Teaching a new generation of artists

This past week I’ve been teaching some classes in watercolour technique to some Grade 7 students at Annandale school in Tillsonburg, through a program run by the Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre.  The end product is something we call a “watercolour quilt”, simply because it consists of a sort of patchwork of rectangular sections.  They are only given three pigments to work with, a red, a blue, and a yellow.  I teach each section separately, with a demonstration of a particular technique, and then the kids try it.  The last section is where I give them more artistic freedom to express themselves with the techniques they’ve learned.  We do a flat wash on dry paper, a gradated wash on dry paper, we learn about saving whites for lights and pure colours, we try out masking fluid, we learn about wetting a shape first and dropping colours into it, and about creating fine lines in wet paint by using the edge of something to make a groove, we learn about creating textures with salt and various pigments, and we learn about using the water to our advantage as we are painting.  We do all of this in anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.  The green masking tape helps keep everything separated for us while they are drying, and gives us some clean edges to help make the work look nice at the end.  Most of the kids are pretty receptive to the instructions, and we sure get a nice variety of paintings in a class of around 28!  I’ve taught four of these classes so far, and have one more to teach next week.  I forgot my camera for the first few, but I took some photos from the last class.  The kids gave me permission to post them so here they are, as they were working:

IMG_1122 IMG_1124 IMG_1126 IMG_1127 IMG_1130 IMG_1131 IMG_1129 IMG_1128 IMG_1123 IMG_1121 IMG_1120

 

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