Students in the watercolor class this summer were exposed to different techniques and materials. They learned different additive techniques, such as wet-on-wet, dry brush, and glazing. They experimented with different subtractive techniques, using different tools such as a dry brush, paper towel, and using a magic eraser. They played with different materials, such as rice, salt, oil crayons, and plastic wrap, to create interesting textures.
Students practiced their observational skills by painting flowers, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. They learned how to mix complex colors, and reviewed formal color schemes. They practiced observing light and shadows and were taught how to shade different simple objects using a variety of watercolor techniques. For their final painting, students were encouraged to create a personally meaningful piece of artwork and explore dream imagery. Students could use their imagination and choose what techniques and processes to use in their final work, and their final pieces were very impressive.
During the two week class, students created new friendships, grew as artists, and took chances to create challenging works of art. I’m so proud of all of the students this summer, and truly amazed at their concentration and drive as artists and learners. I hope they all continue to create artwork and use it to slow down, reflect on the world around them, look inward, express themselves, and live in the moment.
This is Molly Sofranko’s eleventh year as an art teacher in the Cedar Rapids District. Molly has taught art at Iowa BIG, Metro Alternative High School STEAM Academy, Washington High School, and McKinley Middle School. She also teaches preservice teachers at Mount Mercy University. Molly’s passions include exploring different materials and learning new techniques. She works in ceramics, mixed media, bookmaking, printmaking, painting, drawing, and dabbles in digital arts.