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November 2012 £3.70
THE PRACTICAL MAGAZINE FOR ARTISTS BY ARTISTS – SINCE 1931
WIN! A weekend art course worth
£250 see page 7
Master the art of Chinese brush painting
Discover the latest creative art tools
COVER Focus on why and what to paint
Kurt Jackson sketches Britain’s trees PLUS: HOW TO BECOME AN ART TUTOR • COLOUR MATTERS 9 770004 387131
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First established 1931 ISSN 0004-3877 Vol. 127 No.12 ISSUE 982
incorporating ART & ARTISTS
November 2012 PRACTICALS 23 Strengthen your painting skills Martin Kinnear on how to plan and use colour
26 Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours Product report by Haidee-Jo Summers
Kurt Jackson sketches some of Britain’s oldest trees
MASTERCLASS on working at the scene, with David Woodford
36 Drawing from your soul Art should be more than technique, says Max Hale
14 Felicity House IN CONVERSATION The artist talks to Ken Gofton
Victor Ambrus’s travels with a sketchbook
10 56 MASTERWORKS
Oliver Lange reports on the Pastel Society
53 Could you teach art? Advice from Steve Strode
55 The smart approach to art
40 Catalyst Blades, Wedges and Polytip Brushes Test report by Soraya French
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Lady Lilith
43 The Four Gentlemen
57 Your first solo exhibition 39 Prizes and competitions
James Willis works through a few ideas with some watercolours
32 Homage to Britain’s trees
10 On nature’s terms
18 A traveller’s tale in pencil and watercolour
29 Balance the colours in your painting
Advice from Shirley BradfordMillichip
An introduction to Chinese Brush Painting by Maggie Cross
46 Learning from the masters: pastels Susie Hodge explains how you can improve your techniques
66 Colour harmony Soraya French continues her discussion on colour relationships
That all-important working relationship with a gallerist, by Susan Mumford
50 Portraits from Egypt Adele Wagstaff finds fresh inspiration
PLUS 6 You write 8 In View
THIS MONTH’S COVER Max Hale The White Duvet, acrylic on canvas board, 30⫻193⁄4in (76⫻50cm). See pages 36– 38
60 Exhibitions 63 Art book reviews
AT www.painters-online.co.uk November 2012
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Editor’s welcome… ith the glorious summer days of the Olympics and Paralympics behind us, and the increasingly darker evenings and chillier temperatures ever more noticeable, we are gearing up for the autumn and winter, and looking ahead to our participation at Art Materials Live, at the NEC, Birmingham (November 8 to 11, see page 58 for more details). We will be showcasing the 30 selected works from our sister magazine Leisure Painter’s Simply the Best competition, hosting regular demonstrations on our stand by Fiona Peart, covering a variety of media and techniques, and running prebooked half-day workshop sessions with regular magazine artist-contributors Tim Fisher, Barry Herniman, Paul Talbot Greaves, Dave Pilgram and Liz Marsden-King. These include materials and free entry to the show (please check our website at www.painters-online.co.uk/workshops for details and to book, or call Liza or Dawn at our offices on 01580 763673). Another of our regular contributors, Martin Kinnear, will also be at Art Materials Live each day. Martin has made it his business to analyse and understand the working approach and techniques of the Old Masters. Through his features in The Artist and classes as head tutor at the Norfolk Painting School, he enjoys passing on his experience and teaching other artists the tried-and-tested methods of some of our best-known past masters of traditional oil painting. He will be demonstrating each day on a stunning full-size version of Monet's Waterlilies, on a canvas made especially for the occasion by Harris & Moore, using Monet’s palette of colours and replicating his painting techniques. He will also be running a series of demonstrations focusing on the methods of other past masters. These will include painting dramatic seas in oils using the techniques of the Dutch Old Masters (November 8); creating a glowing 'Italianate' sky using the materials and methods of the Baroque Old Masters (November 9); recreating a bright, bold Impressionist painting in the French manner (November 10) and an impressionistic interpretation of Norfolk after Edward Seago (November 11). Early bird tickets for Art Materials Live are available at reduced rates from organisers ICHF via the website at www.ichf.co.uk or by telephoning 01425 277988. We are looking forward to seeing you there and will be pleased to answer your queries and discuss our magazines, website, competitions, online activities, and future plans. In the meantime, please enjoy our November issue and for a taste of the kind of demonstrations you can expect to see from Martin Kinnear at Art Materials Live, see his article on pages 23 to 25 in which he explains why it’s important to unlearn our ideas about the colour of the things we see, in order to open our eyes and minds to the possibilities of colour explored and exploited by Monet and the Impressionists. Plus, on the theme of learning from past masters, Susie Hodge continues her four-part series on pages 46 to 49 with a look at a selection of fine pastel portraits in the collection of some of our museums and galleries, providing an insight into the working methods behind these artworks. There is also a great deal more as well to inspire and interest artists working in all media and across all subject matter; I especially enjoyed reading our cover artist Max Hale’s feature on pages 36 to 38 in which he discusses why art for him is 80% inspiration, and only 20% dependent on the ‘how’ of materials and techniques….
EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS Jason Bowyer PNEAC, RP, PS studied at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He is President of the NEAC and founder of the NEAC Drawing School. He exhibits his work widely.
Sally Bulgin Editor
Want to comment on something you’ve read, or seen? Email me at theartistletters @tapc.co.uk, or visit our website at www.paintersonline.co.uk/ forum
December issue on sale November 9
David Curtis ROI, RSMA has won many awards for his en plein air and figurative paintings in both oils and watercolours. He has had several books published on his work as well as DVD films, and exhibits his work extensively. Bernard Dunstan RA studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School. He taught at the West of England, Camberwell and Byam Shaw Schools of Art, Ravensbourne Art College and City of Guilds London Art School. He exhibits widely including in the annual exhibitions of the NEAC, of which he is a member, and RA. Ken Howard OBE, RA studied at Hornsey School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He is a member of the NEAC, ROI, RWS, RWA and RBA. He exhibits extensively and has won numerous awards.
Editor: Sally Bulgin PhD Hon VPRBSA Deputy Editor: Deborah Wanstall Advertising Manager: Sarah Hubbard 01778 392048
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Subscriptions: Penni Pierce, Liza Kitney email@example.com 01580 763673/01580 763315 Accounts: Caroline Harris 01778 391023 Events Manager: Caroline Griffiths Subscription orders should be sent to: The Artist, Circulation Dept, Caxton House, 63/65 High Street, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6BD. Tel: 01580 763673 Rates are: UK – £32.50 (includes Northern Ireland); EC member countries – €67; USA – $80 (air freight); Canada – $92 (air freight). All other countries £45 (air freight). Payments by credit card are taken in sterling at £45. Foreign currency prices include bank charges. Periodicals postage paid at Rahway, NJ. US subscribers only: Send address corrections to The Artist, c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, NJ 07001 News-trade distribution by: Warners Group Publications plc. Tel: 01778 391000 All material copyrighted; reproduction forbidden without permission. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher is printed by Headley Brothers Ltd, The Invicta Press, Queens Road, Ashford, Kent, and published every four weeks by THE ARTISTS’ PUBLISHING COMPANY LTD Managing Director, DR SALLY A BULGIN Financial Director, ANDY TAPLEY
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Charity Painting COMPETITION
See your work published in or in our 2012 Christmas greetings message
nce again, we are O substituting the sending of Christmas
Last year’s winner David Prentice Black Hill Below British Camp, watercolour, 23x33in. (38.5x84cm) �
Last year’s winner John Killens Winter on the Allotment, oil on board, 11x15in. (29.5x40cm)
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cards this year by the publication of a special Christmas and New Year message in our January 2013 issues, published in December 2012. Help us by entering our competition, from which we will select a winning image to feature in our special Christmas greeting, PLUS we will make a donation of £200 to the charity of your choice.
HOW TO ENTER
There are two categories: � category, for the amateur painter � category, for painters with more experience and professional artists
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Please submit a jpg digital entry at www.painters-online.co.uk and click on the link to Christmas Competition. Your entry must reflect the festive season, and it can be produced in any medium. Closing date for entries is November 9, 2012. Winners will be notified by November 13, 2012 and the winning artists will need to supply a hi-resolution digital image of the selected work by November 16 for inclusion in the magazines.
