Artists Share their Passion to support others

In recent weeks, we have been profoundly struck by how rapidly artists, teachers and creatives have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world. They have been some of the first to have to deal with the changes at breakneck speed, both in terms of how they teach and the methods in which they support their students online. We wanted to highlight some of the positive ways they have been reacting to the change and the  ways they are offering art instruction online.  Here’s a little bit about them and some information on courses, videos and livestreams that you may be interested in to help you continue with your art practice or encourage you to start the drawing habit. It’s easier to maintain the habit of drawing with some support from online groups and artists that inspire you!

Rachael Taylor – Make it In Design

Make It in Design, co-founder Rachael Taylor, has been running online design courses for a number of years for surface pattern design enthusiasts. She has recently added an online course ‘The Gift of Creativity’ as a fun and free resource for everyone from designers and creatives, to families and those homeschooling their children to anyone wanting to try something new at this unsettling time. The classroom includes a whole host of creative challenges, projects and tutorials, many of which can be taken by the whole family. New content will be added weekly. For free access to the ‘Gift of Creativity’ course, click here


Lisa Lachri, LachriFineArt

You may know of Lisa Lachri’s work from the front of the Derwent Inktense tins. Lisa is a well-known professional artist with over 270k YouTube subscribers and hosts regular livestreams and Q&As.  Lisa has created many videos on how to use Derwent ranges such as Procolour, Coloursoft, Watercolour and Lightfast pencils. Join Lisa every Wednesday at 8pm CST for a two hour long real time livestream of drawing and painting sessions whilst she explains what she is doing and answers your questions.  Subscribe to @LachriFineArt on Youtube for regular updates and videos straight to your device. Here are some links to a livestream broadcast on the 26th March using Derwent Inktense here  and another here. You can find Lisa on her Youtube channel  @LachriFineArt

Jake Spicer, Draw Brighton

Alongside writing instructional drawing books, Jake Spicer has been running the independent drawing school Draw Brighton for 11 years. Originally started as weekly life classes for 6 people in the corner of his shared studio, Draw Brighton has become a flourishing social enterprise, holding around 1000 individual drawing, painting and printmaking classes every year.

In light of the current pandemic, Draw Brighton have closed all their life classes, but want to keep true to all of their values by continuing to employ all of their freelance tutors and models. In a very short period of time, the studio has switched over to producing online drawing instruction via their channel.  This includes detailed help on drawing techniques and methods and weekly drawing ideas on their blog. Further details here.

Jake Spicer is one of the biggest proponents of the power drawing, both as an artistic development and a means of experiencing the world through a different lens, slowing down our looking to allow us to process new situations and our environment.

Since closing the doors of the studio Jake has found that the art community is incredibly resilient, with people holding online drawing classes, sharing their artwork with one another on social media and posting drawings and handmade postcards to one another.

‘We’re really positive for the survival of our community – models, artists, students and tutors – and hope that we might even reach out to more people we had never reached before. In the meantime we’ll be sharing photos from our Drawing Circus events, and from our commissioned photo-sets with our supporters to keep everybody making art! For further information visit here.

SketchbookSkool – Koosje Koene

Each weekday, Sketchbookskool is hosting live drawings parties on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram to help people get creative. Led by Sketchbook Skool founders Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, each live video will focus on a different topic or technique. Click here to see a full listing of the many drawing courses they offer.

At 8am EDT on Instagram follow @SketchbookSkool  for a live drawing session making the most of your materials and giving you ideas for daily sketches and subject matter in your home. At 12pm EDT on Youtube and Facebook, join Danny Gregory for a live drawing lesson from the Sketchbook Skool library of courses. Connect with members of the global creative community and learn something new. If you miss it live you can watch all episodes on YouTube. Subscribe here to get notified.

Last year Derwent teamed up with SketchbookSkool to create a live webinar called ‘Tips from the Experts’ an hour long demonstration on how to use coloured pencils. The webinar has some very useful tips and techniques from Derwent ambassador Judith Selcuk. Click here to view the course and learn from the experts.

The Virtual Instructor

The Virtual Instructor was first created for art tutors as a resource for them and their students to learn different art techniques. Virtual Instructor has opened up 25hrs of members only content free to art lovers for the next four weeks to help both students and teachers learn art remotely. The lessons are appropriate for middle school to high school levels that teachers can share for free with their students, all centred around basic art materials, click here for further details.

Cindy Wider, Draw

Cindy Wider, originally from Australia, is an award-winning artist, art author and educator and founder of As a passionate artist and art educator Cindy is devoted to sharing her love and knowledge of children’s book illustration with her students throughout the world. DrawPJ has a wide range of courses available, including a course on childrens book illustration, ideal for anyone who wants to use coloured pencil in their illustrations, characters or colouring books. There is also a complete drawing course for beginner to advanced. For further information on Cindy’s courses click here

The Art of Wellness  – Derwent Facebook Group

Last year Derwent launched the Art of Wellness, a facebook group moderated by Derwent brand ambassador Judith Selcuk to help support anyone with their queries on drawing and painting and to inspire those on the group with weekly tasks.  We have recently started to trial a livestream broadcast to this group, you can see our first broadcast here by Judith, a beautiful video tutorial on how to paint spring flowers with Inktense. Join the group here for further livestreams, weekly drawing tasks and a community of artists all seeking support and encouragement with their drawing.

As Dickens once said, “We have to keep each other afloat even when we can’t touch.” Art can be incredibly powerful and supportive in such times, but the most important thing is to have fun, enjoy the process and support one another.

If you have any ideas, online groups, artists, teachers, books that you would to share with people at this time, please use the comment box below.