A really long time ago, in my fine jewelry days, when I was a young pup....a customer asked me a question I could not answer. I didn't know. Blank stare. The next morning, I enrolled in the Graduate Gemologist program at GIA. I couldn't stand not knowing something....and therefore I felt I needed to know e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Boom. Diplomas.
A similar "thing" happens to me when I make anything. Everything. I need to know how anything I do effects everything I am making... Fast forward to my time with paint.
I've only taken a couple of classes that were not with Chris Cozen.. those classes left my thirst for knowledge empty...and I don't think that the majority of the instructors understood that if they were telling me how to do something, that in order for me to do it, I needed to know WHY I was doing that or using this.... still with me? (Chris Cozen and I are very similar in our quest for understanding. We found that out when we met each other.)
That may not be how you process information, but it is how I do. I needed to know every technical attribute to the mediums and paints I was using...so I knew what to do with them. And I need to PRACTICE with them... a lot. When I first started painting, I made over 100 journal pages (and we're not talking 100 in one day...we're talking over the course of several months) in order to learn how to use paint. Once I was more comfortable with the paint, I moved into canvases and other projects..... I hardly ever journal any more.
When Chris and I started teaching together, we developed one gem of a course. That course is called, "Color: Beyond the Basics." This is no way a class on color theory..it's a class designed to teach you about YOUR paints, mediums and several exercises to help you understand what they can do for you. Once you have built that relationship with your art supplies, I suspect the following will happen to you: You will spend less money on art supplies because you will know what everything does for you and when Hot Pants new artist tells you something you "have to have", the lightbulb will come on and you will know of something you already own that will achieve the same purpose. Plus, You will have "Artist Confidence"... if you practice the work we give you, things will only get easier. It's true!
This is the true gem of online workshops that Chris and I recommend to every artist.. Yes, the remainder of our workshops can also be for true beginners...but we both agree that this class (click here to learn more) is the natural starting point for everyone.
People ask me over and over how to paint....this is it. Learn everything...practice everything... you can do it.
What do you think? What's your learning process like?