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Watercolor for the everyday artist

Each month, I volunteer in the kids’ elementary school classroom teaching art. At our first art lesson of each school year, I like to ask the students to do something for me. I say to them: “raise your hand if you are an artist“.

In the younger grades – kindergarten, first and second – almost all of the kids raise their hands.

By fourth and fifth grades, that number drops by at least half.

Why is this? I wonder at what point we stop seeing ourselves as artists?!

The best part of each art lesson is that by the end of class every single student is smiling, having fun and feels proud of what they have created. It doesn’t matter if they think of themselves as an artist or not, each has a chance to be for that small block of time each month.


Art has always been part of my life. I was a little girl who studied children’s book illustrations and stood in the aisles of Hallmark taking in all of the greeting card designs. I have taken a few art classes, but am by no means an expert. I just like to create. While it feels a little presumptuous to call myself an artist, I actually do think of myself as one.

Here’s what I believe about art:

we are all artists

I think what stops those older kids from popping their hands right up when I ask that are-you-an-artist? question is that somewhere along the line they realize that others are better at art than they are. And since there are others better than they are, the might as well forget about calling themselves an artist. As if someone else’s talent negates their own! We do this as adults, too.

Yes, our art might look different and our abilities will vary, but we are all creatives. Some paint, some play music. Others draw, write, speak, cook, lead. And every single one of those things has value.

the act of doing art is life-giving

We were created to be creative with our hands, our minds and our gifts. When we give in to this act of making art, our bodies relax and our souls refresh. It’s like a big exhale when we allow ourselves to slow down enough to create.

My older boys are great at drawing. The funny thing is, though, once they finish with a sketch, they don’t really care if we keep it or not. They just love to draw for drawing’s sake. There is something so good about letting art come out of us.

you don’t have to be an expert to create something beautiful

Art created by experts is breathtaking, for sure. But I also believe that even if you don’t have a fine arts degree, you can still create something wonderful. Just like with my elementary students, all it takes is having the right tools, a little technique and a project to be guided through.

 


If you are looking for new ways to bring art into your life and, in particular, if you want to learn how to paint with watercolor, you’ll love this newest online class, Simplified Watercolor.

This online class will give you the basic skills needed to create pretty watercolor artwork you’re proud of! 

Because most of us learn best by watching, this online class is a series of ten video lessons that walk you through techniques and projects to help you fall deeper in love with watercolor. You can watch and re-watch to learn new techniques and then pause the video to practice on your own. There is no start or end date … just enjoy the class whenever creativity strikes!    

SIMPLIFIED WATERCOLOR INCLUDES 10 LESSONS:

  • SUPPLIES: Not sure what the difference is between cold press and hot press? Pan paints or tube? Flat brush or round? Find out what supplies to use (and why!).
  • TECHNIQUES: Learn the proper water-to-paint ratio, how to blend, different brush strokes and how to fix a mistake.
  • MIXING COLORS: Create any color from primary colors and any shade by just adding water.
  • DOT PRACTICE: Watch what happens when you let your colors touch and blend with this simple (yet totally fun) project.
  • SEASCAPE ART: Paint an ombre seascape to practice layering, blending and fine details. You’ll love your finished art piece!
  • SCRIBBLE ART Create a modern watercolor piece worthy of framing.
  • TURNING YOUR SKETCH INTO A PAINTING: Take a simple pencil sketch and add watercolor to make one-of-a-kind illustrations.
  • BRUSH LETTERING: Use your paints and paintbrush to create special lettered art.
  • MONOGRAM ART: Practice blending to make a relief monogram art print. Great for gift tags, too!
  • FLOWER ART: Impress your friends (and yourself!) with your watercolor skills as you create a layered flower print.

DETAILS:

   
The class and all its content takes place online in a password protected classroom. Go at your own pace, moving from section to section as quickly or slowly as needed.

You will have unlimited access to the class so you can always refer back to it as needed.

To help you get a feel for the class and to learn more about what we’ll be learning, here is the introduction for the class:

Grab your spot today! CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

 

7 Responses to Watercolor for the everyday artist

  1. Jenn Anderson May 8, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    I’m so glad to see that you will open this class again next quarter. It’s not in my budget right now either, but I really want to do this sometime!

  2. Melissa Z. May 8, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    My daughter is almost 14 and has been watercoloring since she was a wee little thing. She has created some beautiful work, but all along has been self taught. Would this class be appropriate for someone who already has a basic foundation of knowledge and skill, but has never learned from someone with a real knowledge about it? Thanks.

    • emily May 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

      She is welcome to join! I think taking classes from others is a great way to learn new techniques and practice different styles!

  3. Ashley May 7, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    Will you be offering this class again? It’s not in my budget right now but I would love to take it in the future.

    • emily May 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

      Yes! We’ll open up another session next quarter.

  4. Cathy May 7, 2018 at 11:14 am #

    Would this be good to do as a family with kids?

    • emily May 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

      Yes, for sure! The videos are easy to follow and all of the projects can be kid-adapted.

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