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EVERYTHING you need to know and do to create portraits like these...

 Now teaching Art for 25 years on the World Wide Web! 1996-2021



"Serious Instruction for Serious Artists"

Want to learn how to draw in three dimensions and create realistic portraits and illustrations all your own?

Disappointed with the lack of realistic art training in your major accredited university's or college art classes? 

"Foundations for Art" Breaks it down and teaches you how!



"Faerie Guardians" (above left) is an illustration from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and is rendered in oil on canvas. "Sleeping Beauty" (above right) is from the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and is also rendered in oil on panel.

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Art Lessons: The Brandywine School of Art offers AFFORDABLE personalized college level beginning, intermediate, advanced & master level art instruction in Drawing, Painting, Photography, & Digital Illustration by Internationally acclaimed Illustrator & Photographer Howard David Johnson and his staff. We begin with our prerequisite course: 'Foundations For Art' at $199.00 U. S. D.  that's less than $14 dollars per lesson for the 15 lesson course- The first three lessons are delivered online within one business day. Due to so many computers no longer having disk drives, now both Domestic and International orders deliver the 15 lesson CD contents and supplemental materials by direct download.

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We proudly teach the use of mechanical aids to create realistic portraits and illustrations. If you'd like to learn to use photography and other mechanical aids as tools rather than crutches then "Foundations for Art" is for you! Kindness, clarity & encouragement are the trademarks of David's mentoring style.

   He PERSONALLY sits down to answer student's letters once a week. We take an academic approach which might seem daunting at first but with scans and jpegs with written feedback much deeper levels of learning are possible than using Rote learning methods. 

Lessons are available world-wide but in English language only.



This course offers easy to understand & profusely illustrated personalized art instruction for under two hundred dollars you can't get for $50,000. - $120,000 in the abstract expressionist dominated art programs at our major accredited Universities! Today many college textbooks alone cost more...

Learn on YOUR own Schedule and at YOUR own pace! With today's digital cameras and scanners and speedy e-mail,  distance learning is better than ever before! Expensive mailings of art and lengthy waits for feedback are things of the past!

See our syllabus and information on the program by scrolling down...


AFFORDABLE! SINGLE COLLEGE TEmail order instructions

We usually send your lessons via email within one business day. Due to so many computers no longer having disk drives, Both Domestic and International orders receive the lessons by direct download.

Use your credit card with Paypal!


  Paypal Credit


We accept checks, money orders & traveler's cheques of all kinds. We will also gladly accept Swift international bank transfer or for Credit and Debit card orders: You can use Western Union or you can send it by Swift bank transfer. For Swift you'll need our bank codes,. We usually respond within 24 hours and you'll have your first three lessons the very next day. Be Sure and send your regular AND E-mail addresses with your tuition payments! 


 Sends Payment to our account at: thejohnsongalleries@gmail.com       

SPEEDY SERVICE! As a courtesy customers receive their first 3 lessons within one business day after we receive payment by e-mail!

The complete 15 lesson course CD is provided by download online.


"Serious Instruction for Serious Artists" 


Personal Beginning Through Intermediate College Level Instruction: ANYONE may take the 15 lesson "Foundations for Art" by simply mailing a payment for $199. USD to the address above with your regular and e-mail addresses to send the lessons to."Foundations for Art" is on a college level and has now been expanded to include both the beginning and intermediate levels It teaches you everything you need to know to compose and create complex realistic Three Dimensional looking illustrations using a variety of media.By popular demand, I have also added remedial lessons, we start with the value scale, (black to grey to white) blending techniques, basic shading techniques, drawing shapes like cones and boxes and shading those. You CANNOT get more basic than that. We move on at your own pace to more complex work- a portrait. Advanced students fly through the early parts, others take weeks, months or even years. The course is self-paced with NO time limit.

See our syllabus; "Topics covered in Units 1-15: Foundations for Art" below...

Personal Master Level Instruction: Advanced Artists who complete the prerequisite Foundations for Art may apply for admission to the highest levels of instruction, patterned after the highly personal and specialized programs in college graduate schools. After completing Foundations for Art, students may submit 4 pieces of finished art and a 3 page essay on their artistic vision & personal goals for consideration. The Master Level Instruction Program is $799. USD. Accepted applicants design their own program working with Howard David Johnson. These students may choose from  drawing, painting,  photography, art marketing, digital media or custom combinations. These classes are patterned after the creative freedom and respect of college graduate level study programs. (Compare these low prices with other distance learning art programs running in the thousands of dollars.)

Art professionals: add this to your resume under workshops and supplemental training.

