The Life Book lesson below was titled "Mandalas of Positive Light" with Instructor Louise Gale. It is one of my favorite pieces to date! You start with a very bright watercolor background and then mute it with a lot of white gesso on top - thick in some places, thinner in others to vary how much color comes through. Mine is still very bright compared to the instructors. Other than some circle templates (think tracing bottle caps, cups, etc.) the mandalas are all hand drawn. They are not perfectly even and it totally doesn't matter! I showed this picture on my phone to Deanna while we were on retreat, explained the basic concept, and next thing I knew she was cranking out mandalas like crazy!
Point is, the exercise alone was so much fun, I ended up doing a second version with a copper background (not really clear in the photo, but the background is a shiny metallic):
These following two pieces aren't Life Book lessons. I just challenged myself while on vacation to create some watercolor paintings using photos I had taken as inspiration. I bought a little 5.5 x 8" watercolor pad that is easy to travel with. I made a small art kit (makeup bag size) including one small set of watercolors, Tombow markers, a couple of paint brushes, 2 graphite pencils, an eraser, and black and white Posca paint pens. It really is amazing what you can create with such a limited set of supplies!
a mini class called "Sacred Inner Eye" ($22.49 to purchase on it's own) and really gets into the finer points of drawing an eye - not meant to be entirely realistic. Fantastic lesson! Also completed on that work trip with the supply kit mentioned above.
These lessons are really stretching me and I'm learning so much - if you want to do sketching/drawing/painting, I can highly recommend Life Book... or anything that Tamara teaches!