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When I am teaching a student, many times we talk more than we paint... but this is a very good thing. It helps me get inside the head of the student and find out what they are all about! Most teachers don't want to create a student that paints like "the teacher!"
Do I consider this work ... definitely ... but fun also. My brain is constantly thinking, how do I help this student? What can I show them?
I paint with the student, working on something that might be along the lines of what the student is working on. I will set up a still life, or we might work from photographs... of course this is in the studio. If we are painting "plein air" which means "in the open air" ... or you can just call it "painting outdoors" ... we are usually looking at the landscape and choosing what to paint. Vista, or close-up, trees, grass, lakes or streams, etc.!
One Idea For You!
A recent student asked me how to make paint drips or runs on the canvas. So to show her, I created an 8x10 showing her to dip the brush in the paint, apply random strokes, "be happy strokes," onto the canvas. Next, I took the brush with paint still on the tip and lightly dipped it into my clean water. Applying the brush tip to the acrylic on the canvas, I added blobs of water that ran down the canvas. Now... the canvas was on a stand-up easel, but if you are painting flat, you just pick it up and tilt it different ways.
What did I see in these drips? I saw stems and leaves of flowers. The only thing to do was imagine I was looking at roses... this is what I saw in my "mind's eye." The above little "gem" was the next one I did after the original 8x10 showing the student. This one is a 3"x3" acrylic on a small stretched canvas and is offered along with several others, and more to come, in my Etsy shop.
I had about a dozen little 3x3 and 3.5x2.5 canvases taped to a foam core board ... boy was I having fun! And, the student was encouraged to do something a little different!