Lucky Drawing with Susan Shie. Class information.
I'm now taking students for my next class, Lucky Drawing 173, July 14 - August 12, 2024. Soft open Sunday, July 14.  All drawing skill levels, women students 18 and over, in a private Facebook group classroom.  Starting on May 17, 2024, I'm taking registrations for up to 20 Students, on my Facebook sign-up event page.  If that link won't work for you, please call or text me at 330-317-2167, or email me at, or FB Message me at Susan Shie, and just tell me you want to take the class.  I'll need your phone and email.  I'll put you right into my personal class list.  But I hope the link works, so your name will be there with the other signed-up students.

Take a walk on the wild side of making art appreciated and uncriticized, with freehand drawing, in our large, hardbound sketchbooks.

5 AM drawing. ©Susan Shie 2016.

I began drawing "5 AM Drawing with Juno" aka "The Two Tailed Dog," on 10-3-16, because one of my Lucky Drawing students, Juno, had mentioned that she was going to get up at 5, to draw before she went to work. I said I'd do the same, so she'd have company. We texted each other, to feel like we were really sitting together in the kitchen, drawing together. I decided to begin my drawing as a Library Time drawing - 10 minutes in which you draw whatever comes into your head. I got images of giving our dog Libby her Dog Wash bath the day before, the cats wanting to be fed, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her memoir, and walking Libby with my friend Pat. I gave LIbby 2 tails here, but then couldn't remember what the reference was, that I heard on the radio, while I was drawing. The Two Tailed Dog Party is in Hungary, and it parodies the political elite, and is mostly street art and grafitti. I really like that, and it should be the title of this drawing!!!! I worked to finish this drawing off and on, for a few more days, because I really liked it. It's 14"h x 22"w, in my large hardbound sketchbook, which is the format of our class drawing asssignments. I used ink, watercolor, and colored pencils. Oh, and the first thing I drew was Juno and me sitting across the table from each other (in my imagination) and drawing together. All of the drawings you'll see in this long page here, are ones I made for my Lucky Drawing online classses.

Susan Shie.  Turtle Moon Studios.  2612 Armstrong Drive, Wooster, Ohio, 44691-1806.

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Off-beat and very NOT about HOW TO DRAW, but how to express yourself and REALLY enjoy drawing, the way it naturally comes out of you, my online drawing classes will get you drawing a lot more and loving it!  And all this time, you thought you couldn't draw!!

Basic info:

Upcoming class name: Lucky Drawing 173.

Teacher: Susan Shie

Class dates:  July 14 - August 12, 2024.

My contact info: 330-317-2167 (text or talk),, FB Messenger text to Susan Shie.  Send checks made out to me, to Susan Shie: 2612 Armstrong DRIVE, Wooster, OH 44691.  Send PayPal payments on the PayPal site, to  (The name on my account is in my husband's name: James Acord.)

Class Location: on Facebook, in a secret, private group.  No one but the students and I can access it.

Price of class: $175 with personal check, or $180 with PayPal with US$, or $185 in US$ with PayPal if you use foreign currency. See contact info above.

Soft opening: Sunday, July 14, 2024, sometime between 3 and 4 PM eastern time.  During that time, I'll invite registered students into the class to get set up that afternoon or evening, by sending you a FB notification from me (Facebook Notifications are in the Bell icon, on your FB page.)  You'll click on that notification, and it will take you to the FB group called "Lucky Drawing 173."  When you get there, bookmark that page for easy access during the 4-week class.  And I'll give the first drawing assignment on Monday morning, July 15.  So yeah, you really should try to come on Sunday afternoon or evening, and get your album made, with your brand new selfie photo!  But the best news is that this class is NOT time-of-day specific.  You show up when you can and want to, so you can be there for the first time on Monday, if you need to wait that long.  Come to the class at any time of day or night, all through the class, and your postings and comments will be seen by the rest of us, when we are there.  It's just like how the conversation flows on regular FB pages.

How to register: Study this page.  Then sign up for this online class by going to my Facebook event page for Lucky Drawing 173, to register, and clicking on "going," so I know to put you on the class list.  On that page, you can look at the "going" list, to see who else has signed up for the class.  If that sign-up page link won't work for you, call or text me at 330-317-2167, or email me at, or FB Message me at Susan Shie, and just tell me you want to take the class.  I'll need your phone and email. I'll put you right into my class list. Big thanks!

Then contact me, to tell me when to expect your payment.  See contact info above.  Also, if we're not FB friends already, please send me your friend request to my Susan Shie FB page, because I can't invite you to join the group, unless we're FB friends already.

Class format:  This is a freehand drawing class, taught in a very radical style: guidance and inspiration without how-to's, step-by-steps, or critical judgment.  The emphasis here is on getting us all to trust our natural way of drawing, and to express our ideas and feelings in our own unique ways in our work.  There’s no need to worry about your drawing being “good enough.”  Just let it flow out of you, watch it come, and try to not judge it!  It's your honest work, and that’s what we want!!!!!  I will never try to get you to correct or improve your work.  I don't believe in art having rights and wrongs.

I give two assignments a week, and you can do them all or some, and you don't have to do them in the order I give them in.   All assignment themes can be done, changed, or ignored.  Bend them all you want!  I encourage everyone to take time to give positive comments on all the drawings posted in class, including my work.  I need positive feedback, just like everyone else does!   Drawings are done in large, hardbound sketchbooks, with simple freehand drawing supplies.

Students: Adult women.  Conservatives will not like this very Liberal-leaning discussion group.  Just warning you.  Because the class is a private, secret FB group, we discuss and sometimes choose to draw about current events, and the social commentary definitely swings to the left!  No one argues in my classes, please.  We are a support group.

Attendance:   Come to the class any time of day or night, when you want to post your drawings or make comments about others' drawings in the class, or respond to comments others have made about your drawings or others'.  There's no specific time to be there with others. It just feels like we're all there at once!

