Watercolor Teaching 101

Do you remember a time when you were in 2nd or 3rd grade and you saw your teacher in the grocery store? Were you shocked? Didn’t you think they lived in their classroom, slept in the coat closet and if they ate, they dined in the cafeteria alone at midnight? I know I did.

I am preparing to teach a 2 day workshop at San Clemente Art Store this weekend and besides making a special notebook printed on paintable paper, I’ve been squeezing out paint, cutting paper, figuring out how to explain shadows in a new way and wondering who my students will be.  Sometimes I try to imagine what they will look like and I am almost always way off base.

Getting to know students is one of the things I like best about teaching art. I also like watching students begin or continue to develop skill in painting. I feel very fortunate to get to pass along art techniques that have been used for hundreds of years (things like mixing colors, drawing, and brush stroke techniques.) I didn’t invent any of these techniques but I have renamed some of them. I call the drip of watercolor paint you guide with your brush to paint a wash, a blob.

After teaching students drawing and painting for a zillion years, I know from observation that anyone can learn to paint and draw if they do their homework and practice their skills. I also have discovered recently that to paint well you need to see each and every painting as practice and not want to hang your first painting in the Louvre.