ago. What a magnificent animal!  I received some feedback at a CPSA critique session that I should preserve the feeling of movement on the left side of the cheetah, so I kept it loose and blurry, giving the illusion of a speedy animal. He was really napping at the time.


Fall Colored Pencil Drawing Classes are now FILLED. Check back in Jan. 2014

I will be starting another session of Colored Pencil drawing classes with Washtenaw Community Colleges Community Enrichment Program.

Starting October 29th: a new 6 week session of Colored Pencil Classes on Tuesday evenings at Washtenaw Community College. All Levels are welcome. Only $89 for 2.5 hours in the art studio. Work on structured lessons or bring in your own art work. Many demos and individual attention provided in a supportive atmosphere. 


New Work

I am posting some of the projects I have been working on for the past month or so.
  1. I completed a painted violin for a University of Michigan Musical Society Fundraising Auction and documented the process along the way.
  2. A mixed media piece I created from the violin sketches I made up when brainstorming.  
  3. I also experimented with a stylized, almost abstracted piece that was accepted in the Great Lakes Small Works show 2013 at the Riverside Arts Center. 

STRING THEORY ©Barbara Goodsitt

BILTMORE'S TREE ©Barbara Goodsitt


News: Working in the Studio
& Upcoming Classes at WCC

I am now working in my new art studio above the Dancing Dog Gallery in Ann Arbor. This space used to be a guitar music studio. All of those creative vibes are still haunting the place, and it continues to be a wonderful place to work.

My classes in Colored Pencil Techniques begin at Washtenaw Community College, Sept. 10. They run for 6 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:25 PM. Go to the WCC Economic and Community Development registration page > community enrichment > creative arts> visual arts> colored pencil techniques (whew that is a lot of links)


Ann Arbor Womens Artists Ad

This week I want to share an ad for one of my art groups, Ann Arbor Women Artsits (and a few good men).  It is a very active group that is full of vital artists. One of my favorite activities is our Speakers Program that takes place the third Monday of the month, at our headquarters located at 4844 Jackson Road, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI.  Check out our website to find out more details. 


How pencils are made today - Derwent Pencil Factory, Cumbria, UK

When my kids were young, we used to watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on Public TV, and he would show videos about how various things were made. I recently found this video by Derwent about how they make pencils and enjoyed watching it. If you are a fan of pencil art, or manufacturing, you may enjoy viewing this video too!


Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

From Ann Arbor News Article 

I am thrilled to announce that I will establish a new art studio above the Dancing Dog Gallery. Formerly the Herb David Guitar Studio.  This historic building is being renovated to accommodate a new elegant gallery with several artists studios on the second floor.

Downtown Ann Arbor is a nice mix of restaurants, theaters and stores. The Dancing Dog  Gallery is sure to become a popular local art destination. This is something I have waited for and I am grateful to  be a part of this venture.


Artwalk Ann Arbor - Friday June 21

Come to Artwalk in Ann Arbor this Friday evening!  I will be showing some of my work at Margaret Parker's Studio with the Women's Caucus for Art. 210 South Ashley Street, Ann Arbor, MI



University of Michigan Musical Society

© Barbara Goodsitt
I was asked to do a painting on a violin for a University of Michigan Musical Society (UMMS)  fundraiser. After coming up with several designs, I decided to paint a colorful landscape in a style that I have been exploring the past year or so.  Here is my mock-up, which works well as a graphic.  It will be an adventure to paint it on the actual violin!


Artists Workshops

Green and Red Peppers

I recently took two wonderful workshops.  These peppers were from a workshop that I took from  Linda Lucas Hardy, an award winning artist from Texas. It was a great experience and I highly recommend her workshop.  We used brushes to blend prismacolor pencils on Canson pastel paper. I loved the process and was happy with my resulting piece. This technique works well on sanded pastel papers too. I have used it on U-art in the past.  I was told that my peppers were sexy!
I think that many fruits and vegetables just have beautiful shapes and colors, and that must come through in my drawings.

