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What Students are Saying

I just want to thank you for all the time and hard work you put into this course. You are a very gifted teacher and I am grateful that you are so willing and open to sharing your techniques and insights with your students. Because of you, I am not only becoming a better artist, I am becoming a HAPPIER, more expressive artist and that is more important than anything. Thank you!”

Louise Duhamel

I can’t say enough about this course. I think it was the most fulfilling course I’ve ever taken.

Alyse Sanders

I feel this course is helping me to achieve full circle in my quest to find my true style. I am still working my way through all the insightful lessons and find myself re-visiting the videos, because every time I do I find something I did not grasp before. It has most definitely met my expectations and so much more…It does not spoon feed but rather encourages one to experiment and explore.


Tania Bain

“As a beginner, I’ve wondered how do you mix paints?…use pastels?…what papers? surfaces? pencils or charcoal? And how DOES one use the colour wheel? So many materials, methods, and all so confusing. Can’t someone please explain it all? Well, Gillian has. It’s all here, beautifully demonstrated in excellent video. Gillian is the most talented, generous, inspiring teacher. I’ve gone back over the lessons again and again, each time deriving more benefit and seeing improvement in my work. I’m so grateful for this extraordinary course.”

Arlene Lombardo

“Thank you so much for such an amazing course! When I try to describe it to friends I say that it is like an entire bachelor of fine arts curriculum in 6 weeks! That is what it seems like because it is so packed with information and exercises. I will be working on these lessons for many months to come. Thank you for your insights, generosity and gorgeous work.”


Anne O’Connor

“I want to share my extremely wonderful experience of taking Gillian’s class Unearth Gather Create. As a returning painter with years of no active drawing or painting, this thorough, intense complete class of wonderful tutorials, content, tips and writing exercises revived my passion for art. I have done many drawings, paintings and sketches. I have redone a porch to use as a studio and I am working in my journals to ready myself for two new series of paintings. Please take this class and trust you will have a wonderful journey.”

Joan Tucker

“I have LOVED the class and will enjoy continuing my study as I slowly work my way through. You are not only a gifted artist, but a generous and kind person. I thank you for your giving spirit which shone through each and every video. I hope to someday take a class from you in person!”

Beth Cole

“Gillian, the class I took from you, Drawn to Expression, was absolutely incredible. My art has grown, deepened, and loosened in such positive ways, by what I have learned from you. A totally exceptional class!”

Suzy Norris

“I have been taking classes for the last year or so pretty regularly. Gillian’s class is totally different. I feel like I am in art school! The first week was more info then a lot of month long classes. Gillian comments on every piece shown on the page and is there daily encouraging and prompting us. I would recommend it to everyone.”

Sandy Belt

“I have adored Gillian Cox’s work for several years now. When I found out she was teaching an online workshop, there was no hesitation. I signed up. Now I have taken many classes and not always, but sometimes my expectations are much higher than what the class actually is. Not so with Gillian. I just wanted to watch her work because her work is so deep and thought provoking and unbelievably beautiful. She is an excellent teacher. She is talking as she is creating and able to really explain what she is doing in such exquisite detail.”

Kate Thompson

“Gillian is an amazing artist and an equally amazing teacher. What a comprehensive, professional, creative, responsive, beautiful presentation with superb videos and art instruction, gorgeous images and written materials to enhance learning, and creative inspiration to enable students to unearth their own inner vision for their art. Every day I come to the online classroom with so much renewed passion for art. And proof that the best teachers are also always learning themselves, Gillian frequently asks if we have any feedback for her as an instructor. The environment she has created is supportive and welcoming of everyone at every stage in their own creative exploration. This is so much more than an online art course. It is art school with a group of friends that includes the brilliant, generous instructor.”

Joanne Rose

 “Wonderful content, superb teacher, fine art instruction without any the worry of my skill level, but thorough & comprehensive…Artfully & Thoughtfully Done!”

Lynne O’Neal

“Unearth Gather Create has been a revelation, delivering so much more than I’d hoped for (and my hopes were high to begin with)! Rich in content, it will provide food for thought and creativity for months (and probably years) to come. Gillian is a natural tutor – patient, generous, and always encouraging, her passion for art is infectious. I quickly forgot this was an e-course, as it feels like she’s explaining everything to me in the same room! Can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Magdalena Moon

“Watching you paint and draw is immensely useful. I learn so much. And I love the way you write about artistic expression.”

Sharyle Doherty

 “So delighted I signed up for your course, Unearth Gather Create. I really did not know what to expect and have been so impressed with your approach as a tutor, the course content and your ability to connect with your ‘students’. Watching you model a technique, listening to the clarity of your explanations and receiving your constructive feedback is allowing me to develop important understanding and knowledge while inviting me to find my own voice. I am excited by the way in which you are allowing me to think, to see and to connect with Art. I would recommend your course without reservation and wish you every success in the future.”


