UK WORKSHOPS

Vic offers a variety of teaching workshops in different mediums throughout the UK. Subjects vary from wildlife paintings and portraits, to seascapes, people, children and pets. With mediums in pastel, pencil, oil, acrylic and watercolour, there's something to suit everyone.

Vic's workshops are suitable for complete beginners and advanced artists, and you will learn a great deal about the subject and medium you're working in.

Vic holds most of his private workshops near Newark, Nottinghamshire, which has easy access from all main motorways such as the A1 and M1. 

Vic's most popular workshops are still the big cat workshops at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent. A large percentage is donated to the sanctuary to help with their international conservation projects. These workshops are also a fantastic way to meet 'n' greet their big cats, and also get lots of great close-up photographs as references for your own paintings!

Vic keeps the numbers attending his workshops fairly small. This ensures everyone gets individual tuition and guidance throughout the day so they can learn a lot about the medium they're working in and achieve great results.

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£60 WORKSHOP VOUCHER
Suitable for Vic's Nottinghamshire workshops
* Voucher can be posted or emailed '
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£140 WORKSHOP VOUCHER
Suitable for Vic's Big Cat Sanctuary workshops
* Voucher can be posted or emailed '

2021 WORKSHOPS

LIVE ZOOM COURSE - SKETCHING BRITISH BIRDS COURSE

Start date: Thursday 22nd July 2021

Subject: Sketching British Birds

Medium: Graphite Pencil

Course length: 6 x 1.5-hour classes (9-hours total)

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photos (emailed), Feedback, Recording of the Workshop.

A workshop kit containing everything you need is available to purchase for this class.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £90

COURSE STARTED

My Zoom sketching courses are proving to be very popular, and it seems attendees are getting a lot out of them, both by actively using their sketchbooks more, and by producing some wonderful sketches along the way.

Sketching, for me, is a fundamental part of an artist’s life and I am particularly fond of sketching animals and birds.

In response to suggestions received, I am now offering a totally new six part sketching course, featuring some of our favourite feathered friends.

Each week the course will take one group of birds and study its essential and individual features before going on to create a sketch of that week’s subject, using my own techniques. You can also consolidate what you learn in each lesson by having a go at the homework, which I will gladly appraise for you each week.

Don’t worry if you find you can’t keep up with the live sessions. You will receive a recording of each lesson (usually within two days) to allow you to have a go at a more relaxed pace.

Lesson 1 – July 22nd – Small garden birds

We begin the course by looking at perhaps our favourite of all the bird groups; those that most of us see on a daily basis.

This first lesson will show you the simple basic body shapes of small garden birds, such as sparrows, robins, blue tits and dunnocks as well as learning about their specific features  - namely shapes of beaks, legs, wings and tail feathers. Then, using a reference photo supplied, I will guide you through my process to create a lovely and lively sketch of a sparrow in a garden setting.

Lesson 2 – July 29th – Larger garden birds.

Many of us welcome larger birds into our gardens too; blackbirds, thrushes, doves, starlings and pigeons.

After a brief look at the body shapes and essential features of this group, a reference photo is provided for you to complete a sketch of a handsome collared dove.

Lesson 3 – August 5th – Corvids

It’s probably fair to say that corvids have always received a bad press, mostly from farmers having to find new ways to keep crows and rooks off their crops, magpies and jays stealing eggs and so on.

In this lesson, after discovering the basic shapes and essential features, we will create a sketch of a mischievous magpie, all dressed up in his distinctive dinner jacket.

Lesson 4 – August 12th – Waterfowl

Many of us enjoy visiting rivers, lakes and ponds to feed the ducks, geese and swans. We are lucky enough here to have a small lake just a few yards from our house, where we can study the many varieties of waterfowl.

In this lesson, after looking at body shapes and essential features – especially the webbed feet, we will sketch a cute & fluffy mallard duckling in the water.

