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Lesson Plans

[Fwd: Teaching Watercolor]

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Kurt Hasselman (kprs)
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:54:29 -0400

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Message-ID: <353FBE3B.5C70AB72>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 18:18:35 -0400
From: Kurt Hasselman <kprs>
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To: Maahmaah <Maahmaah>
Subject: Re: Teaching Watercolor
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I have two examples that you might want to try. For both, however, I use the same
beginning step, and that is I have the students experiment with watercolor in the
following manner. Take a piece of paper, and fold it into 6ths. Each of the
blocks will be done in a different manner. 1. wet on wet, 2. wet on wet with
coarse salt thrown on, 3. maskit made from "friskit" or rubber cement, 4. block
out using masking tape, 5. dry brush stencil on a painted background. 6. dry point
brush work on a painted background. (I am sure you can come up with more than
6). Whichever project I do, the rule is that their watercolor must contain ALL 6

Project A (collect leaves outside for this and bring them in).

Falling leaves. Students will get a long piece of watercolor paper, and they draw
(lightly in pencil) a leaf falling (which translates to at least three leaves).
They then do the leaves in watercolor (based on their observations of REAL
leaves). You and your students will notice that leaves have color variations,
holes, veins, torn edges, etc. than lend themselves to watercolors and the 6
techniques practiced. A past colleague, Janice Metzger, added the touch of having
the students do calligraphy of a haiku using leaves as a starting point.

Watercolor postcards. You can get watercolor blocks of postcards. Students do
landscapes keeping in mind the three distinct areas, foreground, midground,
background. (Landscapes can be observational. If you don't have the ability to
go outside, students may reference from photos ONLY if they take 3 photos and
combine them to make another landscape. NO direct copying is allowed.) Students
are reminded of the necessity of a light source. Again all 6 techniques must be
utilized. The last step is that these postcards must be SENT. (Mail art)

San D

Maahmaah wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I have been getting a lot of requests lately to set up a watercolor class over
> the summer for children and adults-together. It will be a group of mostly
> beginning and some intermediate levels. In college, way back when, my
> emphasis was in watercolor and I love this type of painting.
> My problem and the question I pose to all of you:
> I have never taught this before. I have some ideas on how to present it, but
> was hoping you could tell me some of your success stories in teaching this
> medium. I would prefer this class to be exciting, not just mechanical in
> nature. Any interesting approaches to teaching the basics that you know of?
> I need to entertain and challenge the intermediates and hook and educate the
> beginners.
> Also, watercolor is thought of in the art world as a "lessor" form of
> painting--although I don't understand why--maybe the paintings don't have as
> long a life as oils? Maybe because watercolors have been used as studies for
> paintings in other mediums? Watercolors always seem to sell for less money in
> galleries, get shown less often, etc. Why do you think of this is? I can
> only think of a few artists who painted primarily in this medium. Anybody
> have a list of watercolor artists or a good book they can recommend?
> I look forward to your responses-
> Thanks,
> -Lee