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Lessons In Watercolor, Humble Beginings

one classy bunny

one classy bunny


The ABC's


If you can afford it, try taking an art class. It’s good if you believe you don’t know a lot.

It’s even better if you think you do know a lot.

It is a learning experience in either case. It is a win-win situation.

You can take the class as a refresher course, to broaden your perspective. to clear your mind or to simply save your sanity!

There are several types of workshops such as sculpture, pottery, painting and figure drawing. But, that’s just the short list. I chose painting.


I took a 6 week, watercolor class for adults, three years ago. There were about 15 students. I did not have to worry about being too old. The class was fun, and informative. The art instructor always played soft, smooth jazz while we worked.

The course opened up a whole new perspective for me. It opened up my eyes to see a bold, new and very colorful world!

Each week we started a project and completed it the same day. The instructor had us do a first draft of the still-life, on a sketch pad. Then, we were to copy from that sketch and do a final draft on special paper, suitable for painting.



We used tubes of paint that we mixed into several little dishes.(palettes) It is amazing how you can use orange and reds to make a whole new hue of blue! Goodness, I learned that there are so many fascinating shades of blue in the world. Yes, we have come a long way from the cute little cakes of paint in a box!

I had always assumed that watercolor meant muted, almost transparent shades. Boy! Was I ever wrong!

We discovered how to use layers and layers of paint, by allowing one layer to dry then add more of the same color to give things a richer hue. We learned when to use water and when to use a nearly dry brush. The outcome is a very rich and stirring piece.

Can you guess how many layers of paint I used to paint a sun-drenched door and window?

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Another sketch had limited color. The subject was a little beige cherub sitting against a white background, you would be amazed at the amount of color we needed! The shades we used included blues, orange, greens and browns. The shadows on the folds of the white fabric alone, were much more vibrant than one would imagine.


The instructor encouraged us to stroll through the classroom to observe other students progress. We could give tips or get tips. I will say that it was a wonderful and humbling experience. Some students may have had prior courses and their work was simply inspiring. Some who observed my work also had positive feedback which is always a morale boost. Our classes were not limited to still life. Our two last lessons included a nude model. She was not only nude, but 7 months pregnant! The finished piece was beautiful because by the time we did this class, we knew how to mix our colors!


Zabbella (author) from NJ-USA on December 07, 2011:

Thank you for visiting, Peg, yes it was fun and I do recommend it.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 05, 2011:

Your artwork is beautiful and it was nice to hear of your experience in an art class. Sounds like fun.

Zabbella (author) from NJ-USA on October 18, 2011:

Thank you Wayne, for visiting, it is a great chance to meet others who share your interests.

Wayne Tully from United Kingdom on October 18, 2011:

I have recently joined an art class and it's great sitting with other people and painting or drawing as they will look at your work and you can look at theirs and discuss your artwork too. Art classes also get you out of your comfort zone and involved with other artists and the way they work.

Zabbella (author) from NJ-USA on September 14, 2011:

Thank You all. Yes it was a great experience. When money is right, I may go back for more lessons. Thank you Naomi, I will try again to submit to a publisher. In the meantime, I have to keep practicing!

Naomi's Banner from United States on September 14, 2011:

Very nice hub! Sounds like a great workshop! Your writing style is neat and I think there is no reason you could not do childrens books. You might contact a publisher or two and find out who you could submit art work to.

robertsloan2 from San Francisco, CA on September 13, 2011:

What a wonderful experience! Especially having a live model in your final classes. That's a joy and a privilege in any art class.

Ania Lichszteld from United Kingdom on September 10, 2011:

Very interesting hub, it made me want to join such a class :) Thank you

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