Linda Lucas Hardy teaching in Ann Arbor, MI

The second workshop was from another award winning artist from Ohio, Debbie Hook. She specializes in landscapes and I enjoyed working with colored pencil in a more lose, painterly way. It is always wonderful to work and learn with other artists in a workshop setting.

Landscape from Debbie Hook Workshop


Textures Class Starting!

Wood Frame © Barbara Goodsitt
We had a great start to my new class, Drawing Realistic Textures with Colored Pencils at Ann Arbor Community Education and Recreation. We are starting out by drawing a wood frame and then the students will fill it up with beautiful textures.  


New Class: Drawing Realistic Textures

Registration is now open for my class, Drawing Realistic Textures with Colored Pencils.
April 22- June 3 Mondays from 1:30-3:30 pm (no class May 27) Cultural Arts Building.
See the Rec and Ed Website for Registration 

Experiment with colored pencils, graphite and water soluble colored pencils to create realistic renderings of different textures. Projects include rendering wood, glass, fabric, fur, and more. Instructor will have structured lessons, but students are welcome to work on independent projects during their studio time. Instructor: Barbara Goodsitt, professional illustrator and member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. 6 weeks.

Colored pencil can be combined with watercolors, acrylics, pastels, and colored inks on various surfaces. Have fun with this versatile medium. The instructor will give demonstrations and individual support to students of every skill level.


Exhibition News

Scio Landscape ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
Esquire Interiors
I have several paintings for sale at Esquire Interiors at 5863 Jackson Road  through the spring season. (Scio Landscape pictured above)  This large design firm is now displaying furniture in a beautiful showroom. 

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
I will be exhibiting in the  Kalamazoo Book Arts Exhibition - Good Eats
They are listing me as a featured artist, which is an honor! (http://www.kalbookarts.org/). Thank you to my creative and talented friend Sandy Shelley (mixed media artist) for sending me information about this opportunity.


Lucy Taylor, Scientific Illustrator

Lucy Taylor (1952-2012)
Pictured in 1970's
Lucy Taylor was a scientific illustrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I had the opportunity to work with her in the 1970's.  She was extremely talented and passionate about illustration. She trained me to do graphics for scientists, and I did that work for several years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Massachusetts General Hospital-Boston, and other universities and businesses. I want to honor her memory. She made a big impact on my life. May she rest in peace.♥



Winter is hard, but it has its own beauty. As our planet warms, our winters are changing. The snow comes later and melts earlier than it used to. Cold is not comfortable. The change of seasons is an aspect of nature that I treasure, and I want to record the beauty of winter. Here are a few photos.

ⓒ  Barbara Goodsitt

ⓒ  Barbara Goodsitt

ⓒ  Barbara Goodsitt

ⓒ  Barbara Goodsitt


Portrait lesson

Cilck to Enlarge

Here is a step by step portrait lesson that I present to my classes. 
I have repeated this one a few times over the years and it has evolved.
 I like the look of a portrait when it is left a bit unfinished.


AAWA Winter 2013 Juried Exhibition

Click to enlarge
Come join us for our Winter Juried Exhbition at the Ypsilanti Public Library.
I was happy to have two of my pieces juried into this show. It is a lovely show with a great variety of mediums and styles. 


Squiggly Line Figure Drawing

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

Ann Arbor Women Artists recently rented a space where we have several artists studios, hold workshops, meetings, lectures and life drawing sessions.

I joined the life drawing group. Here is my most recent figure drawing done with colored pencils. I  experimented with a squiggly line technique that was inspired by John Smolko's beautiful colored pencil paintings. This was done in a two hour sitting.


New Colored Pencil Drawing Lesson

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

Here is one of the new lessons I will be including in my next colored pencil drawing class on Saturdays with Washtenaw Community College - Life Long Learning. This will be presented after students work on some basic exercises. This piece provides the opportunity to learn:
  • tonal layering
  • how to distinguish between foreground and background
  • developing dark backgrounds
  • working with odorless mineral spirits 
  • using colorless blenders. 

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
(click on image to enlarge)