Brenda's Banter


Things are beginning to settle down after a whirlwind May and June. We were away most of both of those months and have really been out of touch on the web site and Facebook. All good events . . . one grandson’s graduation, another grandson’s wedding, a baby shower for a granddaughter, and then 3 weeks in England. Since returning home, we have been playing catch up in the office and studio, as well as with home matters and a little family time! I think I may finally be seeing the light of day . . . in the distance perhaps, but getting closer!

I always return from England inspired. One of the benefits of being away is having the time to do endless photography. It also gives me a new lease on creative thinking. The poppy photos above are a definite for my painting table in the near future. They were taken in one of the many gardens we visited in England. I love poppies . . . the flower itself, the centers, and the beautiful seed pods left after the petals have dropped. I have photographed many . . . but these were the first of this variety and color.

For those of you who are awaiting September seminar news, please be patient with me. It takes a little longer for me to recoup these days. However, news will be coming soon. I am excited to have a really nice sled for our Santa. It is being constructed. The top is removable from the runners for ease in painting! There are some advantages to having a teacher with back issues!

The second project will be done on canvas again. It will be painted in the Premier Acrylics . . . the students will have a choice of oils or acrylics. The painting is taking a slightly different direction and style . . . one that I will be exploring in my future work.  

While you are visiting, be sure and look at the two new tutorials we are releasing . . . and also the special offer we are announcing on one of them.

Hope you are all staying cool and painting this hot summer away!

Join us for a Seminar in 2018


Autumn and Christmas Seminar
September 27, 28, 29, 30
Watercolor Day: September 2

This September seminar is a celebration of 20 years in Virginia. Liberty Santa, is a special project Brenda designed to commemorate this anniversary. He begins with a value study and transforms into a full color rendition. Join us and learn some new techniques while painting this fantastic new Santa.

Santa is done on a sled with long runners. The sled has been designed with removable runners for your painting ease. Santa is painted in acrylics, but those who wish may paint him in oils or alkyds.

Seminar Information:
Orientation begins at 1 PM on Thursday afternoon. Following the short orientation, you will prepare your seminar surfaces. All are invited to dinner in Brenda & Robert’s home on that evening.

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday are spent painting the seminar projects. There is a full day of painting on Sunday. The classroom is open at 8 AM and class begins at 9 AM. We paint until approximately 5 PM. The classroom is open from 7 - 9 PM for finish up painting on Friday and Saturday.

The paintings are done in acrylics, but students may paint in oil/alkyds or colored pencil if proficient in those medium.

To register online and read more about seminar accommodations and travel suggestions, click here for the Williamsburg Seminar Page.

All seminars are held at Best Western Historic.


Sled Measurements:
Top Painting Surface - Top curve to middle point - 15"
                                     Width - 7 1/4"
                                     Runners  - 30"

New Releases


Click Here for Hard Copy Tutorial
Click Here for E-Tutorial

Click here for
Wood surface



We currently have a limited number of the
8” X 16” canvas surfaces in stock at a
40% discount.
Regular Re

tail: $13.50

While supplies last: $8.10

Click here for Tutorials Click here for Canvas


Tutorial Correction

It has come to our attention that the Old Pewter and Fruit tutorial was published with the seminar instuctions and not the full tutorial instructions. The students in the seminar were to decide how to finish the frame. I have added Brenda's instructions for finishing the frame in the file below. 

If you purchased Old Pewter and Fruit either in hard copy or E--Tutorial prior to 08/01/18, please download the following file to update your tutorial with the frame instructions.

/Corrected Pages for Tutorial.pdf


Ruling Pens are back in stock

We have received our order of the ruling pens.

If you have not used one, watch the video currently running on the web site.


New flight and ground transportation options

If possible, we suggest arriving the day prior to the first seminar day and scheduling departures for the day following the completion of the seminar. The last day of seminar includes a full day of instruction.

The best airports to fly into are Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport - Patrick Henry Field (PHF) or Richmond International Airport (RIC).

Because ground transportation costs from either the Williamsburg/Newport News and Richmond airports have escalated in recent years, we have been investigating lower cost options for our seminar students. Click on the link below to review the options we have found. The prices and information below was collected for general information and comparison. These prices may have changed.

Printable PDF Information Here

Colored Pencil seminar with Marian Jackson, MDA

November 9, 10, 11, 2018
Two Projects

Hydrangea in Crystal Bowl

Join us for our fourth annual Color Pencil Seminar with Marian Jackson, MDA. This is a 3 day seminar hosted by Brenda Stewart, CDA, in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia. Marian will be teaching two projects. We will be spending two days on the stunning Hydrangea in Crystal Bowl (shown above), and will have another one-day project that will be announced at a later date.

Marian has been painting for 40 years and teaching for more than 30. She is a Master Decorative Painter with the Society of Decorative Painters. She also paints in oils, but for the last 15 years has specialized in Colored Pencils, which she has used for more than 30 years.

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. You may register online by clicking the link below or complete the mail in Registration Form and mail it to Brenda Stewart, along with your deposit to secure your seat.

       Marian has just sent us the image of the first day, warm up project, Strawberry Shortcake.

       Sorry  . . .  November is not strawberry season, so do not expect shortcake for afternoon tea time.


THIS SEMINAR IS FULL - If you would like to be added to the waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available, please contact the office at

Registration online

Mail in Registration form for 2018

The seminars are held at the Best Western Historic.

Website DeStash

We are excited to announce that we are participating in a new FaceBook Group called Website DeStash. Many of these items are discontinued, out of print, or difficult to find...or they may just be items the vendors have in overstock quantities. There is a link from the FB group to the DeStash page of individual vendors. You are only able to purchase from the web sites of the participating vendors. Anyone may view and purchase from the DeStash page on a vendors site, however, the big advantage to joining the group is you will see FB notification when something new is posted to the vendors DeStash page.

I find that regular “purging and reorganizing” is a necessary evil in the office, merchandise and studio areas of Brenda Stewart by Design. This past week, I found I had purchased duplicates of a number of the books in my painting library, so we have just added those to the Web Site DeStash page on the site.  Many are out of print and very difficult to find. I have also added two very special piece by Joan Johnson.  Be sure and check out these items.

Website DeStash Page

Facebook Group Link

New Online Video Classes

Brenda has launched her first video class. Learn to paint the Gerbera painted in DecoArt Media Fluid acrylics. Color conversions are given for Americana paints. This video will show you all the steps to complete the project. Purchase this online class and it will be like having Brenda in your home for a private lesson. You can paint it at your own pace. The video will be set up in units so you can start and stop as you need, and more easily find your place. You will have lifetime access to videos purchased from Brenda Stewart by Design.

You will be sent a confirmation e-mail to let you know that your purchase of the video is complete and you will be notified with your login information and how to set up your password.

Informative Videos

Masterson Palette

Fine Line Work

Side Loading a brush

Brenda's Blog

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If you have received newsletters and did not get our latest newsletter . . . . 

We ask that you re-sign up for our newsletters. We have had to convert over to a new server and some of our addresses need to be updated. Thank you and we hope that you will continue to receive our newsletters.

If you enjoy decorative art, learning new painting techniques and reading about what other decorative artists are doing, consider joining the Society of Decorative Painters.

For more information write to: SDP, 393 McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203 or visit their website