Judges: Sally Bulgin, editor of and Ingrid Lyon, editor of CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
1 Only one entry per artist please. 2 Include your name, address, the category you are entering and the charity of your choice in your emailed digital entry. 3 Winning entrants will be informed by November 13, 2012. 4 The judges’ decision is final. The judges reserve the right to use an alternative image should no
suitable image be submitted amongst the competition entries and no correspondence can be entered into. 5 By entering our competition you agree to allow The Artist and Leisure Painter to publish, republish and repurpose your artwork in both print and digital formats, including but not limited to magazines, websites, databases and as part of downloadable digital products.
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TA11 You Write:Opportunities for Vivien-5
We like to hear your news, views and comments. By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The Editor, The Artist, 63/65 High Street, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6BD.
Silence the chattering classes
Oils win over the iPad
The letters from Linda Bywaters in the September 2012 issue and Bernard Perry in the October 2012 issue about talkative students make interesting reading. In the 33 years that I have been teaching painting and drawing this has been a difficult and persistent problem, but there are practical ways to deal with it effectively. • Right from the start of the organisation of the course or workshop, the tutor has to state that they are creating a learning situation where social chit-chat is welcome, but only during coffee breaks and mealtimes. If any paperwork has to be sent to prospective students it should be included in the ‘what to bring section’. (A closed mouth and an open mind perhaps!) • Always, in any class, the students are the best resource. If the culprits persist in verbal diarrhoea, the tutor or the organiser has to ask the other students to politely request the offenders to stop talking during the session as they cannot concentrate on what the tutor is saying. Tutor loyalty is a very strong emotion and most students will willingly do this to gain favour with the tutor. • There’s no way round this one; tutors have to develop loud voices – louder than any chattering student. This can then be used to utter classic phrases such as ‘Right! I’m talking now’ or ‘Do you want to hear this?’ Most talkative students are so startled by the sudden volume that they are surprised into silence. While they are quiet I have been known to put relaxing music on to delay the onset of talking. • Tutors should keep asking the talkers questions on what they are doing: this shames them into paying attention. Lighthearted remarks on the lines of ‘talk less and listen more’ are helpful. People attend classes for many reasons, not just to learn to paint. Some attend to ward off loneliness, some to meet their friends, some to recover from bereavement or illness. For a tutor, awareness of all these problem is paramount, and all of the solutions listed above should be approached with diplomacy and humour, but if all this fails the tutor or organiser could always tell the guilty students that the course is full (a hard task in these straightened times).
In response to Jon Baxter’s letter in the September 2012 issue I can make a small contribution to the debate as to the artistic quality that may be achieved in this medium. My medium of choice is oils, but when I acquired a copy of the book of the Hockney exhibition I was inspired to have a go with Brushes on the iPad. May I first say that it is not by any means as easy as you might think. I am aware that Hockney did actually do finger painting, but in my view a stylus is essential. Even a stylus has quite a thick, inflexible tip, nothing like the feel of a brush. My ‘painting’ from a photograph of a square (left) isn't really in the Hockney style. Hockney manages to transform the ordinary into the magical. I tried combining some riverside landscapes, but it didn't really work. So, interesting though the experiment was, I have reverted back to oils. I prefer the feel of paint. I even prefer the smell! Sandra Skemp, by email
This month’s star letter writer will receive art products from our lucky dip bag, worth around £50. Pastel supports In his article in the June 2012 issue of The Artist Robert Dutton referred to Sait papers for pastel as being, in principle, wet-and-dry sandpaper. My concern with these papers is the quality of the paper backing and the adhesive used to bind the grit. As artists we take care to choose good quality, long-lasting supports for our work, but true sandpaper was designed for a short life. I haven't tried it myself for this reason. Susan Gillham, by email
Robert Dutton replies: ‘Sait pastel paper is a replacement for Hermes paper, which many professional artists (including myself) used for a number of years, very successfully. It was produced for both the industrial and art markets (as is Sait), and came in two weights and
two colours. When Hermes paper took a nose-dive in terms of quality, many artists turned to alternatives. Youdells Art Supplies in Kendal, Cumbria, researched an alternative high-quality pastel support which has a perfect binder to hold the tooth of the surface in place – Sait paper. Youdells can supply the paper cut to size (full or half sheet) or on the roll, in weights P500 and P400, backed on to foam board with a strong adhesive glue. I have every faith in my new Sait pastel papers. Try them, you will not be disappointed! For technical enquiries and further details, contact them direct. I am sure they will be more than happy to advise. Youdells Art Shop is in Kendal, Cumbria; telephone 01539 723728; www.youdells.co.uk.
Liz Seward, by email
Letters: Please note that all letters become the property of The Artist and those chosen for publication may need to be edited for clarity and length.
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«clikpic» Websites for artists and photographers
CALL FOR ENTRIES 2013 OPEN ART EXHIBITIONS
The Royal Institute of Oil Painters
2 & 3 Nov 2012
The Royal Society of British Artists
4 Oct – 3 Jan
The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
1 Nov – 31 Jan
The Royal Society of Portrait LP11 Webcomp:Layout 1
22 Nov – 21 Feb Page 1
Find out more at: www.mallgalleries.org.uk
FBA call for Entries October.indd 1
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PaintersOnline and 21/09/2012 12:35
Inspired by Gardens Competition Painters-Online, the website for and magazines, has teamed up with Inspired by Gardens to offer one lucky winner a FREE, fully residential, weekend in Devon learning to paint gardens, worth over £250. There are also two further prizes of vouchers worth £50 towards the cost of an Inspired by Gardens painting break or holiday. Inspired by Gardens weekend breaks offer two full days’ tuition in flower and garden painting with artist and tutor Catherine Stott, and a two night fully residential stay at Weston House, the artist’s home in Bampton, in the Exe Valley, close to Exmoor National Park. The fully residential weekend starts with dinner on Friday evening and concludes on Sunday afternoon. Teaching takes place in Catherine’s painting studio in Weston House and is tailored to each student’s needs. For more information about courses visit www.inspiredbygardens.co.uk
HOW TO ENTER For your chance to win a FREE residential painting weekend in Devon, or one of two £50 vouchers towards the cost of a painting break visit:
www.painters-online.co.uk the website for and magazines, and click on the links to competitions. Closing date for entries is December 20, 2012. Winners will be selected at random from all online entries When completing your details please make sure you opt in to receive our great regular email newsletters so that we can keep you up-to-date with what’s new at Painters-Online, including the latest features, images in the galleries, new competitions and other great offers.
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NEWS, VIEWS, INFORMATION AND SPECIAL EVENTS IN THE ART WORLD compiled by Deborah Wanstall
Fine works from a misunderstood painter The Fleming Collection, London, is to have a major exhibition of the works of Scottish Colourist painter Leslie Hunter. This show covers Hunter’s life in San Francisco, Scotland, France and Italy, and of the 70plus pictures on show, two-thirds are from private collections. According to Hunter’s biographers, Bill Smith and Jill Marriner, more than 80 years after his Leslie Hunter Houseboats, Balloch, 1931, oil on canvas, 20⫻24in death, Hunter is still (51⫻61cm) possibly the least appreciated of the four Scottish Colourists. Marriner writes: ‘In the past his vision for art and his painting have been frequently misunderstood...yet Hunter at the top of his form has few equals in Scottish, if not British painting.’ Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour is at the Fleming Collection, 13 Berkeley Street, London W1 from October 23 to February 9 2013. Admission is free. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm. Telephone 020 7409 5730; www.flemingcollection.co.uk.
● East Devon Drawing Club is a new venture from East Devon Art Academy. This informal club is an ideal opportunity for artists of all abilities, as well as wouldbe artists, to get together to draw – all you need is a sketchbook and some drawing materials. The first class will be at 10am on October 21 at East Devon Art Academy, Old Fore Street, Sidmouth, Devon. Telephone 01395 516284; www.eastdevonart.co.uk. ● Hire Space is a new resource for anyone who is looking for a publicly available space to hire, such as art studios, galleries, church halls and community centres. Prices and availability can be checked online. Alternatively, if you have a venue that you want to hire out, you can list it here. For more details, see www.hirespace.com. ● Chiddingfold Art & Craft Exhibition at Chiddingfold Village Hall, Coxcombe Lane, Chiddingfold, near Godalming, Surrey, is on November 10 and 11. There will be original work by local artists, children’s craft activities and demonstrations. For more details telephone 01428 682022. ● ACE, a group of 13 local artists, will be exhibiting at St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, Hants, from November 17 to 24, from 10am to 5pm daily.
