Stained Glass Trees

Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

8 Lessons – $106.25 $125

Dar Hosta James explores the simple and universal beauty of a tree in this 10-lesson acrylic painting course. You’ll begin with simple shapes and lines and continue with doodling, negative space, dots and more dots, and embellishment that truly proves more IS more! This is a course for ALL skill and artistic levels.

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Dar Hosta James

Class Description

The simple and universal beauty of a tree meets the decorative grandeur of stained glass in this three week acrylic painting course with Dar Hosta James. Come along for a creative journey that gives you the recipe and the ingredients for your own fantastic, magical forest. You will begin with simple shapes and lines and continue with doodling, negative space, dots and more dots, and embellishment that truly proves more IS more!

We will put lots of emphasis on color harmony and pretty details. By the end of this course, you will have four gorgeous canvas paintings in various sizes and dimensions.

This is a course for ALL skill and artistic levels and you will surprise yourself with how you’ll take this recipe and turn it into your own expression of trees, so come along for this new and fun artistic adventure!

Class Itinerary

Lesson 1
We are going to begin by forgetting about trees and focusing on color, color, color! Our first lesson is all about exploring the color combinations that we love and laying down the first layer of this process oriented technique on two smaller canvases.

Lesson 2
Because this technique requires that we distill our ideas of trees down to a simple interpretation of what they look like, we are going to practice stylization of trees. There are so many ways to represent a tree and we are going to really brainstorm on this. We are also going to do a little non-precious practice of negative space which is the cornerstone of our beautiful leaves.

Lesson 3
We are going to add a little more color to our canvases and then we are going bring our favorite tree shapes to life and reveal the beautiful, stained glass leaves that are waiting on our canvases.

Lesson 4
In this lesson, we are going to build on what we know. We are going to add another tree, some fun shiny paints, and move into a new, darker color palette. One of my favorite things to portray in my art is the NIGHT! So, let’s do some magical NIGHT SKIES!

Lesson 5
We began with very simplified and stylized tree forms and then created leaf “windows,” and today we are going to start decorating everything around our paintings and embellish, embellish, embellish.  This is where our paintings are really going to come alive and completely light up. If you like more-is-more, like I do, get ready to let it fly today.

Lesson 6
More is more! Lesson 6 brings more embellishment to our night sky paintings and two decorative techniques to share with you.

Lesson 7
More is big! In Lesson 7 you’ll branch out and start work on a larger canvas.

Lesson 8
In Lesson 8 you’ll finish up by adding the personal details to your painting that tell the story of your tree.


Here are the supplies needed for this class! If you don’t have the exact materials, you can probably substitute many items with things you already have on hand.

  • Two 12″x12″ canvases, 1.5″ deep
  • One short and wide canvas, 1.5″ deep (I’m using 12″x24″, but 8″x24″ and 10″x30″ are fine, too!)
  • One 24″x24″ canvas, 1.5″ deep
  • Brushes: Any size of larger, flat brush just for laying down area of paint, medium Fan, variety of Round from 0-8, and Angled brushes in 1/8”, 1/4”
  • Variety of sponges like make-up, kitchen, sponge brush, etc.
  • Any other interesting mark making stuff, found objects, etc.
  • 10-15 sheets of scrap/copy paper cut down into squares
  • Several small pieces of white matboard, card stock, stiff paper, etc. for optional color sample
  • Old magazines/catalogs or decorative scrap book/origami paper in squares
  • Markers, including black
  • Pencil
  • Piece of white chalk or watercolor pencil
  • Black gesso
  • Matte medium
  • Calligraphy pen/nib (I use a simple set by Speedball)
  • Acrylic Ink (Suggested colors: black, white, gold; I use FW, a brand of ink made by Daler Rowney, Liquitex also makes acrylic inks. “Acrylic” is the important criteria in the ink.)
  • Nail Art Dot Tools (Optional, found on Amazon)
  • Spatter screen (Optional, find at
  • Fineliner Applicator (Optional! This works with the High Flow Acrylics, 18 gauge has a larger hole, 20 gauge has a smaller hole; I prefer smaller 20 gauge;; find on Amazon)


With each lesson I will list all the GOLDEN colors I am using in the video. Please know that you can use any brand/colors that you like or have. The following colors are “must haves” for me. 🙂 Note that a Heavy Body white and “off white” are necessary for our first two paintings.

  • Red (Pyrrole Dark, or ANY red, like Cadmium, Napthol, etc.)
  • Cadmium Orange Deep
  • Quin. Magenta
  • Permanent Violet Dark (or ANY “dark” purple/violet)
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Hooker Green
  • Light Ultramarine (this color goes by different names but is commonly known as “periwinkle”)
  • Titanium White (both Fluid and Heavy Body*)
  •  Titan Buff (Fluid)
  • Carbon Black (Fluid)
  • Iridescent Bright Gold Fine (Fluid)
  • “Off White/Buff” (Heavy Body*, I am using Matisse brand, “Australian Ghost Gum”)
  • Interference (any color, but also optional!)
  • GOLDEN High Flow Acrylic (Optional for use with the Fineliner), Titanium White and/or Iridescent Gold

Dar Hosta James

Dar Hosta James is a collage artist, a painter of trees, a writer/illustrator of children’s books, a teacher of both children and adults, a public speaker, and a life coach.

She is the daughter of an artist with a BA in creative writing from the University of Missouri and a secondary education certification in Language Arts. After a brief stint as a high school teacher, she became a stay-at-home mom in rural Ohio where she discovered a love of collage while spending days at home with her two young sons. She continued working in education through writing and art as a visiting author, an artist-in-residence and a national speaker on creativity in education. In 2003, after a move to central New Jersey, Dar started an independent publishing company. Of her life as an artist, she says, “Art has become a metaphor for my life… my life has become a metaphor for my art… in both areas, I try to look for what is working and how to make it all more fun. The two feed each other.”

She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in New Hope, PA. When she is not busy creating art, Dar is an avid runner, a regular yoga practitioner and an amateur student of tarot. She recently became a Certified GOLDEN Artist Educator. See her work, calendar and shop at

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“This has been a terrific class! I like the way you built on the previous lessons to bring us to a more detailed project. A great teacher! ” — Karen S.
“I read about this class and thought it would be fun, but had NO idea how much fun and how much I'd learn.” — Charlynn T.
“I have enjoyed every minute of this class! ” — Marsha G.