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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Beginning Watercolor class revisited

Yesterday's class went well. Most of the students had exchanged their paper for something a little better and had bought a better brush. Many had even done homework and showed me their practice sheets. We did a mini-critique at the end of class and they were surprised--as most beginners are--that their first efforts didn't look too bad when you stood away from them. Of course, that's the old joke--the farther away you stand, the better they look. When they show frustration at not being able to do a perfect wash or brush stroke, I just ask them if they would be playing a sonata two weeks after their first violin lesson. They're a good-natured group, on the whole, and very encouraging to each other. That kind of atmosphere in the room seems to improve their results. One student asked me if they would have a finished picture at the end of the series. Oops! I had to explain that my classes don't work that way. I give them the basic principles and show them how to apply them using their own subject matter and sketches. It takes awhile longer to get a finished picture when you're not copying someone else's work. While I was packing up at the end of class, someone insisted that I give them homework, as I did last week. That's a good sign!

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