To register for this class, LD 173, please go to my FB sign-up event page for LD 173, and click the "going" button to register for this class, and see who else is going to be there.  If we're not FB friends, please send me a friend request, as I can't put you into my class, unless we're linked as FB friends.  When you register, you don't have to pay right then.  I'll take your class fee at any time before the class, or even during the class, if you need more time. :)  What I want to do with that sign-up page, is to get everyone on the student list, so I know how many students I'll be having. I now cut the class size off at 20 students.

There's more info on class fees and how to pay me, about 1/4 down this page, right after the Dalai Lama drawing.  And the Supply List is about 2/3 down this page.

My Lucky 7 Plan: If you take 6 classes with me, you get the 7th class for free.  Stick with me and receive a free online class, after you pay for 6 classes!  I have some students now working on their eighth or even ninth cycle of getting another free class!

Lucky Drawing Classes to the start of 2025 schedule:

   LD 165    Jan 8 – Feb 6, 2023.  19 students.

   LD 166    Feb 19 - Mar 20, 2023.  13 students.

   LD 167    April 2 – May 1, 2023.  12 students.

   LD 168    May 14 – Jun 12, 2023.  7 students.

   LD 169    Aug 6 - Sept 4, 2023.   13 students.

   LD 170    Oct 29 - Nov 27, 2023.  13 students.
   LD 171    Jan 21 - Feb 19, 2024.  15 students.
   LD 172    Apr 14 - May 13, 2024.  14 students.
   • LD 173    July 14 - Aug 12, 2024.  This is the class you're signing up for now.
   LD 174    Oct 13  - Nov 11, 2024.
   LD 175    Jan 19 - Feb 17, 2025.



 All About Lucky Drawing:

Becky's Pot  ©Susan Shie 2016

I made "Becky's Pot" in my Lucky Drawing 114 class, finishing the piece on Aug 25, 2016, for my class assignment "Body Language." I also made my class video of me creating this drawing, so if you take my class, you'll have access to that little Lucky Film. The story here is based on Becky Jackson's photo of her classmates and herself, on a break during a pottery class at UNM Taos. She so triumphangly held up her pot, I asked her permission to freehand draw from her photo, which is her Facebook page banner pic. When I wrote on the piece and told her story, I also added the history of Medical Marijuana (MMJ) in the US, partly because my state, Ohio, begins to enact our law about MMJ in September, and I wanted to research it. I used colored pencil, Inktense colors, and gel pen to make this piece. The fortune says "Your dreams are never silly. Depend on them to guide you." (randomly chosen fortune, pulled when the drawing was finished.)

Please go to my Facebook event promotional page for this classIf the link doesn't work for you, call or text me at 330-317-2167, or email me at, or FB Message me at Susan Shie, and just tell me you want to take the class.  I'll need your phone and email. I'll put you right into my class list.  Big thanks! If the link works for you, please go there and click "going."  The list under "going" on that event is my class list, so be sure to get your name on it if you can, if you're going to take the class.  Or click "interested," if you want to go, but haven't decided for sure yet.  Thanks!  It helps ME, when the class list grows on that page, and other students can see who else is going to be in the class, and get inspired.  If we're not FB friends already, please send me a friend request, since I can't put you into the class group, unless we're friends on FB.  Thanks.

You can continue to take my classes online, as when people take piano lessons or a yoga class that continues over a long time.  But you can also take it for just one or two 4-week sessions, or pop in and out over the years.  There will usually be a 2-month break between most of the 4-week sessions, and you won't miss anything if you are in and out of the sessions over time.  You are very welcome to come to this class as a new drawing student or a returning one.  You don't need to have taken a drawing class from me or anywhere else before.  I will always have some brand new students and some repeaters in all my 4-week sessions, and the classes will always have students with all levels of drawing skills.  Each artist's personal best is what we're focused on.  I'm not interested in your drawing skills.  I want you to feel the joy and happiness that comes with drawing in your own natural style, because that will take a lot of stress out of you!  Remember: there really are no rights and wrongs about drawing.  Just express yourself!

A woman interested in taking this class wrote to me: “If you want some early feedback: I don’t want to sit around drawing still life stuff. I am scared of drawing anyway.  I want to do fun stuff that resembles the real but doesn’t have to look like a replica.  I need a kick in the pants or incentive to overcome the fear of drawing. I love funky stuff and funky colors!"  I wanted you to read that quote, because that's exactly the kind of students I'm looking for!

Duncan Jones' COW graduation. ©Susan Shie 2016

"Duncan Jones' College of Wooster graduation 1995" ©Susan Shie 2016. I made this 14"h x 22"w drawing in my sketchbook for my David Bowie assignment, for my Lucky Drawing 109 online class in 2016. Duncan chose my alma mater for his college, which made me really proud of both the student and the school. Matt Dilyard took a black and white photo at graduation, of this scene (minus me, of course), and that photo came out on the front page of the newspaper. I felt sorry for Duncan, that his star-father got this publicitiy, and I suspected that both of them felt bad, that Duncan couldn't just be Duncan that day. But when Bowie died on Jan 10, 2016, I thought of that photo, and I found it online and used it to study for my freehand drawing of Duncan's graduation. I'm in the drawing, because I graduated there in 1981 and wich I could have met Duncan. Now this image seems very sweet to me, and now I'm glad Matt Dilyard captured the proud father with his graduating son. Bowie's wife Iman is on the right side, also quietly proud of her step-son.

The class is much more about expressing yourself through drawing, rather than making the best drawing in the class.  We work with making narrative drawings of our ideas and stories, rather than me giving traditional formal exercises or teaching rules used in drawing.  So we're not dealing with perfection of drawing, but rather with learning to open up and express ourselves without formal rules or judgment.  I guess you could compare my teaching style with the Montessori style of teaching.  It's about self expression and independent exploration.  But I bring it all together, as we share themes and encourage each other with supportive commentary on the drawings each of us uploads to the Facebook priate group that is our classroom.

