The past three Wednesday evenings I taught a watercolor class at NMC with 8 enthusiastic adult students. In the past I have had students bring in their own photographs to work from, but I found it difficult to give meaningful instruction when one students is painting a portrait, another a boat and another a forest of trees. Each subject requires a little different handling and giving feedback to the students was much more difficult. The big change I made in this class was having everyone (including the instructor) paint the same scene. I chose an "old mission" scene at sunset because it gives a lot of opportunity to work with a broad range of values, textures, and lends itself to multiple techniques. Students were very receptive and as I was teaching I found that I could refer to my painting pinpointing how I was handling composition, color choices, and creating mood through values.
Students asked a lot of questions, and worked extremely hard on these paintings. In 3 evenings they saw what it takes to create a watercolor painting from start to finish. It is my hope that as they continue on their journey they will be able to take what they have learned and apply it to their own painting projects.
Thanks to all of these students who made for a really great class.
If you are interested in watercolor painting and don't really know how to start or what to do, I would love to see you in one of my classes!