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Review of Wendy Hollender Colored Pencil Workshop

By Sue Kuuskmae

Wendy Hollender demo

Wendy Hollender demonstrating during her colored pencil class. Photo credit: S. Kuuskmae, 2011.

Wendy Hollender of the New York Botanical Garden arrived from her snow-bound farm near New Paltz, NY, on Sunday, February 13, and stayed with me in Manhattan Beach as she got acclimated to our time zone before her workshop began.

The class was held at the Creative Arts Center, Manhattan Beach, on February 14 & 15 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Wendy stressed doing the form of the plant first and thinks about color only after that is complete. We began by doing the shading of a small fruit that we found on some local bushes as she demonstrated the technique of giving a 3-dimensional look. She also gave a demonstration of how to do a few different kind of leaves before she set us loose on giving it a try.

The second day we were given a demonstration of correct perspective and then worked on whatever drawing we had brought with us. Wendy walked around stopping at each desk continuously so that we all felt we got lots of attention. This is one of the good aspects of her teaching style as she never gets bogged down with one student for an inordinate amount of time. At the end of our second day, we all visited each desk to hear Wendy’s comments about each piece of work and her suggestions for improvement. This was quite educational for all.

As we had several out of town participants from San Diego, we had a dinner out on Monday night, which was lots of fun. Arlene Weinstock of the Colored Pencil Society joined us for a delicious meal at a local Lebanese restaurant. I hope that when Wendy comes out this way again, I will get enough notice so that I can once again get together a workshop for those who are interested in colored pencil skills.  For a good review of Wendy’s methods, take a look at her new book, “Botanical Drawing in Color – A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color” which can be purchased on line at

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