"The quest for beauty requires craftsmanship." Frank Webb

Workshop Formats
© 2000 Nita Leland

Every workshop instructor has a different teaching style, and it's up to students to adapt themselves to that particular format. It's a good idea to ascertain how the workshop will be structured before you sign up. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling through a program that isn't suited to your preferences or needs. Read the brochure description carefully and question the sponsors so you know what to expect. Here are some of the most common variations of the workshop program: workshop demo
  • One of the most common formats is a daily lecture and demonstration of principles to be taught in the workshop, followed by the students' application of the principles in their own work.
  • Another consists of a demonstration of the instructor's painting techniques through the step-by-step process of a complete painting.
  • In some classes students are expected to complete a number of paintings throughout the course.
  • In others the emphasis is on process, where experimental exercises are done and finished paintings aren't the objective.
  • Some workshops are held in studio settings.
  • Other workshops are held outdoors at pre-selected locations. These are sometimes called plein air painting workshops.
  • Some instructors interact a great deal with their students; others tend to be more distant.
  • There are teachers who work on your paintings as part of their teaching method. You'll have to be a good sport. Most instructors don't do this.
  • Group critiques are included in many workshops. Don't be afraid to submit to critique--you'll learn a lot.
  • Individual critiques are sometimes available on request. Ask your instructor for permission before you bring work for individual critique.

If you should find yourself in a workshop you don't feel is right for you, try to make the best of it. You are sure to learn something if you keep an open mind. However, if you feel the workshop was misrepresented in the brochure, you would not be out of line if you point this out to the sponsors.

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