This FB group can only be seen by the people who are in the class, so all that we post and say is totally private among us.  You must have a Facebook account and you and I must be Facebook friends, in order for me to include you in the class.  You must be able to photo your class drawings and upload them to the classroom, in order for us all to see your work, and I can teach you how to do that.  I'll leave up the class up on FB for as long as FB lets me, so you can go back and reference it, share new drawings or news there, or find friends you made there.

Kissing Chain for the UK. ©Susan Shie 2016

"Kissing Chain for the UK." This was my drawing for my first weekly assignment: Breaking News, in Lucky Drawing 113. It's about a kissing chain held in Europe on June 19, 2016, to show support for the UK, because of the violent murder of the UK MP Jo Cox, because the killer disagreed with her empassioned support for Syrian refugees in the UK, and because the kissing chain participants wanted to send the UK love, to get them to vote to stay with the EU, when they would have their referendum vote on June 23. The kiss wend down a long line, first in Rome, then was passed by iPad to Berlin, then on to Paris, and finally ended with a long line in London. It was all well documented, so I spent a lot of time studying photos and videos, before I make my drawing. I started it by freehand drawing the white guy kissing the black girl, and then added more sketches of more of the kisses, from other photos. I drew them all with a blue bic pen, and later added watercolor, colored pencil, and black gel pen to this 14 x 22" drawing in my large sketchbook. The paper fortune I selected at random at the end and glued on, says "Your love of gardening will take on new meaning in your life." This is my favorite drawing right now. :)

In this class, we are only doing actual freehand drawing with real art supplies on real paper in the 11 x 14" (or optional smaller) hardbound sketchbooks, and we are NOT doing any iPad or other digital drawing, tracing, or collage.  There are classes for digital drawing, but this one isn't.  So thanks for understanding that and drawing freehand on paper in this class.

I met a fascinating woman named Bet Ison, at the reception for STITCH, a show I juried at the Claypool-Young Gallery of Morehead State University in Kentucky on August 26, 2015.  We were discussing how so many artists have never learned to draw and are afraid to draw.  She threw her head back and laughed: "I never let not knowing how to draw stop me!!!"  I got her permission to quote this gem of an insight!  And I want you to take it to heart!

Oasis Girls enjoy Quiche at the Cabin. ©Susan Shie 2015

"Oasis Girls Enjoy Quiche at the Cabin at Miller Lakes." ©Susan Shie 2015. I started this drawing right after getting home from a gathering at Mady's Cabin, with only one Oasis girl missing, since there are only seven of us actively coming to our gatherings anymore. Midge brought her dog Chloe though. We were celebrating Margi and my mutual birthday, September 28th. This is 14 x 22", a double page spread in my big hardbound sketchbook, finished 10-26-15. Rub-a-Dub marker, watercolor, and gel pen. The paper fortune says "Prsoperity and love are in reach." I always choose the fortune from a pile of them, at random, so it must be true!

I began teaching freehand drawing online in January, 2015, though I have been teaching drawing in person, since 1981, when I began teaching undergrads Drawing I and II at Kent State University's School of Art.  My Lucky Drawing class session numbers (101, 102, 103, etc) do not mean you need to take one class in order to take the next or another class later.  They are not sequential lessons classes, but are just numbers to let us know which session we're in.  Each student in the class is going at their own pace, at their own level, during any given session.  I have many students who keep taking the class, like you you keep up with your yoga class, signing up over and over, to be there, moving at your own pace.

Dalai Lama 80th BD drawing. ©Susan Shie 2015.

Dalai Lama and Burt at 80." ©Susan Shie 2015. The Dalai Lama celebrated his 80th birthday on July 6, 2015, and Burt Shavitz of Burt's Bees passed away at 80, on July 5. I wanted to honor both of them, and felt that their being the same age, and both being very groovy was reason enough to put them together in this drawing, which also includes the Sweet Peas my daughter Gretchen brought me from her garden in Lakewood, Ohio. I hope my drawing honors both men for their peacefilled lives, walking gently on the Earth. This drawing was made for the first Special Event drawing challenge for Lucky Drawing 105, to make a drawing about the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. Many of my students took the challenge and made lovely artworks about His Holiness.

How to pay for this class:  If you live in the US, the class fee is $175 if you mail me a personal check.  It's $180, if you pay with PayPal.  If you live in another country and don't use US$, please use PayPal and send me $185 in US$, which will cover the currency exchange fee PP charges me.  If you use PayPal, send your fee to, but the name you'll see on your PP statement will be James Acord, my husband.

However you’re paying, please email me at, to let me know that you are sending payment, so I can put your name on my class list.  I will also need your phone number and street address.

For PayPal payment, go to your PayPal account and send your fee to my email address,  The name on the account is my husband, James Acord.  When I receive your payment notice from PayPal, I will email you and let you know that I got it.  If you've never used PayPal before and want to use it to pay me, email me, and I'll send you instructions on how to use PayPal.  You'll have to set up an account with them.

For personal check payment, email me your intention to take the class when you sign up on the promo page on FB, and then send $175 to Susan Shie, 2612 Armstrong DRIVE, Wooster, Ohio 44691.  When I receive your check in the mail, I will FB message you and let you know that I got your class fee.

My Lucky 7 Plan: If you take 6 classes with me, you get the 7th class free.  Stick with me and receive a free online class!  I have some students now working on their eighth or even their ninth cycle of getting another free class!

Drawing @Susan Shie 2014.

Above: "St Judy's Comet." ©Susan Shie 2014. drawing in large sketchbook, with pen, colored pencil, and watercolor. This piece was made for the drawing assignment "Draw a Song," and uses Paul Simon's "St Judy's Comet" as the song, and began with a photo of a friend putting his son to sleep, which is what Paul Simon was singing about in this song. My friend Carson's son was about 2 and a half months old at the time of the photo. I added the tumbling comet above them, to show the song's line "Won't you run, come see St Judy's Comet roll across the sky and leave a spray of diamonds in its wake." I decided that the comet here is Carson's wife and his son's mother, Jo.

