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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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

Demo Oct 2017 - Terry Chipp - textured acrylic

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sun, November 05, 2017 06:13PM
Demonstration 3rd October 2017 - Textured Acrylic by Terry Chipp

Report by Maggie Goodsell

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 Frisk canvas.

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 this.

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 colours.

Terry used a small stencil to put the screws in ...

... and then toned them down.

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 panels.

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 'something'.

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 this painting!!

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 more realistic.

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 September 2017, Paul Talbot-Greaves - Bold & Dynamic Watercolour

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Mon, September 25, 2017 09:26AM
Demonstration 5th September 2017 - Bold & Dynamic Watercolours by Paul Talbot-Greaves

Report by Maggie Goodsell

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

Paul's initial 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 texture.

Winsor Blue, 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 the wall.

Detail on the main focal point

Paul sprayed the distant hills with water to give a softer effect.

He occasionally 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.

Almost there.

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 page.

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

Demo August 2017 - Naomi Clements-Wright, Floral Oil Painting

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Tue, August 08, 2017 05:03PM
Demonstration 1st August 2017 - Floral oil painting by Naomi Clements-Wright

Report by Maggie Goodsell

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 the flowers

Naomi said she had been unsure as to whether to include a distant darker background but finally decided she liked the contrast it gave

Although not apparent on the photo the white cloth was painted in shades of very pale yellow

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!

Although an 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 paintings

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