Watercolor time

Suzie Harrison

Gathered by the green lawn and surrounded by displays from some of the

best artists in the world, budding young artists found themselves in a

perfect classroom for learning watercolor.


Each Wednesday through Aug. 21, the festival will host two one-hour

art classes. Working together with Laguna Outreach Community Arts and No

Square Theatre, the program, Youth Art Education Days, offers visual and

performing arts to these young artists with hands-on learning from


professional artists in the medium in which they specialize.

Wednesday Seascape Watercolor was taught by artist Roger Folk, a

festival artist since 1976. The sessions are broken up according to age

with a 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. class for kids ages 5 to 8, and afternoon

session from 1 to 2 p.m. for ages 9 to 12.

Folk stood at the front of the class with his trade tools and easel.

He made sure that the students were ready to get started, and explained

the process step by step.


“Today we are going to paint a dolphin that looks like it is jumping

out of the ocean. We’re not only going to paint but we are going to draw

the dolphin before we paint,” he said.

Getting the class of anxious and excited artists in the proper mode to

begin, he told them that he wanted them to think about the drawing before

they started painting it.

As he made his way around the tables, there was quiet. Each artist was

seemingly in deep contemplation with pencil to paper, beginning the first


step on his or her way to the art world.

Accenting where necessary, using light and dark and the right colors,

the dolphins came to life and jumped of the watercolor sheets. With the

sky painted above and ocean below -- the young artists accomplished the


“It was very fun. I liked the teacher. I learned a lot about

watercolor and how to mix colors, the texture of colors and how to draw a

dolphin,” said student Joanna Stapleton, 11.

They were told to sign their name and how important that step is so

people will recognize that the work is theirs.

“Next time when you are using watercolor you can think about some of

the things I talked about when you practice.”

Afterward the kids got ice cream and enthusiastically shared their

work with their parents.

“We come every year. It’s our fourth year and we love it,” Kathryn

Olsen said.

The classes run through August, teaching wire sculpture next week.

Later the student artists will learn collage and mixed media, acrylic

design, musical theater, architectural Impressionism in watercolor and

pastel study.

The classes are almost completely full. Call the festival for

information to make a reservation at (949) 494-1145 Ext. 229.

Material fee is $5 per class and reservations are required.

The Festival of the Arts is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road.

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

She may be reached at 494-4321.