Topic: Watercolor Class
This is the project I gave my watercolor class this week. I'd been saving this one for the return of one student who'd been away. I thought she'd like this one. (She did.) It's the barn and flower seedlings at Agricola Farm in Union. I was there on Open Farm Day in July set up with my cards and prints and paints. I worked on a different version of this scene (which I still haven't finished)..
We started our painting session with a lengthy warm-up of direct painting on practice paper. First exercise - create a pattern of color spots that express the quality of the flower bunches. Then paint around them with green. Do it all calligraphically. So as not to run the paint together and to maintain fluid brush strokes, leave space around the color spots (flowers).
Second exercise - paint the green shapes first, expressing some quality of foliage, and leave negative areas for the flowers. These white shapes, the negative areas, should have a feeling of groups of flowers. Paint in the color spots.
We did some follow-along practice for drawing the barn. By "follow-along", I mean that I demonstrate a line or two then the students copy on their own paper what I've just done. It is amazing just what a student can do when imitating step-by-step. After all, we learn to speak, to write, to do just about everything, by mimicry.
And then it was time to draw the scene loosely on the real watercolor paper and proceed to paint. We often get a bit nervous once we've done the drawing and it is time to paint. One student finally got herself through that stage but had to leave before she could get the flowers painted. She asked while packing up, with a look of glee, "We get to paint the flowers any color we want?" Yes. It was good to hear her have such anticipation for the work she'd do at home.