Well..........It's been interesting. I've been drawing and sketching since as far back as I can recall. I did one pastel portrait that turned out really nice first time I played with that medium. And took an oil painting class with my sis right out of hs where the instructor painting the example, and we did what she did. lol So basically, this is my first time painting. This guy does not show you what to do. He offers suggestions and gives very vague instructions. Which I've discovered isn't very helpful when you've never 1. attempted anything in color and 2. never worked with paints before. My first painting is an otter resting on a log. I wasn't allowed to trace the image onto the canvas because I'm also in his drawing class. So, I managed to sketch the otter onto the paper and get it right. (when he saw me just sitting there staring at it, he gave me some very helpful tips on how to do this) Then he set me loose to paint the darn thing. Three wks in and I think Darrin could do a better job. I'm not good at mixing paint. Period. Obviously this takes ALOT of practice. Plus I'm trying hard not to make those lines I drew totally disappear so I know what I'm doing. Instructor says I'm doing wonderfully and not to worry. Ok bud. Your the instructor and big shot artist. Last week and this week I've been working on his fur. Oh, this is an adventure! Layer after layer of paint with an itty bitty brush. Takes forever. And he still doesn't look quite right, although better than before. Tonight I get started early because I'm behind everyone else. Yes, leave it to me to pick the hardest thing possible to try to do the first time. I found out just how much harder it is when the other students in the more advanced classes kept commenting on it. Sigh So I'm working hard on layering my fur. I'm starting to get the hang of it. (finally!) And this elderly gentleman, I'll call him Frank, sat down to paint next to me. Frank is in the very advanced class. OMG his paintings are fabulous!!! Frank leans over to see what I'm painting and says, "My you've picked a hard one to do!" I agreed and told him it was also my first painting. He told me he thought I was doing a wonderful job. Which made me feel good coming from him. So I keep painting. Determined to get that darned fur done once and for all. Hours people. And all the while...........as he was painting a gorgeous old victorian home for a commission......Frank was watching me paint my otter. And he kept encouraging me. And I started to actually have fun. But something was still wrong with the darn thing. And Frank took the reference photo and helped me fix the face. I wanted to hug him. Now my otter is just about done. Thank goodness as everyone else is well into their 2nd painting. Then Frank told me as we were packing up to leave.......that he would never dare attempting something as hard as I had. Oh, well. I'm just glad he looks like he's supposed to and I didn't manage to ruin it. lol And now I know how to paint fur! But next time, I'm doing something simple....like a tulip. So I can learn how to do flower pedels. Nichole is doing an awesome flower this time. It's turning out beautiful. Then my last one will be a landscape so I can learn to do that. I'm trying to cram all I can out of this class cuz I may not get a chance to take any more. The instructor wants me to paint a baby elephant I have in my sketch book for my next painting........ I tend to draw animals alot. But I'd rather learn to do the other things instead. I'll post my otter when he's finished so you can see him. I think I just may frame him and hang him in my livingroom.