One-To-One and Online (Private) Watercolour Tuition with Jem Bowden
I provide one-to-one tuition at my home studio in Crail, Fife, in the great outdoors (also known as ‘en plein air’) OR online, via Zoom.
I find that one-to-one is the best way for most students to learn. I teach people as individuals. I need to discover where you are currently, and where you want to go. The student needs to be honest with me, and I honest with the student, then a lot of progress can be made.
In a one-to-one situation the ability to focus up close on any aspect of painting, and spend as much time as necessary on it, is highly beneficial. In a relaxed atmosphere I can demonstrate techniques – in and out of the context of a painting – at your own pace. We can go off on tangents as we need to, discuss any issue or problem as it arises and resolve it to move onwards and upwards.
You may have an idea of where you’d like to begin, for example with techniques for a specific subject, or maybe it is something more fundamental such as planning, composition, ‘interpretation’, creating impact or controlling the paint that you want to focus on.
Alternatively, I can structure tuition around priorities that I can identify from viewing your work.
It’s always good to start with a chat about your paintings, where they are currently and what you’re aiming for, so that I understand as well as possible how you wish to progress. In order to do this I will need you to send me sample jpegs of your recent paintings, and whenever possible the references they were done from. Ideally ten or more of these, to give me a good idea. If you can send these to me by email in advance of your booked session then that will make best use of your time during the tuition session.
As well as through technique demonstration much of the learning will be through analysis and discussion of your paintings, including in relation to references. Without seeing your references I am very limited. The references alongside your paintings enable us to discuss many things relating to your observations, technical skills, decisions and planning process. Your photos (or sketches) also show your current subject selection and compositional thinking. These are fundamental aspects of creating successful paintings, which we can also work on. We will of course discuss these things together.
We may also refer to the work of other artists, which provide excellent examples of many issues and solutions.
Learning to paint has much to do with awareness of all aspects of the visual world itself, rather than being about techniques of the medium alone.
As lessons progress, we will often move to addressing an entire creative process, where I guide you through subject selection, composition, preparatory thinking & planning, and then through the techniques for each stage of a finished painting. This can be done as pure demonstration or we can paint together.
All of this and more will be based on what we, together, feel will be of most benefit to you. My tuition is entirely geared towards each individual, so no two cases are the same. Please don’t feel you have anything ‘to prove’. You’re coming for advice and help after all and don’t need to try to impress anyone.
ONLINE TUITION – via video meeting / ‘Zoom’
If we cannot meet up in person we can instead do so over the internet.
Using the free software ‘Zoom’ (which you can learn more about and download HERE) in combination with your laptop or PC, we can meet ‘virtually’. This is nowadays surprisingly easy, and the technical requirements are quite minimal. Your internet connection will need to be fairly good but doesn’t usually need to be brilliant.
What you will need
You will need to have a webcam so that I can see you as we chat.
Virtually all laptops have these built in, as do many stand-alone monitors. I can advise a little bit if you would like to discuss this.
As tuition sessions progress you may need a table space to organise your painting materials/equipment alongside your laptop/PC, so that you can see your screen and what I am doing at the same time as you paint.
HOWEVER, during the first session (or even first few sessions) it is usually the case that the student will not actually paint along with me so you won’t need your equipment set up, only to be able to watch and chat.
I have a two-camera set up, so that you will be able to see my board/paper/hand clearly, and also see my face when we’re chatting so it will be as if we are together.
We will also ‘share screen’ whereby we can look at and discuss images, including your work, reference photographs and the work of other artists when helpful. Don’t worry, I handle the technical side of this, though it is in fact simple.
It will be useful during a first session (especially if you are a beginner) if you can have your brushes and other materials to hand, so you can show me them as we discuss materials.
The Zoom software is quite simple to use at the student end of things, and in general I can guide you through this at the time. If you’d like to chat about any of this please feel very free to contact me.
Zoom tuition content
The tuition content will be much the same as studio-based in person tuition, as described in the first paragraphs above. Ultimately it is flexible to the student’s needs. Normally I will need to see a good selection of your recent paintings as a starting point, to be emailed to me as jpegs in advance of a booked session. Please include the painting references (photos you’ve worked from) as well, if possible.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or to make a booking.
I will look forward to meeting you!