I’m so proud of my watercolour students. Everyone who has taken a class from me has a special place in my heart, not least because they had to put up with me! It is a challenge to talk and paint at the same time (you may have noticed this if you’ve watched any of my YouTube videos) and yesterday my students were puzzled when I told them to mix up some “cobalt green”.
We just finished class #6 of an 8 class series and they are all doing so well! We work together on the same painting, but every one is different. I love seeing how each painting is a reflection of the artist, even when the artist is just starting to learn to paint.
I learn a lot by teaching, and I can’t tell you how many times something illuminates in my mind, as I’m trying to explain a technique to my students. That’s why I paint that way!
In my classes I try to find a balance between realistic detail and loose, flowing style. We have done a bit of both, and I can see students stretch outside their comfort zones while trying a style that would probably not be their first choice. They are always good sports! Watercolour is beautiful because of its transparency, so we experiment with layering, glazing over an area to see the original shapes shine through the glaze. We try to wrap our heads around negative painting which always feels so “backwards” at first.
We add lots of water and let things flow, and when disaster looms, I’m there to lean over with my brush and point out (or paint out) a solution. Or just to tell my students, “That looks wonderful! Don’t touch it again!” We fall in love with a beautiful moment in every painting, and carry that forward to the next work of art.
I have a short video on painting berries on YouTube. You can view it here.