Teaching Diary: Part 2, Introduction to Pastel
This year I have taught five drawing and pastel classes at Frederick Community College! Its a dream come true, after many years of wanting to teach art, but not being able to find a job in this field. And it’s been a giant learning curve going from being a perpetual college student to an adjunct art instructor. My hat is off to teachers, you work so hard and your work makes such a difference in the lives of your students! I’m thankful for my many teachers who inspired my love of learning, especially at McDaniel College, and for my best teacher, my father, who introduced me to the world of reading and literature!
But, maybe being a perpetual student can help me be a better teacher because I am always seeking out new knowledge or trying new approaches to teaching art from including art history examples to applying art concepts in small activities such as value scales and color wheels… Every class I learn something new about myself and the areas I need to improve, or I learn something new about art that I can apply to my own work. My students keep me engaged by their passion to learn and their curiosity in learning about art. One of my growing edges has been trying to be brief in my lectures and to only give out small snippets of information so that my students can absorb and apply the concepts I am teaching and not feel overwhelmed. This month, I have been teaching a pastel class that focuses on color theory, and my most favorite thing about art is color, so I love this new teaching series! We’ve been working on concepts such as value, the color wheel, color theory, and how to draw from photos and real-life objects, using gesture and contour drawing techniques.
I have also learned once again how important it is to have a solid foundation in drawing from observation and have been adjusting my teaching lectures to include small nuggets about this important concept. If you want to make realistic art it is most important to work from photos, or from life, setting up objects for still life, hiring a model or painting on location for Plein art painting, (that’s French for painting outdoors, a concept that Impressionist painters made popular in the 19th century). My drawing professor from McDaniel really was right, I should be drawing every day! Here are some of the projects and exercises I have been teaching at Frederick Community College for my pastel art class. Note: Many of these projects are not my original art, and have been copied from art textbooks such as Pastels Made Easy, by Anne Heywood. These projects are for instructional purposes only, and not intended for sale or copyright violation. Thanks for reading!