Sketching Backyard Birds for Beginners

*Learn all about songbirds and how to draw them*

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Sketching Backyard Birds for Beginners

You’ll learn foundational techniques for sketching birds with ease and confidence from the comfort of your own home.

This introductory course will show you how to quickly and easily capture the essence of living birds through your sketches. Whether your local birds are robins, finches, sparrows, warblers, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, or jays, this guide will help you get started sketching them with ease and confidence. You’ll learn basic techniques for creating loose gesture sketches of birds in pencil, including hints for sketching birds from both photographs and from living species in your own backyard!

Does this describe you?

• Do you enjoy watching birds in your backyard or at the park?
• Have you always wanted to try sketching birds in a journal but didn’t know where to start?
• Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
• Do fears of insecurity and judgment hold you back from attempting to learn to draw?

This course is perfect if you are:

• An aspiring sketcher who thinks you can’t even draw a straight line.
• A homeschooling parent who wishes to integrate bird studies into your science curriculum.
• An artist who wants to explore a new subject and medium.
• A field biologist who’d like to incorporate sketching into your research notes.

What’s included:

This is an online course that includes:

  • Live workshops plus self-study content.
  • Downloadable guides and high-resolution reference photos.
  • Step-by-step video tutorials.
  • Units on bird topography, field sketching, and bird biology.
  • Workshops on all the most common and familiar families of common backyard birds including robins, warblers, cardinals, doves, finches, quail, sparrows, jays, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, chickadees, hawks, owls, and more!


  • A bonus course; Stick Figures to Songbirds in Sixty Minutes.
  • Kid’s section with downloadable bird species coloring pages.
  • Weekly nature sketching tips delivered each Saturday.
  • Tip videos on a variety of nature sketching topics.
  • Library of recordings of live, online sketching workshops on a variety of bird groups including hummingbirds, ducks, kestrels, kites, owls, and even penguins!

My Guarantee:

If you’re not completely satisfied, I offer an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee. However, I do hope that you’ll first watch the videos, read the guides, and try the sketching exercises before you decide that it wasn’t worth the money you paid.

Get started now!

Student Testimonials

“Christine is a dynamite teacher, even for slow art learners like me. I’ve taken two bird sketching classes with her – she’s patient, entertaining and knows how to integrate biology with technique.”

—Denise Fainberg, live workshop student

"Christine is a wonderful artist and teacher, who makes sketching detailed birds and all nature subjects easy and fun!"

- Barb Masinton, student

Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll
Available in days
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Available in days
days after you enroll

Bonus Course

Included with your course is my introductory sketching course called 'Stick Figures to Songbirds in 60 Minutes' that includes 3 videos to get you sketching confidently in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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Student Testimonial

“Christine has a refreshingly welcoming approach to teaching about birds through art that reflects her obvious passion for wildlife and conservation of our natural environment. Whether at her home in Oregon or visiting us deep in the tropics at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, she has a marvelous potential to connect people with birds in a rich and meaningful way.”

—Neil Gerlowski, Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

Your Instructor

Christine Elder
Christine Elder

Hummingbirds Are My Passion!

I've been lucky to observe and sketch dozens of species of hummingbirds throughout the Americas, from Streamertails in Jamaica, Swordbilled Hummingbirds in Ecuador, and Shining Sunbeams in Peru to the Anna's hummingbirds that grace me with their presence in my own backyard!

I love helping people discover how easy, fun, and satisfying it is to sketch and paint the natural world.

I’ve taught sketching courses for over two decades, both as local classes and abroad at festivals and conferences in the U.S., Jamaica, Mexico, and Honduras.

I can proudly say that my students routinely tell me, “This is the best drawing I’ve ever done!”

As a professional biological illustrator, I’ve worked on numerous projects for books, magazines, scientists, and museums.

I’ve also led international nature sketching holidays to such exotic locales as Mexico and Honduras.

My favorite media include pencil, pen, watercolor, and gouache. I also enjoy digital art techniques using my Cintiq tablet.

My formal education includes Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology as well as a graduate certificate in scientific illustration.

I reside in central Oregon, where I love to hike, ride horses, and take my nature journal into the mountains where I love to sketch and paint the wildflowers, birds, and mammals I see..

“Christine is such a wonderful teacher. She knows her field really well and is very generous with her time and information. Her classes are top of the line and so much fun.”

—Lorna Cahall, student

Get started now!