Realistic Drawing Workshops


JD Hillberry

2023 Schedule Coming Soon

NOTE: My workshops can sell out very fast. To make sure you don't miss out...

Scroll down and look for the green Registration Open buttons and click there for more information about the workshop. Make sure you are signed up on my email list (above) to be notified when the registration opens for the the yellow Opening Soon buttons.

Below I've listed a few of my previous workshops to help give you an idea of some of the locations and subject matter I teach.

November 19 - 21
San Antonio, TX

Subject: Portraits - (Smooth Skin)
Smooth Skin Portrait by JD Hillberry

Smooth Skin

This class will focus the techniques necessary to create realistic looking smooth skin texture on females and babies.

Students will learn all about laying out a portrait to insure a likeness, and shading the portrait to give it dimension and realism as well as getting that sparkle in the eyes that really make a portrait come to life. 

Reference photos will be discussed in depth and students will learn how to identify and solve potential problems. The class will culminate with everyone (including me) drawing the portrait on the left.

Your tuition also includes immediate access to my online tutorial "Realistic Drawing with Light, Texture, and Contrast" in the member’s area of my website.

Man with beard drawing
Male - Beard - Dramatic Lighting

In this class you’ll learn all the techniques you need to know to create high contrast, detailed portraits that make viewers stop and say “Really… That’s a Drawing?”!

Many artists feel like their pencil drawings are look flat, weak and lack the punch that would make them stand out from the rest. If you want to take your pencil work to the next level, this workshop is for you!

We will focus on the techniques necessary to render this portrait with a smooth dark background, realistic beard, and high contrast.

Even though the subject here is a male portrait, you’ll be able to transfer the methods and techniques to your future drawings so from now on, your work will have that "pop" and realism you have been looking for. 

October 9 - 11
Scottsdale, AZ

Subject: Flowers (Realistic Rose)

Workshop Rose

About this Class
Flowers / Realistic Rose

In this class you will learn how to create the delicate shading required for flowers as well as increase contrast to make the drawing "pop". We will use charcoal, graphite and carbon pencils along with my blending techniques to create the soft, smooth texture of the petals against a rougher, dark background.

After several demonstrations and shading exercises, we will all work on the same image which I will supply to the class.

You'll learn the unique methods I use to keep the dark background from smearing into the white petals.

This course will give you all the techniques necessary create more depth, dimension, and contrast in your drawings - regardless of the subject.

Reference photos will be discussed in depth, and you will learn how to identify and solve potential problems on your future drawings. You are encouraged to bring examples of previous work for me to evaluate privately. These one-on-one sessions will take place at the end of class each day for those interested.  

Your tuition also includes immediate access to my online tutorial "Realistic Drawing with Light, Texture, and Contrast" in the member’s area of my website.

October 18 - 20
Phoenix, AZ

Subject: Trompe L'Oeil
trompe l'oeil drawing

About This Class:

Subject: Trompe l'Oeil

"Drawings that are so realistic, it looks like actual objects are displayed in a frame."


I'm very excited to offer this workshop where you will learn the realistic drawing techniques that I'm most known for. Everything you see in the image is drawn - including the masking tape and background.

I'll take you step by step to render this illusion in this award winning drawing. The techniques you will learn here will transfer to your future drawings giving you the ability to create amazingly realistic looking works of art.

The idea of this piece is that the butterfly may think the rose is real, while you - the viewer, may think you see a real photo taped to the background. In reality, you have both been fooled - since everything you see here is drawn.

March 29 - 31
Phoenix, AZ

Subject: Portraits - Rough Skin/Dark Background

pencil drawing by JD Hillberry
Click the registration link below
for all the details about this workshop.

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About This Class:


Character Study of "Hook"
Rough Skin/Dark Background

In this workshop you'll learn the techniques needed to create a portrait which includes rough wrinkled skin, white hair and beard, against a background with a graduated value from dark to light. 

If you have struggled with achieving a realistic skin texture or getting your portrait drawings to really "pop" off the page though the use of backgrounds, this class is for you.

Once you understand these core concepts and techniques you'll be able to use this knowledge to help give all your drawings a much more realistic look.

April 12 - 14
Phoenix, AZ

Subject: Realistic Textures

Example of what you will learn
This is an example of how I render glass and water.

About this Class

Realistic Textures

I've had a lot of requests to conduct a class that would incorporate many of the subjects and textures that artists have difficulty with... like glass, reflective metal, water, fur, clouds, etc.

In my previous workshops, I've answered many questions about how to render these subjects realistically.  Now you'll have a chance to watch demonstrate exactly how they are done and to follow along with my guidance.
I spend much of my time walking around the class giving individual attention to insure you understand the specific techniques and concepts needed to draw each of these subjects.

After that, I'll provide you with two reference photos to choose from for the final project.

November 16 - 18
Austin, Texas
The second leg of my Texas Workshops!

Subject: Realistic Still Life

Drawing by JD Hillberry

Still Life

"Onions and Garlic"

In this class, we will all be drawing my Onions and Garlic drawing. Students will also learn how to create a graduated background from light gray to dark black and learn how the great renaissance masters used this technique to create more depth and dimension with their subjects.

Thoughout my career as an artist, I've learned more from studying still life drawings and paintings than any other genre. With this simple subject, you will gain the invaluable knowledge of composition, contrast, along with subtle texture and shading, which will carry over to virtually everything you draw in the future.

Lighting situations for general still life art will be discussed and demonstrated, as well as how light can affect the appearance of these varied textures.

Reference photos and drawing from life will be discussed in depth, and students will learn how to identify and solve potential problems when working with both.


Questions any of my live Drawing Workshops or Online Tutorials?
email me at [email protected]

For more information about what is included in ALL my realistic drawing workshops, click the link below:

Workshop Details