All inquiries are answered personally but please visit frequently asked questions before writing...

   Kindness, clarity & encouragement are the trademarks of David's mentoring style. He PERSONALLY sits down to answer his student's letters once a week. 

Frequently asked Questions  Brandywine School Student Art Gallery





Topics covered in Units 1-15 of 'Foundations for Art'

 By the end of lesson 10 I will have shown you EVERYTHING you need to know and do to create your own Colored Pencil portraits like these...

Portraits rendered in Prismacolors and Spectracolors with Ebony pencil lowlights on Windsor & Newton Cotman 140 lb. Water Color Paper . Background heightened with pastels. Even with nothing but pencil and paper the use of original photography makes this mixed media.



Starting with the most basic drawing of shapes and shades in pencils and Prismacolors we progress to portraits and then move on to landscapes and perspective drawings and finally complex illustrations with chapters offering introductions to use and organization of various other media including watercolor, acrylics, oil painting and digital art and how to mix them.

Examples of Johnson's Prismacolor Paintings AKA Colored Pencil Art:

     fairy circle dancing faries gnome        

"The Fairy Circle" and  "Napoleon at Waterloo" 

Foundations for Art lays out everything you need to know in clear text and illustrations to begin taking your own photographs & conceiving and creating complex illustrations & the shading techniques required for portraits in Digital mixed media, Colored Pencils, Acrylics, Pastels & Oil Paints!


  Examples of Johnson's Digital Illustrations: "The Battle of Midway"  and "Assault on Peleliu Island" 

 By the end of lesson 15 I will have shown you EVERYTHING you need to know and do to create your own pictures like "ALL HALLOWS EVE" below...


Mixed Media including digital Prismacolor colored pencils on paper  Oil Painting on Canvas   


'Most of our students only want to learn portraiture, & that's OK. Foundations For Art is about YOUR art and YOUR artistic vision...


Topics covered in Units 1-15: Foundations for Art

Learn how to do polished blending and shading techniques in highly detailed renderings of full length realistic human figures set in realistic three dimensional multi point perspective backgrounds with consistent light sources. Foundations for Art contains simple in- depth straight forward instruction making complicated matters simple and is profusely illustrated with new & huge unpublished step- by- step how to illustrations along with serious food for thought for the growing artist passed down from the old masters.  Most of our students only want to learn portraiture, and that's O.K. We don't insist that anyone do anything. Foundations For Art is about YOUR art and YOUR artistic vision...


Here's the 15 Lesson Syllabus:


Lesson One: Newly Expanded! Dry Painting Media; Painting with Colored Pencils, Tools, Technique, & Drawing & Shading methods explained very clearly with step by step illustrations and over the shoulder photos!

Lesson Two: Basic Principles of Shading, Texture, & Form as applied to headshot portraiture!

Lesson Two point Five:  New! Adding Simple Backgrounds to your drawings of people!

Lesson Three: Newly Expanded! Drawing in three dimensions! Perspective Drawing, Elements of Drawing from life, Drawing from pictures, Drawing from your imagination and combining these 3 kinds of drawing.

Lesson Four: Introduction to artistic anatomy /the general importance of measurements and proportions in everything.

Lesson five: Concepts of Contour ( Line ) and Volume Drawing.

Lesson Six: Basic Concepts of shadow and light as applied to drawing.

Lesson Seven: Of Color as applied to Reflection and Luminescence.

Lesson Eight: Elements of Action and Story Telling in Art.

Lesson nine: Newly Expanded! Elements of Composition and Design.

Lesson Ten: Newly Expanded! Professional Secrets of Colored Pencil shading and blending.

 Lesson Eleven:   All New!   How To Take Excellent Source Photos I: Technical information & diagrams, & aesthetic Secrets of Professional Fine Art Portrait Photography & Lighting.

Lesson Twelve:   All New!    How To Take Excellent  Source Photos II: Secrets of figure source Photography (characters) and Lighting for illustrations.

Lesson Thirteen: All New!  Introduction to Wet Painting Media; Painting with Acrylic, Watercolor, Oils, & Mixed Media: Tools, Supplies, & Organization Tips!

Lesson Fourteen: All New!  Introduction to Professional Image Editing Programs like Adobe Photoshop! A profusely illustrated and easy to understand introduction to today's business tools for old-fashioned artists. Step by Step profusely illustrated instructions on how to scan large art in pieces and assemble them in a computer & more!

