Introduction to Watercolor Painting (Spring)
Working with watercolors can be exciting and dynamic. Though it’s a medium known for it’s challenges, through familiarity and practice it can be harnessed to create beautiful effects: luminous color glazes, an immediacy and sensitivity that parallels drawing, and intuitive fluid and poetic mark making.
We will begin by gaining a sense of familiarity with the watercolors through a variety of exercises and material experiments. Then we will explore the full range of colors through various color charts and lessons on color theory. This will help provide a grounding from which to begin our studies of a handful of artists who were able to master the materials. Master copies and the study of our artists will be an ongoing feature of our class. We will become familiar with the artists and their artworks through extensive study of particular images, as Charlotte Mason would call “picture studies,” and engage in the artistic tradition of copying their work on a regular basis. Partially for this reason we will practice the habit of keeping a sketchbook, where we can take notes, copy artists’ work, do material tests, and make watercolor sketches throughout the duration of the course.
In addition to our studies of art history and great artists, a keen sense of observation about the world around us will be vigorously encouraged. By taking the position of an observer we will show reverence to God by admiring the goodness and beauty of the created world. With patience we will learn to paint from what God has created, applying the principles of composition to frame and organize our images in order to convey our ideas through watercolor paintings.
Join me this semester as we explore the wonderful world of watercolor painting!
Our class time will be comprised of demonstrations, individual instruction, work-time, and class discussion. Students do not need any prior art experience. The class will start simple dealing with foundational principles. Course material will gradually build in complexity. Students will practice thinking like an artist. They will engage in the whole creative process from generating ideas, making intentional decisions with each aspect of their work, and reflecting on what they have made.
Students can also expect ongoing dialogues about art in history, the Christian imagination in relationship to faith and the arts, and the role of the arts in the Church. The hope of the instructor is that through engagement in the class, students will be brought to a deeper appreciation of the visual world and the creative love of its Maker.
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- All Foundations V pre-requisite skills
- Extend Place Value to Include Decimal Places
- Adding and Subtracting Decimals
- Multiply and Divide Multi-Digit Whole Numbers
- Adding and Subtracting Fractions and Mixed Numbers
- Multiplying a Fraction by a Fraction
- Multiplying Mixed Numbers
- Dividing a Fraction by a Whole Number
- Understand Powers and Exponents (mainly squares)
- Multiply Decimals
- Dividing with Two Digit Divisors
- Dividing Decimals by Whole Numbers and Decimals
- Understanding and Using the Coordinate Plane
- Identifying and Graphing Numerical Patterns
- Convert Customary and Metric Units
- Volume of 3D and Composite Figures
- Properties of and Classifying Quadrilaterals
- Identifying and Graphing Numerical Patterns
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
- Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Be able to deductively apply content and previously learned mathematics skills and processes to the understanding of newly introduced content.
Required Course Materials:
Teaching art online is a unique learning experience to navigate. If at all possible, buy the version of supply linked below. I can help students navigate obstacles more effectively when we are all using the same materials. If you have any questions regarding supplies, please feel free to email me.
- Any kind of sketchbook (minimum size 8″x10″): We will use these for exercises and notes. If you already have one that you use, that will do!
- Document camera (such as Ipevo), or equivalent*
- Pencils for drawing
- Kneaded eraser
- At least 2 Micron pens, 005 (link) & 05 (link)
- Bristol board drawing paper pad (link)
- Blue painter’s tape
- Set of watercolor paint (link) and palette** (link)
- Short handled watercolor brushes
- Size 2 round (link)
- Size 6 round (link)
- 1/2” or 1” flat (link)
- OR a set like this (link)
- Water cup
- Watercolor paper pad for studies and final projects (link)
- Rags or paper towels
Optional Course Materials:
- Set of colored pencils
- Drawing board for stretching watercolor paper
- Apron to keep clothing clean
- Small spray bottle
- Masking fluid
- White gouache
Sara Silkwood holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Syracuse University. Sara has several years experience teaching in a variety of areas including college level, church-run camps, Classical schools and privately. She also serves as the fine arts teacher at Valor Preparatory Academy. Currently, Sara works out of her home studio in Waco, Texas where she lives with her great dane-lab mix, Oberon. She spends her free-time backpacking, reading and illustrating her own stories.
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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