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS MONTH
David Prentice Le Patron, oil and digital image on canvas, 11⫻33in (28⫻84cm) David Prentice’s latest exhibition of paintings documents the restoration of a Grade II squatter’s cottage by his daughter and son-in-law. The House that Jack Built is at Shell House Gallery, 36 The Homend, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1BT, from November 3 to 24. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; telephone 01531 632557. A book of 60 of David’s drawings, paintings and photographs that were made over the three-year period will be for sale during the exhibition.
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Sparks of light Kettle Yard’s collection of paintings by Winifred Nicholson (1893–1981) is currently being exhibited alongside rare archive material and a number of additional works. This show, which is part their Artist in Focus series, provides a fresh look at one of the most important artists in the collection. Nicholson is best known for her paintings of flowers, which she described as not botanical or photographic flowers, but ‘sparks of light’, although she frequently painted friends and family and the landscapes of Cumberland, Scotland and Greece. During the 1920s and ’30s she was involved in the avant garde, joining the Seven & Five Society in London, and counted Piet Mondrian, to whom she sent paint supplies from London, among her friends in Paris. Winifred Nicholson: Music in Colour is at Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ until December 21. For more details telephone 01223 Winifred Nicholson Daffodils and Hyacinths in a Norman 748100. Admission is free. Window, c1950–55, oil on canvas, 391⁄2⫻481⁄2in www.kettlesyard.co.uk. (58.5⫻48.5cm)
● The Affordable Art Fair returns to London as two separate events – at Battersea Park from October 25 to 28 and Hampstead Heath from November 1 to 4. Ticket prices range from £10 to £20, with concessions from £8 to £13. For further information see www.affordableartfair.co.uk or telephone 020 8246 4848.
Editor’s gallery choice
Pat Kramek Summer, Traigh Mhor, Barra, oil, 30⫻30in (76⫻76cm)
● This year’s Macmillan Cancer Support Art Show/Sale runs from November 5 to 17. Over 600 artworks will be on display, with prices ranging from a few pounds to a several thousand pounds. This year the raffle prize (above) has been donated by Pat Kramek. Once again the venue is the galleries at M&Co, Caldedonia House, 5 Inchinnan Drive, Inchinnan, Renfrew PA4 9AF; For more details see www.macmillanglasgow84.org.uk. ● Brush, Camera, Pencil is an exhibition of art and photography at Grimsby Minster, Grimsby, South Humberside, until October 26. Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. ● Making our Marks is an exhibition by the south-west based collective Canzart from October 20 to 28 at Church House, South Tawton, Devon. www.canzart.co.uk.
This month’s editor’s choice from our website gallery is by Kevin Clarkson, who comments: ‘I have always been fascinated by visual perception. No two people look at a scene or object and derive from it the same properties. My work is landscape and representational in the traditional sense, but by no means photographic. I look to capture mood, light and texture, very much in the English painting tradition. Inspiration comes from the natural world and our interaction with it. Major themes have been coastal scenes, which bring a confluence of elemental forces modified by the effects of light. I find the combination an irresistible painting challenge. Subject matters tend towards landscape, marine and aviation, sometimes with a historic theme. Most of my recent work is in acrylic – I tend to use Galeria for density of colour and Reeves for the flow on to stretched canvas. The View from Sun Pier was painted as the consequence of a sketching and photography trip to the River Medway in Chatham. It was a sunny afternoon following several days of rain and the river was full of muddy silt.’
Kevin Clarkson The View from Sun Pier, acrylic on canvas, 153⁄4⫻193⁄4in (40⫻50cm)
To upload images of your own work and receive valuable feedback, go to our website: www.painters-online.co.uk and click on the link to the gallery. This is a free service.
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Blaen-y-Nant Ffrancon, oil on board, 29⫻48in (73.5⫻122cm)
On nature’s terms David Woodford’s paintings of the Welsh mountains are informed by on-the-spot studies and experience, as Oliver Lange discovers
avid Woodford has a compelling there. I cannot paint or draw from need to paint mountains – there memory, so I have no option but to get to are eleven 3,000ft peaks within four know a place completely. For me, enquiry miles of his front door! This need is is an important quality in a work of art. If essentially something inherent, although the landscape is remote and elemental also something that was fostered by his childhood views of the Long Mynd from the family home in Shropshire and annual holidays to experience wild landscapes. It has developed into an enduring passion and affinity with mountains and a knowledge and experience that enables him to paint them with real authority and sensitivity. He relishes the remoteness, power and beauty of mountainous landscapes and has lived in the Nant Ffrancon, Gwynedd since 1971. ‘I am the proverbial student of nature,’ David says, ‘all my images are formed and measured against the experience of being David Woodford
then it means you can have no preconceived ideas about its shape, form, colour and so on. It is essentially chaotic. Every time you do a painting you are actually dealing with chaos and bringing order to bear on it.’ Music, an obsession in David’s youth and a lifelong interest, has also influenced his painting, which he describes as ‘completely at the musical end – in other words I deal with harmony’. Light and shadow, texture, composition, mood and atmosphere are all distinctive features in his work, expertly captured.
Plein-air studies and drawings David’s immensely skilful, emotive studio paintings – The Parson’s Nose (Under Snowdon), for example (top right) – result from a lengthy, methodical working process that
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begins with pochade studies and detailed drawings made on site. The pochade paintings, which vary in size from 3⫻4in (7.5⫻10cm) to 8½⫻11½in (21.5⫻31.5cm), are an intuitive response to the subject and give a reference for the local colour. ‘I’m not producing works of art,’ David explains, ‘I’m confronting information and,
because I’m having to work so fast, it creates a certain dynamism.’ The beauty of the pochade box (David makes his own boxes) is that it is small enough to carry in a rucksack yet contains all the necessary materials. So, simply by opening the lid he can make an instant start. These small paintings take no more
The Parson’s Nose (Under Snowdon), oil on board, 33⫻48in (84⫻122cm)
Cold Light Idwal, oil on board, 5⫻11in (12.5⫻28cm)
‘Music, an obsession in David’s youth and a lifelong interest, has also influenced his painting’
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In Cwm y Ffynnon, oil on board, 7⫻12in (18⫻30.5cm) than four hours. ‘The smaller the painting, the more you can capture the unity of time. For the first two hours I’m anticipating, for the next hour or so I go for exactly what is there, and for the final hour I am remembering what is there. The more you sit in one place the more you contradict what you started, because of the changing light and weather. ‘I come back with perhaps four paintings, of which maybe two will be worth keeping. In fact, the first thing I do is look at the palette: if the colours harmonise then the paintings will probably be better than I thought! These paintings are truthful to the occasion; they have an authenticity. The next step is to make the working drawing. This can take up to 30 days to complete, over a period of time which is sometimes more than a year.’
For the drawings David works with lamp black watercolour and pencil. Stunning in their skill and sense of place and atmosphere, these drawings are rich in information about detail, tone and texture. The wash underpins the darks and tonal areas, while the pencil work reinforces this as well as adding texture and the precision of line. He works on Goldline Bristol board, which has a smooth surface that allows him to build up effects with numerous layers of graphite – up to 50 in some drawings.
Endurance A further quality of these drawings, of course, and also of the pochade studies, is the tremendous feat of endurance and willpower involved, out on the mountainous peaks of Snowdonia in all
weathers. This point is illustrated by one painting that David is currently working on and for which he made four different drawings looking across a ridge at 2,700ft. ‘To make these drawings I estimate that the total climbing distance was 48,000ft, which is nearly twice the height of Everest! ‘When you are working out on the mountains the main consideration is not so much the temperature but the wind chill. I have worked in temperatures as low as -15ºC. Obviously you need to wear the right clothes, but it is also a matter of making sure you are not in the wind. You have to work with nature on its own terms. I like to work at altitude quite simply because the unity of the elemental character of the scene is not compromised, and this includes the sky, whose behaviour relates to the solid forms below and has a unifying effect.
Preliminary work ‘The studio paintings are the reverse of the pochade studies in the sense that my approach and process are more in tune with the classical rather than the romantic. I am ordering all the information I have available, and if I haven’t got enough, then I need to go back and make another drawing. However, usually I will have more information than I need and so I tend to find myself précising this to suit the painting.’