 

 Lesson 5 – August 19th – Birds of prey

Undoubtedly birds of prey are strikingly good-looking. There is something about the eyes that sets them apart from other birds.

The essential features section will cover not only the eyes of this group, but also beak shapes and those vicious-looking talons.

Our model for this week’s sketch is a kestrel, a bird you might occasionally see hovering above a field or perched on a branch looking out for small movements in the grass below.

This will be a two-part sketch, the first part of which will be done during the lesson; a full body sketch of our kestrel, using the reference photo supplied.

The second part will be your homework for this week; creating a setting/background for the kestrel that will provide a kind of narrative for your sketch; perhaps perched on an old gate post?

Naturally, I’ll offer some guidance and visual clues as to the kind of image that you might want to think about. Who knows? You might even want to turn your sketch into a complete illustration or painting?

Lesson 6 – August 26th – Sea birds

I have fond memories of visits to the seaside as a child and seagulls always played an essential part of these visits, strutting around or cheekily swooping down to steal food from unsuspecting hands.

Of course there are many other seabirds around our coastline – gulls, puffins, terns and shags to name but a few – and we will look at some of the characteristics of this group.

As with the kestrel, you will be asked to research and create the setting for your sketch for your final week’s two part sketch.

This time, you will be sketching a cheeky gull in a harbour setting; perhaps having just stolen someone’s lunch. You could incorporate lobster pots and other seaside paraphernalia to tell a complete story about your gull.

As I am anticipating and hoping that you might want to sketch even more of our native British birds, there is a kit available to accompany this course which includes the materials that I personally use in my sketches.

MATERIALS REQUIRED

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Kneadable eraser

  • Paper blenders

  • A4 150 gsm hardback sketchbook (40 sheets) – for all your British bird sketches and field notes

  • Reference photos (emailed before the class, or included in the kit)

A kit, including all materials and reference photos needed, can be purchased to accompany the course.

** Kits are posted out a couple of weeks before the course starts **

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TUESDAY TASTERS - RED FOX

Start date: Tuesday 27th July 2021

Subject: Red Fox

Medium: Illustration & Composition

Course length: 1.5-hour class

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photos (emailed), Feedback, Recording of the Workshop.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £15

7 PLACES  REMAINING

 

Creating illustrations is fun; whether for a story that you have written, or as a stand-alone storytelling image in its own right.

Illustrations don’t have to be photo-realistic, or involve lots of expensive art materials. One of the most basic and economical methods is, of course, to use graphite pencil on white paper.

You can, with little extra cost and effort, take a simple graphite sketch a step or two further by use of a toned paper and a couple of coloured pencils.

The aim of this workshop is to take a fairly standard photograph of a red fox and place him/her (you decide) in a simple but creative setting. The finished illustration could be part of a story, illustration for a poem or the title page for a book perhaps.

My own illustration shown here was inspired by the phrase ‘Over the hills and far away.’

 

In addition to showing you how to use the materials, we’ll also look at composition in your storytelling images; concepts which, of course, you can carry through into any of your artworks.

All you need to sketch along is: 

 

  • Grey toned paper or card

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Red & white coloured pencils

  • A reference photo will be emailed prior to the session

Work alongside me live, or just sit back and enjoy with a cuppa. You can then have a go with the free recording at your leisure.

** If you don't have the materials, please get in touch as we can either point you in the right direction, or put together a kit for you **

Book Red Fox Class
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Order North American mammals Course Kit

PLEASE ONLY ORDER THE ZOOM KIT ONCE YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR PLACE ON THE WORKSHOP

Start date: Thursday 2nd September 2021

Subject: Sketching North American Mammals

Medium: Graphite Pencil

Course length: 6 x 1.5-hour classes (9-hours total)

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photos (emailed), Feedback, Recording of the Workshop.

A workshop kit containing everything you need is available to purchase for this class.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £90

FULLY BOOKED

Sketching, as far as I’m concerned, is a fundamental part of an artist’s life and my Zoom sketching courses are proving to be very popular. From what I have seen and from the positive feedback, attendees are getting a lot out of them; actively using their sketchbooks more, going back to basic, uncomplicated art and producing some wonderful sketches along the way.

