Monday, September 15, 2014

Watercolor Pencils & The "Epsilon" Sketchbook

An enormous amount of planning and experimentation goes into producing one of my online classes.  This is especially so when the subject matter is focused on a medium.  

"Watercolor Pencils" is the first class in my new "Water Soluble Series" and it goes live this Thursday.

For the participants, learning about a new medium means exploring a lot of theory and technique, and watercolor pencils have 'a LOT' of theory and technique options.  

My job as the guide in this journey is to try to package it in such a ways that everyone comes away with a whole new set of skills and a whole bunch of confidence.

Watercolor pencils are hugely popular, yet vastly misunderstood, and certainly underestimated.  They combine the techniques of watercolor paint and regular colored pencil, as well as having their own unique set of techniques. 

Yet all of these techniques can be explored in many different ways.

Deciding what to include and what to leave out of my new class on watercolor pencils has been a very big challenge.  

Trying to ensure that there is a range of different applications presented so participants get a taste of the many different ways to use them, as well as a thorough understanding of the basic technique has been a big focus of my preparation.

Every artist uses watercolor pencils in different ways, and every artist who specializes in watercolor pencils has a host of tricks and techniques for getting the best from them.  

I am no different. I have my own unique ways of using them, I have my favorite techniques and my own special style, all of which I offer in this class.  

It's a big class, well over 70 videos filled with technique, theory, exercises, and projects. It will keep participants busy for months to come.

Nonetheless, preparing an online class that covers a lot of ground without being overwhelming to the participants is a delicate balance.  

Cutting out exercises, limiting the focus to specific areas, and producing challenging, yet achievable projects takes a lot of thought and preparation, and I'm never sure if I get it right until the class is delivered.  

I spend a lot of contemplation and planning time locked away with my pencils and sketchbook.  Playing with different processes and trying out different approaches before I start filming.  Before I turn the camera on, many hours have gone into the layout of my lessons.  

It is all consuming and keeps me very focused, to the exclusion of so many other areas of my art.

So, sketchbook pages like this are abundant, and although most of them never see the light of day, the final projects they focus on do.  

Having the right sketchbook and materials is vitally important to this process, so I have built the entire technique and theory components of this class into a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook.  


The "Epsilon" is the perfect substrate for the elegance of watercolor pencils.  It's bright white color shows the pencils in such vibrancy and purity, and the 100lb smooth surface gives them a beautiful path on which to glide.  Plus, the "Epsilon" takes a lot of water and washing so there's no bleed-through or buckling.

I learn so much from this initial testing phase that I become confidant that the quality of my approach to this watercolor pencils will be well reflected in this class.

"Watercolor Pencils" goes live this Thursday and registration is still open.  If you'd like to register, or would like more information on this 6-lesson online class, please click here.

I hope you'll join me in this wonderful online class.

Enjoy your week, and thanks for checking in. xx