Llyn Cwn, oil on board, 7⫻12in (18⫻30.5cm)
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For the paintings, as for the drawings, David likes to work on a smooth surface, his preference being marine plywood. This is prepared first with up to four coats of high quality white emulsion paint, then a layer of muslin impressed into the paint surface, and finally two coats of acrylic primer. The top coat of primer is applied with a plastic card, so as to create a polished smooth surface similar to a gesso ground. His palette colours are titanium white, zinc white, Winsor yellow, lemon yellow, yellow ochre or raw sienna, Venetian red, permanent alizarin crimson, cadmium red, French ultramarine, Winsor blue (green shade), Payne’s grey and black. David cancels out the white surface by applying a tonal ground. This is usually a warm tone, but it can be blue (for a winter scene) or even black applied over a warm tone. Next, he squares-up the painting surface and makes a careful pencil drawing, working from the location drawing, which has been covered with a squared-up acetate sheet. Naturally he doesn’t want to damage the actual drawings, which in any case are popular with collectors. He pays particular attention to the composition, so that if there is any editing to be done or changes to be made, they are made at this stage. ‘I draw in pencil and then go over all the
pencil lines in paint. I soon recover from the banality of this process and reach something to which I can react. Initially I work tonally in acrylic paint, essentially as an extension of the drawing. I want to know where all the major shapes are as quickly as possible, working with the natural reaction I have to the appearance of objects, which is a tonal reaction.
Successive glazes ‘I paint very thinly, keeping the paint transparent for quite a long time, because I don’t want to lose all the light. Everything is slightly apologetic to begin with: the thinner you keep the paint the more you can change things and add gentle qualities to them. So I slowly make up my mind which areas to treat in which way, working with perhaps 50 to 100 glazes and introducing thicker paint towards the end. However, the texture that matters is not necessarily the physical texture but the optical texture. ‘Bit by bit the painting tells me what to do. I usually have up to 40 paintings in progress at any one time, some as large as 48in (122cm) across. My aim is to work with a construct in which I do not allow myself to fail – although I sometimes do, of course. A large studio painting can take up to eleven years to complete. I don’t mind if it takes that long, but I do mind if TA it is horrible!’
In a Dell, oil on board, 15⫻21in (38⫻53cm)
David Woodford studied at West Sussex School of Art and Leeds College of Art. He taught for a short time before gaining a place at the Royal Academy Schools, after which, and following his success in winning an Elizabeth Greenshields Award in 1971, he and his wife moved to North Wales, where he has since devoted all his time to painting, principally the dramatic mountainous scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. His work has been exhibited widely, at major galleries in London and in many galleries in Wales, particularly at Oriel Mon, Anglesey; Glyn Y Weddw, Llanbedrog; and the Royal Cambrian Academy, of which he is a member. His work is in many private and public collections, including those of the British Council, the National Library of Wales and the National Museum of Wales. There will be a solo exhibition of David’s work at the Royal Cambrian Academy (www.rcaconway.org) next year. David can be contacted at email@example.com; www.davidwoodford.co.uk.
TA11p14_17_In conversation_Layout 1 26/09/2012 12:26 Page 14
I N C O N V E R S AT I O N
Felicity House Ken Gofton talks to the artist about the lure of India
ne of the many benefits of attending art classes is the opportunity to make new friends. So it was with Felicity House who, as a devotee of life drawing, both teaches the subject and attends life classes and workshops whenever she can. It was at a local class in Bournemouth that she met fellow-artist and tour organiser, Billa Edwards. ‘Billa urged me to go on a painting holiday to India,’ says Felicity. ‘Initially it wasn’t possible because of my teaching commitments, but in 2003 the opportunity arose for the first time. ‘Since first going to India in 2003 I’ve been back five times, both as a tutor and a participant. I love it,’ says Felicity. ‘For an artist, India is overwhelming. Not least, there are the beautifully decorated buildings which are so extraordinary and different to Britain, like Udai Bilas Palace (top left) and Temple on Lake Pichola,Udaipur (below left). The light is lovely at all times of day. And there is so much activity, such brightly coloured clothing, with people shopping, cooking, mending all kinds of things, going about their business, herding animals. It all makes wonderful subject matter.’ You can understand the attraction of all this to a versatile artist like Felicity. Her subject matter ranges from portraits, landscapes and cityscapes to interiors and still life. Looking for a common thread, she thinks she’s attracted to complex subjects, even more so if there is some time pressure to complete. Almost invariably, she works on the spot, from direct observation.
Udai Bilas Palace, pastel on Colourfix paper, 16⫻19in (40.5⫻48.5cm)
Love of drawing
Temple on Lake Pichola, Udaipur, pastel on Colourfix paper, 9⫻11in (23⫻28cm)
All of these factors link back directly to her love of life drawing, where the subject is always challenging and time is restricted to perhaps two or three hours at most. Similarly, her way of working in the life room – seeking out vertical and horizontal
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‘The light is lovely at all times of day’ alignments, constantly checking angles – has become instinctive. Although she also works in watercolour and oils, Felicity is best known for her pastel paintings. She’s an elected member of the Pastel Society and was the inaugural winner of The Artist prize at the society’s annual exhibition earlier this year, awarded for a group of her Indian paintings. ‘Being able to work quickly has been a great asset on my trips to India,’ she says. ‘For example, the light changes really, really fast. If you’re attracted by the sunshine and shadows on a building, you need to capture that pattern first, because it will look very different half an hour later. The Old Palace at Juna Mahal (above) is quite a complicated structure and, very unusually for me, I had to go back on a second afternoon to finish the picture with the sun in the same position. ‘Sometimes, on a tour, returning to a scene so quickly isn’t possible. Once, I had
The Old Palace at Juna Mahal, pastel on Colourfix paper, 17⫻18in (43⫻45.5cm)
Felicity’s tips for travelling light Travelling abroad on a painting trip requires careful thought about equipment. Felicity makes a folder from two pieces of foam core board taped together, of a size to fit into the bottom of a suitcase. It makes a good, rigid drawing board, as well as means of storing completed paintings. She uses a Frank Herring lightweight folding easel, with a tray attachment for art materials. On tour, Felicity wraps her finished pastel paintings in newspaper, taped to prevent shifting. ‘If you feel once you’re home that too much dust has come off, you can refresh it, but I have never really found that, ’ she says. Pastel can be an excellent medium for plein-air painting. There is no need to take whole sticks of pastels: Felicity breaks off pieces equivalent to about a third of a full stick, although they may well get broken into even smaller pieces later. Some manufacturers, including Sennelier, Unison and Rembrandt now produce half-stick pastels, and these would serve as well. She takes approximately 100 colours, divided between four shallow cosmetic tubs with screw-on lids – 25 darks, 25 lights, and 25 each of warm and cool mid-tones. The tubs also contain ground rice to keep the colours clean and separate. ‘Wrapped in a plastic bag, these tubs stack well in the corner of a suitcase,’ she says, ‘yet they are quick to lay out when working. This kit has been with me on all my painting trips for over 12 years, and I wouldn’t be without it.’
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I N C O N V E R S AT I O N
Music at Roop Niwas, sketchbook drawing in soft charcoal pencil and pastel on cartridge paper, 5⫻8in (12.5⫻20.5cm)
Tikli, pastel on Colourfix paper, 15⫻19in (38⫻48.5cm)
Kumbhalgarh, pastel on watercolour paper, 17⫻22in (43⫻56cm) just completed an underpainting when the skies opened, and art had to be abandoned for the day. I’ll take that work with me this November, and try to complete it.’
Working practice For a working support, Felicity takes Colourfix pastel paper, which has a lightly pumiced surface. At home, she also works on mountboard, but primarily for larger pictures. She considers it too heavy to take on her travels. Her favourite pastels are Unison, Daler-Rowney, and Schmincke, but she also takes a selection of Pitt and Derwent pastel pencils, which
play a key role in the way she works. Finding somewhere comfortable to sit, in the shade, is not always easy, so she takes a collapsible stool. For longer paintings, taking two or three hours, she prefers to stand, as it allows more arm movement. Often, but not invariably, the artist starts with a loose, tonal underpainting in watercolour. It may be left to show through in places, as in the interior Tikli (above). Her approach then is to block in the major shapes with pastel, where possible working from dark to light. She then draws with pastel pencil, refining the image.
