Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, April 01, 2018 10:44PM
March 2018 - Cley Mill - watercolour by Stephen Martyn
Report by Maggie
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
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 ....
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.
demonstration from Stephen - we could even hear him when his back was
towards us !! We look forward to his next visit.
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, March 04, 2018 09:45AM
report, 6th February 2018, Peter Wood - French Café,
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
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.
a ½” flat brush Peter started blocking in colour -
he said to paint shapes &
colours, rather than what is there.
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.
likes to keep the whole painting going at once.
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
brought out the shapes by working darks around them.
highlights with a smaller
couple of Peter's other paintings
interesting demonstration showing how to plan a painting & bring
it all together at the end.
filmed the demonstration - click on the link to see it on YouTube
on the demonstration
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
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.
do have a microphone & although not perfect, I think this should
be used at all times.
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Thu, January 25, 2018 10:48AM
December 2018 - 'Howling Wolf' Wildlife Pastel by Vic Bearcroft
Report by Maggie
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
Starting a tonal
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.
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
Stage 5. Vic defined
the teeth & eye & added some atmospheric breath - it is after
all in the cold tundra.
Vic and the finished
An excellent &
entertaining demo from Vic who showed that less can be more.
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Thu, November 30, 2017 11:21PM
A Runaway Horse
called Sebastian - Pencil & Acrylic by Jane Lazenby
Report by Maggie
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.
Coloursoft pencils on mountboard, Jane started to lay down an
underdrawing. She said she keeps turning the pencil to maintain it's
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
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
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
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
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, November 05, 2017 06:13PM
October 2017 - Textured Acrylic by Terry Chipp
Report by Maggie
Terry started by
showing us an example of the type of picture he was going to do and
explaining his technique.
He showed us how he
uses a stencil & gesso scraped on with a palette knife ...
... to create a
raised shape. This must then be left to dry properly.
You can see the
raised area of a door knocker in this picture. Terry was using a
Terry wet the canvas
& then blocked in the colours using Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna &
Burnt Umber with damp kitchen roll ...
... adding Phthalo
Blue Green shades to the mix.
He then blended
The next stage was
lifting out colour with a damp cloth.
Terry painted the
shadows in with a brush, using his fingers to blend & soften the
Terry used a small
stencil to put the screws in ...
... and then toned
He used Cadmium Red
Deep on the knocker ...
.... and then
Yellow Ochre for the highlights. Each time he paints something Terry
then blends & smudges with his fingers.
The painting so far.
Detail on one of the
Terry added a purple
& red mix, dragged over the door crosswise to bring out the grain
of the wood. He then decided that the top right panel needed
He used a stencil to
put some random lettering on the panel .....
... dabbing the
paint on with wet tissue. He got through a lot of kitchen roll on
Terry thought the
lettering looked a bit stark ...
... so toned it down
by dabbing paint over it.
The keyhole. Terry
said that adding a few cracks in the wood makes it instantly look
The finished picture
- one that I would happily hang on my wall.
Terry with the
finished painting which shows the size.
An excellent &
informative demonstration by Terry.
Some of Terry's
other paintings that he brought along.
The painting on the
left is the one Terry did the last time he visited us.
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Mon, September 25, 2017 09:26AM
September 2017 - Bold & Dynamic Watercolours by Paul
Report by Maggie
Paul said that he
never does the same painting twice & does not practise his demo
painting beforehand other than drawing it out prior to the demo. As
he works fairly flat & wet he came prepared with his own camera,
lighting & projector.
The reference photo
drawing in 6B pencil on Saunders Waterford Rough 300lb paper. He
explained that he had simplified it slightly, leaving out parts of
the background that he didn't feel added to the painting.
Apologies for the
glare on some of the pictures - Paul had a very bright light, very
wet paint and the photos were taken from the projected image.
Paul used scale
dividers to get the proportions right when scaling up his photo. He
brought several along for sale & quickly sold out.
Having worked out
the lightest values, Paul worked his way down to cover all the paper.
Starting with Cerulean Blue for the sky he progressed onto Yellow
Ochre for the trees with some Burnt Sienna & Sap Green; Yellow
Ochre & Burnt Sienna on the buildings with a bit of splatter for
Alizarin Crimson & Burnt Sienna for the road.
Paul's palette - he
said he tends to use watercolour neat & mixes on the paper.
Indulging in the
dark arts !!
Sap Green &
Cadmium Yellow for the central fern.
Yellow Ochre + for
Detail on the main
Paul sprayed the
distant hills with water to give a softer effect.
sprayed areas to make the colours run and added darks - mostly by
using neat paint on a damp brush.
More detail on the
focal point - shadows from the trees on the buildings & white
gouache on the sign.