I am now offering a totally new six part sketching course, featuring some of North America’s favourite and most iconic mammals.

Each week the course will take one subject and study its essential and individual features before going on to create a sketch of that week’s subject, using my own sketching techniques. You can also consolidate what you learn in each lesson by having a go at the homework, which I will gladly appraise for you each week.

Don’t worry if you find you can’t keep up with the live sessions. You will receive a recording of each lesson (usually within two days) to allow you to have a go at a more relaxed pace.

Lesson 1 – September 2nd – Raccoon

We have had a few memorable encounters with raccoons on our travels, so it may come as little surprise that these rascally creatures rank high in our list of favourites.

They are also fun to sketch, with their distinctive bandit mask markings.

This first lesson will begin with learning about the raccoon’s specific features – eyes, ears, nose and mouth. After that I’ll show you the simple basic shapes of a full raccoon body. Then, using a reference photo supplied, I will guide you through my process to create a lovely characterful sketch out of those simple shapes.

Lesson 2 – September 9th – Moose

The majestic moose surely has to be one of North America’s most iconic mammals; instantly recognisable with its long legs, huge head, dewlap and broad palmate antlers in males. It is the largest and heaviest member of the deer family.

After looking at essential features – eyes, muzzle with those huge nostrils and antlers, I’ll show how you can create a really atmospheric sketch from a few simple basic shapes.

This sketch will rely more on tonal contrasts and less on detail, so it will be a good opportunity to practice those all-important tones.

Lesson 3 – September 16th – Black Bear Cub

This week is unashamedly cuteness overload week.

There aren’t many things that are cuter than a black bear cub, except maybe a black bear cub having a snooze in a tree.

We will begin, as usual, by looking at the bear essentials – eyes, nose ears and paws.

This sketch is very much about the arrangement of our simple shapes; shapes which most of us are already familiar with I’m sure.

We will take those shapes and rearrange them to form the pose of our sleepy bear cub, adding some features details and fur texture.

We will add the basic shape of the tree in the lesson, but the textures in that and the background will serve as your homework.

Lesson 4 – September 23rd – Mountain Lion

The mountain lion used to be widespread across both North and South America and, therefore, has been given a few different names, such as Puma, Panther, Cougar and Catamount.

Cougars are beautiful, powerful animals; more closely related to domestic cats than lions, tigers and leopards.

Mountain lions are mainly solitary cats; shying away from human populations wherever possible. Occasionally they might be found living in abandoned gold mines, which is the setting for tonight’s sketch.

In this lesson we will begin as usual by studying the essential features, concentrating on facial features, as the cougar’s head will be the main focus of our sketch.

This will be a two part sketch, where you’ll be expected to finish the background and parts of the abandoned gold mine setting for homework.

 

 Lesson 5 – September 30th – Chipmunk

I’ve always had a fondness for squirrels, especially since we’ve had a couple of hand-reared orphans here.

Of course, chipmunks are members of the squirrel family and, unlike grey squirrels, have not yet made their way to us from across the pond.

Some of the other names that this cute rodent has are ‘striped squirrels’, ‘minibears’ and ‘timber tigers’ (love this one!).

After looking at the chipmunk’s basic features, it’s back to the simple basic shapes to get our sketch started.

We’ll look at fur texture in particular for this week’s subject, as well as texture in our foreground, which will be a tree branch which our chipmunk is looking over.

The homework for this week will be to add in some background – perhaps soft, blurry tones. Maybe you’d like to add something extra in the foreground too? What’s caught our little ‘timber tiger’s’ attention?

Lesson 6 – October 7th – Grey Wolf

Of course we can’t leave North America without sketching one of the world’s most well-known mammals, and one of my personal favourites, the wolf.

