Birds of a Feather • Japanese Paper Place & Pan Pastels


Fall & Winter Workshops 2016

Upcoming awesomeness!


Art FUNdamentals •10 wks WEDNESDAY EVENINGS  Oct 5, 2016 – Dec 7, 2016 Time: 5:00 PM -6:30 PM, Level: Ages 8-9 *Link to register

Art FUNdamentals at VAM is a fun and progressive course comprised of over 600 lessons making up a 7 year program. Children never repeat the same lesson twice! Working at their own pace, students are encouraged to slow down and watch their imaginations speed up while developing and practicing new skills. Students work in small peer groups and investigate drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking and much more while connecting the dots through art history, the principles of art and design and art practices from around the globe.

Teen Portfolio Prep-Secondary School •11 wks WEDNESDAY EVENINGS Oct 5 2016 – Dec 14, 2016 Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Level: Grade 11+ *Link to register

Specialized courses designed for students who plan to apply to a visual arts program at the secondary or post-secondary level. Along with the opportunity to develop new portfolio pieces, students will be coached on presentation, critique and interview skills. Each student will participate in a private mock-interview and portfolio critique. Currently in Grade 8 and applying for Fall 2017 entry to Secondary School Visual Arts Programs. Emphasis is on preparing portfolio-ready work that meets the requirements of regional arts program in Peel District, Dufferin Peel Catholic District and Toronto District School Boards. Materials included. Students should bring a sketchbook and expect some weekly homework.

Acrylic Confidence – The Bold Basics • WorkshopBreaking_web
Part 1- 5 weeks, THURSDAY MORNINGS October 6 to November 3, 9 am to 12 pm *Link to register
Part 2 – 5 weeks, THURSDAY MORNINGS November 10 to December 8th, 9 am to 12 pm *Link to register

Discover the essential techniques you need to paint confidently with acrylics! Understand the technical properties of acrylic paints and mediums, fundamental design, colour and value, and how the right tools and tips all work together to help you achieve astonishing results. Key techniques will explore traditional and experimental approaches to painting with this forgiving, versatile medium, giving you a new understanding of the myriad ways you can use acrylics to create anything that catches your imagination. Benefit from demonstrations, advice and personal guidance for beautifully completed paintings that combine knowledge and skill with the joy of painting!

Creative Cardscreative-cards-sample-web
Saturday December 10th 2016 – 9am-4pm

Get ready for the holiday season! Express creativity, joy & gratitude while continuing to improve your painting skills and learning a variety of interesting techniques to expand your ability to create with mixed media. Using acrylics, drawing tools, and collage elements in combination with tips for stylish presentation, this festive card designing workshop welcomes all ages and all levels of experience, inspiring a wide variety of ideas for making your greetings this year extra special.

The Dancing Brush • one of my favorite brushes in the world!

It all started in 2010 at a demo, when artist Peter John Reid handed me a unique, crazy extra long rigger brush, that he though would lend well to what I was painting at the time. It was obvious I had way too much fun painting with this brush, and with a gentle smile, Peter so generously gifted it to me. From there on in, this special brush has become an exceptional tool in my work.


Almost every artist I demonstrate this brush to has wanted it and asked for the source. Back then, I had saved a link for the original one, but since the brand is now obsolete *sorry!* the good news I have found that DaVinci makes a very, very similar brush! The biggest differences are the tiny handle and more bulk from the belly to the tip (which has more of a point), yet the bristle length is the same (55mm long) made of synthetic filament (imitation Squirrel hair) and has results that are similar enough to make me *squee* with joy while using it!
DaVinci Short Stroke Brush, pointed tip | Series 706
This brush allows me to ‘let go’. You can of course us it to effortlessly create perfect, pin-stripe lines – but with jiggles and wiggles (think, a jazzy groove!), it adds playful abstraction with unpredictable variegated lines and peculiar, out of the blue dashes!
It is available on – although not cheap (DaVinci is a high end brand), it is worth every penny if you keep it in your usual brush kit, reach for it often, and take care of it.

Here are some examples/inspiration for you, or works that benefited from The Dancing Brush!
Enjoy xo
The dancing brush was used to create impression of foliage 'scribbles'

The dancing brush was used to create impression of foliage ‘scribbles’

The Dancing Brush was used with the Interference Gold accents in the background.

The Dancing Brush was used with the Interference Gold accents in the background. Subtle, nice touch 🙂

The Dancing Brush is THE BEST for pin stripes!

The Dancing Brush is THE BEST for pin stripes!

Many elements of this mixed media piece were created using The Dancing Brush, from gestural scribbles, to dots!

