Spalding Arts & Crafts Society News

Spalding Arts & Crafts Society News


This is where you can find details of the latest changes to our website -, plus news of exhibitions, events, members' news and activities and demonstration evening reports. Members - Email Katie to have your activites, achievements, art courses and painting holidays added.
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July 2018 Demo - Lynn Norris, Watercolour Flowers

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, July 07, 2018 09:49PM

Demonstration 3rd July 2018 - Watercolour flowers by Lynn Norris

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Lynn said she would be demonstrating negative painting technique. She was working on Saunders Waterford 140lb paper, using SAA Silver brushes & Winsor & Newton watercolour paints. Lynn said she prefers to work on a paper block rather than single sheets as she finds it suits her wet in wet technique better. Her colours were mostly Gamboge, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Blue Red Shade, Perylene Violet & Perylene Green

As she works flat Lynn uses a camera, projector & screen so everyone can see what she is doing. Unfortunately this does mean that the photos are mostly taken from the screen and the colour rendition isn't always correct. The photos have been edited to give a truer feel but there are limits to my editing ability !

The initial drawing - Lynn was working from a photograph.

Lynn started by wetting the whole sheet of paper .....

.... and painted some warm & cool colours in the flowers.

After drying with a hairdryer Lynn then wet the background for the negative painting.

As it was such a warm day she worked in sections around the painting trying not to get hard edges. She painted yellows ...

........ followed by greens, mostly mixing the paint on the paper - working round the flowers to define their shapes.

This was the view we had - it shows how the painting is building up as a whole and the reference photo.

Defining the flowers more by adding darker areas.

Lynn hard at work !!

After this stage Lynn dried the painting thoroughly. She said that it is better to be left to dry naturally for at least 2 hours but 24 is better. This allows the paint to settle and fix into the cotton fibres of the paper - which means that the colours don't lift when the painting is re-wetted.

Lynn gradually built up areas of green, wetting an area at a time. She used a natural fibre brush for the re-wetting as this doesn't lift the grain of the paper as much as a synthetic would. Lynn also added a few areas of salt to give texture.

Halfway - time for a cup of tea.

The next stage was to add some 'positive' leaves to the painting, always following the 'rule' of odd numbers - in this case Lynn put in 7.

Working on the background flowers & buds - making sure they don't stand out too much.

Working on the main flower - Lynn said to remember that it is a white flower so don't overdo the colour.

You can see the areas where salt was added quite clearly in this photo.

The finished picture.

An excellent demonstration from Lynn. I'm sure many of us were inspired to go home & try the technique.

June 2018 Demo - Peter Barker - oils

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Mon, July 02, 2018 01:26PM

5th June 2018 - The River Welland near Rutland - an Oil painting demonstration by Peter Barker

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Peter and the finished painting

Progressive pictures

The finished painting

The original photograph

An excellent demonstration from Peter.

May 2018 Demo - Stan Hurr

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, June 02, 2018 11:13PM

Demonstration 1st May 2018 - pastel & charcoal portraits by Stan Hurr

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Stan Hurr gave us an excellent packed evening of portraits.

The first was a pastel, the second a charcoal & the third was a very quick charcoal caricature.

The basic concept was the same in all

- A2 Great Art paper

- lay down a basic drawing making sure it is well placed on the paper

- apply & blend the pastels / charcoal as needed

- lift light areas with a putty rubber

- correct the proportions as you go

- fix with hair spray at regular intervals

Stan kindly donated the portraits to the sitters.

Pastel portrait of Beverley Healey

Charcoal portrait of Arthur Beever

Caricature of Cherylyn Marriner

Stan said he likes to hone his skills doing quick portraits in shopping centres.

April 2018 Demo - Still Life in Oils By Jerome Hunt

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, April 28, 2018 10:35PM

Demonstration 3rd April 2018 - Still Life in Oils By Jerome Hunt

Report by Maggie Goodsell

An interesting & informative evening with Jerome Hunt demonstrating the techniques he uses when painting a Still Life.