We'll be drawing mostly in large hardbound sketchbooks and uploading pix of our drawings to the our personal albums.  So you have to have enough computer skill to be able to take your photos and get them into our classroom on Facebook.  (And I will help you personally with that, if you need assistance to get going.)  My classes include very interactive discussions about everyone's drawings, so it feels like we're really in a live-time classroom, talking together, supporting each other's ideas and artworks.  But each student really comes to the class group whenever they have time, any time it works in your own busy schedule.

This online class is about drawing on paper, and will NOT be about working on cloth at all.  I may offer that online later, but for now, I’m focusing on what most artists I know want to improve on: their drawing skills, so basic to being able to have true freedom in artmaking!  You develop your drawing style by drawing and not worrying about right or wrong ways of drawing.

I have always considered myself a painter, much more than a quilter, as all my formal art studies were in drawing and painting.  I came to quilting out of a feminist choice in college, to embrace the sewing my mother had taught me, and which had been such a big part of my life as a girl and a woman.  I wanted to make Women's Art.  This made me consciously decide to add sewing to my drawing and painting, and later that kind of work became known as art quilting.  But we aren't studying that here.

I began teaching focused drawing classes when I was a graduate student at Kent State School of Art, teaching two undergrad drawing classes per semester in the early 1980s.  I’ve taught drawing, painting, writing, and sewing in my art quilt workshops since 1989, around the world. In my Turtle Art Camp weeklong, live-in students sessions at my home since 1994, and in the classes I teach away from home, I now teach only drawing, in the same format that I use for my online classes.  (Check my Turtle Art Camp description.  I had to cancel the 2020 camps and beyond, due to the CV pandemic, and things haven't improved enough to start the camps up again.  And the longer we go without them, the more I think I may be done having the camps again. I prefer teaching online, it turns out!

I'd never taught an online class until January, 2015.  And then I found out I love teaching just freehand drawing.  So in 2017 I began ONLY teaching freehand drawing, basing all of my in-person classes on how I teach in my online Lucky Drawing classes.  So if you want to learn to paint on cloth or sew that painting into an art quilt, don't look at me.  I only teach freehand drawing on paper now, and I am thrilled to be teaching the stuff that frees everyone up to express themselves.  You can apply that freedom later, on your own time, to whatever art medium you want to work with. But I teach drawing. That's it!

Olga's sifter

Above: This is me on April 26, 2015, drawing on a piece about my old next door neighbor Olga's flour sifter, which her family gave to me, after she died at almost 105 years. In this piece I began with a Rub a Dub laundry marker, then added color with children's water based markers, and am adding detail with a gel pen. In my online drawing class, we work in this size hardbound sketchbook, and we draw a lot from life, but also can throw in drawing from memory or imagination, when we like. For this piece, besides drawing things in front of me, I was looking at images of Milkweed plants online and drawing them all through the composition. I'm getting ready to buy Milkweed seeds to get started here, to help bring the Monarch butterflies back from the edge of extinction.

Class description: This class will be all about drawing A LOT in an 11 x 14" sketchbook - NO spiral bound books! - (using pens, markers, color pencils, watercolors, colored inks - whatever freehand materials work well for you and are visually strong on paper.)  We'll each be doing optional and simple daily drawing exercises and working on weekly assignments.  We’ll be drawing from life and/or from photos, and from memory and imagination, so we can play with the drawings and make them more passionate and poetic than just realistic renderings, in order to show our ideas and feelings in and for the work.  It's fine to use photos as references, especially our own photos, but all drawing for the class must be done freehand. No tracing, collage, or digital drawing, please.  If you use someone else's photos, please alter the composition in some ways, to make the new composition your own ideas.

I don't give step-by-step drawing instructions. I give theme ideas and then we all draw, with our own concepts of the themes and in our own ways and post our works for comments.  I show my own drawings for the class in stages, but I don't expect or want you to draw like I do.  I just want you to pick up on the freedom I feel when I draw.  I've used my class filmmaking to show how I use materials and create my own drawings for the class themes. While doing this, I often talk about how and why I do what I do with drawing tools, but don't expect me to tell you how to draw.  I want you to open up like a little child and draw in your own natural way, which I promise will be wonderful!  And the more you do it, the more you'll be able to draw like you want to.

Use any art supplies you want to, as long as you're drawing freehand, and we are able to SEE your compositions well in your photos, that you'll post to the class.  Let curiosity be your guide for learning to use various materials, and grab them and use them like a little kid does.  In fact, the more you can think and work in a childlike state of innocence, the better!  Art rules are pretty useless in reality!  And judging your drawings will wear you out.  Focus on the joy of drawing, not the hard work of it!

Bon Taj Roulet Blues. ©Susan Shie 2016.

"Bon Taj Roulet Blues" ©Susan Shie 2016. I made this 14"h x 22"w drawing in my sketchbook for my The Blues assignment, for my Lucky Drawing 110 online class. I drew it with a blue brush marker, then started shading it with a blue Bic pen. I added yellow Inktense ink for the washed in color, and the marker washed a bit, too. Then I wrote on it and redid the lines with a black gel pen. The final touch was using a marker to color Bonnie Raitt's hair, and then use it again to put their tour date on Taj Mahal's guitar. Besides these two icons of The Blues, I added my son-in-law Mike in the lower left corner. (He can REALLY play the Blues!) I also added me in the top right corner, (but I never got any good at bar chords, so I can't play the blues at all! I love Bonnie Raitt's magnificent slide guitar style, and if I'd stayed with guitar, I might have tried that!)

I’ll be making many posts daily to the Facebook group, and will do this in a combination of ways: photos of my own drawings, comments on students' drawings, and posts about other things that interest me.  The other students and I will give positive feedback to you about your work that you post to the group, and the whole class group will participate in our discussions of our drawings and whatever else we want to talk about.  My students tell me that I participate much more than the usual online teacher does.  I wouldn't know, since I haven't taken an online class, just invented my own.  Everyone's comments to others about their drawings must be supportive, never discouraging and never to give them advice to "fix" their drawing.  Asking the artist questions about their drawing is fine, too.

