A1izrk9msomffcuslw3q

Colored Pencil Plus

Learn to Color like an Artist

  Enroll in Course

Colored pencils are practically perfect.

When it comes to art mediums, there isn't anything else which approaches the easy-to-use appeal of colored pencils. And since you've been writing and coloring since kindergarten, there's a very low intimidation factor to colored pencil.

But the universal appeal also has it's downside.

Colored pencils are trendy right now which means there is a lot of bad information and terrible technique on the internet. Self-professed experts are recommending expensive pencil sets without an artist's understanding of pigments & binders, good technique, or the needs of beginners. When you do find a reliable pencil authority, the information is usually slanted towards experienced users and advanced techniques.

Join Amy Shulke, a professional illustrator and colored pencil specialist for an in-depth look at her favorite colored pencil techniques.

Colored Pencil Plus is a unique approach to coloring with colored pencils. Amy teaches students basic techniques and color theory in an easy to understand, easy to apply method which moves beyond craft-level coloring.

Instead of focusing on "how" to color a selected stamp image, Amy shows you the "why" behind color selection, shade, layering, and depth. This provides students with the necessary knowledge and instincts to color an endless variety of images for the rest of your life.

Colored Pencil Plus is the first step towards coloring independently, in your own unique style, and with more accurate realism.


In this twelve week beginner level course, Amy covers basic colored pencil techniques and general know-how, giving students a good understanding of both how colored pencils work and how to work colored pencils.


This course is ideal for:

  • beginners who have colored for a few weeks, months, or years without developing real skills
  • intermediate colorers who feel as if they've missed key information about basic technique
  • lost colorers who feel overwhelmed by art supplies, terminology, and techniques
  • frustrated colorers who struggle when coloring unfamiliar images
  • crafters wishing to push beyond craft level coloring, to boost depth, realism, and artistry in their projects

Twelve Week Course includes:

  • 12 weeks of coloring lessons- 30 to 60 minutes of clear technique instruction
  • guided coloring video for every project
  • mid-week supplementals to spark further thought
  • 16 PNG digital stamps (also PDF and JPG alternate formats)
  • bonus supplementals and consumer information
  • multiple instructional handouts, designed to complement each week's video lesson
  • discussion board for instructor guidance, help, Q&A

Curriculum Overview:

  • colored pencil pigments- understanding the unique traits of colored pencils
  • pencil care and maintenance
  • colored pencil substrates- papers, boards, and alternative surfaces
  • basic pencil strokes
  • how to blend colored pencils without the use of solvents or oil
  • troubleshooting and correcting mistakes
  • introduction to coloring for depth
  • introduction to coloring for shape
  • introduction to coloring for balance
  • using colored pencil as the focus of mixed media projects
  • increasing your unique artistry

Always open enrollment.

We're here when you're ready to learn. No enrollment windows, no wait lists.

Your Instructor


Amy Shulke
Amy Shulke

Amy is a professional freelance technical illustrator with 25 years of experience in graphic arts. Amy began using colored pencils in 1985 and they are her preferred medium for portraiture and scientific illustration. She has a special passion for teaching crafters and shy artists to stretch their boundaries by incorporating established art techniques to their coloring projects. Join Amy for fun and highly informative lessons which will not only change the way you color but the way you see color in the world around you.


Course Curriculum


  Think #1- Sharp Minds
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #3: Shaken, Not Stirred
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #4: Sealed with a Kiss
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #5: The Winnowing
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #6: Oopses and Mistakes
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #7: The Shunning
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #8: Tooth Fairy
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #9: Bright Spots
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #10: Looking into the Future
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Think #11: the Clone Wars
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Bonus Materials- Build your independent skills with these digital stamps
Available in days
days after you enroll

"It's the OMG moments. That's why Amy's classes rock. She explains things that you've maybe noticed before but never thought much about. I love it!"

"At 62 years of age I have no illusions about becoming a great artist but. I am so appreciative of the change in my perception since taking classes with Amy at Vanilla Arts Co. Now I see the play of colors, the motion and the grace... It's a great way to view the world around me."