Jerome started by telling us a bit about himself & his techniques. He said he usually works his Still Life fairly small often using mundane objects like jars & plastic bottles as subject matter.

Jerome had his subject in a well lit box - he said that the right lighting is very important.

The subject from Jerome's viewpoint. He chose tulips as he was in Spalding and said it looks better if things are in odd numbers.

Jerome did a rough initial drawing with paint.

Then, using a cloth, applied Burnt Umber to the negative spaces.

He added Payne's Grey to the mix for the darker areas and constantly re-defined the subject.

Jerome then used a flat hogs hair brush to paint in the highlights to give himself a reference point.

Adding colour and shadows. Jerome said to note that round objects give elliptical shadows.

Jerome constantly re-defined the subject either by adding paint to the objects or tightening up the background.

Tackling the water - Jerome said to remember that because of refraction stems in the water appear to be offset to the stem above the water.

Jerome adding highlights with a smaller brush.

The finished painting.

Jerome Hunt & his Still Life oil painting.

The frame really shows it off well

Jerome using one of his paintings to show a technique

A selection of Jerome's Still Life paintings

March 2018 Demo - Cley Mill by Stephen Martyn

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, April 01, 2018 10:44PM

Demonstration 6th March 2018 - Cley Mill - watercolour by Stephen Martyn

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Stephen told us that he would be doing a watercolour tonal work of Cley Mill using just two colours - Winsor & Newton French Ultramarine Blue & Brown Madder. He said he would be working on half imperial Saunders Waterford 300gsm (140lb) paper - this being his workaday paper - and would use a range of brushes but mostly his preferred squirrel.

Stephen made a loose drawing of the subject using a 2B pencil.

He said it is difficult but important to get the proportions of the windmill right - don't overdraw the sails & make sure everything is correct before starting painting.

Working flat Stephen wet the paper using a no 4 squirrel mop. He had the paper fixed to the board with masking tape at the corners - as the paper cockled slightly he gently lifted a corner at a time, making sure to only take the tape off the board not the paper, and eased it out to stretch it a bit. He did this several times whilst wetting the paper.

He said to re-wet any bits that have dried too fast & then wait until it is just damp.

Stephen made up a range of mixes & tones and then, still working flat, he painted the whole paper

Varying the tones ...

.... adding clouds on the horizon,

using a drier mix for the foreground.

Stephen said he wasn't going to make the sky too busy as that would detract from the main focal point of the windmill.

He was quite pleased with how the paint had run giving the effect of grasses.

He then lifted out paint from the windmill and started on the buildings.

After adding trees to the village ....

..... Stephen painted the mill and the distant bank.

He added the tail fin & the cap before painting the sails with a drier mix.

In the finished painting Stephen has strengthened the shadows & the middle trees and removed some of the smudges in the sky - teasing them out with a damp brush. Having struggled to lift enough paint from the windmill to expose the white paper Stephen painted the highlights on the cap with W&N Designers White Gouache.

An excellent demonstration from Stephen - we could even hear him when his back was towards us !! We look forward to his next visit.

Feb 2018 Demo, French café by Peter Wood

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, March 04, 2018 09:45AM
Demonstration report, 6th February 2018, Peter Wood - French Café, acrylics

by Maggie Goodsell

Peter started the evening by giving us a rapid talk about himself & what he does, his exhibitions & courses and an insight into all the different media there are and how to best use them - we were exhausted !!

Peter came with a ready prepared drawing on white canvas. He said that he starts loose & finishes tight, working what he called his jigsaw method - having the right colours & the right shapes.

Using a ½” flat brush Peter started blocking in colour - he said to paint shapes & colours, rather than what is there.

Peter said that when you have paint left on your brush, don't just wash it off - look for somewhere else in the paintings you can use it.

Peter likes to keep the whole painting going at once.

He worked through the coffee break to get rid of the white background. Once that was gone Peter said he would have a better idea of the tonal values.

Peter brought out the shapes by working darks around them.

Adding highlights with a smaller brush.

