Sketching and Watercolor with Jane LaFazio

I had the pleasure of spending Sunday with Jane LaFazio and fifteen other students. I have been looking forward to this class since July. As the time drew nearer I started to question my decision to sign up for this class. What was I thinking? Me take a sketch class? However, during the introductions at the beginning of the session, I wasn’t the only one who admitted to being sketching-challenged.

If you’ve never heard of Jane LaFazio, check out her website. She works not only on paper, but makes lovely art with fabric.

Jane doesn’t sketch from pictures – something I have done and thought it was easier – if sketching can be easy. So our first project was to sketch a leaf. We needed some subjects so several of us and Jane went outside and gathered a bunch of leaves. Then she started the demo. She made it look soooo easy!

Jane LaFazio demonstrating sketching
Jane LaFazio demonstrating sketching

We returned to our seats to sketch our leaves.

My maple leaf sketch
My maple leaf sketch

Then to add watercolor.

Jane LaFazio adding watercolor to her sketch
Jane adding watercolor to her sketch

Now let’s see if I can do this!

My maple leaf with watercolor added
My maple leaf with watercolor and shadow added

Throughout the day, Jane came around and looked at our sketches giving suggestions and praise.

Jane giving Annette some advice.
Jane giving Annette some advice.

We did get up and look at each other’s sketches.

Sketching and Watercolor Class
Our classroom

Leslie McCarthy in the teal shirt looks at one of the other student’s work. Leslie is the owner of Making Ends Meet and a very talented artist. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of her art journal. It was absolutely fabulous!

Then we took a break for lunch. Leslie brought in a wonderful salad, cheese ball, and fruit. Oh, I can’t forget those yummy cookies. That was such a treat. We didn’t have to get out on that windy day.

Salad and Sketching
Salad and Sketching at Making Ends Meet

Our next sketch was one of the gourds in the classroom. This was more challenging for me.

More sketching at Making Ends Meet
My second sketch

One of my many problems is I really can’t see the color. One of Jane’s suggestions was to add green to the top of the gourd. When I look at the gourd I only see black. But I added green and I really liked how it turned out.

Here are some of the almost finished sketches from the class. Jane gave us her last suggestions on finishing our pieces. Don’t you just love Leslie’s spools? But then, they all are beautiful.

Samples of some of the sketches from class
Some of the sketches from class

I loved everyone’s sketches. We are all artists after all!

Annette, my desk mate
Annette Deardurff, my desk mate and a fellow Hoosier

What a wonderful class. Jane is a great teacher. Making Ends Meet is also a great place to take classes. Even though it’s several hours away, I’m sure I’ll be going back again.

I had so much fun and it really gave me the confidence to sketch.¬† I learned that even though I seem to have trouble seeing colors, it really doesn’t matter since it’s my interpretation of the subject. I took my pictures to show you what I sketched, but normally I wouldn’t do that. We also aren’t trying to reproduce a photo. I really understand why artists love watercolor. It is so forgiving and the colors are so lovely. And the biggie was start with pencil before using ink. Now to carve out some time to practice what I’ve learned. What a great day away giving me a break from conference planning.