|Azalea Garden 11"X 14" watercolor by April M Rimpo|
I know their normal instructor as I took a workshop from him many years ago and wanted to teach something they might not learn from him. Based on some questions that had come up during a class for a different group, I decided a spring scene with flowers and people that also included reflections in the water. I had a new method for teaching how to paint trees and figured trees were another good thing to include in the painting.
|Lakeside Azaleas by April M Rimpo|
There is a local Azalea Garden, just a few miles from my home that typically shows off all the beautiful variety of colors of Azaleas this time of year. It's a favorite place to visit in May and leading up to Mother's Day. I had not made it there this year, but that garden was my inspiration. I arrived with no reference material so they would also have to make up their own colors for the flowers and focus on learning techniques rather than copying a photograph. I did locate a few images of the garden on my phone (thank you Google) to show them the overall concept, then turned it off and we started.
I love to demonstrate a step, then have the students paint, then demo the next step, etc. This way it provides time for the painting to dry between steps, which is quite important on watercolors. I actually worked the two demo paintings, shown above, concurrently, so I could show one step on one and the next step on the other, giving each demo a little bit more time to dry before I went back into the painting.
Since the group had also asked me to discuss the technique I use for varnishing watercolor paintings, we didn't have time to photograph the group with their paintings. I also knew from my last time with them that they really preferred not to have them photographed. I was happy with what they produced and a few came up at the end of class to tell me they were happy with their results. One had seemed quite concerned during the class whether she was "doing it right" so I was glad to hear she was happy.
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