Sandi Hester

Paintings by Sandi Hester

Category: Classes/Workshops

NEW YouTube Video! 2019 Studio Update

Make sure to subscribe and like the video and leave me your questions for the question and answer time in the upcoming videos!

Little Artists in My Studio

Hannah and Macy are two of my nieces and we have done many art lessons over the years and they continue to amaze me. Today Hannah (oldest) had her first oil painting lesson and Macy worked in watercolor and gouache. We started the day off by going to a local nursery to pick out flowers for our still life (they found out that that’s a hard decision to make!). We covered a ton today – value, color, composition, color mixing, texture, and lots more. They killed it! We were ALL exhausted! Hannah kept taking breaks and saying she needed to stretch ūüôā – that’s me all day long (stretching and working out sore muscles from standing and painting – you didn’t know it was so taxing did you?!).

Hannah's oil

Hannah’s oil

Macy's watercolor

Macy’s watercolor

Here’s a quick video of them in action – there was serious concentration going on in this studio today – no playing around – they were serious artists today. We did take Cooper (my dog) breaks though – always nice to have a studio dog to love on when you need to take a break from painting!

Getting All High-Tech Here – A Video!

Well, at least this is high-tech¬†for me :)! I did a little video tour of my art room for you guys. I shot it with my iPhone¬†so the quality isn’t too bad but it’s rather shaky, Grady says it’s too long, I tripped on the stool, and I rambled on, BUT other than all of that I hope you enjoy it. If you have trouble playing it you can go directly to youtube here and watch it Please let me know if you have any problems with viewing it.

I also wanted to mention that I’m heading to a painting workshop next week – I’m major excited about it! A few months ago I stumbled onto an artist I really like – Peggi Kroll Roberts She has a very¬† loose style which I love and she’s a great teacher. She has some wonderful DVD’s available’s.htm¬†that I highly recommend for anyone painting in any medium.

Peggi Kroll-Roberts

Painting by Peggi Kroll-Roberts

She really covers some of the fundamentals and gives some great painting exercises. I’ve watched the videos MULTIPLE times (if that tells you anything!). I’m sure I’ll have lots to share from the workshop when I get back! Also, she’s coming here to Nashville to do a workshop in July, if you’re interested check out the information on her website about workshops.

Painting Day With Aunt Sandi




My beautiful niece, Hannah, comes over to have paint days with her Aunt Sandi. We try to do some kind of art lesson together. She’s very talented and loves to do art! The last two lesson’s I’ve taught her how to set up a still life to paint and then we work on lessons revolving around a still life set-up – like deciding what simple shapes we can break the objects down into (like a circle, square, etc.). You can see the still life set-up we did (mostly designed by Hannah herself) and the quick sketch I did for her to help her see the size and simple shapes the objects can be when put down on paper. She did a great job, but more importantly she had a blast painting. The first time we ever did a still life she spent more time setting up her still life than anything else – she really liked designing it. It was really cute!

So, after our painting time we went out to the pond to visit our geese and feed them. Hannah wanted to carry her bread in a cute little basket and she wanted to take the harmonica to serenade¬†the geese. The last photo really captures how she was feeling when she was “playing” a song for the geese – she wanted to play very softly for the momma goose because momma was on her nest and Hannah didn’t want to scare her. It was a wonderful day and I wanted to share a little bit of it here with you guys. You can also see little glimpses of my art room in the pictures – hint hint – next post has to do with the art room. Please click on the pictures above to see them larger.

Winter/Spring Watercolor Classes!

