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Newbies?New-ishbies? - Help please. (and anyone else with good memories)

Discussion in 'Open Bar!' started by Squishy, Feb 15, 2017.


  1. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Hi, hoping you can give me some insight. I am currently watching some how to vids etc - but from the perspective of teaching rather than learning (although I am still learning - it never stops lol) as I hope to be teaching some kids to AB later this year.

    I am trying to remember when I started how helpful the info was. I find my self thinking, would I have known how to just 'do' whatever the instructor was explaining without any experience - I've heard quite a few just build that up/ sharpen up, or soften or use a particular method etc in the things I have been watching. Sometimes there seems to be no explanation why they were doing something, and no reasons for doing things in a certain order. With colour mixing, no why they added that to make the colour they wanted - and lots of that will do I'll adjust as I go and they spray at less opacity or more reduction to make the colour more as they wanted without explaining what they did etc etc, the list goes on.

    I am having difficulty thinking back to how I was, because when I started I was too stupid to look online (yup, one lonely brain cell and its not too smart) and by the time the penny dropped I had already (painfully, and in a much longer time than if I'd had any sense) got to a point where I had some idea of what people meant by the time I started learning from the internet.

    So I'm hoping you guys can help me out. The kids I'm hoping to teach are probably going to be 12, possibly up to 16, and, having experience of working with kids I know I'm going to get a lot of "why" and "what for" etc etc. I want them to have the right info, explained simply and clearly as possible . It would be a massive help if you could let me know if you've watched or seen things that have left you frustrated, and what you wish they would have told you, or given more detail about, explained clearer etc. What things you have found most difficult, to learn or find out about - basically anything you feel you wish you had known earlier, or wish people would be clearer about.

    And those with long memories what were your issues?

    I don't want to rely on videos, but want to put together a foundation course that they can then run with and apply to all the info in the big wide world themselves later on.

    Any thoughts would be most welcome, thank you :D
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  2. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Hmm, I think you may want to decide what you want to base your 1st lesson on. If it is a balloon drifting in the air, or a leaf floating on water, what ever it may be... and then break it down into fundamental steps that will cover the length of tie you want to give lessons... if it is a week, ten days, whatever the project may cover...

    In the very beginning, day one - you can go over with your students the terms you will use throughout the course - terms like reduction, build up, soften, over spray, etc. Remember, your Students will be a blank slate, and just like you are seeing pieces of video's now, that you are saying "hey, wait a minute, why..." they will be asking themselves the same thing every time they see you move. If you break down the vocabulary, and terms that you will use up front, it will give them the language you will be using to teach them.

    It gets more confusing when you try to draw your instruction from more than one source, because they might not all be using the same language in the same way - like watching multiple videos from multiple sources that might be covering the exact same subject -

    Your students are going to be drawing from just one source, at least when with you - so if you explain up front, they will follow you without issue, I am sure. When you get to a point that you may have to correct, or adjust, take a few seconds to explain why, and what the process that follows will be... and then carry on.

    Good luck! You got this!
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  3. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks Dave. that's very helpful. I guess I'm watching different things to try and remember what it feels like to be a clean slate, and as a teacher what I need to include to be clear, and wondering if what they are saying is enough info, or if they are they overcomplicating it etc. Then I can give myself a starting place to build a plan from. The kids I will be getting are those who are likely to have concentration issues, not likely to be able to deal with too much info at once. So I am trying to weed out what I need to make it as clear and simple as poss, and hope that our newbies can remind me some of what that 'need to know' is so that I am not missing something.

    I like the nailing down the vocab aspect, that's a great starting place. I want them to get the brush in their hand as soon as possible to get them hooked (I hope lol) and think I can combine those two things along with the basic strokes quite nicely. My (very) vague plan right now is to have an image - possibly a skull - (nothing like a good cliche) that can be done pretty simply at first, then each week do another small image or partial image applying a new exercise or technique, that they can then apply to the original image, and by the end of the course have a reasonably detailed realistic painting, that shows the progression of what they've learned. I thought of the skull because it is also pretty easy to adapt and individualise with hair, eyes, vampire teeth etc, if they want to take it further.

    Thanks for your input Dave :)

    @Steve McCracken Steve, you are hoping to be teaching kids too I think? Have you had any thoughts as to how you are going to approach it?
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  4. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I've never seen anyone explain it as easy as Mitch, his fun approach made it easy for me to pay attention rather than switch off and look for other vids or instruction, so going through his vids in the order that came would be a good starting place, you already have the benefit of being twice as mental as Mitch and just as humorous, so no problem there, you'll obviously start by explaining equipment and the strokes, while your doing that you can throw a couple of paintings together like Marissa does so you have something for them to try and you'll be able to say what and because they will be copying something you've already done.

