NEW! Basics of Oil Painting

Course Instructor


Course Information

Emphasis is placed on basic painting techniques, color mixing and composition and depiction of light and shadow. Students will do step-by-step paintings on canvas suitable for beginners as well as students with more experience. Water-mixable oils will be used for those who are sensitive to solvents.  Supplies will be provided.

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What is unique about this class is the emphasis put on special techniques and special effects used in watercolor painting. An understanding of special effects is a great tool for any artist to have in their “toolbox” of skills, and this class is designed to teach these special effects to beginners.

These effects include creating texture to paintings using sponges, towels, rags, and other materials, which make a “mottled” look, using both wet and dry technique. Layering will be explored to create a natural look for rocks, forest floors, shadows from houses and other objects. Other material will be used to develop other special effects, such as string, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil, to create random texture and geometric figures.

In addition to learning special effects, the course also covers basic instruction in watercolor painting. Students in this class learn the fundamentals of watercolor, including all the information students need to learn about the materials they’ll be using. Instructor Sharon Squibb will take students through a tutorial on what brushes to use and their qualities, including the best tools for beginners. Students will also explore different formats of paper and its qualities, and how to work paper to avoid warping.

Throughout the class, Squibb will take students through creating washes and making defining lines, fading edges, how to mix pigment and water, brush strokes, and more techniques which allow students to begin creating a basic work on their very first day. Many of the special effects are created over these general washes, so it is important that students learn all of these fundamentals. As the class progresses, students will learn how to develop texture, shapes, and depth so they can begin painting pieces with their own special effects and techniques, creating unique works of art.

By the end of the course, students will have created several of their own works, one of which will be chosen for display during the Student Art Exhibition at the McKinney Center, an event open to the public at the end of the term.

The class is designed and taught by Sharon Squibb, and is specifically designed for older students. The weekly projects build on the prior week’s skills, allowing students to advance at their own pace and skill level. Sharon’s expertise as a working artist-teacher allows her to meet each student where they are on their artistic learning journey, and the small class size allows her to give individual attention to each student.

Sharon Squib’s creativity and artistry is known far and wide. She is a founding faculty member of the McKinney Center and an accomplished artist, book editor, actress, and teacher. Sharon spent a decade in New York as a non-fiction and art book editor for Random House and other publishing companies. While in New York, she co-wrote and performed two shows as a singer in a New York cabaret (Don’t Tell Mama) in the 1990s. Since moving back to Jonesborough, Sharon has appeared regularly on the stage of the Jonesborough Repertory Theater, and her art work has appeared in numerous art shows to include the Jonesborough Juried Art Exhibition and the East Tennessee Foundation’s Women’s Fund Art Show. Sharon teaches art at University High School. Her vast experiences give her the ability to work with students at any stage of development, and help them develop their skills with individual care.

At the end of the class you will have created several of your own works and you will choose one or two pieces to place in the student art show that is usually held the first Thursday in December for fall classes or the second Thursday in May for spring classes. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate the dedication and hard work experienced during the class. It is also a time to showcase the masterpieces to family and friends.

Adventures in Watercolors usually takes place in the fall of the year. Please review the most current class catalog for specific detail and always feel free to call the McKinney Center to discuss what class is best suited for you.

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The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School is a multi-use facility providing arts education through Jonesborough's Mary B. Martin Program.


Phone: 423.753.0562

103 Franklin Ave.
Jonesborough, TN 37659