The summer painting classes went so well I’m doing it again! I’m really excited about getting back into the classroom. I had a blast sharing all I knew about watercolor painting. This is one of those classes I share everything I know – I don’t hold anything back. This class is also designed for someone who’s never painted (or can’t even draw) to someone who’s been painting a while.¬†It will get your creative juices flowing and give you a great excuse to paint each week. Here are the details of the class:

BEGINNER AND INTERMEDIATE WATERCOLOR CLASS:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Watercolor is a great medium to work in.¬† It is cheaper than most mediums, quick, easy to clean-up, exciting, versatile, very portable, and a medium that almost anyone can be successful in.¬† This class is designed for someone who has never painted in watercolor all the way to someone who feels they have a good grasp of the medium but wants to take it further. I‚Äôll share all the tricks of the trade ‚Äď I hold nothing back! In this eight week class you will learn the basic skills of watercolor painting, the best materials to use, how to mix colors that are bright and not muddy, how to make beautiful rich darks and neutrals, how to let the paint do most of the work, different ways of applying the paint, contour drawing, different types of brush work, how to paint flowers, trees, skies, landscapes, still life, and people.¬† The focus of the class will be painting in a loose style focusing on suggesting things instead of stating every detail. Each class I‚Äôll give instruction on what we‚Äôre learning that day then do a demonstration and the last part of the class you‚Äôll practice what I taught while I walk around and give one-on-one help to each student. This class is loaded with information and inspiration!¬†This is an 8 week class starting January 20th from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Click here¬†Watercolor Registration Form and Supply List¬†for the¬†registration form¬†and supply list¬†– just print it, fill it out, and mail it in. Let me know if you have any questions. There are only 10 spots in the class and they fill up fast so don’t delay if you’re interested! Don’t forget this could be a great Christmas¬†gift for you or for a loved one.

The pictures are out of one of my journals. Above is a close-up. I did this one really quickly – just wanted to do something quick and easy and loose. I love doing butterflies – they are so colorful and fun!

Summer Produce

summer produce

This week in class I’m going to teach my students how to do contour drawing and how to measure to get the right scale of things. We’ll be doing this by painting from a simple still life set up so I’ve been sketching several still lifes lately. Since I’ve moved my “art studio” to the bonus room (because I had to make the breakfast room back into a breakfast room for the sake of selling our house) I’ve had a lot more room to spread out. I have a table I’ve set up with a light source and I’ve been doing little fruit and veggie still lifes – I’ve really been enjoying it. I can just paint whatever I buy from the grocery that week. Sketches are so much fun to do because you’re not worried about painting a master piece – the point is to just have fun practicing your painting skills and enjoy the paint flowing on the paper. AND if the painting turns out resembling what you are painting then that’s just a plus in my book.

summer fruit

I chose a verse you might not expect for this post, but it deals with food so I think it’s appropriate. It’s found in Proverbs 31 which describes the wife of noble character. There’s much about this women I love and long to be, but there’s one particular verse that jumps out to me because a dear friend and mentor (Terry Franklin) pointed something beautiful out to me one day during bible study. Verse 15 says, “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” Terry pointed out that this woman was a servant to her servants. That hit me like a ton of bricks. What a beautiful picture that is – this godly woman gets up extra early (“she gets up while it is still dark”) not just to take care of her family, but to graciously¬†make breakfast for the very people who¬†were probably hired to get up early to make¬†the very food they are being served. Who does that – who takes the servants place – who does the servants job?¬†It’s such a perfect picture, and sort of prophecy, of what Jesus came to do. He picked up the servants towel and served the servants and then called us to do the same. Do we do that? DO I DO THAT? I can answer pretty quickly – no. Oh how I want to be more like that though!

balsamic lemons

I have to tell you a funny story. At the bible study where Terry was teaching on this verse a lady responded that if the Lord would give her a servant she would happily serve her! Do we think about the people who are hired to do the things we don’t want to do – do you think about your trash man and go the extra mile to make his job easier? What if we cleaned up a little extra in the public bathroom instead of making a mess for someone else to clean up. What would tomorrow look like if we looked around for “servant towels” to “pick up”… we may need to get up a little earlier to do so.