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We prefer checks, money orders & traveler's cheques of all kinds. We will also gladly accept Swift international bank transfer or Western Union and they'll take your plastic but they charge fees. For those services, write us. We usually respond within 24 hours. Many credit cards will give you a check to write against your limit and we will happily accept those. AFFORDABLE!  Compare our quality content, program support and low $199.00 USD price with similar non-degree Distance learning Art Instruction Programs running in the thousands of dollars!

Frequently asked Questions  Brandywine School Student Art Gallery

Be sure and visit our online portrait gallery with free drawing tips at www.howarddavidjohnson.com/pencil.htm


"Those who are enamored of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."


  To create his complex illustrative images, Johnson uses original photographs to create a photo montage in much the same manner he learned from studying the techniques of 19th century illustrator Maxfield Parrish. Continuing along similar lines of tracing, coloring and shading to finish them. "Helen of Troy"and"Aphrodite's Child" below - are examples of what I call Prismacolor 'Paintings' -  and I'm sure you will agree - they certainly do not look anything like what comes to people's minds when they hear the word 'drawing' and give very oil painting like results!

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There are many examples of these storytelling images in many media displayed in this online Art Gallery


    Esther, a student and professional artist from India says; "I am reading through lesson 1, and am totally awed by not only your work, but the easy reading of your instruction. Your teaching style is almost as wonderful as your art (which according to me ranks at #1 position)." 

In addition to the straight-forward lessons, pearls of wisdom passed down from the old masters are included for meditation. Here's an example:


Shadow is the withholding of light

    It seems to me that the shadows are of supreme importance in perspective, seeing that without them opaque and solid bodies will be indistinct, both as to what lies within their boundaries and also as to their boundaries themselves, unless these are seen against a background differing in color to that of the substance: and consequently in the first proposition I treat of shadow, and say in this connection that every opaque body is surrounded and has its surface clothed with shadow and lights.  Moreover these shadows are in themselves of varying degrees of darkness because they are caused by the absence of a variable quantity of luminous rays: and these I call primary shadows, because they are the first shadows and so form a covering to the bodies to which they attach themselves.  From these primary shadows there issue certain dark rays which are diffused throughout the air and vary in intensity according to the varieties of the primary shadows from which they are derived;  and consequently I call these shadows derived shadows, because they have their origin in other shadow.  Moreover these derived shadows in striking upon anything create as many different effects as are the different places where they strike. And since where the derived shadow strikes, it is always surrounded by the striking of the luminous rays, it leaps back with these in a reflex stream towards its source and meets the primary shadow, and mingles with and becomes changed into it, altering thereby somewhat of its nature. 


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Miss Lillian - Spectra-color pencils on Bristol board 1994. 


Who is Artist and Photographer Howard David Johnson?


Howard David Johnson is a visual artist with a background in the natural sciences and history. After a lifetime of drawing and painting, David works in a wide variety of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media. 

David's Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. David's realistic illustrations have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. 

Some of his more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the University of Cambridge in England, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Doubleday, the History Book of the Month Club, & J Walter Thompson Advertising, just to name a few. 

In David's first invitation to the Florence Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition, (a partner in the United Nations' Dialog among Nations), UN Secretary General Kofi Anon wrote: "Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness... Art opens new doors for learning, understanding, and peace among nations."

Frequently asked Questions                  Essays on Art and Technology by the Teacher

"Moon goddess Diana MMVIII" - media: Prismacolors with Ebony pencil lowlights on Windsor & Newton Cotman 140 lb. Water Color Paper . Background heightened with pastels.)


I }     Realistic Art Media and Attitudes: The more things change, the more they stay the same

II }    Realistic Art Tradition and Technology: The Rebirth of Realistic art in the 21st century

III }   History and Myth: How do we sort out History and Mythology?

IV }   Science and Religion: Has Science become a Religion?

V }    On Sensuality, Violence, Morality, and their relationships with the Arts in 21st century American Society

VI }   Copyright Law and the Visual Arts in the Computer Age

VII }   On Art and Technology; When seeing is NOT believing  NEW!

VIII }  Complete low Bandwidth Essays collected on one page


Enter a world of Beauty and Imagination...


The Realistic and Fantastic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

Click on these Fun Educational Realistic Art Gallery link icons  for Two-fisted Tales of VALOR & Frontline Combat featuring Legendary Warriors of History, Knights and ladies of Arthurian Legend, Celtic, Nordic, Asian and Olympian gods & monsters, unicorns, dragons, fairies... and more!