Besides giving you weekly assignments, I’ll give Special Events themes, too, and they are totally optional.  And you can do extra drawings of your choice, too.  All drawings and all deadlines are your choice to do, to bend around in another direction, or to not do.  tudents can upload their assignments and other drawings, and can give positive feedback to each other.  We’ll all share, and get to know each other, so everyone can feel comfortable together, in our own little art tribe.  If you don't have time to do drawings at times, it's ok.  Everyone works at their own pace in my classes.  Some students post many drawings to the class, others show us few or even none.

Over my many years of teaching Lucky Drawing, I made over 76 Lucky Films, of me making drawings for class, not so you could copy my style, but so that you'd see how I get ideas as I go, and follow them.  I've quit making those films, but all my students have access to all of them, any time they want to watch them.  Every student gets my password to those Lucky Films of mine.

You need to have a smartphone, in order to take digital pix of your artworks and upload them to your album in the classroom.  You also need to make photo images that show your drawings well, so we can see them right.  I can give you needed personal help in learning how the FB private group albums work, whether you're working from a computer or a device. But you need to have the device or computer to work with, to get your drawings on paper turned into digital images for the class to see.  And I can help you learn to edit your photos, so they're well-lit, in focus, and cropped, for you to share them i the classroom.  Just ask me, if you want help with taking and editing pix.

I have a whole lot of Files in the class, for you to learn from, about the class structure and format, how to do things like making your album, posting your pix, etc.  Each assignment I give has its own file, too.  I encourage the students to read through my Files, so they know where they can find info about what topic.  NEW students really need to at least skim all the files, so they can understand the class structure.

Where aer my Keys?  ©Susan Shie 2015

"Where Are My Keys?" ©Susan Shie 2015. I gave the assignment of this title to my last class, and then our cat Ome started chirping at the bedroom window, like she does, when she watches birds. Jimmy came and told me there was a huge flock of robins in the backyard, wildly flipping up the oak leaves from the ground, and then ducking under the leaves to eat worms. They must have been migrating south for the winter and stopped for a quick meal. I said it made me think of how frantic we get when we can't find our keys! I tried and tried to see the robins, but they were camouflaged by all the fallen leaves, so I could only imagine what Ome and Jimmy were seeing. This is 14 x 22", a double page spread in my big hardbound sketchbook, finished 12-5-15. Rub-a-Dub marker, colored pencil, and gel pen. The paper fortune says "Not all closed eye is sleeping, nor open eye is seeing." I always choose the fortune from a pile of them, at random, and this one came up right afrer I'd written on my cheek in the drawing, "I can't see them!" That gave me nice goosebumps, as I love really wonderful synchronicities!

A really nice thing about taking an online class is that you can "attend class" whenever it suits your own personal schedule.  There is no exact time when you must be present.  I hope this will help you fit the class into your own busy schedule.  And if you get behind in the assignments, because Life gets in the way, you'll be able to access the group for a long, long time after the class is done.  All the deadlines for assignments are what I call "porous." You can be late or early, or never do any given assignnent, and you're still ok. You don't have to do any drawings you don't want to do.

I will not be teaching you how to draw.  I really don't judge anyone's work or "help" them improve it.  I want us all to stop judging art and learn to appreciate others' works and especially appreciate our own work more than we do now.  Learning to turn off that inner judge is the secret!  Nobody in the class will tell you things to do to improve your work.  Rather, we will celebrate your drawings, and maybe tell you how they make us feel or inspire us, or make us THINK!  What we need to practice is learning to celebrate our own joy, while drawing, turning off the inner critic, and letting 'er rip!  I teach through example, my love of making art!!!!  I want us all to quit being afraid of our own work not being good enough, and truly revel in the wonderful process of making art out of our ideas, and then sharing it with others.

I believe that some of us are born with more ability than others in artmaking, but so what???  I think what we all need to improve on is getting rid of judging our own work, and just enjoy making it, and then loving it.  I promise that practice and passion make perfect ... eventually.  And what is "perfect" anyhow???  What good is it?  I think art is much more about the happiness of making art, than about any kind of perfection!  I hope you'll lie in bed, thinking about the drawing you're working on, and get up in the morning, with excitement about drawing on your mind.  Well, at least sometimes!

If you want to get better at drawing realism, that's fine.  I don’t judge my students’ work, but rather encourage them to keep learning how to really look at things and how to see the stunning variety of nuance in the world around us.  Each time you look at something, it will look different, and you will learn to really see the shapes before you, and not draw what you think they look like, but rather, what they really do look like, in that place, from that angle, at that time.  OR maybe you DO want to draw what you think things look like, without striving for realism.  That's fine!  We have cameras for realism!  The world is so fascinating in its infinitely changing forms!  Nobody in this class will criticize you, but yourself, and I'll work at getting you to stop that!

GEM and Jimmy

Above: "You Are My Flower." I made this drawing on May 29 and 30, 2015, drawing freeehand, looking at a photo I had taken of my family in June, 2012. from left are my daughter Gretchen, my son-in-law Michael, my granddaughter Eva, and my husband Jimmy. I sketched with a light colored pencil, then added more colored pencil, Inktense blocks brushed on with water, more colored pencil, and black permanent gel pen. You will notice that this and all of my drawings here are done in a hardbound sketchbook, which is what we draw in for my online drawing classes. I prefer the largest hardbound size, 11"h x 14"w, so the double page spread drawings are 14"h x 22"w.

Remember: visual art is about communicating ideas visually to others.  Think about what you want people to notice, to feel, and to understand in what you’ve created and are sharing with them.  Also please take to heart that there is no right and wrong in art.  Creativity has no rules, thank goodness!  So just DRAW!

So I ask you to come to this class, if you’re ready to really fall in love deeply with expressing yourself through making drawings.  It's all about curiosity, passion, practice and learning to really see things.  And then, to express them in your own personal way, however your art wants to come out!

