Speckled Eggs

An Advanced Independent Study in Realism

Speckled Eggs was originally released in March 2024 as part ofTHE UNDERPAINTERS, a subscription group.


All Speckled Eggs learning aids, videos, and digital stamps are included. UP subscriber benefits are not included.


Join Amy Shulke, professional illustrator and art instructor in a new education format designed to get you coloring with independence and creativity.

Move from simply coloring-along to creating unique and original art.

Use your medium of choice: marker, pencil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, etc. Add your own ideas, style, and creative flair.


Are you taking coloring classes but expecting art school results?

You’re comfortable receiving the class image plus a detailed supply list. Then you follow the leader, mimicking the instructor, step by step from start to finish.

But everyone ends up with the same ho-hum instructor-approved project.

You feel good about what you’ve done, but it's a bummer that it looks exactly like everyone else's project.

Psst, art school doesn’t work this way. Art school gives you open-ended challenges and asks you to invent your own solution with your own materials, your own colors, and your own ideas.

Tutorials, watch-me demonstrations, and practice exercises can not transform you into an artist.

Art is made independently. Art is made originally. Art reflects something unique inside you. You can't make art following step-by-steps with 200 other people.

You need gentle guidance and a community to support your transition from coloring to independence.




Independent Studies are for advanced colorers who are comfortable working without step-by-step demonstrations. At the independent level, we're working on developing your artistic instincts and intuition.

You must know how to blend and underpaint before purchasing this course.

Students will be asked to select their own colors and blending combinations (hints provided). The detailed guidebook provides a summary of the coloring process + tips and over 200 WIP photos but there are no "copy what I do" videos to work from.

Amy demonstrates several key sections of the project via video but there are many parts of the project not covered. Truly advanced students are capable of intuiting a process and experimenting to create the look they want.

If you can not work on your own, please do not purchase Speckled Eggs.


What's an advanced independent study?

In college and post graduate art programs across the world, art students are given an assignment and just enough guidance to start the project. This allows fledgling artists the opportunity to develop a unique art project, personal style, and most importantly, the ability to plan a project and troubleshoot when issues arise.

If someone is always holding your hand and showing you what to do, you'll never become a functioning artist.

Move beyond standard coloring classes to self-determined projects in your medium of choice.

Challenge yourself to move beyond copy-cat projects towards creative freedom.

Amy gives you a complete project with lots of hints and encouragement on how to cross the finish line. In the beginning, you can rely heavily on the videos and guidebook but we encourage you to peek less with every project.

Become the artist you were born to be, rather than a professional student.


Your Purchase Includes

  • Original Vanilla Arts digital stamp
  • 37 page full color guidebook with 127 steps and 300 full color photos plus hints and tips. Book includes printable photo reference, detailed color map, value study, and a high resolution look at Amy's finished sample
  • Livestream Recording-- a demonstration of how to read the photo references, the color substitution process, the orange daisy egg process, plus tips, tricks, and original Q&A.
  • Sneak Peek video showing Amy's process for the first three eggs.
  • Links to any extra materials generated for the class or involving the Speckled Eggs project.

Supply List for Speckled Eggs here.


We recommend Box of Colors as a prequel to workshops at this level:

(Box is encouraged but not required. Box is an advanced skilled class which teaches the independent coloring process.)

Your Instructor

Amy Shulke
Amy Shulke

Amy is a professional freelance technical illustrator with 25 years of experience in graphic arts. Amy began using colored pencils in 1985 and she started with DeSign markers in 1989. Colored pencils with a base of either marker or watercolor is her preferred process for portraiture and scientific illustration. She has a special passion for teaching crafters and shy artists to stretch their boundaries by adding established fine art techniques to their coloring projects.

Join Amy for fun and highly informative lessons which will not only change the way you color but the way you see color in the world around you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a coloring class? Will there be video instruction?
This is not a class. Independent studies are an advanced, challenge level project with some assistance, hints, tips and encouragement. The video instruction and guidebook cover key areas of the project but they're not intended to walk you through every step of the project.
What skill level do I need for this group? Is there a pre-requisite class?
You need to be at least an upper-intermediate to advanced level colorer who is very comfortable with your supplies and eager to experiment or try new things. We recommend taking Real Crayons to make sure that you fully understand both color sculpting and underpainting for realism. The next step would be to take Box of Colors which covers project planning, independent color selection, and reading surface landscaping.
How do I participate? Is a membership required?
Enroll and begin, no membership required! INSTANT ACCESS, FOREVER ACCESS. If you're interested in more, this project was originally developed as part of The Underpainters, an independent advanced membership community. The UP group is a monthly subscription to a rotating selection of similar projects with a community forum for support. What's the difference? This purchase is FOREVER ACCESS. The UP group is 30 day access + support for a monthly membership fee.
What is included in the monthly challenge materials?
One original line drawing from Amy Shulke of Vanilla Arts Co in your choice of PDF, PNG, or JPG digital stamps. Formats vary based on the requirements of each study project. Assorted PDF guides may include color suggestions, technique suggestions, and WIP photos. Video sessions focus on questions from the UP community and usually cover several ways to solve an issue. Community discussions and feedback are participant generated, the discussion can lead anywhere.
Can I participate without joining Facebook?
Absolutely! This purchase does not include forum membership. You are purchasing video access and study materials only.
How long do I get access to the challenge materials? Can I keep them?
FOREVER ACCESS. Just keep track of your log in details and you're set for life. Download the guidebook and digital stamps whenever you feel like coloring. The videos are not downloadable; you must be online and logged in to watch but you can watch them every day for years if you want... note, we do not recommend watching Amy every day for the rest of your life but if you really want to? Go for it.
Will I get feedback on my project directly from Amy?
Amy hangs out in her all-class group on Facebook and checks in several times a week. https://www.facebook.com/groups/vanillaartschat We can not guarantee feedback from Amy but feel free to post. There are many highly skilled group members who love to share what they've learned in Amy's classes. Amy will offer guidance when possible but creating new videos, new classes, and the weekly newsletter take up most of her time.
What if I enroll but find that I’m not happy with the group?
Contact us within 14 days for a refund minus processing fees— after that, no refund is possible. No exceptions.

Course Curriculum

  General Supply Info
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  The Printables
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  Vanilla Arts Company- More Information
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  S.O.S. Help
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"It's the OMG moments. That's why Amy's classes rock. She explains things that you've maybe noticed before but never thought much about. I love it!"

"At 62 years of age I have no illusions about becoming a great artist but. I am so appreciative of the change in my perception since taking classes with Amy at Vanilla Arts Co. Now I see the play of colors, the motion and the grace... It's a great way to view the world around me."

"I just love the things I'm learning and can't wait to start the next project. Your images are challenging for me and I like that. I'll never look at another image and how to color it the same again!"