Private Drawing Lessons

Our teaching style isn’t what you’ll find in a conventional drawing class. We are not going to set up a bunch of fruit on a table during your first private drawing lesson and tell you just to “draw what you see”. If you’re anything like Laurie was as a student, you can’t see what you need to see in order to draw!

Anneke, age 9-10, From Left to Right: pear drawing in the  first few lessons; color pencil pear, after about 6 months of lessons; graphite pear drawing 1.5 years into lessons; acrylic paint pears 1.5 years into lessons

The amazing thing is most people are capable of drawing fairly accurately, given actual step-by-step instructions. The trick is, it takes thinking about things in a very different way than our language-based culture teaches us to think. It takes trial and error, so you have to be willing to draw badly at first in order to improve over time. Drawing takes a lot of problem solving, small motor skills and actually s-l-o-w-i-n-g down, being present enough to really LOOK at things. We are certain those are all GOOD practices to encourage in both our youngsters and ourselves! Everyone can improve in a short amount of time with the right guidance and persistence.

From Left to Right: Cindy, Adult student, after 2 years of lessons; Marianne, Adult student, Final project in group class after 16 hours of instruction; Jina, Adult student, after completing the my basic private lessons.

“My son developed a love for art at an early age. I wanted to give him a chance to excel at something he loved. Finding Laurie was such a blessing. Not only is she talented in her own right, but she has a way of teaching that allows an individual’s creativity to bloom. Laurie has introduce several mediums to Jonah teaching him that art can be expressed in many different ways. She is able to keep Jonah consistently on task and has a sweet, kind demeanor.” – Melissa, Occupational Therapist/Mom, private lessons for 3 years +

The first thing we’ll cover in my Private Drawing Lessons are the absolute basics of how to make an accurate outline. We will teach you about your art supplies so you intimately know your tools. Your first lessons include a discussion of very basic elements of drawing, such as pencil position, posture, the physical movements involved in drawing, and how to erase less. Each lesson will include a different classical drawing technique. For young children, one big difference you’ll notice is that they will stop throwing paper away and starting over when they “mess up”. It is important to use initial inaccuracies to get a proper drawing, and we will teach you how to do that.

Then comes the fun part – shading a drawing to make it appear volumetric! These lessons cover the basics of how to render light in drawings so that your images look three dimensional and realistic. You will build on the skills you learned first and will complete your introduction to basic drawing concepts so that you will be much better at drawing realistically. Each lesson will include a different classical drawing technique in shading volumes, and techniques that Laurie has developed while teaching drawing over the last 16 years.

before & after lessons with LZM Studio
Bill, Adult Student, BEFORE: 1st lesson drawing of dolphin. AFTER: after completion of the basic private lessons, fruit still life.

After we’ve completed your basic skill set training, we’ll start to tackle more complex problems into your drawings. This is where the rubber meets the road. At this point in your lessons, you get to select images you would love to draw and we help you problem solve your way through the drawing. In this stage, you are learning where, when and how to apply all the tools you’ve learned in your basic lessons. We will work with you as long as you wish, to ensure the lessons stick, and you know how to apply everything you’ve learned in new, more exciting drawing challenges.

“Everyone loves her, she is a talented art teacher and artist. I would not hesitate to recommend her as teacher, consultant, adviser in any area of art. She is patient and loving, but firm so you get the task done and with success.” –Aralyn Hughes, Performance & Visual Artist/Realtor, adult small group lessons for 3 years +

From Left to Right: Eliza, Age 10, drawing of her dog after 1 year of private lessons; Summer, Age 9, self portrait after 9 months of private lessons; Phoebe, Age 15, giraffe scratchboard drawing completed on her own after 5 school years of private lessons 2 times a month.

Children ages 5 to 8 might take a different path than adults during my private lessons. Some of the exercises will be the same for kids and adults, but to achieve successful results we’ve found that another approach works best for kids. From the time they can hold a crayon and have the inclination to make marks on the page, until about age 8 or 9, most kids are drawing “symbols” of their world. This symbolic drawing phase is important in a child’s language development and processing their experiences. Around the age of 8 (give or take a year or two, depending on the child), our brains develop a better understanding of spatial analysis. Right around that time, kids will often quit drawing because they realize what they are drawing on the page does not look like the three dimensional stuff they see in their world, but they don’t know how to translate the three dimensional world to the two dimensional page.

If we work with your child during their symbolic drawing phase, a fair number of the lessons might be altered, depending on the child’s ability to comprehend some of the more difficult exercises. We like to preserve each child’s feeling that their way of seeing their world and expressing it through drawing is beautiful, so it isn’t appropriate for us to teach a child in the symbolic phase all of the things that we would teach an older child or an adult. Older kids, ages 9 to 17 are usually quite comfortable with all the complexity of the adult exercises, and often times they are eager to improve their drawing skills.

“I just wanted to let you know I asked Olivia yesterday how she liked her art lesson. She said, “I LOVE IT!” At dinner she chattered on and on about how you and she made the ceramic rattle…..every little detail. If you knew Olivia, you would be as surprised as we were about her excitement and love for what she was doing. Typically, she does not show much emotion about anything, even if she is proud, excited, or whatever. And, trying to get her to talk about something is VERY difficult. Anyway, it was so wonderful to see her so excited about something to the point she wanted to tell us all about it. Hope that lasts (and maybe spills over into the rest of her life). –Jan, Mom of 3, private lessons for 1.5 years

From Left to Right: Marianne, Adult student, barn drawn during first private lessons after 18 hours of group classes; Jina, Adult student, final project after 15 private lesson hours; Jan, Adult student, safari scene drawn after 9 months of private lessons.

If you find yourself in the “I can’t draw, but it would be a dream come true if I could/but I think I can with good instruction” situation, we are your solutionOr maybe you can draw some things that look pretty good, but you would like to improve weak areas, gain skills more rapidly than you can teach yourself or gather more formal or technical skills in drawing. We can get you on the path to transforming your ability to see, so that you can draw, with much more confidence and success. Just give us a handful of hours and you’ll be surprised at the difference!

The Private Drawing Lessons we offer can be conducted one on one, or in small groups if you have friends who want to begin lessons with you. Lessons are signed up for on a first come, first serve basis, according to both your schedule and our availability.


  • $60-100 per 50 minute lesson for 1-2 students, ages 5 to adult, small groups additional charge per person.
  • Drawing Supplies must be purchased on your own and are an additional $40-60, and typically last 3-12 months if cared for responsibly.
  • Lessons are scheduled, reserved and paid for monthly, and can start anytime.
  • Lessons are conducted at LZM Studio in North Central Austin.
  • Sign up anytime- Use my contact LZM Studio page and tell us more about what you want to learn!

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