How to teach painting to adults?

How to teach Painting to adults? A very big question! How to learn painting? A very complex question! 

To know the answer to these questions, first we have to understand them. 
There are thousands of books available in the market. Many workshops also. A few correspondence courses too. All these things will say, they will make you best within no time. Really is it possible? Any art enthusiast can learn art through these things? Really are there any short cuts? Not only to painting, to any subject are there any short cuts? I don’t think so.

Two Boys                Artist:Magunta Dayakar

 Then what is the right way to learn or teach? It should be simple. After teaching students how to draw, teach them tonal values. Then they know how to create depth to any two dimensional thing. 

Once they know it, Ask them to paint with a single color along with with black and white. Let them use the brushes on their own. Here and there guide them how to handle them. Of course, very little help you have to do.

Mixing colors … Not a big thing. Show them how to mix and tell them how much medium they need to use. Now explain them, all they have to do is, use the brushes like a pencil.

What they did with pencil to create tonal values same they have to do with brushes. No more, No less. Then they start. In between explain them repeatedly how to understand value. Tell them how to lighten the value or how to darken it. Enough. They are able to create a painting with appropriate values. Of course in single color. So what? They did a painting successfully on their own. Along with maintaining values! Is it not great for a student?

In reality how many so called professional artists are able to maintain these values properly? O.K. Coming to the point ..For the student maintaining values in his first painting! Great! Value, which is the key to painting!

Anyway already they learned size, shape and their relations. Now they learned how to use values. That means they crossed a major step. With a little help they crossed a giant step. Every one of my students achieved this.
What is the next step?
 Let them use four or five colors. Ask them to mix the colors on their own for required tones. Explain the nature of things, which they are going to paint. Guide them how to study those things. Push them to work. Do not try to impose your work style on them. Have patience. Let them make  mistakes. Discuss about those mistakes. Again stress the importance of values. Then they will get used to painting.
More than doing painting, they will know how to proceed on to the canvas. This is the key.

By that time they will become confident. Make them do many paintings with different color combinations from the color wheel. Of course different subjects also. In this process students can involve in painting. There will be no confusion for them.

Small Pond  Artist:Magunta Dayakar

When they crossed this, you talk with them about Balance, Perspective. Make it simple. Do not confuse them with so many theories. If you talk theories they will get headache. Remember…They are not professionals like you. They want to enjoy the painting. You have to make them addict to painting, slowly like drugs. Otherwise they will run away from being a painter. Leave the hard part of the rules or technique for their future practice to become a professional. By the time they know what they should learn. Then why you are taking that responsibility?
You are not their employer to tell what they should do. Leave that part for their pleasure.

Once they understood about balance, perspective, brief them about composition and design. Leave the rhythm for their understanding. ‘Search’ is the key. Let them search for the the things. With the understanding what they achieved already, they will be able to find what they needed.

This is the way a student can learn art without much confusion. Of course there are many other ways. But I love this way. I succeeded in this way. My students got involved emotionally in learning painting, through this approach.

Because they are enjoying it, they do paintings like professionals. This inspiration, this confidence can make anybody an artist, if you show them the right path. Talk with them about life. Talk with them about human mind. For an artist it is important to understand the way life moves.

Learning art is not just doing some colorful paintings. It is understanding life. If you understand life you will be able to enjoy it, even in misery. You will help others to understand this great truth.

Becoming a true artist means becoming a selfless person. This modern world need those persons more than any time in the history.

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