Self-Directed Mini-Classes in Creativity

Creativity is an integral part of being human, and continuing to learn keeps us engaged, whatever our age or situation. I’ve found this to be true in my own life, and I love sharing it with others in any way I can.

So with that in mind, I offer here several ways to explore and learn … books, of course, which are available in our Bookshop, six self-directed mini-classes that arrive in your inbox weekly, with demos, links and videos, and five one-time downloadable eBook format classes adapted from the interactive courses I used to offer online.

Each type of learning may suit you at different times; some people prefer to get encouragement and challenges weekly, some like to get everything at once and delve into it as they choose – immediately, in sequence, or at random.

All classes may be printed out as hard copies or downloaded to your hard drive (highly recommended), and are yours forever.

Weekly Mini Classes

Whether keeping an artist’s journal, sketching, ink and wash, or watercolor pencil, you can take the class you want, when you want it — whenever it’s convenient for you, when you have time, after school or job, on your lunch break, after the kids are in bed, when it fits your budget, without having to wait on my schedule – or energy! Given my age, self-directed classes are the perfect answer, at a fraction of the cost of in-person workshops that require travel, lodging, eating out and more.

These online classes allow us to do something we’d never be able to otherwise – go international. We’ve had students from the Continental US, Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Honduras, India, Italy, Japan, the Mariana Islands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden and more.

During the time of the pandemic, this is especially convenient, as travel and getting together in groups is not feasible at this time, for any of us – so I still get to offer the classes you want, without the attendant risk or difficulty.

I hope you’ll decide to join us, as hundreds have since we started online classes in 2005.


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE — please open each link for full information

Keeping an Artist's Journal class

Ink and Wash class

Watercolor Pencil class

Quick Sketching Class 1 class

Quick Sketching Class 2 class

Quick Sketching in Color class

Links to short video demonstrations will be included in almost every class. There are bonus pages of relevant links, books, and other resources with almost every lesson.

These classes arrive once every 7 days, by subscription; you will receive an email with a link, and the lessons are yours to keep and access forever. DO please download to your computer.


$30 for each 4-week session; a PayPal button will be available on each class page.

Classes will be delivered once a week, for four (4) weeks, each one 7 days after the last.

NOTE: You must click on the link that appears in the confirmation email you receive immediately on payment, in order for classes to start. If you don’t see this email, please check your spam filter or junk folder. If  you don’t find it, write me at or my knight at and we’ll get it sorted out.

Downloadable Art Classes in PDF Format

These classes are the updated e-Book format of my original CDs, no longer available in CD format. Complete PDFs in themselves, they’re yours to open, save, download, whatever you wish!

Keeping an Artist's Journal CDKeeping an Artist’s Journal
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Watercolor Pencil Workshop CDWatercolor Pencil Workshop
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Drawing & Sketching CDDrawing & Sketching! by Cathy Johnson
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Watercolor CDWatercolor! by Cathy Johnson
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Watercolor Basics
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About Your Teacher photoI’m Cathy Johnson (often known as Kate by my students), author of many North Light books including Artist’s Journal Workshop, Artist’s Sketchbook, Creating Nature in Watercolor, Watercolor Pencil Magic, Painting Watercolors, Creating Textures in Watercolor and Watercolor Tricks and Techniques, as well as the very popular Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature and the Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature. (Both of those latter now available as reprints from Echo Point Books, as are many of my North Light books.) I was a contributing editor for The Artist’s Magazine and Watercolor Magic for 15 years, and was a contributing editor and staff naturalist for Country Living Magazine for 11 years. (See my complete bio.)

I’ve taught watercolor, watercolor pencil, drawing and sketching, and nature journaling in person, from Maine to Nevada and California … and now have discovered the wonderful, convenient give-and-take of an international online classroom.

After all these years, I still make art almost daily.