Searching for Baby Bear

I’ve been searching to find the right watercolour tutor on line, but I just don’t seem to be able to choose someone who has a course that feels right for me. I’ve felt rather like Goldilocks; I like the way one tutor teaches, but I don’t like the techniques they use: I like the techniques a tutor uses, but I don’t like their style of painting: I like a tutor’s painting style, but the way they teach annoys the heck out of me.

What’s to do when you realise you turned up at the three bears house, but baby bear has left home and took his comfy bed, comfy chair and porridge with him?

My answer was experiment and find out what I really wanted.

Last time I shared my painting I showed you these…

They were part of my experiment. The pear on the left – painted wety on dry – was everyone’s favourite. It was also the picture I liked best too. However I enjoyed painting theΒ  other one more – painted wet on wet – but to be happy with the result I should have added more detail/texture wet on dry.

So the conclusion to my experiment was that maybe I need two tutors – one who focuses on detail – wet on dry – and one who works wet on wet. That way I can learn tricks from both then use what I want from each.

And having just decided all that, I found Kristi Arzola. She felt like the perfect Baby Bear; using mostly wet on wet, but adding details wet on dry after. Unfortunately she only has a few tutorials on offer, but one was a very generous free and well taught tutorial painting an orange poppy.


My picture’s far from perfect and I should have been braver with my tonal values and adding more detail, but I’m still very pleased with it. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but I still think I’ll need to follow my two tutor plan.

Stay safe.

Until next time,



14 thoughts on “Searching for Baby Bear

  1. have you tried skillshare? I have a link you can use to gain free access to the premium level. I signed up purely for one jewellery tutor (who I spent two days with a few years ago for a personal bootcamp) and I know that there are lots of art classes there. It’s really easy to cancel membership. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go. There are a huge range of teaching styles to choose from.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a good teacher is key but only you know what constitutes a good teacher for you so doing some ‘shopping around’ is a good thing.
    I am happy with my needle felting teacher’s skills and tuition but I think she might give a bit more constructive criticism instead of erring on the side of relentless encouragement. I do think, however, as the course is online – albeit in a closed group – she has to be careful how far to go with critiques.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are lots of different ways to be a good teacher and, as you say, what suits one doesn’t suit another.
      Could you could ask your teacher privately to be a bit harder on you? I can understand her reluctance, particularly as it’s on line, so she doesn’t get body language cues. Some people are also very bad at taking criticism and one bad review can be the death of you on line. I think I’d be over encouraging if i were here too.


      1. Yes, I completely understand why she does it and, after all, everybody is at different levels and abilities and needs encouragement. It just devalues the praise you get a bit when she says exactly the same thing to everybody, good or bad. The best thing is to have a good idea of what you’re aiming for and you will know when you’ve reached that goal and can congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come.

        Liked by 1 person

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