Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Portrait Workshop Recap!

This was my demo. :) Didn't get very far.
watercolor work in progress 10" x 14"

Well, the portrait class is over and it went very well! Thanks for all the good luck wishes and tips you guys gave me, it helped a lot!

I decided to paint a step by step and stop in between each step so that everyone could follow along on their own paintings. I had every one use the same photo reference because I thought this might be a more effective way to show my techniques in such a limited time period (it was only three hours) instead of everyone painting something different. I think it worked out pretty well. 

me painting the demo
(thanks so much to Patricia Christensen for sending me these photos of the class! I brought my camera only to realize I had left the battery at home. D-oh!!) 

I was so nervous for this class. I have never really taught painting before, I've given a few demonstrations, but never actually taught so I was worried that I would be very incoherent about how to actually use my techniques.

This is what I was afraid would happen:

Student: "So how exactly do you do that??"

Me: "You just, sort of , like, put paint on your brush and then kinda move it around the paper. . . "

Me again. :) And some lovely, wonderful, talented students. :))

Everyone was so great, really passionate about watercolor, with lots of talent, and willing to learn whatever I had to share with them. They were a very cool group. I mean, they even laughed at my lame jokes! :)

Here they are hard at work.

And more of the class! I was really excited because fellow Utah Daily Painter and blogger Patricia Christensen was there! (That's her in the blue shirt in the back) I instantly felt more at ease knowing I had a friend there. :)

And here's the whole class. Except for the two men who somehow managed to slip away when we announced 'Group Picture'. Next time Mike and David, next time!

It was a lot of fun and a great experience. Teaching this class really helped me understand why and how I paint the way I do, and also how to articulate that for others to understand (hopefully!). And it's been good practice for that how-to portrait book I've been thinking about doing. 

I think the class had a good time too because they asked me to come back. Huzzah!

Until Thursday my friends. Have a great week! :)

P.S. I talk a lot on this blog about being true to yourself as an artist and painting what you love so I thought I'd direct your attention to two fantastic posts that I read in the last week about the very same thing.

Sandra wrote a beautiful post that you just must read. If you don't know Sandra hurry on over there because she is not only a truly talented artist, but one of the loveliest and kind hearted people in the world. Literally. :)

And the always inspiring Carol Marine wrote about how she feels about her most recent project. Inspiring stuff for sure.

K, bye for reals now. :)


  1. The workshop was wonderful & most enjoyable - totally out of my impulsive, impressionistic comfort zone. A great exercise in discipline for me! And, Crystal, you should totally do a book! Thank you for a great morning!

  2. Congratulations on your first workshop Crystal :)

  3. I wish I still lived in Utah so I could have attented your class. I had to laugh at parts of this post. You really do have a great way of expressing yourself in words.

  4. Man!! I wish I lived closer to you! I would love to take one of your workshops :)

  5. Oh Crystal - you are SO kind! I am actually blushing! Thank you for your lovely link :0D
    And pleeeeeease write a 'How To' book! I definitely want to buy that! - signed of course ;0p
    If only you didn't live across the pond then I would have been at your workshop. It sounds like it was a huge success! I'd love to see some of the results that your students came up with. I really enjoyed the photographs too :0)

  6. Crystal, Congratulations!!! Oh, how I wish I could have been there. I'm sure it was fabulous!

  7. You know what??? I just loved going through this post.. Well that is nothing new.. But still.. yet again. :)
    I loved the pics. By the way you look really good in your baggy kinda jeans. :)

  8. Huzzah! You will fall into teaching mode so easily the next time. I bet it was a great class.

  9. It would be challenging to actually break down the specifics of how you get from point zero to completion. Bet you did great, enjoyed reading about the workshop from your perspective, will have to check out what your students said :-)
    The hat looks great on you by the way!

  10. I was so worried about the same thing when I taught my first class to adults this last month. I was certain I'd get up there and say you just, you know, paint. Glad it went well for you! Wish I could take your class!!

  11. Congratulations! Looks like it was a success :) I hear it is hardest the first time - so its only down hill from now on! Best wishes for many more to come !

  12. Congratulations..you got a good crwow..your work is lovely

  13. Congratulations on your first workshop!!! I only wish I lived close to join in...

  14. Crystal, congradulations on being a star with your first workshop! That is fantastic! And of course, your painting looks so good already. Huzzah!!!

  15. Je vous félicite ma chère... Comme il a du être bon de participer à un tel atelier...
    Une publication très intéressante, merci...
    gros bisous

  16. Well done Crystal. Its a great joy to pass on ones talent and techniques to other artists and it sounds a brilliant class.

  17. oh my! how wonderful for you and for the students that attended! it looks like it was a great time and i'm sure you were just wonderful! and i look forward to the portrait how-to...that would be just wonderful. you are so brave, trying new things, such an inspiration!

  18. So VERY proud of you, and congrats on your workshop. LOVE the hat, and you're just radiant....it suits you well. Go for it girl! You deserve nothing but the best....rattle on in the blog, we love it and learn from you...thanks for sharing.

  19. Congrats on what I hope is the first of many workshops :) Huzzah!

  20. How did I miss this post? You look so cute in your hat! Love it! Wish I lived closer because it looks like so much fun. I'd love to see you in action and learn how to make watercolours glow ; ) You had a huge turnout - I'm glad it was such a success. Of course they want to come back! Off to read the posts you linked...

  21. How wonderful!. Thanks for sharing these special moments. I would have liked to be among the students, they are very lucky, but I am content to look at the pictures and enjoy your comments.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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