Wolves in general have quite a history with humans, usually receiving a mostly unwarranted bad press, which is a surprise as they are the ancestors of our much better thought of domestic dogs.

In North America the grey wolf population has been pushed back to remote mountain, forest and grassland areas.

For our final sketch, in addition to studying essential features and basic shapes, I will also show you how to create the dense fur of a wolf without having to draw individual hairs layer after layer.

Again your homework will be to create a natural setting for the wolf. This could be a cool morning in a forest, a mountain backdrop, long grasses or anything else you might want to consider.

As I am anticipating and hoping that you might want to sketch even more North American wildlife, there is a kit available to accompany this course which includes the materials that I personally use in my sketches

MATERIALS REQUIRED

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Kneadable eraser

  • Paper blenders

  • A4 150 gsm hardback sketchbook (40 sheets) – for all your British bird sketches and field notes

  • Reference photos (emailed before the class, or included in the kit)

​** Kits are posted out a couple of weeks before the course starts **

LIVE ZOOM COURSE - SKETCHING NORTH AMERICAN MAMMALS

TUESDAY TASTERS - SUMMER MEADOW

Start date: Tuesday 3rd August 2021

Subject: Horse (Atmospheric sketching)

Medium: Graphite Pencil

Course length: 1.5-hour class

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photos (emailed), Feedback, Recording of the Workshop.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £15

12 PLACES REMAINING

One of the great things about sketching is that you don’t have to get bogged down in details to create lovely, interesting images.

In my own artworks I use a variety of sketching techniques, depending on what I’m trying to achieve. Perhaps that might be a graphite mock up for a pastel painting, where I’m more interested in the tones, lighting and atmosphere than details.

For me this is often the most fun part; quickly working up an atmospheric sketch, using scribble and simple directional shading techniques with nothing but a 2B pencil, kneadable eraser and paper blender.

The subject for this workshop is one of several horses I see in their field every day on our morning walks. The reference photo was taken early one morning just a couple of weeks ago.

 

The atmosphere – dark background trees, lighter foreground and back-lighting behind the horse – will, I’m sure, make for a lovely pastel painting workshop.

In the meantime, you too can have a go at this form of atmospheric sketching in this one-off class and, who knows, maybe you’ll get a chance to do the pastel painting too.

All you need to sketch along is: 

 

  • Cartridge paper (around 130-150gsm)

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Kneadable eraser,

  • Paper blenders or paper towel

  • A reference photo will be emailed prior to the session

Work alongside me live, or just sit back and enjoy the demonstration with a cuppa. You can then have a go with the free recording at your leisure.

Book 'Summer Meadow'
Horse Class
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Saturday 25th April 2020

Subject: Lion

Medium: Pastel on Velour
Length: 1-day

Included in the workshop: All materials, light refreshments, all tuition.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Big Cat Sanctuary, Headcorn Road, Smarden, Ashford, Kent. TN27 8PJ
Times: 10am-4pm (arrive 9.30am)

Price: £120

 

2 PLACES REMAINING

Something new for me and hopefully for you, for the first of my Big Cat Sanctuary workshops in 2020; a full colour lion portrait in pastels on black velour.

The subject of this workshop is the handsome African lion, Kasanga, who you will get to meet and take your own reference photos, like this one, on the morning of the workshop.

The use of black velour gives much more depth of tone than other colours, such as the sand-coloured velour, as well as allowing you to create dramatic highlights that can give an otherwise ‘standard’ portrait much more atmosphere.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, Vic will guide you step by step through the process of painting with pastels on velour; how to create fur texture, realistic eyes, all important highlights and, of course, the special techniques required when using black velour.

As always, the big cat/art experience begins with a guided photography tour, starting at around 10am. This is a unique opportunity to gather your own reference photos of  wide variety of big and wild cats at very close quarters for future use in your artworks.

The tour finishes at lunchtime, during which you are free to visit the on-site shop for souvenirs and enjoy your lunch under the watchful gaze of mountain lions and the famous ‘Maya’, whose enclosure is next to where we will be working.

