Some Yellow Questions Answered

Hi Everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (for those who celebrate), and are enjoying the holiday break (for those who have one)!
I am just back in the game today, as most of our guests have left and I’m able to get back to planning “Y is for Yellow.”
I feel like I should be trying to “sell it” more, though, as we are just 10 days out from the start date! But this blog post is the best I can do before I get back to the fun stuff: drawing and painting and coming up with projects/assignments.😀
Questions about the “Y is for Yellow” Year-Long online class, starting January 8th!
Q: I’m not really an artist, just a mom of two boys and an idea of a children’s book that I would like to illustrate myself. I can’t say that I can’t draw at all. I can draw something. I just don’t do it regularly and most of the time it doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Do you think your course will benefit me or is it better to look for something simpler?

Also, could you, please, describe how time consuming the course is and what if I am very much behind the schedule?

A: Thank you for writing and for your interest in “Y is for Yellow“!
I feel like it will be a good class for you — the drawing exercises I give are meant for all levels, and try to focus on how to find your WAY of drawing (which in your case might just be that things turn out differently than you think!)… and there are plenty of new things to try in watercolor and mixed-media, too.
I think, just jump right in!
The amount of time needed for each lesson will change, as some lessons will include mixed-media lessons… so the longer ones might take 1.5 hours to do, and the shorter ones about 30 minutes… however, you can do much more than that if you decide to incorporate the drawing exercise into a daily practice, for example…
I guess what I’m saying is it is up to you how much time you want to spend on the lesson every two weeks… but the minimum would be 30-90 minutes every two weeks.
If you fall behind, please don’t worry! You can just pick up at that current lesson and continue on.

Q: [I am] wondering if it would be a good match for established artists who want some additional and diverse stuff to add to a licensing portfolio. 

A: “Y is for Yellow” will be part instructional and include 10-12 mixed-media assignments during the year, but participants will be encouraged to use their preferred media if desired, and can pick and choose which techniques to incorporate into their existing work.
There are also 26 drawing lessons, which will be related to the alphabet… I might have you render a “rhino using a ruler” (R), or a “portrait of Picasso” (P) or “charcoal cats” (C) or “abstracted animals” (A)… I am hoping most of these will be an opportunity for artists to be creative with the prompts within their own style.
I think “Y is for Yellow” would be great for established artists (I kind of created it because working on my drawing and then building a body of work is what I want to do myself!).
Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll try and answer… I want you to join me!😉

Maryland Cont.


Our half-vacation is coming to a close. It’s been quiet with lots of walking and watching of wonderful performances at St. John’s College.

Yesterday Steve and I went to Washington D.C. for lunch, and visited the “Wonder” exhibit at the Renwick Gallery — 9 installations! I took a couple of portraits of Steve:

Installation by Gabriel Dawe.

steve1.jpgInstallation by Patrick Dougherty.

And from one of my walks:


Have a wonderful day!

Registration is OPEN! “Y is for Yellow”


“Y” is for Yellow: A 26-Lesson, Year-Long Class
Instructor: Carla Sonheim
Drawing, Painting, Mixed-Media • $198 

First Lesson: Friday, January 8, 2016



Welcome to my 2016 year-long online class:

“Y” is For Yellow!
(And no, we won’t paint everything yellow!😀 )

In this class we will march through the alphabet as a fun way to move through our year (“P” is for Picasso! “C” is for Collage!), while tackling the more serious question,

“How do you create a body of work?”

As mixed-media artists we are always trying new media and experimenting with new techniques — which is awesome! But what can happen is we don’t take the time to focus long enough on the things we really love so that we can create a cohesive series that is uniquely ours.

Let’s refine, focus, and create a body of work this year!


In this class:

• You are encouraged to focus on your favorite media. (Don’t know what that is? That’s okay, there will be plenty of techniques to try with both the drawing and mixed-media lessons.)

