Tag Archives: workshop

Learn to Watercolor

17 Aug
Purple Iris -- original watercolor by Steve Henderson. Learn how to paint your own Purple Iris with Step by Step Art Success -- Watercolor.

Purple Iris — original watercolor by Steve Henderson. Learn how to paint your own Purple Iris with Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor.

The other day I was at the post office, sending out DVDs of Steve Henderson’s new digital workshop, Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor. When I mentioned what was in the padded envelopes to the postal associate, she exclaimed,

“I took a watercolor workshop YEARS ago, but I’ve never done anything since. I’ve still got the paints, the paper, the brushes, everything — but I haven’t known what to do. What is the website link?”

If you have always wanted to learn watercolor, or if you painted years ago and want to jump back in, or if you paint watercolor now and wish you could improve, Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor, is the resource for you. First in a series of digital workshops (Steve is now, in between working on his next Santa painting, developing a three-part series on How to Draw), Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor is available as a DVD or $19.95 and a download for $14.95 — just follow the link in Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor.

With a one-hour running time, Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor goes over the same material Steve teaches in his two-day workshops, and you can take as long as you wish to paint the two sample watercolors, Purple Iris and Lonesome Barn.

Below, enjoy the informational YouTube video about Step by Step Art Success — Watercolor. If the video isn’t working, this is the link — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GTB8fnrD0Q

An Affordable Workshop in Your Home

19 Jul
Purple Iris -- original watercolor by Steve Henderson

Purple Iris — original watercolor by Steve Henderson

Wait for it — but it won’t be long.

Steve Henderson is putting together a PowerPoint video series of how-to-paint workshops based upon actual workshops that he gives. First on the docket is Purple Iris. While he was painting this piece, Steve took photos every few brush strokes, and he is assembling a painting tutorial that will allow students to follow the process with him, step by step. This tutorial covers the same material that Steve presented in a recent watercolor workshop, and he finessed the final product based upon the feedback of his workshop students.

At the end of the tutorial, students will not only have a completed painting, they will have spent a considerable amount of time with Steve, learning what materials he uses, what colors of paints, what techniques, and how he chooses the subject matter for a painting piece in the first place. The information learned will enable students to launch forward into their next painting project.

It’s amazing — the information found in a two-day workshop, which can run anywhere from $100 – $300 — but for much, much less. Think more along the lines of the price of a book but replete with visuals, illustrations, and step-by-step instructions. For amateurs, the guides will gently lead; intermediates who are confident to push forward boldly can grab the information they need and keep advancing. As a homeschooling father, Steve is excited about the possibilities of working with the homeschool community; many, many parents have children who are interested in art, but the opportunities for lessons are limited, both financially and geographically.

We will post the new tutorials on the website as soon as they are available, and we will alert Steve’s Facebook followers and newsletter subscribers as well. If you want to move forward on your art and there is something that you want to learn, contact us at Carolyn@SteveHendersonFineArt.com with your ideas. We listen to them all.

The Self-Taught Artist — Who Isn’t?

30 Mar

Some artists make a big deal out of being self taught, but truth of the matter is, all artists are self taught.

Art -- and learning to create art -- is fluid, movable, ever changing and adapting -- as flexible as fabric billowing in the breeze.

The difference between the two is encapsulated in two questions:

Are you learning only from yourself, just from what you can dredge up from “the artist within”?

Or are you learning from other people – teachers, writers, other artists both dead and alive — magazine resources, workshops, books, the successes of others, the mistakes of others, comments and critiques – basically external sources that you read, analyze, review, try out, and experiment with, internalizing what works and shaping it into that “artist within”?

While art is a talent, it does not grow by itself in a vacuum, and for an artist to reach his or her potential, he needs a grasp of the basics, a grounding in fundamentals, and training.

This makes total sense when we’re talking about an engineer or a mathematician, but for some reason, when we talk art, our right brain supersedes the left to the point that instruction gives way to feelings, skill to emotion, proficiency to passion.

One of the key ways of recognizing whether you need work in an area is to determine if you are compensating for your lack of training in it. Ask yourself:

Do I draw noses this way because I want to, or because I don’t know any other way of doing it?

If the answer is the latter, bring your skill level up so that you can draw a nose the way you want it to look.

Passion, emotion, and feelings – yes these are important. But they are not enough without proficiency, skill, and instruction, and the best artists – who are self-motivated, self-disciplined, and truly self-taught, incorporate all six elements, seamlessly, into their work and their being.