The process becomes one of alternating between pastel sticks and pastel pencils. It gives her work a great freshness and impressionistic quality, evident in all her paintings, but particularly in scenes such as Canalside, Alleppey, (right), Kumbhalgarh (below left), and Mandu at Dusk (bottom right). ‘I would call it a rhythmical kind of drawing that you only get from practising quick poses in the art room or quick sketches in the street,’ she says. ‘That sort of expressive energy gives you a sense of place.’ Sketching, of course, is yet another aspect of the painting holiday experience. This is particularly true of a country such as India, where tour organiser Billa has a motto, ‘always expect the unexpected’. Felicity makes some sketches in watercolour, sometimes developing them to ‘finished picture’ state. But she also sketches with pastels in a couple of different ways. Market at Mysore (centre right), for example, was produced using old lolly sticks, sepia ink, and a small tin of pastels. ‘John Tookey, a fellow member of the Pastel Society, showed me this method quite some time ago, and I have used it ever since,’ she says. ‘I just take a handful of lolly sticks with me to draw with. They’re sharpened to a point, but not too sharp. ‘You get good, strong lines, stronger than you would from a fine brush, and because the wood absorbs the ink, you don’t normally get unwanted blots. It’s a lovely technique for capturing quick movement. ‘Alternatively, I might use a Faber-Castell Pitt soft charcoal pencil – my ‘desert island’ choice of drawing tool’ – as I have done in Music at Roop Niwas (above).’ Over the past decade Felicity has built a collection of Indian sketchbooks. The time has now come, she feels, to utilise this treasure trove. As she explains, while making all these drawings on the spot is great fun, it is disappointing to return
TA11p14_17_In conversation_Layout 1 26/09/2012 12:27 Page 17
Canalside, Alleppey, pastel on Colourfix paper, 17⫻18in (43⫻45.5cm)
home and not make the most of them because of being immediately caught up again with the demands of everyday life. ‘Now that I am shedding some of my teaching, my plan is to make more use of my sketches,’ she says. ‘It will be interesting to develop paintings from them in the studio, amalgamating figures from different scenes and perhaps working on a bigger scale than I usually do. That, really, is my next creative step, TA and I’m looking forward to it.’
Market at Mysore, sketchbook drawing, sepia ink and pastel on Canson Miteintes paper, 10⫻11in (25.5⫻28cm)
Meet the artist A graduate of Bristol University, Felicity House taught in primary schools until 2000. However, a move to Dorset in 1985 enabled her to study for illustration and fine art HNC qualifications at Bournemouth Art Institute, where she subsequently taught life drawing. She continues to teach drawing, pastels and watercolour on short courses and workshops at a number of locations. She is an elected member of the Pastel Society, and serves as its archivist. You can see more of Feliicity’s work on her website: www.felicity house.eu
Mandu at Dusk, pastel on Colourfix paper, 11⫻19in, (28⫻48.5cm)
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A traveller’s tale
in pencil and watercolour Victor Ambrus is in the habit of taking a small sketching kit with him, whether he’s working or on holiday
hen you’ve been travelling it’s very rewarding to go home with a little colour sketch from your holiday to remind you of the people you met and the places you’ve seen. The Victorians did this, making small picture albums of places that they visited. You do not need a lot of expensive materials, but a small paint box with six or seven colours would be very useful; it fits in your pocket, is very lightweight and you can choose the colours yourself. Turner had a little metal box with a very few colours and look what he produced with them. I use a Winsor & Newton box, but there are other makes available. To go with this, you need at least two good sable brushes – a size 8 wide (flat) for washes and a size 3 for pointed work and detail. For drawing I use two 3B Wolff’s carbon pencils by Royal Sovereign, two graphite pencils and a smooth cartridge paper. For watercolours, I cut up good-quality TA watercolour board to A3 or A4 size.
Down the Hill, Tossa del Mar, watercolour, 121⁄4⫻81⁄4in (31⫻22cm). A lane into town suddenly burst into colour with boxes of geraniums about half way down. At the top, an old door guarded the corner building, with stone steps leading up to it. I found myself another set of steps opposite, in the shade, from which to draw. Starting with a line drawing, I mapped out the buildings and the lane, before laying light washes over it, adding more fine lines to the detail of the stonework, doorway and pavement. Later on old lady, resolutely dressed in black, sat out in the sun in the midday heat. The dark door and the black dress made for very good tonal impact, contrasting with the sunny stone walls and the groups of flowers
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Rovinj Waterfront, watercolour, 15⫻93⁄4in (38⫻25cm). The harbour was a very busy place, teeming with people, but I managed to get a bench in a good spot and quickly drew the buildings with fine pencil lines. The faded houses in soft colours have dots for windows and bits of washing hanging, only the roofs blaze away in terracotta oranges and yellows. The darker blues of the water were broken up by the whites of flashing sunshine – I left the white of the paper to come through. The ticket man in the foreground provided an opportunity to sketch a close-up figure, with only the palest washes of colour to let the pencil drawing come through. Finally, branches of dark, spiky spruce tree with its sharply drawn hedgehog pinecones contrasts with the light tones and frames and finishes the watercolour
Tossa del Mar, Spain, watercolour, 22⫻323⁄4in (56⫻83cm). We arrived for a week’s much needed holiday and on the first day went to find a suitable spot from which to paint. The castle ruins near the gateway provided the answer – from up there we could see the town from the shade of a few trees and sit on the stone walls. It was too hot just to work all day so we painted every morning and rested in the afternoons. I like to start a drawing of what I see before using any watercolour. I used a soft pencil with a good point on it and a sepia brown watercolour pencil to draw with. Because of the sharp sunshine, the colours appeared like a mosaic so I painted broken up little squares rather than general washes – a contrast between the stone walls and the terracotta roof tiles. I made the tree a feature of the drawing with its trunk framing the buildings, the pine needles at the top forming a decorative pattern. The town below was just visible in a haze of sunshine t
‘You do not need a lot of expensive materials, but a small paint box with six or seven colours’
Late Afternoon, Venice, pencil and watercolour, 8⫻141⁄4in (20⫻36cm). I used a soft carbon pencil to set up a strong quick drawing of the church and buildings around it. To indicate the setting sun the shadows are very dark, cutting out shapes from the white paper; the colours are deep browns and blue-green tints. Here, it is what is left out that matters – the water is only suggested by the posts and shapes of the boats. A sketch like this could be useful for a pastel or a larger watercolour
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TA11p23_25_Martin Kinnear_Layout 1 27/09/2012 10:21 Page 23
Strenghthen your painting skills In the third of four articles for experienced and improving painters, Martin Kinnear looks at how to plan and use colour here is a simple rule, used by successful artists, that overcomes the problem of colour in painting: use the colours you need in your picture, not the ones you see in the subject.
big connotations for artists: firstly, we have to unlearn our ideas about the colour of things; secondly, it opens the door to the possibility of objects being any colour we like.
Local and perceived colour
Why not paint the colours you see?
Colour isn’t a natural phenomenon, such as gravity, that obeys universal and eternal laws. For example, an orange might well appear to be orange in colour at noon under even sunlight, but it will look black at night. Put it next to something really blue and it will look more orange; next to something yellow and it will appear more red; something red and it will look a little more yellow. In other words, colour is and can only ever be what we perceive it to be under a given set of circumstances. So while the local colour of our orange is always orange, its perceived colour – the colour we see – is ever changing. This has two
Painting a scene in the colour it appears to be seems, then, to be a sensible idea. After all you can’t go far wrong if you paint the sky blue, clouds white and grass green, can you? At the risk of incurring the wrath of realists throughout the world I’d like to stick my neck out and say that no, it’s not wrong, but it is conceptually weak and generally boring. If the point of painting is to capture an accurate image of something, then I believe there’s a range of other tools available to achieve that end. Great paintings are generally about the scene, plus how the artist felt about it.
Those feelings may be conveyed in many ways through the artist’s style, by line, mark making, colour, values, composition or combinations thereof. It seems to me that colour is the strongest of these, speaking directly of the artist’s mood to the viewer’s senses. Unedited colour taken straight from a scene will always convey a more mixed message than colour selected to convey what the artist wants the viewer to feel. Indeed colour is such a powerfully emotive tool that painters such as Rothko reduced much of their output to exploring this means of communication.
