Recently, Burning House Art Studio hosted my Intro to Watercolor course. It is a beautiful space and I really enjoyed having the class there. Definitely my favorite venue so far! The workshop was a bit short on students - but what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality :)
My typical first class homework assignment is this: paint an apple twice. Once, wet on dry, second time, wet-into-wet. I am lucky if I get two paintings out of each students for the critique at the beginning of the next class. This time, one of my students brought 13 paintings of apples. That's right, all of those apples below are by the same student. Talk about taking your art seriously! (I got about 20 more next time around :))
Another student has not picked up the brush since she was a kid. I usually let my students paint without help first, so that I can get a feeling for the level they are at and what they will need help with. Below, is her painting with and without my help.
I like quick, timed paintings. The idea is to set the timer for, say, 10 minutes, and go at it without too much thinking. Just let it happen. When the time is up, you put down your weapons and step away from the painting. This accomplishes several things:
- You can't help but loosen up, even if just a little bit
- You push through your initial hesitation and fear
- You only have to stick with it until the time is up - if it's a total failure of a painting, oh well! You only spent 10 minutes of your life on it. No big deal.
- Once in a while, you get gems! Loose, free, colorful - just like you like it!
Below are some examples of pretty awesome 10-minute paintings. Try it!
If you live in the high desert, come take a workshop at the Burning House Art Studio. My next class will be Intermediate Watercolor and will meet on Wednesdays, 10am- 1pm, starting on August 1. Hope to see you there!