Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Art demonstration at Mohave High School

This is a picture of three of the students from the drawing class and their instructor, Ms Walla Nagazi who is second from the right. I am second from the left.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving an art talk and watercolor demonstration to the 7 a.m. drawing class at Mojave High School here in Las Vegas. Ms.Walla Nagazi is the instructor of this class and she is doing a first-class job with these students. I saw many drawings and paintings in the office hall gallery, the art building halls, and in the classroom. There were examples of still-life, portraiture, landscape, interiors and architectural drawings. These drawings showed attention to a full range of values, strong compositional devices, and the willingness to tackle some complex imagery. I was quite impressed.

I had brought along a sketchbook and my pocket palette so I showed the students how easy it is to draw and paint in a sketchbook on a daily basis. Then I talked about “breaking through the picture plane” by composing with diagonals and finally we got into the watercolor painting. I was determined to paint from the initial graphite sketch right through to the finish of the painting because I wanted the students to see it completed in 45 minutes. I kept checking the clock and thinking “Must paint faster!” But we got it done!

There must have been at least 25 students in the class and they were all so considerate. This was one of the most attentive groups I have demonstrated for. Some students brought out more of their artwork after class so I had the chance to talk to a few of them about their individual works. It was gratifying to see many strong examples of personal expression. It must be a pleasure going in to teach every day when you have such a nice group of young people greeting you in the morning.

"Scrub Oak In Red Rock Canyon"
9" x 9" original watercolor
This is the demonstration painting for the class. After I got back to my studio I lifted some of the darks out of the tree with a small bristle fan brush and replaced them with the green malachite color I had used in the shrubs. This was to unify the painting a bit. I then put in more trunks and branches. I also added shrubs in the lower right corner and put in a few grass effects. I'm really happy with how it turned out.


  1. The colors are beautiful and work well together. You've captured that arid look admirably. Lovely composition.

  2. Lisa, this is just beautiful! I am so glad to find a fellow artist in Las Vegas. I,m in Summerlin.

  3. Thanks Jean and Norena!
    I'm glad you like this painting. I love painting the desert and my favorite season for painting in the desert is spring. The yuccas are in bloom by mid-March so I am impatiently waiting for the flower show to begin.


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