John David Berdahl
Aspie. Writer. Artist. Musician.

Lessons and Classes

Lessons and Classes


Hey! Whether one is interested in "one on one" creative, artistic and educational instruction or tutoring, or is more the "coursework, classroom and curriculum" type of individual, you can read about the private art tutoring lessons I provide, and formal art classes and art experiences I am so, so honored and privileged to lead for the likes of institutions and organizations such as the Anne Carlsen Center of FargoMoorhead Area Public Schools - Community Education, and the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity below!


Private Art Tutoring Lessons

Lessons on Drawing

The fundamental elements and principles of art are explored in graphite and charcoal on a "as needed" basis to anyone and everyone who seeks to have his or her knowledge of art and fine art expanded a great, great deal!

Lessons on Color

During the private lessons on this subject, tutees will learn a good deal more about drawing and, most, most importantly, color and it's manifold attributes and applications on a "as needed" basis!

Contact me to arrange for some lessons!


Classroom Experiences


Illustrating Stories

This class provides a judgment-free environment for learning how to confidently translate a manuscript into an illustrated work. It's a great first step for anyone interested in writing a graphic novel, children’s book or just wanting to tell their own story in a visual manner. Beginning with a manuscript, students will learn to sketch their characters and settings, brainstorm how to overcome certain challenges, interpret feedback from other artists, and create an illustrated work that sees their original story transformed into a true experience. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring a graphite drawing pencil set, sketch pad and kneaded eraser.


Drawing With Color

Experiment with colored pencils and chalk pastels while exploring the basic elements of design, composition and color theory. Discover your own style and begin to rely on your own approach to rendering powerful figures, rich landscapes and robust ideas straight away. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring soft pastels, colored pencils, sketch pad and kneaded eraser.


Acrylic Painting

Complete your own work of art using acrylic paint and canvas. What will you make? Maybe a picture of a pet, your home or an abstract painting from your own imagination. Come ready for fun and imagination. 


Winter Wonderland Acrylic Painting

This class will focus on painting a wondrous winter landscape in a thoughtful, sentimental and enchanting style. You'll learn by working in acrylic paints, following guided demonstrations and engaging in short discussions. There also will be insights about the Regionalists - artists who captured small towns in their mindful and realistic work, expressing their admiration and respect for rural America. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring a white 9"x12" canvas pad and a winter landscape photo to use as a reference.


Drawing a Still Life: Setting Up to Finish[ing] a Study

This class teaches students the fundamentals of rendering a still life in graphite and charcoal. Learn the basics like how to arrange your objects, how to compellingly and dynamically light them, how to compose your piece, and how to execute a representational depiction of the collection of items that you have chosen to draw. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring a graphite drawing pencil set, a stick of charcoal, sketchbook or sketch pad, and kneaded eraser.

Register for this class here!


Gesture Drawing: How to Rock a Sketchbook

Do you own a sketchbook? Do you find that you're rarely drawing in it? This class delves into the discipline of gesture drawing. Soon your sketchbook will be overflowing with examples of this technique that can be implemented to capture and study poses for larger, more detailed works. Artistic principles such as line, shape, form and rhythm, and elements such as the human figure, scale, proportion and shading will be discussed. Their application will be demonstrated in graphite and charcoal on paper while sketching individuals and small groups of people. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring a graphite drawing pencil set, a stick of charcoal, a sketchbook or sketch pad, and kneaded eraser.

Register for this class here!


Introduction to Drawing

This class introduces basic techniques and materials to those who have little to no drawing experience. Students learn the fundamentals of drawing: rendering shape, form, shadow, texture, and perspective. Explore approaches to drawing through close observation and expressive application of materials.

**Students receive a $5 discount for April and May Figure Study Sessions.


Figure Study Sessions

Join other area artists in practicing drawing techniques with a live model. These informal sessions are guided by a professional artist and participants are asked to bring their own drawing materials. Participants can register at or by calling 701.551.6100. You may also register the day of the session at the front desk of the Museum. This class is for participants ages 18+.  

Please note that the Saturday, August 19 Figure Study Session will take place in the exhibition Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley.


Introduction To Landscape Painting

This class will explore landscape painting in acrylic, focusing on composition, value, proportion, atmospheric perspective, color, and texture. Participants will paint outdoors during in-town excursions, weather permitting. In addition to painting, this class will examine the work and techniques of Post-Impressionist artists such as Emily Carr, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.


Introduction to Drawing In Color

This class introduces the techniques of drawing, using soft pastel and color pencil, including initial sketching, layering, blending, and building colors. Students learn the basic process of drawing in color media while exploring the fundamentals of color theory, and how it relates to light and form. For beginner to intermediate students.