Many elements of this mixed media piece were created using The Dancing Brush, from gestural scribbles, lines to dots!


Using The Dancing Brush with Interference Turquoise, this piece came alive!

Using The Dancing Brush with Interference Turquoise, this piece came alive!



Courage + Experimentation = Evolution!

tree drawing_process


Almost a year ago, I started a drawing of trees on a wooden panel, and after 48 weeks of abandonment, I just mustered up the courage to experiment on it – and I’m super excited with the result! For as long as I can remember, I’ve drawn trees without leaves. Perhaps it was simply a love of simplicity, or a fear of layering or losing the intricate structure of the drawing (where shapes eliminate precious linework), but any of those reasons no longer serve me now… I have an itch to let go – to trust & be creatively reckless – to evolve! Cheers to the courage to create!

Magical Mandalas • art class

Magical Mandalas Art Class


If you love mandalas and meditative art forms, you will love this drawing class! Delve into the ancient art of self-expression to create your own personal Mandala, and explore the sacred circle of symbols and patterns – so beautiful and easy to create – no previous art experience required!

The very act of creating a mandala can lead us to many blessings, such as the experience of wholeness and inner clarity and possibilities! The artistic process embraces the joy of colour and imaginative mark making, and with the guidance of artist & instructor Sharlena Wood, you will have a finished piece of art to hang on your own wall!

All materials will be provided. Options for prints & framing your Mandalas for any occasion will also be available through Great Spirit

Date • Wed Dec 9th 2015
Time • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Where • RAWspace – 270 Carlaw Ave #102, Toronto ON
Cost • $55 per person – All materials will be provided.
Max 8 people • Space is limited ~ sign up today!

Email to sign up
Website •

My favorite art materials!

A reference for artists taking Painting Wildlife: Acrylic Mixed Media and Drawing Wild Animals on

The Magic of Mixed Media • Phoenix Process



Learn more about this process in Craftsy’s online class – PAINTING WILDLIFE: ACRYLIC MIXED MEDIA

Whisky Comparison

Another commission request for two portraits. Unless I’m on a path to certain insanity, my hope is that after years of drawing pets, I’m getting better. Even more so, that drawing the same reference twice, is actually the key to keeping fresh and growing in my own style. The second one always seems better…. but who’s comparing? 🙂

Two portraits of Whiskey

Two portraits of Whiskey


PanPastel Colors​ just launched a wicked giveaway for three Drawing Wild Animals classes + PanPastel product kit! Check out PanPastel’s post.

I am also gifting a free link for my treasured online art class, DRAWING WILD ANIMALS! (class description at the end of this post)

Drawing Wild Animals

Simplify the steps for drawing iconic animals. Depict wild animals with true-to-life proportions, dimension, textures and features.

How to enter?

  1. Make sure you are signed up to my mailing list
  2. Caption the below photos or SHARE this with your friends 
    I will randomly draw a winner on Wednesday, and will share a funny, behind the scenes treat for mailing list peeps! So please SHARE – even if you are on the mailing list and/or already enrolled in the class xoxoxo love light
Sharlena 'Behind the Scenes' of Drawing Wild Animals #1

Sharlena ‘Behind the Scenes’ of Drawing Wild Animals

Sharlena 'Behind the Scenes' of Drawing Wild Animals #2

Sharlena ‘Behind the Scenes’ of Drawing Wild Animals

Sharlena 'Behind the Scenes' of Drawing Wild Animals

Sharlena ‘Behind the Scenes’ of Drawing Wild Animals #3

Drawing Wild Animals

Online class @ (<——this is a $20 off link to buy the class!). Learn how to draw wild animals with dramatic detail and dynamic depth alongside artist Sharlena Wood. You’ll get step-by-step guidance for depicting three beloved animals in black and white: the elephant, the panda and the leopard. Throughout class, Sharlena will teach you to work with PanPastel and charcoal — mediums that make vivid animal portraits easier and faster to draw. Start by blocking in your animal’s main shapes and get tips for drawing them with accurate form and proportion. Move on to rendering value shifts with confidence to create drawings with remarkable dimension. Then, bring your work to life as you find out how to accurately draw animal skin, fur, spots, eyes and more. Discover new techniques and mediums as you draw powerful portraits of these amazing animals.

The Craftsy guarantee

•7 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
•Class materials, including supply lists and beautiful reference photos
•Hours of close-up instruction
•Answers from Sharlena in virtual classroom
•Watch classes on your own schedule: wherever, whenever you want.
•Your access never expires.
•100% money back guarantee.

Sharlena Wood creating in the Craftsy Studio

Sharlena Wood creating in the Craftsy Studio


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