Danielle Donaldson is an artist, author and educator renowned for her use of complex color palettes and delicately drawn details. Her work incorporates an imaginative array of subjects, from playfully rendered forest creatures, nautical landscapes encapsulated in glass jars, and pillow-forts filled with kittens.

Her background in fine art paired with her skills as a graphic designer have provided her with an exceptional pairing of intuition and practicality, which shines through in her art, books and workshops. In addition to her best-selling instructional books,creativeGIRL: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life and The Art of Creative Watercolor: Inspiration and Techniques for Imaginative Drawing and Painting, she teaches both online classes and in-person workshops including beginner to advanced artists from around the world. Using her trusty mechanical pencil and vast palette of watercolors, she weaves the values of creative practice, color experimentation, and fine art fundamentals with her signature small-scale illustration.

Nestled in her comfy studio in Southern California, Danielle continues to grow as an artist by fully embracing the creative process in all she does and with each story she tells.


Set aside all notes, handouts, and sketchbooks. Turn off the class video, pinterest or the book. can you create in your newfound style/direction without all of the other stuff? was it super hard and frustrating? easy as pie? can you set it aside for a second time and create something similar with a smile on your face?


If this was hard, then you probably aren't there yet. Don't be afraid to share your process and keep working towards your own style. Practice, practice, practice! It is how every single artist gets where they want to go. If it was easy, then you might just be ready to share it as your own!


send a text or email to someone you love outside of the creative world. include your piece of art and a piece of mine (or any other artist that has inspired you) and ask them for honest feedback... do these look the same or different and why. And ps. asking your mom or bff may not be the best person because they love you so much that they might leave out the constructive part of the feedback.


and ask them for honest feedback... do these look the same or different and why.


Make a list of the similarities and the differences between your art and the art or artist you have been practicing. Then make note of the supplies used, the color palette, the attention to detail, overall composition and other little details - how is yours different?


Did you have lots of differences, both large and small? Then you are on the right track! Not so much? Then go back to your lists and look at what you might be able to change up. Be sure to only change one thing at a time though - so you know if it works or not for you and your style!
creative practicing

At the bottom of this page, you’ll find my semi-official guidelines to copying and selling art based on my book, online and in-person classes and a bunch of other stuff that is just a peek into how I look at these types of things. If you find yourself here – it may be because you emailed me for permission about something that has to do with my art or process and I sent you an email with this link.

But first, let’s talk about the dreaded copying thing

Finding our own creative. Inspired by everything. Practicing over and over. The magical moment when we make it our own.

This is the art of creative practicing.

(in other words, when copying is looked at as a positive thing. something I truly believe is possible. as long as we use common sense and respect the process and the people involved.)

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