By all means take notes during a workshop, especially if something the tutor says really strikes a chord with you, but don’t do it at the expense of really looking at “how” the tutor is painting. Otherwise you will miss important information which you’ll regret.
Tutors usually will give some critiques of your work as you go along. If you are lucky the tutor will be happy to critique work you’ve done prior to the workshop. I have found this to be very beneficial but before you go and start taking paintings out of frames so you can take them to your workshop, first make sure your tutor will be happy to provide you with a critique!
After the workshop
In my early days of painting with watercolor I once attended a workshop, that I did very well at, but found after I got home, my work actually went backwards for a couple of months. It was only after I realized that I had tried too hard to change my style to that of my tutors rather than just taking the bits I learned that suited me and left the rest. When I realized this my work immediately took off. I went back to my core style but added the bits from the workshop that worked for me and I never looked back. I haven’t run into this problem again since spotting it.
Don’t take it too seriously!
You should have fun at these workshops.
Remember if you concentrate on learning then your skill will continue to improve after the workshop is long over. Why not enjoy your time during the course and if something goes wrong don’t get too fussed but just go on with the rest of the workshop. If you are doing a full week workshop, there will be highs and lows. You can’t help this, just take this extra knowledge and move on. The more you paint the more success you’ll have, you will however have a lot of failures along the way, that is life, but these failures are also beneficial, if you make sure you learn from them!
A positive attitude is vital if you are going to enjoy your time at a watercolor workshop!
So enjoy the watercolor painting you do at the workshop. Don’t dwell on paintings that didn’t work out and acknowledge what went right and what you have learnt. Enjoy your new friendships with fellow students. With this attitude you should get the most out of your course and be happy to attend more workshops in the future.
I hope this information is of some value to you.