Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Just recently I have  -
given a critique of someone's painting on their blog
learned something from a blog post.

My critique was  in response to a post on Katharine Harra's blog where she asked about her painting "is it too wishy-washy?"  I thought the weakness I saw in the painting was important to point out.  Katherine thought my comment was helpful and she made the change suggested.  Here are the two links to the first painting  and the second.

While I'm blessed to have some very good art friends (and a husband and daughter!) who are not afraid to tell me what my paintings need when I get stumped, some artists work in more solitary settings and don't have this dynamic.   My artist friends all have a "good eye" and my husband and daughter represent "John Q. Public", looking at my paintings through the eyes of most people.

Katherine raised a good point in her second blog post (above) - most comments on the blogs are happy little compliments.  I'm guilty of this, myself - since I don't know you personally and don't want to offend you, I'll offer up a positive comment, nothing more.  Katherine said she does welcome suggestions - as do I - so maybe we blog commenters should think about that more and offer our suggestions (in a positive way!).  We can all help each other learn . . .

. . .  just as I did from a recent post on Jeannette Jobson's blog.

This one simple post will help me work toward my goal of becoming a better "draw-er".  I rely too heavily on my photos and tracing and have let my drawing skills lag.  In order to remedy this situation I recently took a drawing "class".

Well, it looked a lot better on paper than it was in reality.  There was obviously no cohesive teaching plan, we were all over the place with no clear roadmap to follow - from a very simple beginning drawing to portraits!  Then back to shapes, then on to something hanging on the wall with the directive "draw that".  While I'm sure the instructor does know her stuff, and she's probably a very nice person, she just wasn't an able teacher.

Now I'm back to books and trying to create my own syllabus - so I really found Jeannette's post about "how to start" a drawing more helpful than she will know!  Begin at the beginning - and move on from there.

I hope we all can learn something from blogs!  And not be afraid to offer advice.


Katherine Harra said...

Deb, thanks for the 'reference'!. I just read Jeanette's blog and have added her to those I follow: how useful her information is, I agree. I always learn something from your blog, too, even when you haven't actually tried to teach it. Thanks for being there.

Kim Shirley said...

I'm so glad you did this blog post. You're SO right.... blogs are a great way to learn something new, or to bring you to a realization... I tend to rely heavily on my photos than from drawing in real life and my life drawing skills sure have suffered. It's something I think about working on but it's always one of those, "oh I'll do it tomorrow" thoughts.
So reading this really made me realize how important it is to sharpen the saw, so to speak.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

debwardart said...

Thanks Katherine for that compliment! You really can learn a lot from blogs just by looking!
Kim - I'm kind of on that "I'll do it tomorrow" too. I promise myself that I'll take the time to draw, but so many other things keep interrupting. But in my mind it's my 2014 goal - so we shall see how miserably I fail!

Gaylynn said...

I have always appreciated and learned from your comments and tips. However, I am horrible about giving my own 2 cents. I am a great cheerleader �� Also, I am guilty of reading and not commenting. I will try to do better.

debwardart said...

Gaylynn, so good to hear from you!

Jeanette Jobson said...

Deb, thank you. I'm happy that the drawing post was useful for you.

Drawing was my area of concentration when learning art and now my comfort zone. It was drilled into me through old school artists and we weren't even allowed to touch colour until we could draw well.

I can never tell people enough that learning to draw and keeping up those skills is vital to making your art your own.