    Write yourself a little list or agenda to follow and throw your humour into the mix, they will listen attentively when they know your making it fun for them, I remember stuff from teachers from 45 years ago just because I remember the jokes made along with the lesson, this will reduce the frequency of questions.

    I suppose what I'm saying is not to see it as teaching but instead prompting these kids to teach themselves by allowing them to have while doing something interesting.

    Matches vids are the only vids I have ever watched all the way through, and that's only because his cracks and live of fun kept me glued:)
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  5. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    My memory ain't that great as to what helped me at the beginning but have done community courses with troubled kids for a few years and may have a cple suggestions..The first thing I would suggest is to show them how fun it can be and what you can do with no skill whatsover...I always started them out after a basic this is what an airbrush looks like chat, discussing the different types and the like to then get them at a board and just let them have a play for ten minutes..Also dnt be afraid to take some of your own canvas work to decorate the room a bit you will be teaching in so they can see the potential..After their little play I used to then pull out a skull stencil I'd made up, a three piece stencil, not just something to basic, something that breaks down into showing 3 basic layers, light medium and dark..Also one that would at the end of the first day have each spraying something that looks pretty cool..Engaging them is half the idea and if these kids are a bit troubled or wayward like I used to teach (essentially it was 15 yr old school drop outs that we're bored out of their brains sitting at home all the time..) if ya just drone on for an hr about tech speak or do dots and lines..They'll likely not want to come back..After finishing that cool skull or whatever stencil I then let them know that next week we will be painting the same thing on a TShirt that they can take home..many of my past students still wear those shirts around town a few yrs later :) It gives a sense of accomplishment really quickly and you can hide in there some basic learning..If they come back for a third session, then its time to get into some freehanding aspect, focus more on control etc and projection of a project or predraw one and print it out..to keep it all in an area they understand I used to use the same skull I made a stencil out of as then a basic freehand project as they already understand the layering sequence..This is where you see who has listened the first two weeks lol..Start looking at how those dots and lines come into play, distance etc..Oh and I did always start my sessions with a ten minute dot and line type exercise sheet but also encouraged them to just play with what the airbrush can do and most would draw little eyes,, skulls or mull leaves LOL The idea is many of these kinda kids hate school, hate teachers and allowing them to have a little free reign to experiment normally gets them onside with you..Act the teacher and they may not want to know..Good luck.
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  6. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    all fantastic suggestions above. Rebel has it worked out having been there, done that.

    just remember the basics of any teaching...... Explain what the process is, show the process, let students practice the process. you can do it with each small chunk of info you are delivering.
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  7. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks everyone. Really appreciate all your thoughts. Knew I could count on you guys.

    @Malky, They'll be laughing, at me if not with me lol. Its another thing I'm hoping to put into this, that they have fun, and you're right rebel, they def don't want it to seem like school, even if I'm sneaking in learning lol.

    Lots of food for thought, thanks everyone.
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  8. Steve McCracken

    Steve McCracken Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    I want to add my two cents. As a teacher and a rookie I want kids to be "hands on" immediately. We started without paint and used food coloring to get a feel for the new style. Next, we talked about what we experienced. Each student was very "vocal" about the coolness, but I was impressed with their words. Learning and teaching is a journey for all of us. I swear I learn more that the student - and I don't that to ever change.
    My students now are using paint and are definitely at different levels. I am good with the process. Each child is on a different pace.
    The one thing I have noticed is that there is a "ownership" of their learning.
    Some kids that are definitely a "handful" are the first to get to class to help set up. And the last to leave after clean-up.
    I am probably preaching to the choir - but the learning curve in room 21 is high and frustration is difficult - but the students and their teacher are on a path that is assisted by friends here.
    Thank you all for your encouragement, help and smiles.
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  9. Bosse

    Bosse Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I think you first need to find out what you are going to teach, perhaps a schedule of some sort? After that, by your self, what do you do and why. When you have those parts set then It's time to figure out how to explain what, why and how you do what you are doing. I been teaching kids judo for about 6-7 years time, and it is important to show what wrong also looks like. I think it deepens the understanding no matter what you are teaching. It's though to teach kids but rewarding.
    My 2 cent


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  10. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    As a few of the members will know, i completed a teaching course last year while i was unemployed. In that course I had to put together a lesson plan for a 20 minute lesson which was to airbrush a sphere. None of the students had used one before and they were all adults so the pressure was on PLUS i had to get all the teaching elements onto that 20 minute lesson. It was bloody hard but i managed to get a decent plan done with 3 setups and frantic running around making sure everyone was doing it correctly. I even had an airbrush fail so had to deal with that too. Thankfully i pulled it off and passed and the students also had some work material they could keep to show what they did. I had mixed results some were good some didnt listen and went too dark for example but i only had 20 minutes to work with so i had no time to get them to start again and have another go but you have hopefully a few hours to spend. So Squish write a little plan out for yourself, what your going to do first, how your going to do it etc.