"I warn people when they sign up for your classes-- it's not just coloring, it's sooooooooo much more."

"Thank you, Amy for your generous nature. There are many gifted people in the world but you share your gifts so freely. Your classes are wonderful and I sincerely hope that the new online project allows more and more students to fall in love with your classes."

Required Supplies:

Please see the supply guide here. Note that the list is deceptive. You may already own much of what is on the list!


This course includes a private Facebook group:

Use and participation of the group is optional. Students may submit completed assignments via the group page for assessment and assistance. Instructor to student and student to student interaction is encouraged to maximize the feedback and support you need to improve your coloring skills.

If you do not wish to make use of the Facebook group, assignments may be emailed to the instructor for private consultation.

Always open enrollment.

We're here when you're ready to learn. No enrollment windows, no wait lists.

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The first lesson will launch on September 8th, 2017 AFTER SEPTEMBER 8, 2017: Begin any time you want. The first segment is available to you on the same day you enroll. The course is spread out over 12 weeks; lessons will be opened to you every three to four days. Set your own schedule and work at your own pace. Most students work each lesson as it is released to them but there is no time limit on assignments and no pressure to complete a lesson before the next lesson is made available.
How will I know when a lesson segment has been opened for me?
Lessons open every three to four days. An automated email goes out as each segment opens to you.
Can I opt for immediate access to all class segments?
Sorry, but no. This class is deliberately rationed over twelve weeks. In my experience, handing a student too much information all at once is detrimental to the learning process. The slow release of information allows you to fully digest the class materials and to practice the assigned image more than once. Be patient. Learning requires more than enthusiasm, it also requires time.
How long do I have access to the course?
Lifetime access! After each segment opens to you, you will have unlimited access to the content for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What skill level does this class require?
This class is recommended for beginner and intermediate level colorers.. No drawing skills required. Some coloring experience is helpful, not necessarily with colored pencils but with any medium including markers or even watercoloring with stamp inks. Want more info? Email me at [email protected]
Am I required to use the class Facebook group?
Absolutely not! The Facebook group will enhance the class experience but it is definitely not a requirement. You may submit your completed assignments or ask questions via email.
What kind of images will we be coloring?
This class is 100% botanical images- flowers, succulents, and greenery. To preserve the surprise for the first group of students, I keep the images under wraps until the week prior to the lesson debut. All images are high quality digital stamps that you can use in a wide variety of applications from cards to framable art.
The supply list says that Prismacolor Premier Pencils are required. Can I use a different brand?
This class uses Prismacolor Premier because I think they are the smartest investment for beginning colorers who do not yet know if they want to stick with colored pencils long term. Yes, there are other artist grade pencils available but they are more expensive and have qualities not needed by the average colorer or cardmaker. If you substitute, I would prefer that you use a wax based pencil rather than an oil based pencil (meaning Luminance rather than Polychromos). The course will cite Prismacolor names, numbers, and characteristics- if you substitute you will need to find a reliable conversion chart. Please note that not all colors are the same across lines and your brand may not make a suitable Prismacolor match. Please do not attempt to use student grade pencils including Crayola, Prang, Rose Art, Artist's Loft, Prima, Sargent, Staedtler, and Spectrum Noir. Also not recommended: Derwent Colorsoft, Derwent Studio, or Faber-Castel Soft Lead.
What if I have a different sized set of Prismacolor Premier Pencils?
We will use many but not all of the colors in the set of 72. If you have a smaller set, you may want to purchase missing colors open stock. Each week I will post a list of pencils to be used the following week which will give you time to purchase missing colors. If you have a larger set, congratulations, you're all set!
What is the "watermedia" for and what colors do I need?
I use watermedia as the base for developing bold and vibrant color without the use of solvents or blender pencils. Please do not stress over the watermedia, it's technically optional and won't be incorporated until week #3 after I've had a chance to fully explain it.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.

Always open enrollment.

We're here when you're ready to learn. No enrollment windows, no wait lists.

Get started now!