Watercolor for Adults

Students gathered at Mt. Lebanon Public Library to experiment with loose drawing techniques and watercolor in a class meant to excite and promote creating for personal pleasure because ‘Why else make art if it’s not fun?’

In our first session, I introduced gesture drawing and students practiced with each other and then toy dinosaurs as models. Next, we transitioned into mark making with 02 Micropens, using fine line methods like hatching, cross hatching, stippling and gestural. In the end, after a few quick experiments with liquid watercolor, students used vintage nature cards as reference for a three layered drawing/painting.

In our final session, we capitalized on the warm weather and sketched outdoors in the library’s beautiful courtyard.

After reacquainting students with fine line methods, we conducted a few experiments with water and oil solvent materials and then used music as a way to manipulate the speed of our brushstroke and mood of our composition. We listened to classical, hard rock and pop and the results were drastically different. One student brought along her six year old daughter, who used her whole body while dancing and painting to the music. In the end, students had about 25 minutes to bring all of the elements together for a culminating drawing/painting.

Drawing with Adults

Earlier this spring I taught a two session drawing course for adults at Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

In addition to the adult students, we had one stay-at-home mother with her three year old son. Our youngest student was a joy and completed every single activity, toe to toe with his more experienced counterparts.

In the first session, we focused on fundamentals like gesture drawing, contour drawing and fine line drawing techniques like hatching, cross hatching and stippling.

Students paired up to complete loose armature sketches, capturing the gesture of their subject. Next, they used quick ‘scribbles’ to define shape, size and location. Finally, students moved to the outside line to refine the contour of their subject. After a few timed gesture drawings, students moved onto still life drawings comprised of small dinosaur toys and bouncy balls. In this short amount of time, students practiced with graphite, charcoal and micropens.

In our final session, students jumped right into artmaking with a collaborative ‘automatic’ drawing game. Students experimented with solvencies and created a complete artwork together after group critique and a discussion about focal point.

We finished class with an extended still life study using a wide variety of drawing materials.

Two students from my drawing class, and a few others, joined me today in an Experimental Watercolor course. I’ll post more details after our final session next week.