You can continue taking my 4-week classes, since they will not be repeats of earlier sessions.  You can work with me as long as you want to, to keep your enthusiasm and inspiration up for doing your drawing on a regular basis.  I'll keep thinking up new class assignments, so you'll never feel like the class is getting old.  I promise to keep you challenged!

If you are hungry to improve your art skills, to the point where you are able to feel unlimited in what you choose to make art about, or you need a group structure to make yourself find drawing time, or you want to be part of a very active, feisty group of women artists making drawings together from all over the country and even farther away, then sign up.  This class won't have step-by-step art-rules instruction.  It will have passion and encouragement!

Spring Rituals. ©Susan Shie 2016

"Spring Rituals" is a drawing I made in Lucky Drawing 111, about my granddaughter Eva staying with us every year, when she has her Spring Break after Easter. She and Libby and Ome were all wiggling around a lot, when I wanted to draw them, so I ended up giving Libby two tails and having Eva's legs in a pretty weird position. The yellow cords are earbuds. This is a 14 x 22" sketchbook drawing, made with rubadub marker, inktense inks, gel pen, colored pencils, and Crayola markers.

Supplies for my Lucky Drawing classes:

You must be on Facebook, and send me a friend request, if we're not connected there already, so I can invite you into the classroom. I can only invite my FB friends to become students in the private FB group.

You can start this class with just the hardbound sketchbook and a few ballpoint pens, if that's all you have around.  If you don't have a big hardbound sketchbook yet, you can draw on any paper you have.  You can use anything you like for drawing supplies, except you'll see I hate it when you use regular, too light, pencils. Who can see those weak marks in a photo online??  If you are not in the USA, buy your supplies in your own country, but just try to find the biggest size hardbound sketchbook, around 11 x 14".

The hardbound sketchbook: This is the one supply you must buy for this class. You can buy other brands, but make sure the paper is of good quality. I suggest the 14”h x 11”w hardbound sketchbook by Pro Art.  220 pages, 110 sheets, acid free, 65 pound paper.  Buy anywhere you find it.  Blick and Jerry's Artarama have it.  The average price is usually around $23-$30.  Blick price may be lower, plus shipping.  Amazon usually has it at a good price, too, with free Amazon Prime shipping, if you have Prime.  ProArt is the best sketchbook we've found (my students and I) for the drawing materials we use.  If you buy another brand, your sketchbook still has to be hardbound, so it doesn’t have holes where the pages meet, but rather a nice bound-book center line between the open book’s facing pages.  No spiral bindings or glued-only binding books, as spiral bindings really distract from the drawing, and glued pages fall out.  Hardbound books last!  And we’ll be drawing across a double page spread most of the time.  I prefer the 11 x 14" size, because you can get so much more detail into larger drawings.  You can also use a smaller hardbound sketchbook for travel or for more casual drawings in the class. But the weekly assignments go on double pages in the 11 x 14" book, please!

In late 2022, the Pro Art books had a problem with their paper letting water bleed through too much, but I'm hoping that was a bad batch of books.  And even if it wasn't, and if the paper stays that way, we will just have to put some kind of blotter paper behind each page we watercolor on, to prevent too much bleeding through of watercolors.  Or don't watercolor!  There are lots of non-water drawing supplies.  And Pro Art is still the best large sketchbook on the market.  Most other sketchbook brands don't do well with watercolor at all.  So I suggest hanging in there.  I hope it was just a bad batch of Pro Art books!

Riverwalk in San Antonio May 11, 2016. ©Susan Shie 2016.

"Riverwalk in San Antonio with Susie Monday, May 11, 2016" is a drawing I started on the airplane, coming home from teaching in San Antonio in May. Yes, I juggled my big hardbound sketchbook in my little airplane seat, not letting it disturb my seatmates! If you want to draw bad enough, you find a way! I drew this with my Rubadub black line marker, freehand, from memories of the magical experience of discovering the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, the night before. I started to color it in the airport, waiting for my connecting plane back to Cleveland, and I finished coloring it, even adding more stuff to it, later. It's 14" x 22", ink, colored pencil, gel pen, and a fortune selected at random, that says, "You have an unusual equipment for success. Be sure to use it properly." I always select the fortune at random, when the drawing is done, while I try to focus on the drawing, as I reach for the fortune in my bag of them.

Suggestions for other supplies you might want to try, when you're able to spend on them:

I suggest finding the supplies at places you want to shop at.  Shop local or online.  Amazon has everything, but you can also try Blick, Jerry's Artarama, and other places.  Jerry's takes PayPal, besides credit cards.  Some of us have local stores we can support for at least some of this stuff!

Here are some art supplies I use. You should use what you want.  Don't buy a bunch of stuff.  Just get into this gently.  Don't spend more money, if you don't have to!
Of the supplies below, the ones I use most are: Signo black gel pen, Prang or Koh-i-Noor watercolors, Derwent color ink blocks (sticks that I leave in their tray and treat like watercolors, using a brush on them), Prismacolor stix (not being made now!!!), Crayola Super Tips markers, Rub-a-Dub black pen.  You should do your own thing! Just try to ditch those pencils and eraser asap, so you can be more of an innocent artist, who doesn't worry about mistakes so much!

My favorite pen, which has refills!!: Uni-ball Signo Impact 207 bold 1.0mm point black gel pens.  Best roller gel pen I've found for paper.  These Uni-ball Signo pens don't say they're waterproof, but that they're water-resistant.  They have refills, which is amazing to find with a pen anymore!  Very buttery gliding tip, very rich ink.  Amazon sells both the Signo pens and refills, because gel pens go down fast.  I often buy packs of mostly refills.  You can also buy boxes of 12 pens. Be sure to get the bold, 1.0 mm tip, with the black ink.  I prefer the two-part Signo gel pen, because the retractable one can leak in your pocket.  I know!  Make sure, when you buy refills, that you're ordering the same1.0 mm bold tip, with black ink, for the non-retractable pens, if that's what you use.

drawing ©Susan Shie 2014.

Above: "Art and Peace." ©Susan Shie 2014. Drawing on the back of a big envelope, using a black, medium point Bic pen. I really prefer blue ones though!