Dalene Robertson

 “I was in art school as of last year and everything I learn from you is just as valuable if not more than art school. What you are teaching and how you teach is one of the greatest gifts to give someone who has never been to art school and/or can’t afford it. It’s my dream to create an online school teaching art to kids and adults because of those reasons I mentioned. So I admire you and you have been an inspiration.”

Jennifer Perry

“I love everything about her style – her teaching – just everything!!!!!”

Suzanne O’Mullan

“I was highly impressed by the amount of content in the course, it was like a college semester worth of information!”

Amber Walker

“Drawn to Expression is great and strong in all strands! Structure, presentation, practical videos, inspirational quotes, incredible content and words from an Artist/Tutor who is passionate to share her knowledge and expertise with her students. For me, each strand enriches my own journey.”

Debbie Gould

 “I would recommend your course without reservation and wish you every success in the future.”


Dalene Robertson

“Your videos demonstrate a technique and how you use it, how to express with the mediums/technique. Then the assignments dovetail in such a way that everyone experiments and produces something different…different expressions. This is not a paint by numbers course.”

Mardi Driftmier

“She teaches the foundation of drawing the portrait which is so important to all levels, for beginners to learn and for more experienced artist to revisit. She then demonstrates expressively her creations which gives the students the ability to take from foundational work into a more expressive and personal direction. Absolutely the best class I have ever taken.”

Kate Thompson

Gathering the Landscape, a course by Gillian Lee Smith
“There is nothing quite like being outside in the fresh air, in an inspiring environment and taking time to express not just what that place looks like, but how it feels.”
There is a whole world out there to inspire our creativity and ‘draw’ from. No matter where you live, or what scenery surrounds you or landscapes you can visit, there is a wealth of opportunity for expressing something about the world in which we live.

Learn More about Gathering the Landscape

Gillian’s most recent long course, Gathering the Landscape, is packed full of content. With instruction, exercises, and inspiration to get you outside, gathering the landscape around you. Click here to learn more about this self-study course!

Gillian Lee Smith Unearth Gather Create Ecourse

Have you ever thought that…

you don’t have any ideas to develop work from?

you find it difficult to know where or how to begin to find and develop your own style?

you want to expand your own personal language in mark making and expression?

you want to go beyond being inspired by other artists but think everything has been done before?

you want to develop your own unique style and create art that you are deeply connected with?

you have the skills to create art, but it no longer excites you?

Then Unearth, Gather, Create is for you.


Learn More about Unearth, Gather, Create

Gillian’s first-ever ecourse, Unearth, Gather, Create, is packed full of content. Click here to learn more about this incredibly popular ecourse, now available exclusively as a self study course!

Gillian Lee Smith Drawn to Expression Ecourse

Every mark tells a story.

Every line is an expression – an unearthing of you as an artist.

A whisper or a shout – the language of drawing.

As unique as your way of communicating – dialect, accent, intonation, phrasing…

…a whisper, a statement or a shout.

Have you ever…

…let fear and that feeling of being ‘stuck’ in your art practice stop you from getting to the easel?

I have! Many times. And this course contains many of the ways that I have overcome this – ways that have helped me grow as an artist and pushed me to discover more and create more.


Have you ever…

…struggled to know how artists make choices between what to include and what to leave out?

…wondered how you can say more with less?

…felt a desire to loosen up and be more expressive in your art?

…wanted to confront fears of imperfection and lack of motivation?

…wanted to gain confidence in tapping into what makes us unique and individual and bring that to your art?

Learn More about Drawn to Expression

Drawn to Expression, the second of Gillian’s ecourse offerings, is now available as a self study course!

Gillian Lee Smith Portraits Your Art Your Way Ecourse

What Portraiture Means to Me

Whilst I incorporate various subject matter into my artwork, portraits are an opportunity to work with the familiar and the mysterious all at the same time. As artists, we are all curious, I think, and the challenge of representing the complexities of the human face and form are what keeps me coming back to the easel again and again.

I paint a little of myself into each and every portrait I create. So that whether I am working from life, reference imagery or my imagination, there is an urge to express what is deep inside in order to connect with the world around me. Each portrait becomes a part of my own unique experience.


What are you seeking to express when you create portraits? 

A deeper understanding of form?

Expression and emotion?

Exploring narrative?


There are endless possibilities and in this course I hope you explore all of the above and more in order to create portraits that express all that is inside of YOU.

Your Art, Your Way

Learn More about Portraits - Your Art, Your Way

Gillian’s newest, incredibly popular long ecourse, Portraits – Your Art, Your Way, focusses completely on portraiture. Previously only available as a live course,  Portraits – Your Art, Your Way is now available as a self study course!

Gillian Lee Smith Expressive Portrait in Acrylics Short Course

Learn More about the Expressive Portrait Short Course

If you’re looking for a shorter, less expensive taster course, Gillian’s newest offering, Expressive Portrait, is for you! Her first-ever self study short course, Expressive Portrait is full of both written and video content, all available for immediate download.

Register for an Ecourse

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