The Right Stuff

16 Mar

I work with knitters, and a student recently told me,

“I don’t like the way my stuff turns out.”

Using the best materials that you can afford goes a long way in achieving the result you're looking for -- whether you're painting or knitting

When I asked her what kind of yarn she used, she replied,

“Oh, I just picked up something cheap. I didn’t want to spend money on something that probably wasn’t going to work out.”

Bad idea.

Whether you’re knitting or painting, you’ll get the best results when you use the best materials.

While a novice, or even an intermediate, does not need the most expensive items in the store (interestingly, many professionals do not shop at the tippy top themselves), they also don’t want the two-quart tubes of student grade paint and cheap, cheap brushes, all slathered onto loosely woven, won’t-stay-stretched, canvas.

If the colors are weak and the brushes imprecise, the results will be disappointing.

The Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson, discovered the major difference between student and professional grade art supplies in one of his early quarters of teaching, when he recommended a starter watercolor kit to his students while he used the materials from his own studio for his demonstrations.

“I know I’m a beginner,” one student said, “but even though I’m following you step by step, nothing I do looks at all like what you’re doing.”

Steve picked up her brush, dabbed it in her paint, and swept it across his canvas.

“Nothing I do looks like what I’m doing with this paint either,” he said.

From that point on, he recommended his own paint choices and brushes to his students, limiting the colors and brush choices to decrease the cost.

Yes, it costs more. No, you don’t have to overhaul your entire studio at once.

But bit by bit, buy up.

Aim for the top where the view is better.

Should You Take a Workshop?

25 Feb

I deliberately entitled this post using a word that I have eliminated from my vocabulary: Should.

Too often we do things not because they are right for our particular situation, or because we are grown ups and can use the words “want to” without sounding like recalcitrant toddlers, but because we have this vague idea that others – who know more than we do – expect certain behavior.

Whether you're learning from a horse whisperer or a fine artist, make sure you head into the workshop with the right attitude. Time Out by Steve Henderson

Workshops are great little animals; my own Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson, regularly teaches them, and his students, depending upon why they are there and how they approach the opportunity, move forward in widely divergent fashions.

Some people are serial workshop takers, collecting the names of their numerous instructors like knitters stash yarn. Others are there for the first time, glancing covertly at everyone else’s brushes and paint tubes and specialized plastic art boxes and convincing themselves that they are the only ones there who know absolutely nothing.

The best students, and the ones who leave most satisfied, are confident enough in themselves to realize that everyone does things differently, but humble enough to recognize that there is much good in trying something new. These students are here, not because they feel they ought to be, but because they want to be – they listen with an open mind, ask pointed questions, absorb the answers given to not only their own questions, but to the questions of others, and use the limited workshop time to its full advantage.

They’re taking the workshop because they like the instructor’s work and want to hear more about how he/she accomplishes it.

Should you take a workshop?

Misleading question.

Do you want to?

Insecurity — Looking around never makes it any better

20 Jan

One time, when the Norwegian Artist was teaching a beginning watercolor workshop, one of the students looked about and said, “I must be the only true beginner in here. Look at everyone else — they all have so many paintbrushes and so much paint!”

It’s interesting the different conclusions we come to based upon the same observations.

When the Norwegian Artist — who has one, very expensive watercolor brush that he uses pretty much exclusively — sees brand new plastic carriers filled with a plethora of lightly used paint tubes and a bouquet of brushes and other tools, he thinks,

“I wonder how much they actually paint versus the time they spend organizing and arranging their materials?”

More than one of the Norwegian Artist’s students, and frequently a number of them in the same class, approach him privately and apologize for being the only true beginner in the class, and his response is a variation on the theme:

“It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from, it matters that you’re going someplace.”

And interestingly, many of the people who are self-conscious about being the only beginner, once they drop the fear of that (whether or not it is true) wind up learning a tremendous amount and progressing far on their journey as artists, simply because they know that they have much to learn and they’re willing to set about doing so.

Because we’re all human, we all have our moments of insecurity, but looking around and comparing our situation (which we know quite well) to our impression of other people’s situation (about which we know very little) unnecessarily compounds the problem, and indeed, can actually block us from our goal of progressing beyond the present.

Workshops and classes are great opportunities to learn, and if you find one that fits your needs and learning style, go for it with enthusiasm and abandon, unhindered by comparison with the other students in the room. After all, when you’re looking about, you’re not looking ahead.

The more difficult the road, the more important that we keep our eyes in front, not to the side, of us. Crawl Hollow Late Afternoon by Steve Henderson