• There will be 26 short drawing exercises, one for each of the 26 lessons. These are meant to be warm-ups to give you ideas on how to face the blank page. I’ll keep them fun!

• In addition, there will be 7 mixed-media lessons, 3 optional assignments, and 3 surprise lessons. They will include techniques (old and new!) in watercolor, acrylics, charcoal, and other media.

• There will be 12 “light” weeks where you have the time and space to work independently on your chosen series. The goal is to complete three small series of work by the end of the year, with each participant choosing their own subject matter and media.

• YOU will choose your three projects! Some ideas are working on an alphabet book, a children’s board book, some paintings for a show, your portfolio, a small line of cards, etc. (Alternatively, you can choose one larger project to work on all year.)

• You can view a PDF of the “Y is for Yellow” schedule, HERE.

• “Y is for Yellow” will include an online community (via a closed Facebook group) where participants from all over the world share their work, their thoughts, and encourage each other (one of the best things about taking an online class!).


New to online classes? Check out the “Frequently Asked Questions” page, and here are some recent comments from students!

“In my opinion, you are a gifted instructor, who actually makes art fun, and I look forward to learning more from you.” — Jo

“Your style of teaching is warm, genuine and clear.” — Sheri

“Carla and her co-teachers inspire not just making art but also a sense of community among the students, of whom many have been making art for quite some time and others are new to it. This sense of community shows itself in the way everyone shares art — within a closed group on Facebook — and comments in a wonderful, supportive way.” — Corinne




• All levels welcome and encouraged to join in!

• Registration fee is good for people living in a single household.

• Instructor Feedback: I will be active in the Facebook Forum and available M-F for feedback. This year I will try to focus on deeper, broader feedback each day at the top of the page, so I can’t promise to comment on each submission (though I will try!)

• If you’d like a feel for the supplies you will need for this class, CLICK HERE.

• If you’d like to know more about how our online classes work in general, CLICK HERE.

• If you have any questions, please email me at carla[at]

Thank you again and I hope you can join in!
Carla Sonheim

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Year-Long Class… Still Coming Soon!


The artwork above was supposed to go up last Tuesday, when we had planned to get registration open for the 2016 Year-Long class. But we missed the deadline… and then, like a doctor’s office, have been unable to work it in our very full schedule the rest of this week… so sorry for the delay!

Yesterday and today, we have Diane Culhane here filming her next class (set to start later January 2016), and the day before that I needed to finish up my very last “Year of the Spark!” lesson (Lynn Whipple still has one more to go!)

Here is a detail of the Spark! lesson… a “Happiness Collage Painting” where we go back through the year and create a piece using drawings and paintings completed throughout the year as starting points:


Anyway… thank you for your patience! Registration for the 2016 year-long will now open early next week.

And in the meantime, don’t forget that Fred Lisaius has a short “Holiday Gift Paintings” class next week… just $25… and he will walk you through painting three 5″x7″ acrylic paintings. Class begins Tuesday, December 8th. Join us!


Registration Open for Fred Lisaius’ “Holiday Gift Paintings”

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“Holiday Gift Paintings”
with Fred Lisaius
A 3-Lesson, “Bite-Sized” Class

Class Dates: December 8-11, 2015


The holidays are approaching and there’s no better way to brighten someone’s season then with the gift of original art.

In this class Fred will walk you through three small acrylic paintings. Fred is known for his stunning acrylic paintings. Luckily for us, he’s a very generous artist and is happy to share his acrylic techniques with us!


Class Itinerary

Lesson 1
Supplies Overview & Paint the Backgrounds
Tuesday, December 8th

Lesson 2:
Masking Techniques
Wednesday, December 9th

Lesson 3:
Finishing the Paintings
Friday, December 11th



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fredheadFred Lisaius is a painter, sculptor, and a popular art teacher at Bellevue College, WA  (“Fred is perfect!”). Fred is represented by the Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, and his work is in many private and corporate collections. Fred recently had a show at the Bainbridge Island Art Museum.




Sign up today!