Green sky, pink trees I’m writing this article from my studio in France. I have to pass through Rouen to get here, and in doing so am reminded of Monet’s magnificent series of works of the cathedral. Now Rouen is generally a rainy, overcast place with a less than
A demonstration in my studio, after Olsson, showing blue/green (cold blue) and red/violet (cool red) variants
t Two yellows, but they are quite different. This shows yellow ochre (bottom) and hansa yellow in saturation and tint
TA11p23_25_Martin Kinnear_Layout 1 27/09/2012 10:21 Page 24
The Quick and the Dead (detail), oil, 48⫻36in (122⫻91.5cm). This close-up shows my use of opacity and value to create variance
Brancaster Marsh, Soft Weather, oil on board, 12⫻16in (30.5⫻40.5cm). This demonstrates the use of a restrained palette that is suitable for the scene. The detail (below) shows my use of thick and thin paint to create variance within a limited colour range
Triadic colour wheel with temperature divisions
picturesque post-industrial feel to it, yet Monet’s works don’t really convey that at all. Sometimes his vision of the cathedral is hot golden yellow and violet, then dusty pink and faded blue, olive green and rich brown-orange. Monet wasn’t painting Rouen in the colours he thought it should be, he wasn’t even always painting it in the colours he perceived it to be, but he eventually started building on those perceived colours and painting it how he wanted it to be. Georges Clemenceau puts it best. Writing in 1928 about Monet’s earlier work he said ‘When I saw Monet, with his four canvases before a field of poppies, changing his palette as the sun followed its course, I felt that it was a much more precise study of the light than of the subject, in that the subject, supposedly immutable, was actually demonstrating a
luminous mobility. It was a development that grew in strength – a new way of looking, of feeling and of expressing a revolution.’ (Source: Monet exhibition, Grand Palais, Paris, 2010). Monet then took the perceived colours in a scene and extrapolated a colour plan from them, editing by cutting one here, amplifying or extending one there, and in doing so orchestrating the colour in his work to create an atmospheric impression of his scene.
Colour parameters While it makes sense to build your colour plans using a standard triadic colour wheel it’s all too easy to fall into predicable combinations of harmonics, complementary and split complementary colour. As this series is about that extra ten per cent that separates good work
from the best work it’s important to look beyond colour families to subdivisions of colour. The classic six colour families may be further divided by temperature, saturation and value. For example a cool, high-saturation, high-value blue is very different from a warm, low-saturation, low-value blue, although both are nominally part of the same colour family and therefore complementary to orange and harmonic to both violet and green. Also, given that colour is perceived as much on a canvas as in life, the way you allow the colours you use to interact with light has a fundamental effect on how they read. In this respect the use of mediums, opacity and texture may be as important a factor as the colour itself. For example a simple achromatic pigment such as black will read very differently if it is applied using a translucent gel, with an opaque base (Mars black vs ivory black for example) or texturally with a knife rather than as a thin wash. Gillian Carnegie’s 2005 Turner Prize nominated work of black woodlands is a good example of
TA11p23_25_Martin Kinnear_Layout 1 27/09/2012 10:21 Page 25
Practical outstanding understanding of how paint works. Once you appreciate this, colour planning becomes a matter of fine-tuning basic colour combinations to create the effect you’re looking for. While Carnegie does this stunningly well, she does so in the context of many great painters. Back in the 1660s for example, Rembrandt generally worked in his preferred sequence, alternating flesh tints by value, temperature, opacity and degree of impasto. In this manner he worked within a very tight colour range but developed a wide range of optical colour combinations that gave his work both colour unity and painterly variety. It’s easy to try this in a limited way for yourself. Simply paint a support in a single translucent colour such as ultramarine blue (PB29) and then overpaint a test area in the same colour, changing just one of its properties, such as opacity. The test area of paint will be hard to spot close-up, but when you step back its different optical quality will reveal itself. By making one subtle change
Holkham Bay, Weather Coming In, oil, 30⫻40in (76⫻101.5cm). Here I have used a cool orange palette with extensions
Variants on cool blue form this simple sea study for a larger work
Wells Nocturne, oil, 30⫻40in (76⫻101.5cm). Variants on green-blue were achieved using opacity, value and saturation, etc you’ve extended the blue. Extend the blue in value, temperature, texture and so forth and you’ll start to see the means by which great artists exploit colour without clumsily blundering around the colour TA wheel. Next month I’ll round off the series as I round off my work, by looking at detail.
Martin Kinnear is a professional oil painter and head tutor of the Norfolk Painting School, where you can receive more instruction in this and other aspects of painting. For details of residential and home study courses, from which some of these illustrations are taken, visit www.norfolkpaintingschool.com, contact jane@norfolkpainting school.com or telephone 01328 730203. www.makinnear.com.
Bamburgh, oil, 36⫻48in (91.5⫻122cm). Complementary pairs of blue/orange and yellow/violet in tint at high key mid saturation give this picture a soft intensity November 2012
TA11p26_27_Williamsburg_Layout 1 27/09/2012 10:22 Page 26
Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours Haidee-Jo Summers couldn’t wait to try these paints, and she wasn’t disappointed
jumped at the opportunity to try Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours for the first time, although truthfully I didn’t expect them to be very different from the oil paints that I am familiar with using. After all, how different could a tube of artists’ quality paint made by a reputable brand, using high pigment content with a quality oil binder and untainted by cheap fillers or extenders, be from another? So I popped the new tubes in my pochade box and off I went about my business. The founder of Williamsburg, artist Carl Plansky, obtained his first mill from fellow artist Milton Resnick. The mill was in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, and Plansky proceeded to make paint for himself, Resnick and other artist friends, experimenting with making an oil paint that was richly pigmented and dense. Eventually the paints became so popular that he started to sell to the American public, with great success. Carl Plansky died in 2009 but the company continues to source the finest raw materials from around the world. It is now owned by
Golden, makers of premium quality acrylics.
First impressions It didn’t take me long to realise that Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours are very different. The colours I received were almost all unfamiliar to me and when mixed reacted differently to how I expected – I found that I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. For example, I had taken the colour Sèvres blue to be akin to cerulean blue but its strength took me completely by surprise. There is a transparent brown, a brilliant, spicy orange – alizarin orange – the likes of which I wouldn’t normally use, and courbet green, which seems more black than green. When you have become very familiar with your materials it’s a good idea to shake things up a bit by trying some new colours – it’s quite an eye-opener. The variety of characteristics among these colours initially took me by surprise but I subsequently found that this cannot be perceived as a fault. These paints are
ABOVE LEFT Field with Daisies, Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours, 8⫻10in (20.5⫻25.5cm). My first try with my new Williamsburg oils ABOVE Evening Bathers, Bréhat, Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours, 113⁄4⫻113⁄4in (30⫻30cm). I painted en plein air until the tide reached my feet and I had to leave! The painting was finished in the studio, from memory handmade in small batches and uniformity is not the desired outcome; I think you will really enjoy the experience of trying these oil paints if you are used to paints with more conformity across the range. I started to cherish their fluidity and strength of pigment. I found that some of the colours dry to a matt, almost chalky finish, so in my opinion the paintings would benefit from being varnished.
Earth colours I was concerned at first by the grittiness of some of the earth colours, as I am used to
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Practical Incoming Tide and Bather, Bréhat, Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours, 10⫻12in (25.5⫻30.5cm). I painted this on the beach, en plein air. For both my beach paintings I found a mix of Italian lemon ochre, Italian Pompeii red and a touch of Sèvres blue made great sand colours much smoother paint, but I discovered that with handmade paints different pigments are ground to different levels of coarseness. The reason some of the earth colours have a consistency that reminds me of fine sugar granules is that the makers believe that each pigment has it’s own ‘personal best’ with regards to the way light bounces off the paint, revealing its truest colour. Hence some pigments look better in the paint if they are less finely milled. There are 13 Italian earth colours; all are authentic and come from the regions in Italy made famous by these pigments. They are said to be the very same as those used by the great Sienese and Florentine masters. Of those, I have tried Pompeii red, Italian black Roman earth and Italian lemon ochre, which has a soft, sugary texture and resembles wet sand in appearance. There are also 13 French earth colours, which I haven’t tried. All the earth colours will appeal to those painters who want to explore their unique texture and enjoy using natural materials with historical origins. Personally I love the idea of buying some new colours, particularly for travelling to a country or region that the pigment originates from. How about a tube of Italian rosso veneto for my forthcoming trip to Venice?
