I do a bit of teaching. I run what I call a ‘back-to-basics’ course at my local Art Club. My approach is to treat everyone as if they were complete beginners and I make that clear at the outset. This helps to get around the problem of a mixed group with varying levels of knowledge. It also helps the more experienced students to fill in the gaps in their knowledge that amateur artists usually tend to have. For example, I may have a student who has been painting watercolours for years but doesn’t know any colour theory. Also, it’s surprising how many amateurs can paint reasonably well without ever having learned to draw.
There’s one problem I find hard to manage. It’s what happens when a newcomer wants to join in. I hate to say no. Yet the newcomer has missed lessons, which puts them at a big disadvantage. I warn them about that, but inevitably they’ll find it hard to fit in and catch up. The only thing I can do is to try giving that person more attention, and that’s not easy (and it’s not fair to the others, either). If anyone out there has a cast-iron solution to that problem, please let me know!