For the recent workshop and classes that I instructed this spring, I chose this pansy as one of the projects for my students to work on. I thought it was colorful and dramatic, yet simple enough to work well for demonstrating layering techniques. And perfect to help usher out the winter doldrums.
Fairly new to teaching, I learned something with this one myself. Next time, I should paint the image beforehand and be better acquainted with how to best approach each part, discovering what the more challenging stages might be. I may have saved students some frustration as I would have been better able to explain these areas more clearly. Having a completed piece for students to examine would be helpful.
Because the photograph shows a busy background, it would have been better to spend more time explaining how to eliminate unnecessary details. The shadows on the petals presented a problem for some, especially with color mixing. I had forgotten how difficult mixing some colors can be. A formula would have been helpful. Many more layers were needed than anticipated, which I realized since completing the painting after the classes were long over.
Several areas of instruction seemed to work well, such as the concept of using white under certain portions to achieve the vibrant pinks and purples and how to mix dark colors with out using black, to name a few.
Since a lot of understanding has been gained in doing this painting, I will probably use it again in other classes. Plus, this vibrant palette is a real joy to work with!
Do you think you would enjoy painting something like this?