The workshop itself begins after lunch and ends at around 4pm, after which you are free to admire and take more photographs of the beautiful Maya in the late afternoon light before leaving for home.

All materials and light refreshments provided. Please bring your lunch, an easel (table or standing) if you need one, and sensible shoes for walking around the enclosures (no sandals or flip flops please). And don't forget your camera!

The day will begin at 10am promptly, so please try to arrive around 9:30am.

For every booking, we donate £50 to the Big Cat Sanctuary. These funds help the sanctuary with upkeep and conservation projects.

LIVE ZOOM COURSE - PORTRAIT IN OILS

BIG CAT SANCTUARY LION WORKSHOP

Stating date: Thursday 7th January 2021

Subject: Portrait

Medium: Oils on canvas
Course length: 4 x 1 1/2 hour classes

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photo (emailed), Recording of the Workshop.

Other Info: The portrait course kit is available to order in advance for this workshop

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £60

 

COURSE STARTED

‘Portrait in oils’ is a complete course aimed at artists who want to learn or improve their oil painting skills.

Each lesson will focus on a particular stage in the oil painting process, using the techniques that I have used myself for many years.

Lesson 1 – Underpainting part 1

(7th January 2021)

We begin the course with probably the most important stage in any painting, a burnt umber underpainting, using the dry brush technique.

Once completed, the underpainting acts as a tonal foundation for subsequent layers, giving both basic details and all important tones to create form.

 

Lesson 2 – Underpainting part 2

(14th January 2021)

Once the burnt umber underpainting is dry, which will be just a few days, we can begin to create more subtle mid tones and key highlights.

This will be achieved by using varied mixes of burnt umber and titanium white, thinned slightly with linseed oil for easier control and flow.

Note: There will be a two week gap before the next lesson to ensure that the whole underpainting is completely dry before lesson three

Lesson 3 – Glazing

(28th January 2021)

Once the underpainting is completely dry, we can begin to add colour in the form of transparent glazes, a traditional oil painting technique.

Using the additional colours of cadmium red, yellow ochre and French ultramarine, thinned with linseed oil, we will ‘tint’ the underpainting with various colour mixes to create skin tones, and background.

Lesson 4 – Final details

(4th February 2021)

Using the rigger brush and thinned mixes of burnt umber, French ultramarine and titanium white, we will refine the portrait with finer details in the hair, eyes, nose and mouth, adding a few finishing highlights here and there.

Please note, the course is £60 per person, however, if more than one person is using the same Zoom connection, then the fee covers all participants from the same household.

MATERIALS

  • 290gm oil painting paper (14x10 inches)

  • #6 oil/acrylic round brush

  • Watercolour rigger brush

  • Oil paints:  Burnt umber, titanium white, cadmium red, yellow ochre, French ultramarine

  • Linseed oil.

  • Reference photo (emailed upon booking)

A kit is available for this course, which contains all the materials you'll need to complete the oil painting. Please take into account delivery times when ordering the kit. This kit is posted in a large postal tube.

The great things about Vic's Zoom classes is that you also receive a recording after each class/workshop. So, if you cannot attend one of the lessons, or would just like to re-watch the tutorial, you have the recording to watch as often as you like.​

SUMMER MEADOW - HORSE IN PASTEL

Start date: Sunday 8th August 2021

Subject: Horse in summer meadow

Medium: pastel on velour

Workshop length: 3 hours

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photos (emailed), Feedback, Recording of the Workshop.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 1-4pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 12.45pm)

Price: £30

9 PLACES REMAINING

Join me in this live and fully interactive workshop, using pastels on velour to create a warm, atmospheric painting of a horse grazing in a summer meadow.

The morning light creates the mood for this painting, picking up various summer hues of green and gold, with ‘Paris’ the bay mare almost silhouetted by the light shining through the dark, shaded trees in the background. A faint, hazy mist rising up through the still damp grass adds that extra little atmospheric touch.

