In my coast of Maine watercolor class with teacher David Dewey I was the wide eyed Junior Dabblerette in the midst of accomplished master painters. I was OK with that (Yay!) & the atmosphere was welcoming. David geared his demonstrations so that I the beginner as well as the experienced painters received a lot of concepts, understanding & inspiration.
Photo of one of the painters
Gray days (the majority) were soft & calm & made certain colors POP! You got to see & paint quiet nuances of grays. David would say "medleys". Warm, cool, light, dark, so many colors can come from so few...
One misty day while the others painted elaborate harbor scenes (oh, such draftsmanship they had!), I set out to create a chart, mixing grays from 3 colors & exploring some characteristics of water COLOR that David had demonstrated. David says, sometimes you plan with your left brain, other times intuition rules. A bit of both, above. David says he still makes color charts...
(Thanks to Carol G, Paris Breakfasts, not only for introducing me to David's class, but for showing in her blog that it's OK to mess up, or to follow your own direction, integrating what you've learned...)
I didn't come back with large finished paintings. But I did come back with tons of new learning. Above a thumbnail that is in a style with which I'm comfortable...Fast, Quick & Sketchy! Totally intuitive.
I did come back with a little sketchbook journal filled with notes & terrific David Expressions & Explanations & quicky line drawings. I'm using them now to practice. My new learning involves using my (weaker) left brain: conscious choices, planning based on learning principles of color & the medium. Above, a thumbnail of a boat, but don't think about the boat as much as shapes, lines, rhythms, says David.
A value study. I have rarely done those. They are invaluable I now see.
Partly finished painting using the thumbnail, value sketch & a photo reference... Color as structure, patience, discipline, slow, conscious selection & planning...
My finished painting, though I still call it a sketch...I had the feeling that there'd be a learning curve in this class. Yes, indeed! Lots of learning & wonderful fun!