• Karen Welch-Smith



CLASS DATES FOR 2021-2022:

Classes Begin: September 17th

Last Class of 2021: December 10th

First Class of 2022: January 14th

Last Class/Art Show Week: April 1st

No Classes

Friday October 8th

February Break Week


4:30pm - Octopi are complete. They will be removing the tape next week. I could do it - but they all really enjoy this part! Also, before class ended they did some preparatory work for next weeks class. They know I am up to something, as I have told them they will be painting over their efforts with black paint 😳😳😳

Sketchbook Assignment: Your Christmas tree - or the one at school or one from Google, whichever works for your family!

5:45pm - This evening we just added a little more detail to the fall forest. They used their knowledge of Chinese characters...Hanzi? to paint the tops of pine trees 😊

Artist of the Week:

Sketchbook Assignment: - Three snowmen from different viewpoints

November 26th

4:30 - Octopi are almost complete, colour is being applied to the octopus, and we have some very colourful suckers on the tentacles!

5:45 - Fall forests are almost done - a few quick touch ups and the tape will come off!

This weeks Artist of the Week: Pepper applied the new brush techniques to her painting and showed that she was able to manage the pressure used.

7:30 - Just a couple of us here tonight - so the pressure was on 😉. The students are working at the hardest part - pushing the values and going for larked values than they think is necessary. This requires a lot of trust in the process.

November 19th

4:30pm - Each student has painted a beautiful blue-green ocean with a few bubbles, just for fun!

Sketchbook Assignment: Something that has, is or makes bubbles.


5:45pm - Artist of the Week - first reveal! Look at those trees and shadows!

This week students painted the bark markings on the birch trees.

Sketchbook Assignment: Draw a portrait of themselves as a Pokemon or other cartoon/animated character.

7:30pm - This week the students found themselves caught in periods of frustration and procrastination, but worked through it pushing their focus to end the class with work that is close to completion. We finished up with a quick critique, as an opportunity to hear what others have to say about their work (because after a while they need to hear it from peers and not me). It's a great confidence booster.


November 12th

4:30pm - This week, the students painted. Lots of skills were at play here as they learned paint management, brush strokes and a painting technique that is reminiscent of the impressionistic painters, while painting carefully in small spaces.

Sketchbook Assignment: D

November 12th

4:30pm - This week, the students painted. Lots of skills were at play here as they learned paint management, brush strokes and a painting technique that is reminiscent of the impressionistic painters, while painting carefully in small spaces.

Sketchbook Assignment: Draw something made of snow, that's not usually made from snow. A chance to get creative!


5:45pm class - The forest paintings this evening needed a new painting technique to create grassy brushstrokes, shadows were also added.

Sketchbook Assignment: The best toy store ever! A chance to get creative and let the imagination run wild!


7:30pm Class - The portrait drawings are getting some closer inspections, corrections are being made and observations of deeper values and how they affect the process are happening.

November 5th

4:30pm - A new project this week, and they were practicing drawing an octopus, they did some close observation work first and we have begun to draw the octopus and ready to start painting next week.

Sketchbook Assignment: Sea creatures! Draw me some.


5:45pm class - We're working on a fall forest and this evening the trees were revealed and we worked on painting shadows along the tree trunks.

Sketchbook Assignment: Houses! Draw the house across the street (or behind your house, Jason), Your own house and a house you see that you love (and this one can be googled "interesting house" or something like that should do it.


7:30pm Class - The portrait drawings are working really well, there's lots of close looking happening and they are all doing a great job at observing and applying what they see to their work. I think next week we will see some of these be close to completion.

October 15th

4:30pm - I may have slipped and mentioned what we are creating with this project - but I was talking so fast, I think they may have missed it.

Sketchbook Assignment: Draw 5 Angry Bird style faces, but if the angry birds are two angry, look at cartoon bird faces.

5:45pm class - Students discovered they had been using watercolour pencils and this evening applied water to their drawings. A new project has begun. Green table has been adhered to the paper and the guessing has begun.

Sketchbook Assignment: Draw 4 different trees, looking at the trunks and the branches - no triangle trees!

7:30pm Class - The portrait drawing has begun! Right now students are working on the sketch before adding in the values. Everyone has opted to use pencil

October 1st

Firstly, can you test your students? Please ask them, or wonder out loud, if there is class next Friday and see what they say. I'd be interested to know 😊 You can comment their reply to this blog post - or message me.

Lots of drawing skills have been happening this week across all the classes:

The youngest students this evening started a new project. They have no idea what I am up to. They were drawing egg shapes along a grey line and then weird triangle shapes below the line. They used oil pastels to draw and the colour choices were grouped into either warm or cool.

Sketchbook Assignment: Draw 5 things that are warm colours.


The 5:45pm group of students revisited continuous line drawing again this evening, and I have to say the resulting drawings were all very impressive. The Zoomer's got a pretty tricky Rhino and in studio there was a frog and a walrus happening.

Sketchbook Assignment: Two continuous line drawings of things that are living and have legs -- something human or a pet.


The older students in the 7:30pm class were also working on continuous line, with expression in blind contour drawings which do require a lot of faith in the process. Blind contour is an exercise in seeing - or as I often say "good looking" and using your eye balls! Although every student was not impressed with their resulting blind contour drawings, they are all quite lovely. I'll get them up on Artsonia as soon as I can.

Sketchbook Assignments: oops, there's two!

#1: A photo reference for next class. I have strongly suggest a face with character, as these are often easier and make for more interesting pieces rather than a young stylized model/magazine face. Information about photo references, the website I recommend, it's format and what to do if they do not have access to printer or a tablet are all included in another blog post called "photo references".

#2: I have asked that they try doing a blind contour drawing a day. It's good for their eyeballs and rendering skills.


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