    I am in the same predicament myself, I've been asked to teach a load of cake decorators how to airbrush but im putting it off because im not sure (no confidence) what to teach for my first lesson, what do i teach them, where do i start.. I know exactly what your going through Squish.
    A good friend of mine runs the airbrush academy in Evesham and i think if i asked he would let me sit in on a starter lesson so i could see how and what he teaches although i do know he has included painting a sphere in the past. I will have to push myself very hard to ask but i think i may have to if i want to teach.

    Lee
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  11. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Sorry everyone I realised I waffled on a bit there . Having a bit of self doubt and a little frustration not being able to get any teaching experience despite 6 months of trying to get into my local colleges. Having to do this new job which is terrible isnt helping my self esteem either.

    Squish, Here's a pic of the lesson plan i put together. It might make sense and help you work out how your going to proceed with your lessons.
    Hope it helps, Good luck :)

    2017-02-16.png

    Lee
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  12. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks so much guys. You've hit the nail on the head. I want to get them painting a.s.a.p. I know I will lose them unless I can get them engaged right off the bat. And a plan is def the way to go. I want to keep it relaxed, informal and unschool like - but also make sure I am covering the basics, and providing the correct foundation.

    That's why I am picking all your brains, watching vids etc. Trying to put myself back into newbie mode then I can plan and make sure I include all the 'why's' without overloading with too much unnecessary info, which I know will overload them and switch them off.

    Plus having a plan will make it more likely to be successful applying for a grant if the first class goes well, and maybe register as a charity. I'm not worried about dealing with the kids, although I'm sure clean up time could be interesting lol, but want to be able to give them all the info they need while keeping it fairly casual and not too lessony. I guess the plan is more to keep me on track. Thanks for your example @jord001, I'd forgotten you went into teaching, that's vey helpful. Did you have to do evaluations too? I'm figuring the powers that be will want that, and also the school, so I can see if there's any knock on effect in self esteem, and also persuade them its worthwhile and give me space for free. Hopefully some of this advice is good for you too, I have no idea about cakes, but if you want to throw some ideas around about putting lessons together PM me, maybe we can bounce ideas around. I have faith in you Lee :)

    I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but the longer plan is, to have a small group at first 8 - 10 kids (they'll have to share equipment, hoping to get enough to work in pairs. This is deliberate as these kids for all the attitude have low confidence and it is less intimidating , and they can support each other - it works well in other areas, and I can start up with less equipment) Work with them for a term, then next time hope a couple will be hooked enough to help with the next class, plus build up a little body of work as they go, and at some point maybe have a little exhibition and bully some people into buying them (I know some big hearted bike clubs who would support me, and do a lot of charity stuff) to give a little kickstart towards them buying their own brush.

    Or....

    It might fail dismally. But even if it doesn't run, it will still be worthwhile, I've yet to meet a kid who didn't get some sense of accomplishment creating something. So if its just one class then its still worthwhile,but knowing how addictive this is, I'm not too worried.

    I've got the medium and long term plans more or less set in my mind, I just need to nail the short term/lesson plans. Then start begging for money lol.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  13. Bosse

    Bosse Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    As my qout goes from my mother. "To make your dreams come true, you need to wake up first". Go for it, and if it would go down the drain, you at least gave it what you got and will be some wiser. But to stop just because it could go wrong, that is not right. Trust your gut, go for it and kick some as.


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  14. Steve McCracken

    Steve McCracken Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    You will do great. Relax, and enjoy the process. Imagine the first time you picked up a brush and try to go from there. Kids learn the most from what they "do" not hear, or read.
    You rock.
  15. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks @Steve McCracken, @Bosse, and everyone else who has been so supportive. I'm going to have a good crack at it.
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  16. Bosse

    Bosse Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Just remember, they can smell fear...:evil:
    ;):)lollollol
    You will do great, grow with the task, you also will learn as you go:thumbsup:
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  17. Steve McCracken

    Steve McCracken Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Actually, I have found kids to be very supportive in art when the teacher is introducing new things.
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  18. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Yehhh @Squishy i had to evaluate, and check to see if they learned anything but in 20 minutes theres only so much you can do. You will have loads of time, just ask questions as you go to see if the students have listened and go with the flow. Everything will be fine and you will sail through it.

    Lee
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