Paul and the
finished picture. He said he usually let the painting dry for a
couple of days before deciding whether it needed more attention. He
did do a bit of tweaking & the final result is on his Facebook
Because the image
was so large on screen & partly due to the glare of the spotlight
it was difficult to see exactly what Paul was doing during some of
the wetter bits of painting. It was only when I took the final photo
that the full extent of the detail was apparent - until then it
wasn't obvious exactly what he was doing to the dry stone wall from
where I was sitting.
Bold & dynamic
it definitely was and Paul managed the right balance of information &
painting as the room was fairly quiet - always a good sign !
You can see more of
Paul's work on his website www.talbot-greaves.co.uk
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Tue, August 08, 2017 05:03PM
August 2017 - Floral oil painting by Naomi Clements-Wright
Report by Maggie
Naomi started by
showing us how she set out her palette with strings of various shades
of each colour. She said she prefers Michael Harding & Winsor &
Newton oil paints.
Working on a primed
aluminium board, Naomi roughly drew out the subject with paint
thinned with turps. The subject was hydrangeas in a vase with apples.
Naomi then painted
the darkest areas of the picture which in this case were the leaves.
She then switched to
paler greens for the leaves & apples.
Adding highlights to
the background to set the tone & then some shadows
Naomi then started
putting some colour into the flowers
Some highlights on
Naomi said she had
been unsure as to whether to include a distant darker background but
finally decided she liked the contrast it gave
apparent on the photo the white cloth was painted in shades of very
Naomi said that a
painting this size would normally take her 2 days to complete so she
regarded this as a painting to be finished.
Naomi with the
'finished' painting & the subject
Naomi very kindly
sent an image of the painting after she had finished it - the first
demonstrator to do so!
established artist this was Naomi's first demonstration - which
everyone enjoyed. My only criticism would be that while painting she
didn't always involve us in what she was doing.
Appreciating that it
isn't an easy balance to talk, answer questions and get a painting
completed in 2 hours, a demonstration does seem to flow better if
enough information is given to pre-empt questions.
More of Naomi's
Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, July 15, 2017 04:24PM
4th July 2017 - David Lewry, Black Faced Lemur in coloured
by Maggie Goodsell
came well prepared for working flat with his own mike, camera,
projector & screen. He said that he would be working in dry
coloured pencil not watercolour pencil - mainly using Derwent
Coloursoft & Faber-Castell Polychromos.
speed David explained that he would be doing an image of a Black
Faced Lemur which he had already prepared on black paper using white
Trace Down. He said he works on several types of paper with a
preference for HP watercolour paper. Today he was using the wrong
side of Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper which is smoother.
said he likes to get the eyes completed first as it gives the animal
a character. As he was working on black paper which can deaden colour
he put down a white base first, using circular strokes to fill in the
tooth of the paper.
went over this with cream ....
followed by yellow through peach to dark orange, always working the
strokes like the spokes of a wheel to create the eye. He added black
to the pupil & around the eye.
used a paper stump to pull the black from the pupil and the outer
edges into the iris. That & the addition of a light colour across
the eye really gave it shape & depth. He said that eyes usually
take him about an hour to do.
on the fur around the eye with a grey lavender colour ...
then white & light grey. David said to always work the pencil in
the direction of the fur.
then turned his attention to an ear, blocking in the outer edge
with white ...
and then filling in with bold pencil strokes.
at work !
to his grey lavender, David started work on the nose.
followed this with white and then blended with a grey pencil.
the nostrils ....
and working on the muzzle. David put a series of black dots where the
whiskers would emerge. David turned the paper on it's side to do the
other ear, doing highlights in Chinese White. He said that his marks
were sketchier the further away from the centre of the face he got.
The whiskers were done in white & black.
very impressive finished image
sold the finished painting to one of the members and was donating the
money to Macmillans.
excellent demonstration from David who has honed his technique to
suit the time available. Colour pencil is not a fast way to work, a
finished picture can take several days, so we were all very impressed
with what he achieved in the 2 hours. The image above is one of his
workshop pictures that he says most people can complete in one day.
couple of other pictures by David.
on good quality Hot Pressed watercolour paper, cartridge paper is too
good quality paper you should be able to do about 12 layers of pencil
before it is saturated.
suggests that if you are just starting out with coloured pencil then
aim to buy about 40 as a minimum, either by buying a set or by
tailoring colours to the subjects you mostly do.
work the pencil in the direction of the fur (or feathers).
animals are rarely just black, they usually have brown underneath so
put brown pencil under black as black on it's own can be a fairly
achieves his flat backgrounds by first masking out the main image
with Frisk film, blocking in the background with pencil and then
blending this with a solvent blending fluid - he uses Johnson's Baby
Oil but there are specialist products on the market.