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  • 7 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Downloadable class materials, including bonsai design exercises
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Colin in our virtual classroom

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Bonsai Design Techniques

with Colin Lewis
Bonsai Design Techniques
Advance your bonsai skills! Join bonsai artist Colin Lewis, and transform your tree — from subtle shaping to dramatic character changes.

Create exciting, original bonsai with advanced design techniques! Join renowned bonsai artist and author Colin Lewis, and explore bonsai as a true art form. Begin by developing an eye for design by sketching trunks and canopies. Then learn the best way to shape branches while leaving little evidence of human interaction. You’ll work with junipers, “the queens of bonsai,’’ and find out how to develop shari and live veins. Moving on, expertly deal with deadwood and shape jins before learning how to use fire to bend your jin into new positions, or age jins to achieve a mature look. Plus, uncover Colin’s secret method for heavy engineering with the wedge principle, and successfully compose and shape new branch structures. To round out your new skills, prepare your bonsai for final shaping and enjoy how the final touches transform your tree’s image.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction to Bonsai

  • Join your instructor, world-renowned bonsai artist Colin Lewis, for an exhilarating exploration of bonsai design. Tap into the striking poetry of this age-old tradition as Colin shares the history of various designs from around the world, highlighting a variety of aesthetics, emotions and philosophies as he goes. You’ll finish the lesson feeling inspired and ready to assess a variety of trees for their future potential.


Lesson 2. Leave No Trace Behind


Lesson 3. Junipers


Lesson 4. Dealing With Deadwood


Lesson 5. Death-Defying Techniques


Lesson 6. Composing Branch Structure


Lesson 7. Final Refinement

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