Testimonials from student evaluation forms.


I had the most wonderful time in Session III with watercolors. Gretchen is an excellent mentor, guiding us step by step into the use of different media ranging from color pencils and watercolors. The video tutorials of the different techniques helped me a lot. Her critique in class was very constructive and helped me learn so much. It was a very steady learning curve for me. I challenged myself to do art pieces that I never thought I would do before. Thank you so much Gretchen for giving us confidence and motivating us throughout the class. Also, I would particularly like to mention the immense support and advice given by my amazing classmates throughout the session. We were such a close-knit group supporting each other. I will miss this class and this group very much.-Prabhadevi Venkataramani

I really enjoyed having the skype sessions and getting to interact with other students. I also liked the how the assignments were structured. Each assignment built on the previous ones in a way that lent itself well to learning technique, observational skills, and composition. Also, I had used graphite before, but I feel that I came away from Session 1 with much better understanding of the medium.-Brenna Dubay

Because I live in Greece, it gave me first of all the opportunity to have a class of specifically scientific illustration without changing countries (which was an option). On the other hand, I never thought that I would find a professional with Gretchen's credits but also combined with her easy going personality. She made me feel comfortable to ask anything, giving feedback all the time, but also being strict when needed. Her guidance was valuable and on point every time. -Konstantina Stavropoulou

Your classes have been reinforcing my teaching philosophies and I've been learning things I never imagined from this experience.-Nancy Hart

Gretchen is wonderful in giving constructive criticism in a way that is specific along with advice for improvement. I liked that I got to interact with people of like interests from all over the world. I liked that there were weekly exercises that allowed us to practice, and weekly projects to complete.

I liked seeing the ways everyone handled the same project and how they established their own style over time. Feedback from others was also very helpful. I know in my other classes that everyone saw things a little bit differently and that helped each of us change little things that really brought out the strengths in our work. It was very relieving that technical issues were minimal at most. That was my biggest concern, but it totally wasn’t an issue. -Shaina Thieler.

I found it very challenging, however Gretchen was encouraging, offering good insight and helpful tips. The classmates were also very encouraging as well.

We were up in Seattle when my certificate arrived and I’ve only recently seen it. It’s beautiful!!!! Thank you so much! It represents the culmination of so much. Now i’m pondering how to frame it to hang in a spot that I’ve already chosen.-Kate Hansen

I would never have done graphite rendering on my own, and I am glad that it is now in my repertoire.

Having accountability, along with weekly video conferencing and assignments, kept me on task. I'm impressed with how much I accomplished! There was also a sense of camaraderie and support among other students in the class that was refreshing. Very professional and fun course. Thank you.


I confess that while I am pleased about this achievement, a large part of me is sad to complete this program. I learned a great deal, including skills that I didn't know I had the capacity to perform. For me, the biggest surprise about the program was pen and ink. That was completely new to me, and at first I did not care for it at all. Interestingly, now it's the "genre" that I feel most comfortable with. Stippling is easily one of the most soothing and exciting things I've ever learned. Again, thank you so much for your guidance all the way through. I would do it again in a heartbeat. -Laura Sohl-Smith


Our instructor has lots of experience which has been useful in guiding us during our work for our individual skill levels.

This has honestly been the most enjoyable learning environments I’ve been in, and probably one of the first art classes I’ve taken that made me truly excited to learn. -Dana Hunter

Gretchen is great! Super nice, friendly, very helpful & extremely engaged and motivating! 

It is more like being in a classroom setting compared to other online courses.


I appreciated the individual attention to my pieces and the ability to also learn from everyone else's artwork. I was making similar mistakes to the other students!


I appreciate that this was not taught strictly as an "art" class and the instructor was diligent in reminding us that we were doing illustration, which communicates concepts and ideas for specific purposes. That helped me while I was working on later assignments.


Gretchen, thank you very much for your last feedback, I did as you suggested and it looks better. I'm much happier with the new hands, it was worth it. Thank you for your corrections!


It is a wonderful course. It went by too fast!


I loved the video! Thank you for sharing, very well done. I loved seeing the view from your house and your funny comments. If you ever make more of these videos, can I watch them? A scratchboard one would be very helpful I would think.


Note:  A scratchboard video was made! gh

I love that I could do this online and the quality is so good. I like the weekly Skype sessions. This kept me accountable to get the work done.

I like how the projects were broken down into small sections.

It was very useful to get live feedback from you and the other students. Plus, I spend a lot of time working alone so it was nice to have the experience of camaraderie with other people. I also enjoyed having the ability to choose our own subjects.

I appreciate having the opportunity to exhibit my work on your website, and to see the work of other students. I also appreciate we learn professional business practices. Thank you.