One of the other classes this summer was given by an artist that paints in oil, but more successfully in watercolor. When I arrived at the class I realized everyone else taking the class was painting watercolors. I do Urban Sketching and luckily had my kit in the car, so I could do watercolor. It was NOT why I was taking the class. It was an expensive class and I had to drive an hour each way to attend. I only attended two of the four days. I think I learned everything I could the first day.
The class was about painting moving water, so we were drawing from printed the examples on the first day. I quickly learned it was a very beginning class and many of the students had very little drawing experience, let alone watercolor experience. They had a lot of drawing equipment, but not educated skill.
The teacher had, as many do, sent out an extensive list of supplies with several new (to me) oil paint colors. So I had to find the colors quickly and $$$$ before the class. I did not use even one of the colors required and more than that the use of these color combination was never discussed or explained. The teacher was a lovely talented lady and I enjoyed talking with her but did not enjoy the scattered and unorganized class.
In this small watercolor, we were to work on the direction the flow of the water, by bringing the edge over the top and puddling it at the bottom. That was the extent of what I learned in class. The next day we went to a local park to paint moving water, but there was no moving water. There was a rather stagnant pond. I did a small watercolor of it but did not like the result, so put it in the “not to be shared” file, otherwise known as the trash can or round file.
Later in the day, I did the little gazebo by the water, but there was nothing new it this either.
I will continue to admire Julie Gilbert Pollard’s work, but what she does versus what she teaches are two different things. I would have loved to have learned how to use the new colors that I bought for the class. I will never take a class that attempts to teach both watercolor and oil painting as the approaches are the complete opposite. In oil painting, you generally start with the darks and in watercolor painting, you add them last.
The other thing in signing up for a class, find out the experience of the other class members overall. If there are a lot of beginners in the class they are “time hogs’. They don’t mean to be, but they just want to learn so much more.
I have taken classes taught by the same teacher at different locations and discovered when most of the class is beginning, you don’t walk away with nearly as much new information. The other “light goes off”, was that every artist thinks that their way is the best and sometimes the only way to do art. Keep in mind there are a lot of different ways to come to a beautiful painting.