Arte Laine
Elaine L Hughes - Fine Art


(posted on 26 Apr 2020)


Well Covid-19 has certainly disrupted galleries, workshops, openings, shows, studios, exhibits and artists practices and sales. Thankfully, with modern technology a lot of shows are being mounted online and even workshops are going virtual!

For teaching or taking workshops, one option is to offer classes online. Not just doing videos, but actually live, interactive sessions with students. I just took a class on Zoom and it was really good. The instructor hadn't done it before but she was really happy with it, and has already scheduled more. All the students really liked it too. We had two, three hour sessions. The instructor had a camera on her face (smartphone) and one on her palette/paper (webcam I think). There was a moderator who set up the sessions and sat in so she could keep track of time (eg, for a bathroom break in the middle), switch views from the palette to students (eg, so we could hold up our work in progress for the instructor to comment), deal with technical problems (eg, muting mics). I think this was vital. There were 15 students, and a supporting Facebook page for people to post their finished work and get critiques from the instructor.



This is the gallery view of the session. From here, the moderator can get everyone to switch to a closeup view, either of the instructor (Keiko Tanabe, up top) or to her palette (top left) or to an individual student who has a question or wants a critique. Here we were all holding up our pieces for a group shot :) The moderator (Jackie) at the bottom was hosting the session and did all the organizing and technical work for the instructor. Students need a camera and mic on a phone, tablet, laptop or PC.



Here is what the session looks like when everyone switches to the alternative view. The moderator then picks which frame shows as the enlarged part of the view. Here the instructor's palette and paper is shown, together with the drawing that she is working on. Remember this is all live so she is talking and explaining as she demos. Here she has inserted a colour chart into our view in order to explain her palette.



The instructor also had various "slides" or diagrams that she used, similar to having a power point or whiteboard available, that she could simply put into view when she wanted to explain something. Here is her process shot.



On a reasonably sized screen, the zoomed in view of her palette and paper allowed us to clearly see what she was doing, possibly better than one can usually see at a demo. Her own tablet with her reference photo was just to the left but she brought it into the view when she wanted to point out something to us. Up top you get the view from the students' cameras and the moderator can bring up into the main screen the camera and sound of anyone who wants to hold up their work for the instructor, which we did in turns a couple of times each session for feedback. The instructor would demo a bit, we'd work a bit, then she'd demo some more. She worked fast and we did two paintings. Our work was finished outside class and posted on a private FB group for critique.

For this session both the Zoom session and the FB group were super well organized by French Escapades. Check out their website for more virtual art workshops, and Keiko's webpage for more of her virtual workshops, both with them and other organizations.


Here is one of the paintings that I did during the session:


Oh Deer! Where Have All The People Gone?

Elaine Hughes

Watercolour on paper, 15 x 11