sounding Turkey umber. Among the 150plus colours available are also those you would expect to find such as cadmium yellows and reds and cobalt blues. I haven’t tried all the colours in the Williamsburg palette by any means, but those I have been most impressed with are permanent yellow medium, alizarin orange, fanchon red, yellow ochre (domestic) and courbet green. There are many more that I intend to try in the future as my collection grows. Because of the variety of texture and finish across the range of colours there is always going to
be an element of surprise when first ordering a new one. Of course a standard colour such as yellow ochre will vary from brand to brand anyway, but some of the colours in the Williamsburg line are unique to them, which is appealing in itself. I am glad I have been introduced to Williamsburg oil paints. We put so much of ourselves into each and every painting it feels good to use colours that have been made with such care and attention. www.haideejo.blogspot.com TA www.haideejo.com
Unique colours The choice (and names) of colours in the range is quite breathtaking. Although the paints are made in the United States, pigments are sourced from all over the world. Some of the colour names that beg me to try them include the exotic sounding Egyptian violet and cinnabar green light; Provence violet, which comes in ‘bluish’ or ‘reddish’, Italian pink and the curious Agapanthus Flowers on the Île de Bréhat, Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colours, 193⁄4⫻193⁄4in (50⫻50cm). This was painted en plein air. I found courbet green extremely useful. Thinned with dammar glaze medium, it was used for a fast-drying underpainting when I blocked in the dark masses of the trees, hedge and foliage. I later used it almost entirely unmixed for the dark hedge area behind the flowers. Kings blue came in very useful for the blue-lilac agapanthus flowers
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Balance the colours in your painting James Willis puts some of his ideas about colour harmony into practice with a few watercolours
here are many conflicting theories about colour harmony. One theory is to use colours that are closely related in the colour wheel or Newton’s linear rainbow. The idea here is that colours in a particular segment harmonise with each other, for example where red is the common colour its harmonious colours will be anything in the red spectrum, the redder purples and the redder oranges. As these colours have red in common, according to the theory, they will ‘go together’. A visual issue with this idea is that the whole can be a little uninteresting and might depend on good tonal contrasts to add impact. This theory does not, however, take into account the fact that it is possible to have a reddish-green, browns and blacks. French ultramarine is known as a reddish blue, so would this count too? Here, I aim to present some ideas about using colour to make a balanced
effect. In some of the images a closely related range of colours has been used to define the emotional feeling in the scene or subject, in others balancing complementary or neutral colours has been the aim. In each case a fairly limited range of colours has been used and the mixtures carefully made to work together on the paper. Colour harmony is a personal construction and response to your subject. Getting to know your colours and how they work together is an essential part of this response and requires rigorous practical discipline, unless you are fortunate enough to be gifted in the instinctive use of colour. For me, colours are a world to be explored and finding their best relationships with their neighbours an exciting and rewarding journey. Perhaps the best thought can be left to Matisse: ‘The chief aim of colour is to serve expression as well as possible.’
Fishponds Road, Hitchin, watercolour, 15⫻231⁄2in (38⫻60cm). In this street scene I wanted to extend the idea of complementary colours to have a more obvious contrast – in this case blue (indigo) against an orange (burnt sienna). Here very few other colours were used once the initial Indian yellow and rose wash had been laid over the whole paper and left to dry. These both have a red content so they fit into the orange side of the colour scheme. In this design I wanted to balance not just the mixtures but the amount of surface the two main colours took up, and it worked well to create drama and impact across this panoramic format. The harmony of the two main colours was extended by dropping one into another wet-into-wet here and there, to create variety. It’s worth remembering that there are many more pigments than those associated within the basic colour wheel to work with; using burnt sienna as orange allowed many more subtle colour modulations to be made with the indigo than a bright orange might have done November 2012
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COLOUR BAL ANCE t
Margate, watercolour, 153⁄4⫻213⁄4in (40⫻55cm). I began to wonder whether a harmonious effect could be created using a simple, more neutral selection of colours. I chose raw umber, cerulean and violet to represent the quieter effects of this scene in Margate. Nearly all of this painting used just these three colours across its surface, interest created by wet-into-wet modulations in the foreground harbour and subtle mixtures to unite the background with it. I added cobalt blue to give the boats a little more impact against this neutral scene and I could not resist adding the red buoy in the centre to lead the eye in. With this choice of colours I soon learnt that it is essential to be able to mix a good range of tones to help you structure the painting. The wrong selection of colours at the beginning could lead to problems later, so do try them out in various combinations and strengths before you start and get to know how they behave with each other. In this painting the mixtures are all related to the three colours I started with, and the whole has a very unified and calm feel due to this gentle harmony of colour. A few hints of other colours made their way in to avoid monotony but were used sparingly and still fit in with the blue-grey scheme. Another unifying element was my use of a grey-blue paper from the Two Rivers Mill, which connects the whole
Takeaway Corner, Hitchin, watercolour, 15⫻231⁄2in (38⫻60cm). This painting explores the way complementary and harmonious colours work together without too many neutral effects in between. The bright, almost entirely pure colours of the signs on this row of shops contrast with the cool shadows of the morning light. The main colour is the orange signs of the biggest shop and my decision to contrast it with cobalt blue, which is almost directly opposite it on the colour wheel, represents the use of the three primary colours (blue, and the others in mixture as orange) to harmonise the painting. I think it worked well and all the other colours, from the red sign to the shadows on the roofs and buildings, are derived from them. The primary red is permanent rose with a touch of Indian yellow, as is the orange, made by changing the proportions. The cobalt made great shadows and neutrals with the addition of the other two. A few areas needed a pure colour to avoid a dull mixture and retain transparency, so I carefully selected colours that I felt would fit in with the general scheme. You can just make out touches of viridian and violet, which extend the blue range further to complement the oranges and reds
Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, watercolour, 153⁄4⫻193⁄4in (40⫻50cm). This view of Santa Maria della Salute uses a very cool colour range to represent the scene and whilst the colours are not true to the exact local colours of the scene their harmony creates a suitable feeling for the subject. Here the blue is cerulean with ultramarine violet and viridian. The cool pink of opera rose pushes the colour out from the blue segment of the colour wheel and provides a counterpoint to the others. This might be considered a dissonance as it is moving away from the blues but its cool character fits well within the picture scheme. The colours in the architecture were all added to the wet paper in their pure form without mixing and form the basis of the structure of the painting. The shimmering effect of these juxtapositions seems perfect for the reflected light bouncing off the water on to the building. Once dry the tonal details of this complicated church were added with a cool brown – raw umber. Balancing the visual weight of the building are the viridian and cerulean layers in the water. Here the harmony of the piece relies on the careful placing of areas of the main colours and keeping them clear and unmuddied
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Villa d’Este outside Rome, watercolour, 11 ⁄4⫻173⁄4in (30⫻45cm). Complementary harmony, where the three primaries are all together in one form or another, was the idea behind this painting. I wanted to contrast the many greens of the trees and landscape with the reds and oranges of the buildings. Complementary blue-greens in the foreground are balanced by the orange-reds of the distant town, whilst the yellow-greens are set against the violet-reds used elsewhere. In this way two pairs of complementary colours are deliberately used to balance the other. A direct mid-red and mid-green might have looked a bit too simplistic in this complicated scene so I made different mixtures in the same colour family to give interest through colour rather than tonal contrast. In this way the orange-red of the rooftops complements the blue-green of the foliage. Harmonising the colours was quite a complicated process, as some may have been too different to fit well within the piece. However, with careful mixing and a great deal of referring to my segmented colour wheel, where many greens are opposite many reds, my aim of harmonising all the primaries and their mixtures was achieved 3
