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 Watercolor for Absolute Beginners

4-Week Class

So many of my watercolor students asked for drawing lessons, I finally developed a short 3-week course to get people started. Continued below...

Q:  Can I really learn to draw in three weeks? I'm not sure I have much artistic talent, and right now I can't draw at all.

If you're willing to practice...the answer is yes. Drawing is 10% learning the techniques, and 90% practice. If you're willing to draw for even 5 minutes every day, you can't help but improve!

Q: What can I expect to learn?
Through demonstration and individual, hands-on help, you’ll learn all the basic techniques necessary to drawing. Once you understand the fundamentals of seeing and drawing, sketching becomes much easier...the rest is just practice.

We start small with a few warm-up exercises each week. You'll first learn to SEE objects in a different way, as large geometric shapes without detail, and then put those shapes on paper.
proceed with learning to judge and measure lines and angles, and add shading for depth; learn to see the proportions and negative space in a photo and simple still life; and learn to see, measure, and copy more complex objects from life, in the studio, from photographs, and possibly outdoors (weather permitting).

If there's time, we'll also spend some time on the basics of drawing portraits and faces, but please note that this class does *not* involve drawing from live models.

You'll also learn the best ways to enlarge and trace images or photos that appeal to you -- your own photos, or images you find online  -- and develop a basic tracing into a detailed drawing.

Yes, it's a bit tough at first, like learning a new language. But the more you do it, the easier it gets...and after a few months of practice, you'll find that drawing is almost second nature.

Q: Are there critiques? Do I have to show my work to the whole class? I'm nervous about that...

A:  Don’t worry! Beginners always feel nervous about showing their work or listening to "critiques” of their drawings in class, but relax -- we're not preparing for an exhibition at the Metropolitan. Be assured this class is zero-pressure.You’ll be encouraged to share your work during class and learn from each other, but there will be no “criticism”  -- only encouragement, suggestions, and patient help.

Q:  What are your credentials?

 I've studied art at the Dayton Art Institute in the midwest, and the Cooper Union and the Art Students League in New York.  

I love teaching, and have taught for over 35 years at every level from third grade through graduate school and adult education. For the last 13 years, I've taught hundreds of students how to watercolor and draw.

Q:  Do I have to buy a textbook of any kind?

A:  No, a book is not required. But do take a look at "The Complete Sketching Book" by John Hamilton, or just browse through how-to-draw books in the Strand, Barnes & Noble, or on amazon.

 Q: What art supplies will I need?

A: You already own them: pencil and paper, ANY pencil and paper.

If you'd like to purchase better quality supplies, it's easy and inexpensive. I recommend 3B drawing pencils (you can also use charcoal pencils or pens of your choice), a kneaded eraser, and a spiral-bound sketchbook that's at least 9x12" (it can be bigger if you like).

It's also great to have a pocket-size sketchbook, 3x5 or 4x6, that you can carry and use while you're waiting on line, riding the subway, etc. Or dowload a simple (and usually free) sketch app for your smartphone. The more you draw, the better you'll get.

Q: Will there be homework?

Oh, yes indeed. I'll send a detailed recap every week of the lesson we did, with suggestions for exercises and further examples/exercises online in website or videos. 

Practice is EVERYTHING in drawing, since we only have two hours in each class.  In fact, I strongly suggest getting that small pad or sketchbook to carry with you; I can promise if you do at least one drawing a day, you will see marked improvement during this one-month class. (And while apps are great...it's best to use a pencil at first.)

Q: When? Where? How much?

The 3-week Mini-Class in Drawing is given regularly; the next beginning date is at the top of the home page and on the Sign-Up page.

Class meets once a week for 2 hours, beginning promptly at 7 pm till 9 pm.   

The tuition is $150  for 3 weekly classes, cash only please, at the first session. 

You can order 3B pencils and a sketchbook from me if you like ($10 for 9x12 pad, pencils, pencil sharpener, and kneaded eraser), though they're available in any art supply store AND virtually every stationery store.  To sign up, just email me at watercolorclass@gmail.com.

Location for all classes and workshops:

Take the NORTH elevators (to the LEFT) to the fifth floor; go to the end of the hallway, and STUDIO 509 is just around the corner.

"24-32 Union Square East" is the same address as "Park Avenue South, between 15 and 16 Streets." The studio is in the Park South Plaza office building between the Vitamin Shoppe and the TGI Friday's striped awning, two blocks north of the Union Square/14th Street subway station. (trains: 4,5,6,L,N,R,Q,W)

If you have other questions, or want to sign up, just email me. You can also call 212-254-9311 and leave your name and number -- twice -- slowly and clearly, please. (Sorry...I don't text.) Or call my cell at 917-804-1635.

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