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.
You can also now find us on Facebook -

Demo April 2017 - John Harrison

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Wed, April 12, 2017 11:36AM
Demonstration 4th April 2017 - John Harrison, Line & Wash

report by Maggie Goodsell

John started by telling us a bit about his background. He said that he had drawn since he was old enough to hold a pencil but then went on to become a professional drummer, retrained as a graphic designer & spent many years running a design & illustration business before becoming a professional artist.

John did a quick pencil sketch before doing a more detailed pen drawing. He said that other than for demos he prefers to go straight in with pen. He uses Unipin Fineliners 0.1 - 0.8 on Saunders Waterford 300g rough paper. He likes the rough texture as the pen produces less well defined lines.

Pen detailing on the wall. Apologies for the quality of some of the photos - as John works flat I had to take some from the screen & there was a strong cast shadow from the camera.

More pen work - John said he regards his style as 'pen with paint ' rather than painting.

Using a squirrel mop & working wet in wet John painted a cobalt blue sky and the foreground vegetation.

Working wet in wet on the house - dropping in odd colours to suggest the stonework.

Work in progress - you can see how fine the nib of the pen is. John carried on painting through the tea break with a fair crowd round him - fortunately nothing was spilled !!

The finished picture. John said that he would look at it another day to see what else needed doing.

An entertaining & informative demonstration from John.

John's Tips

Waterproof ink will move if not completely dry when water is added - this can give some nice effects.

Paynes Grey is a good colour for shadows, especially the makes that are more blue than grey

Always carry (& use) a sketchbook - John brought along several of his to show us and said that so many people asked if they were for sale he produced a book of his sketches.

Demo March 2017 - Peter Dalziel

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, March 25, 2017 09:41AM
Demonstration 7th March 2017 - Peter Dalziel, Pastel Portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge
report by Maggie Goodsell

Peter started by telling us a bit about his background, including his new venture as a cruise ship art tutor for Fred Olsen. He said that he prefers to do portraits from a photograph as sitters tend to move about.

Peter told us that it is best to get an overall plan first rather than concentrating on detail too soon. This picture demonstrates the use of triangles to establish the relative positions of the features of a face.

Working from a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge, Peter sketched out the main lines using conte pastel on tinted pastel paper.

Peter used a fairly gentle background to help project the image forward.

Defining the face

Progress of an eye - Peter said to remember that when painting eyes you are basically painting part of a golf ball.

Peter used a tinged white to blend the colours on the face, taking note of the contours when blending.

Peter said that he prefers not to paint teeth but if you have to, the trick is to paint the shadow around them and then use a blender to lightly pull the pastel down to form the teeth.

When using pastel Peter, being right handed, works from left to right across the picture to avoid smudging. He said he would normally do both eyes at once to get them the same colour.

It was at this stage that Peter realised that he hadn't quite got the eyes right. In the studio he would have rubbed off the pastel on the offending eye - he thought probably the first one - and started again.

Peter said that a portrait would normally take him 3-5 hours - he managed an impressive amount of detail in just 2 hours.

Peter & the Duchess of Cambridge.

A selection of paintings by Peter in a range of media

Thanks to Peter for an interesting & informative demonstration

Peter's Tips

Peter uses a double ended blender, very useful for quickly making different marks

A blender can be used to pick up colour and use it elsewhere.

The top lip is usually darker than the bottom one.

Shading in the corner of an eye will give it roundness

When painting commissions Peter likes to see where the picture is going to hang as this enables him to paint the background in a sympathetic colour

Demo February 2017 - David Hyde

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Mon, February 27, 2017 10:49PM
Demonstration 7th February 2017 - David Hyde - Acrylics, Egret in Shallow Water
report by Maggie Goodsell

David started by giving us a bit of background about himself and his methods. He said that with acrylics he prefers to use Liquitex Soft Body - this needs less thinning than heavy body and therefore stays more opaque. He works on 2mm MDF board cut to the size of the frame. He masks out the area to be painted, allowing room for the a mount. He would also usually work flat.

The masked off area & the preliminary painting.

David worked over the background a bit more to give it more of a feel of water and then removed the masking tape. He said the colour of the masking tape can be off-putting when trying to get tonal values right.

The impressive reveal as David pulled off the Frisk masking sheet - we'd all been wondering what he had used.

David painted the feet in a bright yellow and then worked in blue on the neck. He said he alway moves the support round to get the optimum painting angle for the brush strokes.

Neck blocked in and some work on the body. David said that for white birds it is far easier to work on the white background and add shading than it is to paint white feathers.

