There’s nothing like an art class to strengthen the bond of friendship. In that spirit, my friend Sara and I made plans to take an art class together, eventually landing on “Adult Finger Painting” through Robbinsdale Community Education.
Finger painting conjures up images of stick figures and really basic shapes, but grown-ups have taken it up a notch making it all the rage in their adult circles. After spending a couple hours with our star instructor Kris Holtmeyer, I must admit that I’m totally on the finger-painting bandwagon, too! Here are just a few of the lessons I learned from trying my hand—including my fingers, of course—at it:
Draw upside down – I’ve heard of this being done, but I don’t recall ever doing it myself. I chose to use a photo of a bird as my model, but I fear my drawing would have hardly resembled a bird had I tried to actually draw a bird. By turning the photo and my drawing upside down and dissecting it into quadrants of basic shapes, the finished product turned out okay.
Find the tool that works for you – Kris brought a grand collection of acrylic paints and latex gloves—that’s all a finger painter needs to put a concept to canvas. But she seemed to know that some of us would gravitate toward other tools beyond our fingers. Though I depended on mine for the background, it felt more natural to add thicker textures with a palette knife.
Fall in love with white – I heard it over and over again in the instructor’s critiques of our work: try adding white, use more white, fall in love with white! And what a miraculous “color” it is indeed! White created light, depth, contrast, etc. Kris suggested that no one needs more than four colors in his or her paint collection: the primaries of red, yellow and blue, as well as the biggest tube of white one can find.
With other art classes, I’ve often left feeling defeated and not at all impressed with what I take home as a finished product. Add to that the bill of supplies, and I get especially woeful. But this finger painting class was altogether different. I’m eager to keep at it!