Melissa Lee Shaw

allow yourself to fail before you succeed



May Side Hustle Challange

May Side Hustle Challenge


First of all, May the 4th be with you. Secondly, it's been ages since I posted a class and I reaaaaally want to remedy that, so I've joined this challenge to help motivate me.

Class Topic: Coloring Outside the Lines - A Guide to Lineless Painting in Photoshop

Intro: Learning how to illustrate without line-art can be a great way to stylize your work or add a bit of realism to it. It just depends on the technique and how you approach it. This may seems obvious, but bear with me. Lines are what we sometimes use to indicate the edges of forms, but in reality, nothing has an outline. The lines we perceive are created by the contrast between shapes, color, and light. Understanding how to see and illustrate these implied lines will help you grow as an artist.

Even if you prefer to work with lines, experimenting with lineless illustration can help you to improve your painting skills and may spark new ideas for how you can approach coloring your work in the future.

In this class, I’ll take you step-by-step through two of the techniques I use for lineless illustration. First, I’ll go over how I use the lasso and radial gradient tools to block in color, and then I’ll show you my process for blocking in color with brushes.


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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