I will show how, with a little imagination and a handful of pastels, you can use a standard reference photo and create a wonderfully atmospheric painting.

I will take you through all the stages of pastel painting on velour – a unique and forgiving support for pastels.

Each layer has its own importance, and this will be explained and demonstrated in full during the workshop.

You can either paint along with me or, if you prefer, just sit back and watch. Either way, the workshop will be available for you to view exclusively after the event.

MATERIALS

 

  • Sand velour paper (appox. 22x32cm)

  • Soft pastels: Dark brown, Light (sap or chrome) green, Dark green, Yellow ochre, Orange. 

  • Hard pastels: Black and White.

  • Reference Photo (emailed after booking or included in the workshop kit)

A home workshop kit containing everything you need, including a photo reference, is available to purchase. Once you have secured a place, please allow a minimum of 1 week to receive your kit.

Summer Meadow Pastel Workshop
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Order Summer Meadow
Workshop Kit

BIG CAT SANCTUARY – WHITE LIONESS WORKSHOP

Date: Sunday 26th September 2021

Subject: White Lioness

Medium: Graphite Pencil

Course length: Full day

Included in the workshop: Tour, Photography session, All Tuition, Workshop Art Kit, Light Refreshments.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden, Kent. TN27 8PJ

Time: 10am-4pm (Please be at the sanctuary for 9.30am)

Price: £130

5 PLACES REMAINING (Maximum number of people allowed to attend is 15)

Join me for what is to be my only workshop at the big Cat Sanctuary in 2021, with limited places available.

The subject of this workshop is one of the pride of white lionesses, all of them very regal looking ladies indeed!

Using a ‘scribble sketching’ technique with just a graphite pencil, kneadable eraser and cartridge paper, I’ll show you how easy it can be to create an energetic portrait without the need for fussing over fine details.

This is by far my favourite and most used sketching method, which I also use as a foundation for more detailed drawings.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, I will guide you through the whole process, starting with a few easy going practice pieces to warm up and loosen up your sketching muscles.

Then we’ll create a loose, energetic scribble sketch foundation for our lioness; the idea being to inject as much energy as possible into the sketch at the start.

Then we’ll begin to refine the sketch, little by little, adding as much detail as you want to, but leaving the initial energy lines in place.

Finally, we’ll see how we can use the eraser as a negative drawing tool; lifting blocks of highlights out and creating a sharper outline against a dark background.

ABOUT THE DAY

 

THE TOUR & PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

As always, the big cat art experience begins with a guided photography tour, starting at around 10am. This is a unique opportunity to gather your own reference photos of a wide variety of big and wild cats at very close quarters for future use in your artworks.

LUNCH

The tour finishes at lunchtime, during which you are free to visit the on-site shop for souvenirs and enjoy your lunch under the watchful gaze of mountain lions and the famous Maya, star of 'Big Cat About The House' series, whose enclosure is next to where we will be working.

THE ART PART

The workshop itself begins after lunch and ends at around 4pm, after which you are free to admire and take more photographs of the beautiful Maya in the late afternoon light before leaving for home.

INCLUDED IN THE DAY

  • Tour & Talk

  • Photography session/s

  • All art tuition

  • Art materials

  • Light refreshments

Please bring your packed lunch and sensible shoes for walking around the enclosures (no sandals or flip flops please). Don't forget your camera!

The day will begin at 10am promptly, so please try to arrive around 9:30am.

WHAT WE GIVE TO THE BIG CAT SANCTUARY

We give £70 per person to the Big Cat Sanctuary. This money goes towards upkeep and conservation projects.

MATERIALS KIT

You'll each receive the following materials kit to complete the lioness sketch:

 

  • A4 40 page sketch Book

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Kneadable Eraser

  • Reference photo

Please read the Big Cat Sanctuary's COVID guidance below.

Book The Big Cat Art Experience
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MORE WORKSHOPS COMING SOON...