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A five day workshop is undeniably, the amount of time most necessary to develop not only the theories and concepts I teach, but also to recognize and attend to each painter's personal needs and expectations during the course. Optimum size is 20 students or less.
Mornings are devoted to either informal lecture or demonstration. Here, the "Kosvanec Transparent Watercolor Wheel" is thoroughly explained and demonstrated. Aided by guidelines, a handy color matrix and hands-on exercises, the wheel is easily understood and offers the student thousands of predictable, luminous color combinations. We also explore the assets and potentials of different papers, brushes, and paints, discuss permanency considerations, learn paper stretching methods and examine the usage of little understood additives. Seasoned workshop students continually comment on the "gold mine" of information this class provides.
The five day course includes two full morning demonstrations: The first demonstration, on the second morning, is either a landscape or figurative, supporting the color mixing theory and demonstrating the possibilities of standard and advanced textural techniques. The second demonstration on the fourth morning, is a figurative subject. During this demonstration, I explain how color spatially pushes and pulls the planes of the figure creating a sense of form. I also discuss the importance of purposeful brushwork. which demonstrates "floating in" of color using advanced techniques that can keep a wash active for half an hour or more.
I've found that three hours is enough time to complete the most important elements while describing the decision making process. Beyond three hours, the natives get restless and are ready to challenge themselves with the techniques they've just seen demonstrated.
Afternoons are allocated to painting, employing the newly learned arsenal of information. Moving from student to student, I observe each painter's strengths and weaknesses, guiding the individual in exploring personal goals and addressing new concepts. I've found "mini-demonstrations" are useful during these one-on-one situations. Respecting a student's work by not painting on their paper, I ferry my watercolor block and palette demonstrating alternative methods to achieve the desired effects they seek. Often, one's problem is another's as well, and the encapsulated demonstration serves many students. This seems to bring the students together as a group, and strengthen concepts.
Although my work is representational, I encourage students to seek the abstract elements in their chosen subject. By first developing quick value studies with simplified shapes, the design elements of their paintings are strengthened and unified. I also offer constructive private suggestions regarding advanced techniques (such as proper water-to-paint ratio), color mixing options, and special materials to explore according to individual style. A group critique closes the workshop week.
In addition to primary class, I offer three more workshops.