Are You...

  • Confused about all the many mark making materials?
  • Looking to energize your paintings with your own unique signature marks?
  • Wanting to strengthen your own painting voice?

You have come to the right place. This course will help you:

  • Become familiar with a wide range of mark making materials, including both conventional and unconventional.
  • Develop your own unique signature marks, your personal painting vocabulary.
  • Communicate more emotion in your work through your marks.
  • Create depth with marks.
  • Gain a greater understanding of how you can enhance your composition with marks.
  • Increase your confidence so that you can elevate your paintings with the energy of your unique marks.
Develop your own unique signature marks, your personal painting vocabulary.

What The Course Includes

This is a self-paced online course consisting of pre recorded video talks, downloadable written pdf’s and studio demonstrations delivered in a password protected virtual classroom. The course is organized into different learning modules divided by subject. Also included is membership in a private Facebook group, Artsmart Workshops and monthly live Zoom sessions. You have a full year access to the course materials and Zoom sessions, and lifetime access to the Facebook group.

Course Curriculum

  • 1


    • [To Do] Download Adobe Acrobat Software

    • [Read] Tour of the Learning Portal

    • [Watch] What We Will Be Doing In This Course

    • [To Do] Join Our Private Facebook Group

    • [Read] Download The Materials And Course Supply List

  • 2

    Live Group Zoom Calls With Julie

    • [Read] How Your Q & A Sessions Work

    • [Read] How To Get The Most Out Of Your Q & A Sessions

    • Group Q & A Schedule

    • [To Do] Question for Live Q & A

  • 3


    • [Watch] What Is Mark Making And Its Purpose?

    • [Watch] Line as a Specific Aspect of Mark Making

    • [Watch] Get Your Mind Right

    • Bonus [Read] Exploring Composition

    • [Read] Tips To Get And Stay Loose

    • Bonus [Read] An Expert Guide to Strengthening Your Own Creative Voice

  • 4

    Module 1 Survey of Mark Making Tools

    • [Watch] Introduction

    • [Watch] Painting Tools

    • [Watch] Drawing Tools

    • [Read] On Your Own

  • 5

    Module 2: Discover Your Signature Marks

    • [Watch] Introduction

    • [Watch] Automatic Drawing as a Way to Find Your Marks

    • [Watch] Inject Your Marks with Feeling

    • [Watch] Let Go with Big, Bold, Spontaneous

    • [Watch] Creating Variation with Your Marks

    • [Read] On Your Own

  • 6

    Module 3: Create Depth with Marks

    • [Watch] Introduction

    • [Watch] Create Depth by Layering and Overlapping Paint with Marks

    • [Watch] Create Depth by Adding and Veiling Marks

    • [Watch] Examples of Marks in Finished Work

    • [Read] On Your Own

  • 7

    Module 4: Enliven your Paintings--Create Contrast in a Painting with Marks

    • [Watch] Introduction

    • [Watch] Contrast with Line

    • [Watch] Create Focus with Marks: Marks as the Main Event

    • [Read] On Your Own

  • 8


    • [Watch] Conclusion

    • Before You Go...

    • Other Online Courses

What People Are Saying About Julie's Courses

"A Wonderful Class!"

Patricia W.

This class explores abstract mark making in a way that pushes students to loosen up, try new things, and really get into the paint! It was a great way for me to get back into painting again after many years. Thank you, Julie!

"An Excellent Teacher"

by Petra M.

While I have studied other visual art forms, Julie introduced me to an impressive array of materials, concepts, and methods in a short amount of time — on a scale that is not readily accessible to me. She is an excellent teacher, providing enough direction to guide me through an approach to painting, as well as time and space for my own exploration, and discussion and reflection. I left feeling confident to experiment on my own, which is really what I was after.

"Exactly What I Needed"

by Rose H. Faissal

Julie’s workshop was informative, inspiring, and helped build my confidence and momentum–which was exactly what I needed. I enjoyed learning the loosening up techniques to help get started when faced with a blank canvas and not sure where/how to start; and also had fun exploring with new paint and drawing tools that produced surprisingly great results.

"Exceeded My Expectations"

by Diane S.

My private painting session with Julie was a very worthwhile experience that far exceeded my expectations. Julie is a generous, knowledgeable and encouraging instructor who introduced me to some new materials and helped me meet all of my goals.

"A Wonderful Teacher"

D. Phelps

Julie is a wonderful teacher. She is very clear with her explanations. The videos are short and to the point. This course helped me solidify mark making and gave me a foundation on which to base my painting efforts."
The course also includes membership in our private Facebook Community Art Smart Workshops. There you can interact with artists just like you and obtain additional support from Julie. You may share your work, talk about the assignments you work on through the course and get new ideas and inspiration. There will also be monthly scheduled Zoom q and a sessions for you to get your questions answered, as well as quarterly, live 2-hour sessions where we will all paint together. You can upgrade your course to include private coaching from Julie via Zoom or similar platform. This is the perfect course for beginners who want to explore mark making as well as more experienced painters whose painting practice may not have included much mark making or who could use a fresh perspective on the subject.

Here is everything you get when you sign up:

  • One year access to the Dive Into Abstract Painting:  Exploring Mark Making Painting Course with monthly Zoom Group question and answer meetings for as long as you would like to attend
  • A quarterly 2 hour live Zoom painting event where we will paint together in our studios ($497 value)
  • Membership in the private ArtSmart Workshops Facebook Group ($497 value)
  • Plus 2 Bonus Handouts, one on Strengthening Your Creative Voice and one on Composition (total value $200) FREE

  • Total Value of the Course plus Bonuses is $1194.  

    Power up your learning experience!

    Add two private 30 minute Q & A Zoom sessions or one 60 minute session with Julie to discuss your work and any additional questions you may have, and get the course plus Facebook community, group q & a sessions, live painting session and bonus handouts for only $397! This is a $1344 value.


    • How long do I have access to the course?

      You will have full access to the course and Zoom q and a calls for one year, and to the Facebook community for as long as you want.

    • Do I have access to the full course at once?

      Yes, all modules of the course are available now.

    • How long will it take me to complete the course?

      Depending on how much time you have available to work on the course, it is designed to be completed in 3 to 4 weeks. This is a self-paced course that you can complete at your own convenience.

    • What is your refund policy?

      Upon your request, you will receive a full, no questions asked refund within 7 days of your purchase of the course.

    • Do I have to join the Facebook group?

      No, but it will enhance your learning experience to meet other similarly situated artists. It is also an opportunity to interact with Julie!

    • What do I do if I have technical support issues with accessing the course?

      Send Julie an email to and we will resolve your issue as quickly as possible. You do not need any special computer skills to be able to take the course. If you are able to create an account online, log in, download written material and watch videos from a website you will be able to navigate the course on the Thinkific learning platform.

    Materials You Will Need

    Here is a list of supplies you will want to have on hand.

    materials and supply list.pdf