Again moving the board around to get the right angle - in this instance working on the beak from tip to base.

David decided the water needed a bit more attention so put a bit of masking tape back. He was also unhappy with his choice of blue for the neck so toned it down with green.

Upside down again to work on the beak. In this closer view it is easier to see the shading on the feathers.

David said that he would usually walk away from his painting at regular intervals to check how it looked from a distance. He found that our large screen saved him a walk !!

Detail of the eye - David said the head & eyes are usually the first thing he paints not, as in this painting, almost the last. You can also see where David has added white highlights & 'flicky' marks for the feathers

An amazing image painted in a very short time. He said that given more time he might have put more reflection of the bird in the water but that there wouldn't have been much as the water was a bit choppy.

David said that the fine detail alone usually takes him several hours aided by nice music & a glass of wine or two - he had to make do with tea & biscuits this time !!

David with the finished painting.

An excellent demonstration from David - he was everything a demonstrator should be but often aren't.

He was clear spoken, informative, entertaining & rarely stood in front of the painting.

David's Tips

Ensure you leave each layer to dry properly or it may lift off when overpainting - a good excuse for a coffee or a glass of wine !! Some artists use varnish or glazing medium between layers to give them a stable surface.

He mostly uses plates for palettes, only moving onto a staywet palette when he is doing fine details at the end - saves mixing colours when he is tired !!

Small detail brushes wear out quickly on wood so budget for one per painting - David prefers W&N Galeria.

Putting a small amount of white in a mix will give a feeling of distance - David used this technique in the furthest leg.

When thinning the paint a lot David uses acrylic glazing mediums as too much water can cause acrylic paint to become unstable. When it's finished & dry he uses a satin varnish to even the painting up.

December Challenge 2016

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Fri, January 13, 2017 11:41PM
At our December 2016 meeting we held a painting competition. Members were invited to paint their own version of The Old Mill, Lyme Regis from this photo.
Twelve members rose to the challenge which was judged by John Gray of Riverbank Studios, Spalding

1st place (centre) Wyn Cocks, 2nd place (left) Sally Slade, 3rd place (right) Colin Twell
Prizes were donated by the SAA & Mo Teeuw

Thanks to everyone who took part & to John for doing the difficult task of judging
Wyn Cocks 1st Place
Sally Slade 2nd Place
Colin Twell 3rd Place
Arthur Beevers
Bev Healey
Clare Ratcliffe
Donna Halfteck
Gill Harker
Jon Healey
Maggie Goodsell
Stewart Picton
This one wasn't signed - any ideas ?

Demo December 2016 - Mo Teeuw

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Thu, January 05, 2017 05:39PM
Demonstration Report 6th December 2016 - Mo Teeuw - oil landscape

by Maggie Goodsell

Mo Teeuw kindly stepped in when the booked demonstrator - Fraser Scarfe - cancelled at very short notice. She said she would be doing an oil painting of a scene from the Norfolk Broads adding Griffin Alkyd oil paints to her mixes to speed up drying time.

Mo's reference photo

Working in a thin dark wash Mo blocked in the fields - bringing the horizon down to give a better visual effect.

She then blocked in the reflections in the foreground water and started painting the sky - aiming to do the bulk of it in one go.

The sky completed Mo started blocking in the water and .....

..... fields.

Mo then worked on the water & reflections in the foreground.

After much deliberation Mo finally put in the boat and water round it.

The finished picture.

Mo, as usual, gave us an entertaining & informative demo with lots of tips.

John Gray of Riverbank Studios came & judged our December Challenge painting competition. First place went to Wyn Cocks, 2nd to Sally Slade & 3rd to Colin Twell.

All the entries will appear on the blog as soon as I have worked out who painted the unsigned ones !!

Demo November 2016 - Trevor Osborne

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Tue, November 15, 2016 11:15AM
1st November 2016 - Acrylic Ink & Pastel Painting by Trevor Osborne

Report by Maggie Goodsell

An interesting & informative demonstration from Trevor Osborne

Trevor did his initial drawing in permanent ink followed by a background wash with acrylic inks. He then built up the painting with Pastel.

Painting & reference photo

The finished painting.

Demo October 2016 - Sue Williams

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, October 22, 2016 10:21AM
4th October 2016 - Acrylic Ink painting demonstration by Sue Williams
Report by Maggie Goodsell

Sue started by telling us that Acrylic Inks are waterproof when dry and very lightfast. When using them it is worth remembering that Magic Color are brighter than FW but FW are thicker - and they are both messy to use, or at least they are the way Sue uses them !

