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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Beginning Watercolor Advice

Started a new beginners' class today at Hithergreen Center. A few have had some classes but were never taught basics and want foundation. That's what this class is for. I wish I could get through to students to pay attention to the supply list. In the first class I spend quite a bit of time explaining supplies. It usually turns out that some of them have bought inferior materials or think they can use old brushes and paint they bought at a garage sale. Then there are those who go to an inexperienced salesperson who sells them all the wrong things--even though presented with my list. I try to be understanding, because I know there is some resistance among beginners to invest in artists' quality paint, paper and brushes because of the expense. Maybe they won't even like watercolor once they've tried it. Okay, but they would like it better if they used the Right Stuff. So I tell them they can use the cheap paper and paint, but when it runs out, to upgrade. I'm not as tolerant of brushes. I require my beginners to learn to master one brush, a 3/4" sabeline one-stroke watercolor brush. No synthetics, no blends. You can do everything with this brush: wash, wet-in-wet, drybrush and line. And when you've mastered the brush, you can easily use any brush on the market. Maybe I shouldn't let beginners buy supplies until after the first class. Hmmm.

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