I LOVE coloring with Derwent Inktense blocks (sticks of concentrated color inks) and using a wet brush to stroke the sticks, as they lie in their box, and then apply the color to the drawing, as if I were watercoloring.  I use these more than I use Prang watercolors, but it's up to each of us to choose what we like best.  Don't get the color on your fingers as all art supply colors are heavy metals.  These are expensive, but they last a long time.  One of my very favorite art supplies!  You can start with a small set.  I think my set is 24 color blocks.  The price seems to have really gone up.  They're from England, so maybe it has to do with tariffs.  Brexit??

Crayola Super Tip Markers.  I LOVE these markers!!!!   Sold as children's markers.  Very juicy pigment, waterbased.  I really like these, in a set of 50 or 100 colors, as they actually bleed through less than the Pentel Color Pens, listed below, when you watercolor on the other side of the page. NOW they have a 120 markers size that is all I buy now!!!   But these have been noticed by the adult coloring book crowd, so now they're hard to find and more expensive!  When you can find them at Walmart, they are cheap!  And when you shop around on Amazon, they're cheap, too.  But Amazon sells them in all price ranges, so beware and pay attention!   I call them Panda Markers, because I keep mine in an Uncle Lee's Organic Green Tea box, that has a panda on it.  But their real name is Super Tips. :)

Posca Paint Markers. These are great! Acrylic paint markers.   But they're expensive. They're opaque, and they come in both sets and individual markers. There are 5 tip sizes, I think.  I use the medium and fine tip ones and I buy them from Jerry's Artarama, where you can buy individual colors and tip sizes at a really fair price.  They are acrylic paint, and they don't dry out, when you store them with the tips on, of course.  Store them lying flat. They don't make a smell and their tips hold up well.  I use them to do the small writing on my quilts now, and to do some touch up and additional textures in my drawings on paper.  You don't need these for the class, but they will mark on anything. Heat set them, if you use them on cloth, like all other media used on cloth.  I don't use them to color things in in drawings on paper, but to add more colors over the watercolor or Super Tips colors.  Poscas are opaque.

Prang or other watercolor sets, with the cakes of color, not the dreaded, always stuck-lid tubes! I recommend the Prang 16-color set. Prang is my favorite watercolor, and many artists agree that, even though we used them as kids in school, they make the best watercolors, with highly saturated, smooth colors. Also, with Prang, you can find replacement color cakes online.  I buy them on Amazon.  I go through yellow really fast.  If you don't want Prang, play around with other sets of pan-watercolors.  Prangs are semi-moist, very bright and high-pigmented!  Try other brands of watercolors, too, if you like to experiment!

Some nice watercolor brushesBlick, Jerry’s Artarama, etc, lots of places sell them, but you might want to feel the bristles yourself, in person, and buy locally.  The brushes that come with watercolors are usually not very good brushes, so buy some good ones and take good care of them.  I love to use flat brushes, not round ones, and my favorite brush is a beveled or angled flat brush, that's soft, but very springy. Be very careful with all your brushes, to make sure you form them back into their original brush shape, using your fingers, after you gently wash them.  And never leave them sitting in water.  Store them brush-end up or lying flat.

Color pencils: best are Prismacolor Premier color pencils, because they’re soft and rich in color, the very best color pencils with the very most wonderful colors!  Make sure you're getting the Premiers, because Prismacolor also makes cheaper, but harder (therefore lighter and less rich) color pencils.  You can buy Prismacolor Premier Color Pencils many sizes of sets, and even buy them individually, to replace your favorite ones.  Not sold now:  They also made Prismacolor Art Stix, which were sticks of just the "leads" of the color pencils. These are very waxy, so they don't smear or give off dust, like oil pastels and regular pastels do. They cost more than regular color pencils, but they last a lot longer. Do not sharpen them, but rather, hold them at an angle, while you use them, so that the tips naturally have a point, if you want one. You can maintain a flatter edge on one end and a pointer edge on the other end. I have come to prefer using the Prismacolor art stix, to the pencils, which break so easily, when being sharpened. I still need the pencils for really precise coloring though.
I'm hardly using color pencils anymore, preferring to use the Prismacolor Stix, which are the all-pigment sticks I wrote about  above.  I hope they bring the stix back!

Bic Velocity ballpoint pens, medium tip. I sometimes use these blue pens for drawing. Right now I've switched to using the ones Bic calls Bic Velocity. More expenisve than the Bic Stics, but I love their lines, which are thicker than the Stic pens' lines. They're great for drawing on the run when you don't have any "art supplies" on you!  Use any paper you can find, when you're out and about and need to draw. These blue ink Bic ballpoint pens are great for shading your drawing, and I use them intentionally in my work.  I prefer the blue Bic Velocity pens, with their 1.6 mm tips. And to be honest, I don't like or use the black Bic pens.  They're not a rich black ink. But the blue one looks great and feels really good to draw with!!!  I just like the fatter-line Velocity pen, compared to the blue Bic Stic.

Rub-a-Dub laundry markers by Sharpie. For now, they're not making these pens, but you can still buy them. The price inflated a lot, after Sharpie discontinued them, but now the price seems to be coming back down a bit. They are wonderful pens for drawing. One of my favorites. And they don't have the risk of "haloing" - making the rust-colored haze around the lines later, that regular Sharpie pens at least used to have. I hope they don't halo now, but I haven't tested regular Sharpies, to make sure! The Rub-a-Dub (and the regular Sharpie, size Fine line is pretty thick though. So either you like them, or you don't.

Good metal, hand-held pencil sharpener, if you're using color pencils, etc.  I've had it with Prismacolor color pencils breaking, no matter what sharpener I use, so they sit unused now, most of the time for me. 

Kneaded eraser, though I really hate erasers.

I discourage students from using regular pencils and erasers, because these imply mistakes and beg revision.  I prefer letting it rip and just drawing, so the pens, markers, watercolors, color pencils, etc, make me happy, as you get used to always moving forward, not fussing with “mistakes.”  Children don’t erase, until they get into school and hear about doing it right or wrong … And back to my bad attitude about regular pencils: lightly drawn pencil sketches are very hard to SEE.  Let’s stick with things that make good, strong marks, so we can all see what each other has created!