Sue puts the inks out in the wells of a palette - she said she finds that if this is covered in clingfilm & put in a poly bag the inks will stay useable for about a month.

Sue chose to do poppies for her first painting, lightly drawing out some flowers.

She wet the paper around the flowers on the left hand side of the picture before starting to block in the background, mixing her colours on the paper.

Starting with Purple Lake, Lagoon Blue & Astral Lemon ......

... Sue introduced Asian Lime & Emerald green before adding a few flowers in the distance.

Sue then tapped some colour onto the background which she worked with the brush a bit to give some texture.

Underpainting the poppy with Indian Yellow gives a more vibrant red.

The distant poppies were painted with Solar Scarlet, the main flower with Mars Red & Solar Scarlet.

Shaded areas on the flowers were a mix of Purple Lake & Mars Red with a dark green just below the flowers to lift them. The centre of the main poppy was a mix of Purple & Olive Green.

Sue used a stick to paint the stems - she said that wooden coffee stirrers are excellent for this.

For her second painting Sue drew out the scene using her coffee stick again - she said she likes the looseness this gives.

Using Pink & Yellow , Sue started blocking in the road ....

... adding Cobalt & Lagoon Blue for the sky.

She painted the roof with Red Oxide and used Golden Sand & Asian Lime for the vegetation ...

.... adding table salt for texture.

Sue added more salt & more ink & said that she would wash the salt off under a warm tap when the painting was completely dry.

Sue painted the tree using scrunched up cling film dipped into the ink.

The final details were added with a brush.

The finished picture

Sue decided that there was just enough time to do a third painting ! She painted a medium of acrylic & pumice over the whole surface to give texture. Sue then worked quickly to do the finished picture. She said it gives a far better result than leaving it to dry first as you can push the wet ground around.

Working on the hills ....

.... starting on the shed

The fence was scratched out with the end of a brush.

Sue finished the background ....

.... before adding the chickens & scratching out a few details with her fingernails.

An excellent demonstration from Sue, pictured here with all three paintings.

For those of us who say we don't have time to paint - Sue completed all three in less than 2 hours !

Demo September 2016 - Phil Biggs

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Mon, September 26, 2016 04:30PM
6th September 2016 - Watercolour painting by Phil Biggs

Report by Maggie Goodsell

Phil Biggs stepped into the breach when the booked demonstrator's car broke down. At 3.30 pm he was mending his conservatory roof, at 7.30 he was giving us an excellent watercolour demonstration of Gosberton Church.

Phil had obviously spent the intervening hours productively as he came with the image ready drawn out. He said he'd used a bit of artistic license by removing a few trees to give a better view of the church and give some distance to the picture

Phil started by dampening the paper (but not as wet as usual because of the angle of the board) leaving a few dry gaps to give hard edges. He said that it was usually raining in his demonstration paintings because of having to work upright !! He used Raw Sienna low in the sky and behind the big storm clouds. The clouds were a mix of Ultramarine & Burnt Umber with some pure Ultramarine in odd gaps.

Using a mix of Ultramarine & Light Red, Phil put in the distant trees, changing to a mix of Burnt Umber & Ultramarine in front of this. He said he always mixes his own greens.

Phil used varying depth mixes of Burnt Sienna & Indian Red for the distant buildings, the slate grey for the roofs was a mix of Winsor Blue & Indian Red. He made the tree on the left fairly dark to stop the eye leaving the picture.

Detail on the church required removal of the glasses !!

The church roof was painted in Paynes Grey - artist quality PG is more blue than grey, unlike the student version which is usually very grey. The limestone walls were a mix of Cobalt Blue, Light Red & Raw Sienna. Phil painted the windows with a mix of Paynes Grey & Burnt Umber.

Phil added more trees with a mix of Paynes Grey & Cadmium yellow, darkened with Burnt Umber. Tree branches were Paynes Grey & Burnt Umber, the yew hedge in front of the church - Winsor Blue & Burnt Umber. He then painted the cornfield in a varying mix of Cadmium Yellow & Raw Sienna, making it a bit greener in the foreground.

The fence line was painted in a dark greenish mix.

Phil then added some detail to the grass and a cloud shadow of Paynes Grey & Raw Sienna in the foreground to keep the focus on the church.

Phil wet some of the sky again and then darkened those areas with a mix of Burnt Umber & Ultramarine.

Phil and the finished painting.

Phil kindly donated the painting to the society. The mounted painting will be raffled on the 7th- 8th November when the Society will again be exhibiting at the Action Medical Research Christmas Gift Fair in Springfields Exhibition Centre.

A couple of Phil's other paintings.

« PreviousNext »