Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year. I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors. They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques: saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.
Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper. They drew landscapes with barns.
Paintings took weeks to create. Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details. These kids are extraordinarily talented. I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson. My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge. My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.
I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!
Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.
2 thoughts on “Watercolor Lesson”
I just love your posts about teaching and appreciated the nice breakdown of basic skills for them to practice. I wish I had had a teacher like you in the 8th grade!
Just FYI, from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, I will demonstrating painting on Yupo tomorrow at the CNY Art Guild’s Fine Arts Show at the Aspen House in Radisson – Baldwinsville.
thanks, Judy! I wish I had known this earlier to share with my students. We are working on pencil only celebrity portraits on pastel Canton paper now. Hope to get them done by the end of the 3rd quarter, which is on Friday.