You don't need to buy a lot of stuff right away, and you may only wish to use just a few tools for your drawing, anyhow.  So just have a few things you think you'll love using ... and that fancy sketchbook I wrote about, at the start.  That's the one thing I really, really want us all to be using the same.  If you can't get that particular one, find another brand of 14 x 11" or smaller hardbound sketchboook.  But I really prefer the ProArt biggest book.  Don't use spiral-bound sketchbooks in my class, please!

I hope to hear from you soon!  Thanks so much, Lucky (Susan Shie)  Please contact me for more information or to sign up for this class or a later Lucky Drawing session, or for one of my Turtle Art Camps, if I ever go back to having them in the future.  I teach all my in-person classes the same way I teach my online classes now.  I only teach freehand drawing now.  It looks to me like I might not ever teach the camps at our home again, because the classes online are better, in my thinking. But you can still see my Turtle Art Camp information.


Drawing of bed 11-14. ©Susan Shie 2014

Above: This is the drawing I made in my 11 x 14" sketchbook, of the scene below. I drew from life, not from the photo, but the photo shows you what I started with ... before the light changed over the next two work hours and the pets shifted and moved a lot. This drawing was made with black marker and colored pencil. For the assignment, students can choose what media to use in response to my assignments.

Photo of bed 11-14. ©Susan Shie 2014

Above: This is a photo I took of my unmade bed, in prep for making a two hour study of this setting. I knew the dog and cat would move in that time, so I wanted to have the photo as a fail-safe, but I ended up drawing from life for the whole session. It was an assignment I made called "Unmade Bed Drawing."

Shie portrait 2013. ©Susan Shie 2013

Above: Susan Shie with one of her large soft paintings (art quilts), made about Monica Bongue's sustainable organic farm, near Wooster. "Muddy Fork Farm." ©Susan Shie 2013. 72"h x 72"w. Airbrush, airpen, whole cloth painting, mostly machine sewn.

Susan Shie personal background:  I've been an artist all my life, born in Wooster, Ohio, on September 28, 1950.  I'm a Libra, and a White Metal Tiger.  I’ve lived in Wooster most of my life, since 1971, and here with my leather-artist husband James (Jimmy) Acord since 1976.  Our daughter Gretchen, her husband Mike, and our granddaughter Eva live in Lakewood, Ohio.  We have a dog, Libby, and three cats: Otis, Arlo, and Daphne, and Otis's sister Cricket lives with GEM, our kids in Lakewood.

I have two college degrees: The College of Wooster, BA in Studio Art (painting) 1981, summa cum laude, honors, Phi Beta Kappa.   And Kent State University School of Art, MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Painting 1986, summa cum laude.  I taught Drawing I and Drawing II at Kent State School of Art, to undergrads during my master’s program.   Besides living in Kent, OH, for 3 years, I lived in NYC for 6 months, and a year in Mt Clemens, MI.

My awards include two NEA Individual Artist grants, a Major Artist Grant from the combined NEA and OAC (Ohio Arts Council), and several Individual Artist grants from the OAC, as well as the 2008 Teacher of the Year Award from Professional Quilter.   My artist's residencies include six months at PS1 in New York City and a month in Xi'an, China, both thanks to the Ohio Arts Council.

Quilt National '21 was my 14th time to have work in this seminal biennial exhibition that tours for two years.  I taught undergrad drawing classes at Kent State School of Art, during my graduate school years in the early 1980s.  I have exhibited, been published, and have taught art in adult workshops around the US and abroad since 1987, when I went from being a student to a professional artist.  I've offered monthly, weeklong Turtle Art Camps for adult students at my home studio since 1994, but those ended in 2019, when Covid came along.  I've also offered private drawing and painting lessons in my home, to children, teens, and adults.   I'm very glad that I added teaching drawing online to my teaching formats in January, 2015.  My next class, LD 173, that runs from July 14 through August 12, 2024, will be my 73rd month-long, online class in natural freehand drawing.  And this is my 10th year to teach online (since Jan, 2015), after starting to teach in person in 1981.

I used to teach lots of artmaking techniques, specializing in airbrush and airpen (in my own intuitive way, of course), but in 2017, I switched to only teaching freehand drawing, wherever I teach. That's the best technique to use, to get students to let go of their fears and open up to drawing, as they did as little children.  Adults are great artists, when they learn that art really doesn't have or need rules.  But really believing that idea is very hard for grownups.  And that's why I teach it!

See more detailed biographical information, including resume, bibliography, teaching history, and artist’s statement, in my resume index page.  Yes, I know some of that stuff REALLY needs to be updated!  But I finally got the Resume pages fully updated ... and now it needs updated again!!!  For more info, please visit my website Turtle Moon Studios, or email me at

Drawing ©Susan Shie 2014.

Above: "The Busy Bee Egg Beater Company, Chicago, IL." ©Susan Shie 2014. ink, markers, and colored pencil on paper in 14" x 11" sketchbook, 2-26-14. This started out as an exercise with students, drawing from real egg beaters. Then we used mirrors and added ourselves in the negative spaces formed between the egg beater studies. I named the assignment "Kitchen Tools Drawing." Maybe I'll give it to my online class some day!  I love to try to have new themes all the time, since most of my students keep taking the class, like how you stay with a piano teacher or a yoga teacher.  I am honored to have this lovely community of women artists as my students!  And yes, I made up the company, the Busy Bee Egg Beater Company.  But there really IS a Chicago, Illinois!  :)

Susan Shie Turtle Moon Studios, Wooster, Ohio

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Copyright 1997 Susan Shie and Jan Cabral

Web site first created by Susan Shie and Jan Cabral ©1997, launched on Sept 28, 1997. All subsequent website work done by Susan Shie ©1997 - 2024.

This page updated by Susan Shie, May 17, 2024.