Sunday, February 28, 2016

Strathmore Free Online Workshops Are Starting Again!

I don't know if you've had the chance to look at Strathmore's free online workshops, but they usually have an interesting variety of options.  Sometimes painting or drawing, sometimes journal-making...always interesting - and always taught by some pretty wonderful artists!  They are go-at-your-own-pace and include discussion groups and a gallery to share your work.This year, the workshops include: 
  • Sketchbook Fury – the Art Ninja’s Guidebook.  Taught by Graham Smith Starting March 7th, 2016.  A 4 video series by Graham ” the paper junkie” Smith: MMA (mixed media artist) Black Belt, illustrator, filmmaker, and nerd – on sketchbook strategy, building drawing skills, developing ideas, and executing finished art.  The workshop will cover: Build Your Dojo, Overcome Fear, Plan the Attack, and Art Battle
  • The Mind of Watercolor.  Taught by Steve Mitchell starting May 2nd, 2016. Watercolor is one of the simplest mediums to use, but it seems to have a mind of its own at times, giving it the reputation of being fussy and unforgiving to work with. In this workshop we get into the mind of watercolor and see what makes it tick. Success with watercolor depends greatly on discovering and anticipating how it reacts in real painting situations. We will cover the basics of getting started and choosing proper materials then applying those basics as we go through the process of producing a landscape painting and a botanical painting from start to finish. We’ll learn how to get better results by setting the ideal conditions for working in watercolor and even letting watercolor do some of the painting for us. Watercolor is such an expressive, fresh and rewarding medium to use. Follow along as we discover how to partner with this excellent medium and let it take us on an exciting painting adventure.
  • Colorful Creation with Marker. Taught by Will Terrell starting September 5th, 2016.  Will Terrell leads you through an introduction to techniques for using markers on different types of paper. In this workshop we’ll learn how to lay down color, build up layers and blend with markers. We’ll also cover what to look for in a paper when using markers and try out a few different options. We’ll focus on a variety of subject matter and look at how to achieve these results with cartoons, people and animals. All levels are welcome to join and follow along as we make colorful creations with marker!
A few tips I learned last year:
  1. The workshops close after the time-period listed (which means the teacher is no longer available to ask questions of), but the videos are available for a long time afterwards (months!).
  1. They always list class materials (which of course include all Strathmore papers)... but nobody is watching you so it's ok if you use what you have (it's just not PC to advertise that you aren't using their papers since you are taking their class... and since you are taking their class for free it is nice to use their products if possible!).
  1. I was able to find the previous year's workshops on Youtube - so you may be able to find more videos there. 
  1. To get the most out of the workshops, you do need to actually show up and do the work.  It is really easy to tell yourself you'll get to it later - but then time runs out and you've lost your opportunity to ask the teacher questions. Getting answers to your questions is one of the best parts of these workshops.  Otherwise you could just watch the videos on YouTube any old time. 
If you end up taking a workshop or 2 or 3, I'd love to hear what you think... you never know - you might see my name listed along side yours on the workshop roster!

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