Sketching Neotropical Birds

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Sketching Neotropical Birds is a course that builds upon (and comes bundled with) three additional courses: 1) Sketching Backyard Birds for Beginners, 2) Stick Figures to Songbirds in Sixty Minutes, and 3) Sketching Hummingbirds.

In this course, you'll learn just as much about the biology, ecology, and anatomy of Neotropical birds as you do about how to draw them!

Your instructor, Christine Elder, is a naturalist and biological illustrator who's traveled extensively from Mexico to Peru and the Caribbean to the Galapagos Islands to share what she's learned about these birds through her field observations and nature journals.


Bird Families You'll Learn About in this Course

This course includes recordings of a series of live workshops Christine has presented from 2019-2022 that feature families which are primarily or exclusively found in the neotropics such as:

  • Quetzals
  • Trogons
  • Tanagers
  • Cotingas
  • Motmots
  • Manakins
  • Hummingbirds
  • Parrots
  • Toucans
  • Antpittas
  • Curassows

You'll also learn about families well-represented in the Neotropics including:

  • Raptors
  • Vultures
  • Albatrosses
  • Flamingos
  • Flycatchers
  • Orioles
  • Finches
  • Kingfishers
  • Woodpeckers

Workshops average 90 minutes and introduce the basic biology, ecology, and anatomy of each family of birds followed by a step-by-step drawing demonstration of a selected member of the family.

Bundled Bird Courses

Sketching Backyard Birds for Beginners; a course that covers foundational concepts in drawing birds, with a focus on families well represented in the northern hemisphere including warblers, cardinals, thrushes, chickadees, quail, finches, orioles, sparrows, jays, and much more.

Stick Figures to Songbirds in Sixty Minutes; a quick course for beginning sketchers to familiarize themselves with Christine’s Six-Step Roadmap to Sketching Success.

Sketching Hummingbirds; a course in which you’ll learn about the biology, diversity, and anatomy of these winged jewels.


"As a beginning birder, learning more about birds and how to draw them has deepened my experience. As an artist, her supportive teaching style has really improved my drawing skills. Her courses have given me real confidence. I really can't recommend Christine enough. Beyond that, her classes are fun and something I really look forward to as she delights me with the natural world.”

- Heather Crellin

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What would a course on sketching Neotropical birds be if it didn't include hummingbirds; those winged jewels that live only here? So when you purchase Sketching Neotropical Birds, you also get free access to my newest bird course, Sketching Hummingbirds.

Course Curriculum

"Christine helped me to become more confident and excited about drawing birds. As a big-picture ecologist, I’ve thoroughly loved getting back into the habit of slowing down and focusing on the smaller details. I feel like I’ve become a better artist AND a better biologist! Plus, Christine’s videos are very approachable, educational, and fun"

- Nicole Weprin

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"Christine Elder is a great teacher as you feel she is talking to YOU even though it is all online right now. It is non-threatening for a beginner like me who until recently was scared by a blank sheet of paper. What is especially wonderful is that thanks to Christine’s teaching and guidance I pay more attention to everything in nature, I notice more details... a delightful progression from looking with binoculars, to taking photos and making video clips, and now drawing and even painting. The world has become bigger, more beautiful, and more interesting. "

- Charlotte Elton

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

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! 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.

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 some of the workshops and try the sketching exercises before you decide that it wasn’t worth the money you paid.

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