Pencil Pups II: Preclass

Welcome to the preclass lesson!

So glad to have you here! In this lesson we’ll discuss the supplies needed for this course; as always, I encourage using the supplies you own instead of shopping for more stuff—although you may have different results from those shown. That’s not a bad thing, of course – you might discover something amazing! If you do be sure to post over in Artventure, using #pencilpups as the hashtag, so that other students in these courses might find your discovery helpful.


Before we start…a little housekeeping

I retain the copyright to the content you are learning in class. That means…

  1. Do not sell or give away the concepts from my classes – you may not re-teach my instruction contained or created within these lessons.
  2. Do not post a video tutorial or step by step photo tutorial of your own redraw of class content.
  3. Do not repost any handouts you receive in class.

However…I love to see students making strides and taking this teaching and personalizing it with your own skills.

  1. DO make your own designs and develop your own style! I love that!
  2. DO gift your creations made with these techniques, of course!

At the bottom of each lesson you’ll see some ways to share your homework and ask questions, so that’ll be handy for you.

Video 1: Sketching Supplies and exercise

A discussion of supplies – for this course…


Sketch Supplies:


Download the Mystery Grid and try it out with your pencils and watercolor paper below.

Watercolor Paper

The demonstrations are done on Arches hot press watercolor paper  – it can handle both the detailed pencil sketch and watercolor too. I purchased a sheet and reduced it in size by folding (see the video below), and painted 5×7 paintings on 1/8 sheets. You might also prefer to get a pad of Hot Press paper instead, but if you plan to take more of the Canine Companions courses, a sheet might be most cost effective. (FYI When buying from Blick they give a good discount to get 10 sheets. Not that you need 10 sheets, but ya know. Bulk is good.)

Pencils and erasers

Any brand of pencil in a 5B and 9B – I’m using Grafwood but other brands are just fine. You might also find it good to have a pencil extender on hand to lengthen a stub and get more use from it!


I sometimes use my Quietsharp electric (BLICK  AMZ ), but more often I go for any handheld with fresh blades inside. Treat yourself to a new one just for fun – the blades do get dull. Love me a Dahle Chubby, a Dahle Yellow Sharpener , a Prismacolor, or I’m just now trying out a Blackwing and it’s a little pricier, but comes with extra blades…kinda liking it!


You’ll also want to have some erasers on hand, whatever you prefer but I strongly recommend at least a Kneaded Eraser and at least one stick option (Monte Mart electric or Tombow Mono Zero Eraser )


The demonstrations won’t be taped down to a board in this class but you’re welcome to do so; I suggest something like Ampersand Hardbord (larger than your painting) and some White artist tape, 3/4”.

    Ruler / T Square

    Use a regular ruler to measure out lines for a grid or get this little tsquare that makes it easy!  I use it all. the. time. in my studio.

    Video 2: YT video with Grid Training Wheels


    Are you excited?

    I’m so glad you joined me for this class! Give the Mystery Grid a try in advance of starting on lesson 1, it might really help you think in terms of “shapes” as we’ll be talking about a lot throughout the course. See you there!

    Quick links to share your work wherever you like:

    Artventure Community

    Where you’ll be right in Sandy’s pocket for quick feedback and answers to questions

    Student Facebook Group

    Our closed group is a safe place to share for those in all our classes who love the ‘book!

    Social media & blogs

    Post wherever you like to share, and let your friends know which class you’re taking. They might like it too!