trying to get to a course since March , but Covid intervened ! Eventually , after several reschedules and a change to more spacious venue , we managed to meet up for two days of watercolour.
When I began learning watercolour myself, I sometimes found myself going along to a workshop with a visiting artist where we'd all painting the same thing, same colours , same style and end up with very similar looking paintings. I couldn't see at the time and I don't see now how that was much use to anyone! All I remember was stressing about what colour to use where and how the teacher was telling us to put a brushstroke here or there. There were certainly no conscious choices or decisions about what/how we were painting - all of those decisions had been made for us. Most of the time was spent trying to keep up, making sure that I had the right colour on the brush (which blue!!?) and I came away unable to paint by myself - very frustrating.
When I finally began to teach watercolour myself, I made the decision to teach basics - materials, equipment and techniques , and not make the promise of a take home painting. The eighteen people (mostly beginners) who I've taught over the past week have all gone home with piles of exercises painted, colour charts, colour wheels, pages of different kinds of painted marks and finally - several paintings of their own choice of subject . Once they've got to grips with the basics they then tackle the subjects which they want to paint. They have to decide on their own colours, style and theme , with me helping out when they get stuck, They learn a lot from each other as we wrestle with each persons painting problems as we work.
I know that they'd find it much easier if we just painted one thing together - "put a stroke of blue here, then a stroke of red there" etc etc . But I also know that they'd get home and be unable to paint anything of their own and might just give up! It's a dilemma - do I fool them into thinking that they've learned something when they haven't ? Or do I push them way out of their comfort zone but give them the tools to tackle what they want to paint?
I think I know the answer...