We're just finishing up our second week of the Fall 2014 classes and things couldn't be better. It's always a bit of a voyage of discovery when starting out a new session because there are a few unknowns - new students mean new personalities and differing levels of skill. We have to get to know everyone and design our instruction around people's needs and interests. Things have been going very smoothly and students and teachers alike are having a great time.
For the first time this Fall we are offering an adult watercolour class on weekday afternoons. The wonderful and talented Erin Vernon is the instructor and there are eight eager students with more people showing up each week. The class started out learning a bit about colour theory and mixing the different pigments. They have been learning so quickly that they were able to complete a small still life last week. Check it out:
Our kid's classes are always so much and that's so important to us. There is a bit of a difficult balance as some of our students get older and need to be challenged more deeply. When kids are in grades 6, 7 and 8 that is the time that we need to start helping them refine their skills as well as to find a stronger artistic identity.
In our "The Artist's Portfolio" class we give our students a good amount of freedom to choose the way their project will develop. We give them the general idea and the materials they should work with. We give them some technical instruction as well as continual guidance as they work through their idea. For example, Brad has his students working on a clay portrait in relief. They had to do a few versions of the sketch before they could be 'approved' to start working in clay. As they work through the modelling process they have to add unique elements to give their sculpture a sense of their own artistic individuality.
In my group we've started off with a more straightforward project and I'm trying to get the students to really understand value as an element of art. It's so important to learn this to improve your drawing and painting to add depth, perspective and to make things look realistic. So far, the kids have done a great job sketching objects in pencil. Next, they will move on to a monochromatic painting of the same object.
I'll post some more pictures as these projects - and many others - come along. Thanks for reading!