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Ways to Improve How You Teach Watercolors Class

A young art student works diligently on a paintingMany art teachers find themselves in the position where they teach watercolors to beginners. It’s a worthwhile undertaking, as watercolor painting is a captivating and versatile medium that offers students endless opportunities for creative expression. As teachers seek to enhance their skills in teaching this art form, there are several fundamental strategies they can employ to create engaging and enriching learning experiences for their students.

Online educator courses can help teachers develop these essential skills while earning professional development credit. Fresno Pacific University offers an Art in the Classroom certificate that teachers earn through a combination of courses. One of these courses concentrates on teaching watercolor sketching to students.

For educators, nurturing a love for watercolors while equipping students with the necessary skills can be challenging. Whether you're a seasoned art teacher or just starting, there's always room for improvement.

Skills and Techniques Needed to Teach Watercolors for Beginners

One of the most important ways teachers can improve their teaching of a watercolor course is to embrace experimentation and encourage students to play. Teachers should provide opportunities for students to explore different techniques, such as wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry and dry brushing. They can also allow students to mix colors freely and discover the unique effects they can achieve through layering and blending. By fostering a spirit of curiosity and discovery, teachers inspire students to approach their artwork with confidence and creativity.

Cater to Different Learning Styles

Not all students learn the same way. While some may thrive on detailed instructions, others benefit from a visual approach. Teachers should incorporate various teaching methods into their lessons. They can demonstrate techniques clearly and provide visual aids like diagrams or pre-recorded demonstrations students can reference at their own pace.

Encourage a Positive and Supportive Learning Environment

Teachers should strive to create a positive and supportive learning environment where students feel encouraged to take risks and express themselves. They can celebrate each student's unique talents and perspectives and provide constructive feedback on growth and improvement. By promoting collaboration and peer feedback, teachers also allow students to learn from and support each other in their artistic journey.

Incorporate Cross-Curricular Connections

To help teach watercolors to beginners, teachers can integrate watercolor painting into other areas of the curriculum to create meaningful cross-curricular connections. They can explore themes and topics related to science, history, literature and culture through art, allowing students to make connections between their artwork and other areas of study.

Demonstrate Techniques and Provide Guided Practice

Teachers help students develop their skills and confidence in using this medium by demonstrating watercolor techniques and providing guided practice. Teachers should learn how to explain complex methods effectively and clearly in step-by-step demonstrations. Art teachers also help students by giving them ample time to practice and experiment with each technique, as well as offering individualized support and feedback.

Teachers should also allow students to reflect on their work and evaluate their progress. It’s helpful to allow students to discuss their work with others, giving and receiving feedback. Most importantly, they should have the chance to celebrate their achievements.

The Importance of Continuing Education for Art Teachers

It is essential for teachers to stay inspired, learn and grow as artists and educators. Teachers should seek opportunities for professional development in watercolor painting, whether through workshops or online courses. This helps them connect with other art educators and artists, sharing ideas and inspiration to keep their teaching practice fresh and dynamic.

Fresno Pacific University offers a Watercolor Sketching for Students course that allows teachers to earn professional development credits while expanding their knowledge and skills through a convenient online course. Teachers learn about the history of outdoor painting through the impressionist movement and its lasting influence in the art world.  They develop visual skills of seeing perspective and proportion in the environment and making connections to mathematics.

They also learn techniques for using the watercolor medium with a variety of brushes and tools and the terminology associated with those techniques. They also learn to develop classroom lessons that address specific national visual art standards.

By learning advanced skills in how to teach watercolors to beginners, educators can create engaging and enriching learning experiences that inspire creativity and foster a lifelong love of art in their students.

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