I taught my first one day workshop yesterday. I was quite apprehensive about the idea but I spent a great deal of time preparing. Not only did I learn some things myself I made an even more important discovery~~ I actually enjoyed teaching! Drawing upon my early education training at Nazareth before I switched majors to Psychology, I devised a class plan. I knew how much time I had and I broke it down into segments estimating how long each segment would be. It alleviated stress and anxiety. Writing the plan down and reviewing it yesterday morning made it more concrete in my mind. Now my only anxiety was the realization that I would be teaching a room full of my peers!
The workshop topic was not an easy one. It was titled ‘The Dreaded Hand – How to Simplify It’. Quite frankly I was surprised at the number of artists who wanted to take the class in the first place. It sounds like a boring topic doesn’t it? I did not lecture about anatomy but instead chose to show them a segment on an anatomy for artists DVD. After all we as artists are visual people. It was short, concise, visual and gave them enough information. I observed many if not all of the students looking at their own hands, turning them as the model did on the DVD. I had prepared a few other visuals : posters with different methods of simplifying the hand when drawing. These were then hung on a wall in the studio as a guide if they needed it. I had books available with pages noted of wonderful drawings of hands and the different ways in which they could be depicted. I did a demo using a hand cast and found that experience less traumatic than I would have thought. I found I could explain and draw at the same time! That was a revelation! I was hoping I was not the ‘can’t walk and chew gum at the same time’ type!
In the end wonderful work was produced. I actually taught them some things about proportions they didn’t know before and I introduced some to new tools and methods. Much to my glee, feedback was very positive. Phew! Would I teach another class again? You bet. As a matter of fact I have myself lined up to do a two day workshop in early June on pet portraiture.
Here is the fabulous work of my students from ‘The Dreaded Hand-How to Simplify It’.