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Angel Art King Arthur Norse Mythology Greek Mythology Legends of History Fantasy Art Celtic Mythology Great Religions  Mythic Women Fairy Paintings Oriental Mythology Russian Mythology
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Mermaid Art  History Part Two

Classic Fairy Tales

History of Dragons Pencil Portraits I Studio Photography Colored Pencils II

Art Instruction

Realistic Paintings Pre-Raphaelite Art Legendary Women Warrior Women
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The Art of War  Mythic Creatures About Realistic Art Science Fiction Art Beautiful Women Art NuVeau  Fantasy Pin ups Fairy Lore Flower Fairies

Spartan Warriors

 Lost Atlantis   Lady of Shallot
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Catholic Art  Art of the Bible BOOK of REVELATION Surrealist Art Commercial Art Business Center Style & Technique  Biographical Paintings in Oils ELVES  Digital Techniques DINOSAURS

Dinosaur Art Realistic Art Fantastic subject matter Brontosaurus Tyranosaurus Rex

All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm



This Art Gallery has been honored by more than 35,000,000 unique visitors

from the Four Corners of the Earth:

My Friends from around the world thus far :


England,   Canada,   Scotland,   Wales,   Ireland,   Germany,   France,   Monaco,   Andorra,   Italy,   The Vatican City State,  Greece,  Macedonia,  Cyprus,  Turkey,  Belgium,  Denmark,  The Faroe Islands,  Greenland,  Yugoslavia, Macedonia,  Croatia,  The Czech Republic,  Bosnia,  Herzegovina,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Luxembourg,  Latvia,  Estonia, Hungary,  Bulgaria,  Lithuania,  Poland,  Austria,  Romania,  Spain,  The Russian Federation,   Estonia,   Ukraine,   Kazakhstan, Moldova,  Malta,  Iceland,  Finland,  Norway,  Netherlands,  Switzerland,  Liechtenstein,  Sweden,  Portugal,  Albania, Armenia, Georgia,  Slovak Republic,   Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  Gibraltar,  Israel,  Palestinian Territories,   Egypt,   Libya,  Mali, Algeria,  Niger,  Saudi Arabia,  Oman,  The United Arab Emirates,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Qatar,  Yemen,  Iraq,  Iran,  Jordan, Syria,   Lebanon,   Morocco,   Ethiopia,   Eritrea,   Liberia,   The Republic of Congo,   Rwanda,   Kenya,  Angola,  Ghana, The Ivory Coast,   Zambia,   Zimbabwe,   Sudan,  Nigeria,  Namibia,  Sudan,  Uganda,   Kenya,  Eritrea,  Tanzania,  Botswana, Malawi,  Senegal,  Djibouti,  Cameroon,  Chad,  Gambia,  Mozambique,  Swaziland,  Lesotho,  South Africa,  Seychelles,   Viet Nam, Japan,  South Korea,  China,  Hong Kong,  Macau,  Mongolia,  Mauritius,  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia,  Laos,   Oman,    Myanmar,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Taiwan,  Nuie,  New Zealand,  Fiji,  Cook Islands,  New Caledonia,  Vanuatu,  American Samoa,  Australia,  Micronesia,  Polynesia,  Papua New Guinea,  The Heard and McDonald Islands,  The Philippines, Guam, Palau,  Cocos Island,  The Kingdom of Tonga,  Malaysa,  Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalem,  India,   Pakistan, Bhutan,  Bangladesh,  Sri Lanka,  Chagos Islands ,  The Republic of Maldives,  Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan,   Azerbaidjan,   Nepal,  Indonesia,  Chile,  Argentina,  Uruguay,  Paraguay,  Brazil,  Peru,   Aruba,    Venezuela,  Bolivia, Suriname,  Guyana,  Aruba,  The Dominican Republic,  Guatemala,  Costa Rica,  Colombia,  Trinidad and Tobago,   Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,  The Virgin Islands,  Saint Lucia,   The Netherlands Antilles,  Panama,   Northern Mariana Islands,   Saint Vincent & Grenadines,   Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla,   Grenada, Ecuador,  Belize,   Nicaragua,   El Salvador,   Bermuda,  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Dominica,  Haiti,  Puerto Rico,  Cayman Islands,   Anguilla,    The Bahamas,   Honduras,   Mexico,    Madagascar, Central African Republic,   Ethiopia,   Gabon,   San Marino,  Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla,   Azerbaidjan,   Burkina Faso,   Equatorial Guinea,   Polynesia,  Madagascar,   Mauritania,   Burundi,   

and my home, The Great Free State of Idaho (USA).

If your home is not listed here please e-mail us and tell us where you're from...


Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.



The Brandywine School of Illustrative Art

Is A Program of Private and Personal Illustrative Instruction and is a Non- Accredited School

Visit The Brandywine School Student Art Gallery

Thank You for Visiting...