From in-person to online and mentoring instruction, a studio artist spotlight
Studio artist spotlight
About this time last year, I received an email notification of a new student enrollment in my Basic Perspective course, which I thought was odd and exciting at the same time. Odd because I had not started to promote any of my online courses and exciting because I had a new student. After completing the Basic Perspective Course, my new student Christy continued with my introductory sketching courses “Eggs and a Creamer,” “Teapot and a Creamer,” and “Eggs in a Cup.” I later came to find out that Christy had taken my Drawing Fundamentals in-person course back in 2019 before my art academy had to shut down due to Covid restrictions. I had to apologize to her because I did not remember her taking that in-person course with me. I blame it on the stress of moving the art academy into its new location in September 2019 as well as the overwhelming pressure of having to close the academy down six months later.
Anyway, this post is about Christy’s amazing talent and her journey from in-person class to finding my online courses to now an artist working with me weekly in the Tuesday morning mentoring studio. As you can see above, the three sketches from the completed courses show that Christy has talent and plenty of patience. In January of this year, she asked to join one of my mentoring studios so that she could work on her projects and receive feedback and guidance on her drawings. Below are two of her recent drawings, two dog portraits. I will have to be honest. I was a little worried about having her move from the simple shapes of the three sketching courses to the fur textures, but it looks like my worry was unfounded. She did an outstanding job with the fur textures and laying down the graphite. Look at these drawings!
I am happy to share that Christy continues to take my weekly mentoring studio, where she has moved on to my Basic Color Theory course. I have just finished producing section 1 of the course, where students watch a lecture, “What is Color?” and then complete the first two exercises, “Creating and Painting the Six Primary Color Biased Twelve-Step Color Wheel” and “Creating and Painting the Primaries Inherent Value Scale.” I can’t wait to see Christy’s first still-life painting that I will be doing in section 2 of my Basic Color Theory course.
Christy was kind enough to leave a testimonial about my sketching courses and my online mentoring studio. Here is what she had to say.
In 2019, I found Robert’s studio and jumped right into drawing fundamentals. I loved learning about values and composition using graphite in the studio. But life and work made finding time for drawing difficult, and I left the studio. Fast forward to last summer when I found myself with a lot more time. I immediately searched for Robert’s studio and was led to a link to his new online platform.
I completed Robert’s Basic Perspective and Sketch/Draw pre-recorded courses at my own pace, sending him pictures of my work as I finished. I had not been a student of Robert’s for 3 years, but he was genuinely excited about my progress through the online courses. His critical praise for my drawings helped to build my confidence. But it’s important to note that my artwork was a direct reflection of his precise and thorough instruction - all delivered in his kind and positive voice.
Once I had finished all of the pre-recorded courses, I knew I wanted to keep learning and growing. Robert suggested I join one of his live, online Zoom classes, during which he mentors artists of all levels and mediums. I was very nervous about going live with other, more experienced artists seeing my progress every week. But Robert has created and facilitates a warm, supportive, and instructive environment for us all. His first question to each of us is always “So, how are you feeling about your project this week?” And then his guidance and instruction help us move our art forward from there.
My progression from in-person studio to pre-recorded online to live online instruction with Robert has been seamless in terms of his impact on me as an artist and the work I produce. No matter the platform, Robert the master teacher understands how to meet his students where they are and build their skills and knowledge, while Robert the master artist challenges us to see shapes and understand color and think about every stroke we place on the canvas. Robert has helped me move from being a person who copies images on paper to being an artist who infuses her own vision onto subjects that come to life on a canvas.
For information about my drawing and painting instruction please visit https://learn.rlcaldwell.com/
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