The finished picture

A couple of Peter's other paintings

An interesting demonstration showing how to plan a painting & bring it all together at the end.

Peter filmed the demonstration - click on the link to see it on YouTube

Observations on the demonstration

The first half hour of the evening was, as I said, a rapid delivery of a huge amount of facts that left us all a bit dazed. Peter seems to do everything at the gallop but maybe it would be better to reduce the amount of information so that the audience have some chance of retaining any of it.

In common with many demonstrators Peter, when not facing the audience, was much less audible. I am not deaf but even sitting on the front row I struggled to hear what was being said. I know that others further back heard virtually nothing.

We do have a microphone & although not perfect, I think this should be used at all times.

Dec 2017 Demo - Howling Wolf by Vic Bearcroft

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Thu, January 25, 2018 10:48AM
Demonstration 5th December 2018 - 'Howling Wolf' Wildlife Pastel by Vic Bearcroft

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Vic said he would be doing a pastel painting on black velour using a limited range of just four colours - blue, sanguine, white & black. He said he prefers a harder pastel as they are better on velour and that velour will take many layers of pastel.

Vic took this picture of a North American wolf called Nuka at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Berkshire. He said that the black velour background would give a more dramatic & atmospheric picture.

The initial sketch using a white pastel. Vic did this freehand but said you could use white Tracedown.

Starting a tonal sketch

Blending into the pile of the velour

Blocking in the fur using the flat side of the pastel and blending. Vic said that you need to be patient when working on black velour as it takes several layers to make an impression.

Vic called this the 'Slapping on Stage' or Stage 3 in his process. Blocking in colour without too much thought.

Vic blended in the blue & added sanguine.

More blending

Stage 4 - More white pastel to give shape & texture to the fur. Vic said that since winning a competition with a looser style than his old almost 'photographic' style he now doesn't spend days painting individual hairs on animals, preferring to give a general impression of texture with just a few tweaks at the end.

Using black pastel to tighten up areas & to strengthen shadows. Vic said that you can blow excess dust off the velour but be very careful not to spit on it as this will irreversibly damage the pile.

Adding some detail. Vic said to note that when wolves howl they do not show their top teeth.

Stage 5. Vic defined the teeth & eye & added some atmospheric breath - it is after all in the cold tundra.

Vic and the finished painting.

An excellent & entertaining demo from Vic who showed that less can be more.

Demo Nov 2017 - Jane Lazenby - pencil & acrylic

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Thu, November 30, 2017 11:21PM
Demonstration 7th November 2017

A Runaway Horse called Sebastian - Pencil & Acrylic by Jane Lazenby

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Jane started by telling us a bit about her background and how she likes to work - apparently she usually paints sitting cross legged on the floor!

The subject of the demo was to be a horse called Sebastian, who had decided that he had had enough of performing at a show & took flight. Jane said she was just in the right place to take the photo.

Jane said that normally she would just draw the subject and make alterations as she went. The time constraints of a demo make this impractical so she used trace-down for the image.

Using Derwent Coloursoft pencils on mountboard, Jane started to lay down an underdrawing. She said she keeps turning the pencil to maintain it's point.

Drawing complete

Using Atelier Interactive Acrylics, Jane started blocking in the background with a Burnt Umber / Winsor Blue mix ....

... using the same colours on the horse.

Jane working on some highlights

Colour was then added to the horse using mixes of Cobalt, Cerulean & Pacific blues with Magenta & White. Jane said Sebastian doesn't have a deformed mane - it is tied up in braids as he has a very long flowing mane which can get in the way.

Adding more detail & colour in stages

Jane returned to pencil for a bit to tighten up some areas but found the lack of tooth on the mountboard a problem so switched back to acrylics & a finer brush.

Using acrylics, Jane extended the background area.

Jane, the finished painting & the original photo.

An interesting & enjoyable demonstration - Jane's love of horses came through very strongly.

A selection of Jane's paintings. She said that the more detailed ones were commissions, the looser ones were how she likes to paint for herself

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