Beginner Watercolor Class – Week 3

I can’t believe I only have 2 more weeks with this class!!! I’m going to miss these guys like crazy. I’m enjoying teaching far more than I thought I would.¬† Well, as I predicted the class did great with skies and landscapes – see their sketches below (you can click on the pictures to see them larger). I’ve also included a couple more action shots from class. In the middle of class I got a text from Grady that said, “SOLD!!!!PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!”. Yep, that’s right – we’re under contract now on our house. I just can’t get over how quick this has all gone. I have a feeling I will be doing more packing than painting in the coming weeks, so things will be slim on the blog I have a feeling.

IMG_2933IMG_2934week 3 skies

Skies and Landscapes

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. Isaiah 48:13

Where have I been? Well, I haven’t been home much since we put the house on the market because we’ve been showing it like crazy. The first full day we had it on the market we had an offer on it and we’ve been in negotiations for a week. We’re hoping to finalize things today!!! That’s really crazy in this market. The Lord has had crazy favor, mercy, and kindness on us through all this. I have been painting here and there over the last couple weeks and I’ve been doing lots of little 4×6 sketches of little landscapes and skies. I’ve been getting ready for tomorrows class where I’ll be teaching my students how to paint simple but dramatic skies and I’ll show them how to do these simple loose landscapes. I LOVE doing these little landscapes because you can really play around with color – you don’t have to just paint a blue sky and a green landscape – pink makes a great landscape too. It’s¬†a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see what my students come up with! I know they will do great. Hopefully I’ll have some good news tomorrow about our house. Make sure you check out the scripture I put with this post – man alive, is that good stuff or what?! You can click on the pictures below to see them larger.

skiesred doorlavender skyblue skylandscape pinkcolorful skies

Fun, Firs, and Frustration

This was my third week of teaching beginner watercolor classes and I’m enjoying it WAY more than I thought I would – part of that is because my students are GREAT!!! They are a lot of fun and I can’t believe how fast they are picking up the techniques – it’s a sharp group. I’m going to be sad when our 6 weeks together is over (class, we hit our halfway point today – can you believe that?!). We aren’t meeting next week because of the 4th of July holiday. And I didn’t post last week because my pictures turned out bad. Last week I taught them different ways to apply the paint and we painted flowers using those techniques. Today I showed them how to make rick darks and taught them how to paint different types of trees. Let me just say for the record – trees are hard!!! Did I hear some “amens” from my students? I thought they did a great job though. I took some ‘action’ shots today of my students working away – they were in deep concentration. You can also see some of their work from today. I have told them each week when they are in class to just practice the techniques I’m teaching – don’t try to paint a master piece – work more like a sketch journal. Great job class! You guys are growing on me – it’s going to be hard to let you guys go!

I have been doing a little painting here and there (maybe I’ll get around to posting some of those things soon) but we’ve mainly been working like crazy to get the house ready to put on the market. Everything should be ready by next week. I do have some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head and heart lately that I want to get down on ‘paper’¬†for you guys – hopefully soon!

students a

students b

Week 3 class - trees

Beginner Watercolor Class – Week 1

Yesterday was the first¬†day¬†for my beginner watercolor class and you would never know these guys were beginners! I’m not kidding – I was SO impressed – this is going to be a fun 6 weeks with these guys. For week one I talked to them about supplies, color theory, mixing paints, and color charts. Learning water/paint ratio and how paints get along with each other is super important in watercolor painting, so I taught my students how to do color charts so they could start to learn what the paints do, how much water you need in your brush, and what paints play well with others and which ones like to be left alone. Below is a picture of my class (minus one who had to slip out early) and some of their practice color charts. Next time I’ll take a better picture of their work – the room was too dark¬†where I took this picture ¬†– the picture really doesn’t do justice to their work (sorry guys – I’ll do better next time). Once they’ve completed their color charts and made them into journals they’ll look something like the last picture. I’m hoping to do a post once a week of my class and their progress.

day 1 class

day 1