"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" teaches you how!







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!


Keep scrolling down for examples of Johnson's Colored Pencil portraiture like Miss Lillian, (right) and copious examples of illustration further down...

Learn all of his shading and blending techniques and his secrets of mixing media....

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


Want to learn how to draw in three dimensions and create complex realistic illustrations and realistic portraits of your own?  The Newly Revised & Expanded "Foundations for Art" shows you how!



To enroll simply send the one-time payment of only $199.00 USD* to:

See the Fifteen Lesson topics listed below! Averaging only Fourteen Dollars a Lesson! 

Very Affordable! Compare our rich content and affordable $199.00 USD price with more expensive mail order Art Instruction Programs costing THOUSANDS!!!





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 (1 877 984 0469) or you can send it by Swift bank transfer. For Swift you'll need our bank codes, e-mail us at info@howarddavidjohnson.com. 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!

Use your credit card with Paypal!


Send Payment to: thejohnsongalleries@gmail.com       

SPEEDY SERVICE! As a courtesy customers receive their first 3 lessons the same day we receive payment by e-mail!

The complete 15 lesson course on CD-ROM disks go out in the mail out the next day! *



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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 his 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. (AKA parrot learning or the monkey-see monkey-do approach.)

Under 17? enrolling requires parental permission because of the (very mild) anatomy for artists section  Lessons are available world-wide but in English language only. 

"Serious Instruction for Serious Artists"

Personal Beginning Through Intermediate College Level Instruction: ANYONE 17 or older 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 restricted web addresses, passwords and your CD-Rom master disk to. As there are a couple of mild "R" rated images in the life drawing and anatomy sections parental permission is required if you are under the age of 17. Please print clearly!

"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...

Examples of Johnson's Prismacolor Portraits from Photographs


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:


"We have had enough of kings" featuring George Washington 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 OIL PAINTINGS ~ these two combine portraiture with illustration:


"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.

    We teach you everything you need to understand and to work on to do professional quality Illustrations and Portraits of your own and in your own style.


  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 with pencil or paint 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 ( see below ) 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 force anyone to 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. Sorry, we do NOT accept instant or anonymous payment services of ANY kind. 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. 



All  paintings, pictures, & text  (c) 1993- 2019 Howard David Johnson All Rights Reserved World Wide

The Brandywine School of Illustrative Art

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

Thank You for Visiting...



Howard David Johnson, American Illustrator & Photographer


  Johnson, (Howard) David (1954-) A United States Illustrator and Painter. His scientific and realistic approach to illustrating history, folklore and mythology brought him international acclaim after his King Arthur Illustrations were exhibited in The British Museum in 1996. Johnson has illustrated A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, The Legends of King Arthur by Sir James Knowles and The Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest and many other books.

   He has done illustrations for books, magazines, games, motion pictures, television programs and computer software for The National Geographic Society, The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in England, The University of Texas at Austin,  Adobe Photoshop, PBS television, Doubleday, Universal Studios and Paramount Studios among others. His illustrations for books like "The Blood of Heroes" and "Fairies 101" have appeared in every major bookstore in America and his works have been published in textbooks and appeared in libraries worldwide.

  Johnson was born in was born in Germany, the son of an American Career Air Force officer and College Professor and visited the great museums of Europe as a boy and fell in love with traditional art, especially the Pre-Raphaelites, whom he imitated the most.

 He attended the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Art and began his career working as a scientific illustrator for their School of Paleontology reconstructing dinosaurs in 1974. It was under their tutelage that he developed his research methods for his scientific approach to getting the details right for his historically accurate illustrations. 

During his career, Johnson has worked in many media including Oil Paintings, Acrylics, Colored Pencils, Graphite, Chalk & Oil Pastels, Photography, Watercolors, Inks, Scratchboard, Gouache, Digital Artistry and Mixed media. As an outspoken proponent of mechanical aids to visual art his legal use of computers and other mechanical aids like photography made him a very controversial figure around the turn of the millennia. He has also experimented with many styles but is generally characterized as a Symbolist or belated Pre-Raphaelite because of his preference to paint mythical, religious, and historical subjects. Sentimentality regarding values like innocence, naturalness and beauty, as well as minute detail and bright color characterize most of his works.

He founded the Brandywine School of Illustrative Art in 1996 because many 20th century realistic artists were trained in an educational system openly hostile or dismissive to Classical realistic painting and art tradition and were only taught the tenets of Abstraction and Expressionism. At the time of this writing in 2008 he and his staff have trained more than 1,000 students in realistic art techniques in nearly every known medium from Traditional oil painting to Adobe Photoshop (TM) Software.