Brenda's Banter


Autumn is here at last, and we are beginning to see some color in the trees. Though we are due for rain this weekend, we have finally dried out a bit. We have concluded my seminars for the year, and are making final preparations for our fourth annual colored pencil seminar with Marian Jackson that will take place in a about two weeks. Dates for my 2019 spring seminar and Marian’s fifth Williamsburg seminar are listed below. I am teaching only one local seminar next year due to some extensive travel plans, but 2020 will bring additional classes. We have heard that the rumors are flying about me totally retiring...but that is not the case. We are simply “scaling back a bit” with the local and travel schedule. I am currently working on my spring seminar projects and also trying to complete a couple of on-line classes.

In the September seminar, I issued the students a little challenge regarding the Some Like It Hot project. We painted the bowl of peppers in class, and they were given two smaller lagniappe projects that consisted of 3 different peppers. They were given the line drawing in several different sizes, a value photograph, and a full color image of each lagniappe pattern. They were to do the other two paintings with the same palette of colors and what they gleaned from the instructions for Some Like It Hot. The students were then challenged to finish them, with prizes attached for the first to complete. Check out the Winners Circle for the results of this contest.

While here, check out some new additions. We have just added a line of DecoArt’s Premium Acrylics. We are currently offering them at a special price. I have used them in my past three Williamsburg seminars, and the more I use them, the more I love them. I will still use some of the Americana’s but many new paintings will feature the Premium Acrylics. We also have limited stock on some of the most recently discontinued colors from the Americana line, and are offering them at a deep discount. Better get them before they are gone!

Hope you have a fantastic fall. Watch for some fall web site specials coming up soon!


Winner's Circle

We are excited to announce that we have winners from the Some Like It Hot contest from the September Williamsburg seminar. Joyce Gutierrez, from Dillsburg PA was the first to complete the class project. Joyce will receive a $50.00 Seminar Gift Certificate. Joan Leader from The Villages, Florida is the grand winner...finishing all three paintings within a couple of weeks from the conclusion of the seminar. Joan will receive a $100.00 Seminar Gift Certificate. Congratulations to both Joyce and Joan . . . you did a great job on your paintings.

Join us for a Seminar in 2019

Spring Seminar
March 28, 29, 30, 31, 2019
Watercolor day - March 27, 2019

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.

Colored Pencil seminar with Marian Jackson, MDA

November 8, 9, 10, 2019
Two Projects

Join us for our fifth 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 Peek a Boo Birdie (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.

Registration online

The seminars are held at the Best Western Historic.

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


New Items

We are now stocking the DecoArt Premium Acrylic paints and Mediums.

We are offering them at a reduced price for a limited time.


Retail $3.48   Our Price $2.75

Retail $3.48   Our Price $2.75

Click here or on the photo to purchase

DecoArt Retired Paints

DecoArt recently announced a new list of retired DecoArt Americana colors. We have 9 of those colors in stock and we are offering them at a close out price of $0.99 each. Quanitities are limited so don't delay.


Click here or the Photo to be directed to the list of colors

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

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

If you wish to receive the most up-to-date news of current happenings and updates from Brenda, you will want to subscribe. Simply click on Brenda's Blog here or on the menu bar at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

Newsletter Notice

If you are not currently receiving our newsletter, you may subscribe by going to the Newsletter link here or on the menu bar at the top of the page and filling in your information. We respect your privacy. We do not collect any personal information when you visit our website unless you enter it specifically in a form, though certain non-personal information is collected automatically by our statistics program when you visit our website. This information does not identify you personally. All information that you provide is held in strict confidence. We will not share, sell or otherwise distribute your email, phone number, home or business address or any other personal information about you with any outside agencies, except for authorized law enforcement organizations. Here is the link to view our full Privacy Policy.

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