Celebrating 3 Million Members September Teach Challenge | Skillshare Projects

Melissa Lee

allow yourself to fail before you succeed



Celebrating 3 Million Members September Teach Challenge

Celebrating 3 Million Members September Teach Challenge


My class is finally live!


Here's the rough draft of my Intro. I'd like to re-do the title image and probably the audio. 


I've been going back and forth on what I want my next class to be, but I've finally settled on doing a character design class that focuses on animals, which I'm calling Character Design Crash Course: Designing Animal Characters. Most of it is filmed. All I really need to do now is edit and create a cover photo. 

Class Description:

In this class I'll take you through my process of designing and illustrating an animal character, starting with finding inspiration and reference, then moving on to sketching and developing your concept, and finally, rendering it in Photoshop using shapes and color to define form, rather than inked outlines. I'll also talk about the fundamentals of character design, and the importance of using reference and learning from other artists. 

What You'll Learn

  • Finding Inspiration and Learning from Other Artists: I'll talk about studying the styles of other artists, how it helps you build your versatility, and the importance of being influenced by more than one artist.
  • Using Reference: I'll talk about why using reference is key to improving your drawing skills, the best ways to use it to benefit yourself, and why it's particularly essential when designing animal characters. 
  • Developing Your Character: from rough sketches to more developed concepts
  • Rendering in Photoshop: blocking in base colors, a couple of different shading and highlighting techniques, and how to use masks 
  • Color Adjustment and Texture: how to use color adjustments and texture tools to add interest to your drawing

What You'll Make

Once finished, you'll have a fully illustrated animal character to add to your portfolio. :D


Fall Channel Challenge 


I've finally posted my first class of the challenge!!!

Painting Sking Tone With Watercolors

I'm super behind, but my second two classes won't take nearly as long as my first because they're classes I can screencast and that saves me a lot of time. If I work quickly I bet I can post both of them in November!!! MAYBE. XD


My Fall Publishing Plan

I've been wanting to make a couple of classes on sculpting and painting little creatures/monsters with Sculpey for months now, but I'm thinking if I want to actually get three classes done in three months, I need to go with classes that I know won't take me as long to prepare and film. XD So those will just have to wait until winter, I suppose. Instead, I'm planning on making one on painting skin tone with watercolors, one on lineless painting in Photoshop, and a quick one on making hand drawn gifs in Photoshop.



#Teach2016: New Year Teach Challenge

Milestone 5

The class is now live! [ LINK ]


Update 2/1/2016

Milestone 4

Introduction Video.

What do y'all think? Do I need to heighten the volume of my voice or can you hear me clearly as is? Any other suggestions?


Update 1/25/2016

Milestone 3

I've finished my class outline, which can be found here


Update 1/5/2016

Milestones 1 + 2

I've decided to get a bit of a head start on the New Year Teach Challenge, which I know doesn't technically start until January 15th, but I'm really excited about my next class, so I figured what's the harm? ;] I joined the challenge so that it'd motivate me to complete my second class and, so far, it's working really well, haha.

Anyway, my second class is going to be all about different techniques for mixing traditional art with digital. The title I have for it so far is, "Traditional to Digital: Using Traditional Elements in Digital Art," but I'm not totally sure of it yet. Is it too redundant? How about just, "Using Traditional Elements in Digital Art" or "Techniques for Mixing Traditional Art with Digital?" 

ETA: A friend of mine suggested "TraDigital Art: Using Traditional Elements in Digital Art" and I love puns, so I think I'm sticking with it, haha.


Class Description

I got my first (and only) tablet in 2010, and it didn't take me long to start loving digital art, but I often found myself wishing I could more easily incorporate traditional elements such as pen and pencil line art and watercolor motifs into my digital drawings and designs. Luckily, through my years of experience, I’ve picked up some useful techniques and tricks for doing this. In this __-minute class, I'll go over such things as using alpha channels to add digital color to traditional line art on separate layers and vectorizing watercolor illustrations to make them usable in Illustrator.

Whether you're a seasoned pro at Photoshop and Illustrator or you've never opened the programs, you'll feel comfortable in this course. All levels of skill can benefit from the techniques taught. Hope to see you there! :]

Project Description


These are a few of your favorite things 

Your assignment is to create an illustration utilizing one or more of the techniques taught in the videos, and which is inspired by one or more of your favorite things. It can be a fully-rendered illustration, a simple motif, or even a repeating pattern, as long as you mix traditional elements with digital. Don't feel like you have to wait to post until you're finished, though! I want to see a picture or scan of your traditional art before it's been digitized, whether it's a simple sketch or a painted motif. Part of the fun of Skillshare is sharing your process! 

I know it can be difficult to come up with an idea for your project, so here are some ideas of different "favorites" you could use:

  • favorite animal
  • favorite quote
  • favorite food
  • favorite flower
  • favorite color
  • favorite musical instrument
  • favorite activity


  1. The first step is simply to share what "favorite thing" you're thinking about drawing and what technique you want to use.
  2. Upload a picture or scan of your traditional art before it becomes tradigitized (yes, I made up a word ;P).
  3. Describe your process and upload your final illustration!



My Online Presense:


November 2015 Teach Challenge

ETA: I published my class! And just in time to make the November Teacher Challenge deadline. Literally just in time. I think I posted it with an hour to spare, haha. You can find it here.


I started my class draft and finished my video lesson outline, which can be found here.

Suggestions and critiques are welcome!


Class Description

Discover how artist and illustrator, Melissa Lee Shaw, combines realism and abstract textures to infuse her watercolor portraits with a sense of wonder and whimsy. In this __-minute class, you’ll learn her step-by-step process for creating beautiful watercolor portraits, including various tips and tricks she's picked up along the way, as well as her own personal philosophy on creativity and making art. 

All levels of skill are welcome, whether you’ve never used watercolors before or have been using them for years. 

By the end of the class, you will be ready to create your own colorful watercolor portrait, and hopefully be inspired to use the skills you learned for future watercolor projects. 

Project Title

Create a Colorful Watercolor Portrait

Project Description


Your assignment is to sketch and paint a watercolor portrait, using the tips and techniques you learned in the videos.


A completed project should include both your pencil sketch and completed painting. And of course, feel free to post as many process photos as you'd like!



My Online Presense:


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