The Longleaf Forest was inspired by the forest on my father’s land where I loved to roam when I was a girl. I’ve recently learned about the great Longleaf forests that once covered the southeastern United States and the fascinating story of the Longleaf Ecosystem. I thought my ancestors were pyromaniacs, but it turns out they knew what they were doing when they “burned”.
You should choose classes that support your goal. Most one day workshops are fun and you learn a lot about mixing and technique. However, if your goal is to create your own original art some day, these classes won’t take you all the way. No matter how good you are at copying another artist’s work, it isn’t “yours”. In the beginning, when you are studying your craft, it is a great idea to copy the work of other artists. Of course, you can not pass these off as your own; that would be copyright infringement. It is good practice, but not marketable. After you learn the craft of watercolor painting, you then need to take classes in composition to make the leap from hobbyist to artist. If being a watercolor artist is your goal, learn how to use photographic references the right way (not merely copying), learn how to take an idea for a painting through the rigors of compositional decisions (based on sound design principles) and finally end up with an ORIGINAL painting by you. One of a kind; original. How ultimately exciting! And tremendously satisfying!
In the CSU winter catalog I am offering two Intermediate classes; Level One and Level Two. This is a big change in the curriculum. “Intermediate Watercolor, Level One-Technique” will include a still life.
It will pull together everything you’ve learned in “Beginning Watercolor” and “Drawing Fundamentals”.
“Intermediate Watercolor, Level Two-Landscapes” will focus on landscape paintings; a snow scene, evergreens against a yellow morning sky, rushing water and reflections in still water, a meadow, a mountain, and more. You will learn the history of landscape art and the names of famous American artists of the Hudson River School.
The advanced class that follows is called “Composition for the Painter”.
When you complete the four core classes, you should be in a position to create your own original art. The core classes are (1) “Beginning Watercolor”, (2) “Intermediate Level One”, (3) “Intermediate Level Two” and (4) “Composition for the Painter”. Prerequisites for the composition class include several more drawing classes. Drawing skills are essential to the creation of original work. The curriculum is well thought out and is intended to give the student the skills needed to create original watercolor paintings.