Friday, June 11, 2010

Week 1

Friday's are due dates on weekly assignments, meaning they are also start dates for the coming week. Here's a look at this week's activities.

Paper preparation and brush care. Since I've been exclusively using watercolor blocks, I don't need to get into stretching paper, so that's covered. Cleaning brushes I have down; been doing that every night for a couple of months.

Paint charts. I can hear the collective groan. "He's not gonna do more charts, is he?" Well, sure, why not? :-) We are especially encouraged to mix up as many greens as possible. What I'll do is go through my charts, picking out my favorite mixes and reproducing them. It'll be good practice in being able to reproduce mixes at will. Scan and submit.

More charts, now to create browns and grays. Complementaries. More greens. Same as charts above. Scan and submit.

Paint play. Experiment with varying amounts of water. Different brush strokes. Just go wild and be comfortable. This exercise is considered very important. Those who play the most, learn the quickest. Scan and submit.

Weekly journal. This week's topic:

One of the exciting elements of painting is choosing a subject. This week, if you have not yet had the opportunity, then please spend some time considering and gathering objects as subjects for your painting.

In the process, have you found any treasures? You may reflect here about any element of the creative process to date, how your familiarity with the tools is progressing, and any concerns you have about Moodle or any other aspect of the course.

(Note: Moodle is the name of the web-based software platform that the course runs upon.)

Student Open Forum. This week's suggested topics:

Sometimes students, particularly during the winter months, have found it challenging to find simple, intriguing, beautiful elements of the plant world to begin painting. Have you gathered some subjects that are especially pleasing to you?

We would love to be inspired by your best ideas!We also welcome your creativity in hunting down bargains. Share with the forum any art supplies you have stumbled upon at a discount price. Most of the people that I interact with about painting find a special pleasure in getting their supplies!

(Note: We are a class of three, a class with a maximum of twenty. We are all veterans of the Botanical Illustration I class. I think we'll be a lively bunch. The forums are the only place students know there are others about. Last course I had a good deal of fun, exchanging lots of messages. I got to learn a bit about papermaking, something I'd love to try out on the deck this summer.)

How do you hold a brush? Think about how I paint. What muscles groups are involved? Try different grips. Quite simply, become aware.

That is the week in advance. Tonight I'll start by taking notes from my charts, building a list of mixes I want to get to.


  1. As Jackie Gleason used to say "And away we go!"
    Looks like you are off to a happy start!