Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical words and watercolour

Learn to illustrate with Danielle Donaldson

Beginner Resources, My art journeyphoenixarttally

Creative Girls with Danielle Donaldson

I have been taking Danielle Donaldson’s delightful class at the Jeanne Oliver network. I have always loved drawing little characters and I have been trying to learn to illustrate by taking classes with as many different people as possible so that my own characters eventually find their own style. I am enjoying watching how my girls morph from Jane Davenport girls to Juliette Crane girls to Danielle Donaldson girls. I think with each transformation they retain a little something from each experience. I am fascinated to see how they end up. Maybe there is no ‘end’. Perhaps the point is that our drawings taking on a life of their own and perpetually evolve. I like that idea.

What is in the class?

This course covers character building, journal making, a little lettering and perspective and is mainly using watercolours which I am currently in love with. (Mercifully, as I was off to a bit of a rocky start with an early attempt at ‘traditional’ watercolours!)

Here are my Danielle-ish girls. I even played with my twinkling H2Os for the first time. Danielle doesn’t use those in the course - I just couldn’t resist giving the girls a bit of bling in a rather subtle way. Hmm.. Is that possible?…subtle bling?

Creative girls with Danielle Donaldson

Creative girls with Danielle Donaldson

Themed journals

I love the idea of a themed journal like this one that Danielle teaches you to put together. I didn't opt to bind my own journal although I do love doing that too. At the moment I have set my book up as Danielle instructs and I am trying not to feel scared of messing it up… I’m working in pencil like Danielle which is unusual for me - never been a fan of graphite but… yippee, you get to erase!

Cover Girls

Danielle’s cover girl is a character called Bad Penny. She is super cute. However, I couldn't quite bring myself to call any of my characters ‘bad’ … so I have a different Danielle-ish girl. I have popped her on the first page in my journal. I might recreate her on a separate sheet and stick her onto the cover of my journal eventually.

Working small

The course also teaches you to work small to build up confidence in developing illustration skills. This is an idea close to my heart, as I first learned the appeal of working in a teeny journal when I took one of Joanne Sharpe’s classes Draw Your Awesome Life, which I also highly recommend.


Another part of the class I have really enjoyed is learning perspective. Danielle incorporates just enough of the technical skills of perspective to really help make more lively, realistic (and yet still whimsical) drawings. There is not so much of the technical skill building to stop the class feeling like fun as opposed to school. Look at my chairs… who knew drawing cute little chairs could be so fun?

This class is Danielle’s second creative girls class on Jeanne Oliver's network. I never took the first one, but after taking this class I think I might have to.