Windmill Hill, Hitchin, watercolour, 193⁄4⫻291⁄2in (50⫻75cm). I was inspired to think about colour harmony by my direct observation of the orange evening light where everything was glowing with warm red-orange, even in the shadows. The painting was reproduced from a detailed pencil sketch made on the spot. Choosing a suitable palette required thought, as each colour needed to work well with the common orange (Winsor orange) and most of the mixtures were made from colours either side of orange in the colour wheel – red and yellow. Instead of blue I made use of ultramarine violet as its red content harmonised with the orange without jarring, as would have been the case with any blue. The few touches of blue in the distant roof tops are in fact the violet adjusted with a small amount of ultramarine and orange. This contrast is the only area in the scene behind the figures where non-harmonious colours were used. All others use the same limited palette of Winsor orange, Indian yellow, opera rose, light red and ultramarine violet. The redorange content of these made very subtle mixtures that related to each other, even in the stronger colouring of the foreground figures. In all, a very interesting exercise
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7pm, Cork Oaks. Cicadas are Stopping, Crickets are Starting. France, 2008, mixed media, 10⫻91⁄2 in (25.5⫻24cm)
Britain’s trees While travelling across country, Kurt Jackson detoured to visit a few of the veteran trees of Britain prolific draughtsman, Kurt Jackson never travels without pens, pencils, paints and some form of sketchbook. Most of the drawings are fully documented with date, time and location. Occasionally scribbled comments are added, giving details of meetings, lighting conditions, conversations and meals. This obsessive recording of everyday events – nothing is too mundane – is heightened by Jackson’s commitment to collage and his use of discarded newspapers and ephemera. He will literally use any found
matter in order to record the moment. Each image is glued into a sketchbook with his trusty Pritt stick, and then fully annotated. Ever ready to experiment with mark-making materials, the sketchbooks reflect an almost child-like enjoyment in the use of pencils, felt-tip pens, crayons, biros, charcoal, watercolour, ink, gouache, acrylic, mud, spit, lipstick and shoe polish. The list is never ending. Like many other artists, Jackson is meticulous. Compelled to draw every day, Kurt Jackson lets his energies and obsessions
flow freely across and over every page, and each sketchbook has acquired a battered patina through this restless pursuit of new visual experiences. Some even carry a gentle aroma of tea, coffee, food and of wine. The following is Kurt’s account of some of his experiences. The Knightwood Oak (right) sits on the edge of a woodland ride in the New Forest, not far from a car park, but far enough to make you feel she’s located deep in the forest. Reputedly 600 years old and looking every year of it, she
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On the Bench in Caroline’s Wood, 7pm, 19 April 2011, pencil, 121⁄2⫻111⁄2in (31⫻29cm) Scilly Thorn, June 2010, mixed media, 8⫻12in (20⫻30cm) t
West Dean Oak, July 2011, pencil and ink, 113⁄4⫻73⁄4in (29.5⫻19.5cm) t
The Knightwood Oak, January 2009, mixed media, 10⫻91⁄2in (25.5⫻24cm). My notes read ‘Cold New Forest, Knightwood Oak, 600 yrs old, January’ t
stands upright and proud amongst her neighbours. It was a cold winter’s day and the trees were leafless, showing their bare bones, shivering and swaying in the drizzle on this grey morning. I did a quick sketch whilst sitting under the tree in her dead-leaf litter – some splashes and strokes of watercolour, deep maroons and burnt umber with velvety green mossy bark. I laid down a grey sky between the boughs, and then scarified and incised it with my fingernails and twigs – the pigment collected in the scratches to
create a latticework of silhouetted branches; scraping into the wet painted trunk revealed the highlit saplings in the foreground. A little white ink brought out the light through from the watery sky and I was done. In Gloucestershire I visited the Ashbrittle Yew, which grows by the church in the village of Ashbrittle or, according to history, the church that was built next to a Bronze Age burial mound, where the yew tree had been planted. Apparently 3,000 years old, she takes the form of a 40ft-
wide, many-trunked dark mass of vegetation – an evergreen clump ruling over the churchyard with a plethora of sunken, topsy-turvy and lopsided gravestones. I painted a large mixedmedia work on paper throughout the day – a rather angst-ridden and frustrating effort that left me exhausted, dissatisfied and cold at the end. I was about to leave when I realised I hadn’t recorded my time shared with this yew in my sketchbook, and I manically scribbled a few lines with chilled fingers, adding a rubbing of the November 2012
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Midday, Chestnut Forest Full of Insect Life, France, 2008, mixed media, 10⫻91⁄2in (25⫻24cm)
t The Tortworth Chestnut, February 2009, wax crayon, pencil and collage, 10⫻91⁄2in (25⫻24cm)
t The Rarest Tree in Cornwall, the Wild Truro Pear, June 2011, mixed media and collage, 17⫻12in (43⫻30.5cm)
metal sign with her name and age. The Tortworth Chestnut (above left) is in the same county. One thousand years old, it is an extraordinary matriarch of twisted gnarly limbs, a sprawling mass of
branches, boughs and twigs, fenced off like some captive creature, with the dark undergrowth lit by a million snowdrops. I entered the enclosure feeling like a trespasser, and squatted at her feet silently to pay respect with some scribbled marks on my page. A pack of kids’ wax crayons provided the colour, some spit on my finger moved the graphite for tone, and a stick scraped the wax for texture. I plucked a few snowdrops guiltily to stick in the middle and added some scraps of paper to bring out the spaces between her trunks, Again I did a rubbing of a plaque; it was too cold for paint – literally freezing. Back in Cornwall, in May, the National Trust was surveying ‘the great trees of Cornwall’. They were planning to produce an educational pack for Cornish kids, and asked me to produce an image for its promotion and the front cover. Hearing about some ancient holly trees in Devichoys Wood Nature Reserve, not far from Falmouth, I set off to search them out. This ancient woodland grows up the steep valley side above the tidal river. I clambered uphill, pushing aside
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Practical This article is abridged from the book Kurt Jackson Sketchbooks by Kurt Jackson and Alan Livingston, published by Lund Humphries. Turn to page 63 to read a review of this book, and for details of our reader offer.
Sketchbook suppliers Kurt Jackson usually buys his sketchbooks from Winsor & Newton (www.winsornewton.com); DalerRowney (www.daler-rowney.com) and Lawrence Art Supplies (www.lawrence.co.uk). He uses a variety of sizes that includes A4, a square format, 121⁄4⫻121⁄4in (31⫻31cm) and 6⫻6in (15⫻15cm). Some are casebound, others spiralbound. The paper is normally acid-free, 160gsm or 170gsm.
Gorse Moon, February 2011, mixed media, 12⫻12in (30.5⫻30.5cm) t
Devichoys Chestnut, May 2009, mixed media and collage, 10⫻91⁄2in (25.5⫻24cm)
and through the vegetation, immersing myself in the woodland interior, sizing up and eyeing up the trees. I did meet a few hollies, but they didn’t seduce me or stop me or waylay me. Eventually I arrived at the upper boundary of the woodland, with wobbly legs and a little exasperated I looked around forlornly, but found myself amongst some beautiful antique chestnuts, not on the scale of the Gloucestershire beast, but eye-catching and full of character none the less. I selected one, contorted spreading beauty (right) and hunkered down to make a start. My paper filled with the emerald foliage and dark verticals – splatters and dribbles of watercolour, near-dry brushes full of pigment dragged across the surface. The chestnut’s bark is streaked and striated with age – its wrinkled skin reflected the wood light, cast shadows and shade. The rooks cawed and the pigeons cooed from above. I rubbed the juice of bluebell leaves and loamy earth on to the paper; I stuck on dry leaves from the forest floor and knifed crayon and oil pastel over and into it. Layers of materials and matter created the layers of vegetation. As the afternoon ended, I staggered back down through and out of the tree cover to leave the chestnuts to their own secluded privacy once again. TA
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your soul W
hen drawing or painting, how much time do you spend studying the subject before placing a line or shape on your pad or canvas? How often do you aim to connect with the subject or scene – the negative shapes, the form, the balance of items within your viewpoint, the relative proportions and your emotions? Art, for me, is 80 per cent inspiration, confidence and bravery, with the remaining 20 per cent split between application and much less emphasis on technique and material choices. These last come well down the list for creating work that is part of you. Too much is made of ‘how to’ and not enough of ‘why’. If something doesn’t inspire you to make art, why do it? Surely the end result becomes just a reproduction? If you like to paint landscapes, you will paint them with much more confidence if you can experience what it’s like to be there. If you are not are able to paint en plein air, sketch the scene and take photographs as a secondary reference. When you come to create your painting you will benefit from the fact that you have already laid down some visual interpretations. Make notes in your
and you will relive the emotion you had at the time.
Engagement When I teach I encourage my students to study the subject carefully for a minute before they do anything with their pencils. It not only helps to calm and prepare them but it grounds them in that moment, at that place, and enhances their connection with the subject. If the subject is more complex, such as a busy street scene, it may be necessary to observe for longer so that all areas have some
Max Hale sketchbook of the weather, the smell of the grass or the sea, and so on. You’ll remember your feet sinking into the wet sand as you sketched and the cry of the gulls as they swirled around you. None of this can be captured on a photograph, yet so many artists use photographs exclusively as reference. Even rudimentary notes are like a time capsule and, when you come to do your final painting, months or maybe even years later, I promise they will take you straight back
Rethymnon Harbour, Rotring rollerpoint pen in A4 sketch pad. This sketch was done in such heat and I remember wishing I could take a drink and shelter as I sat taking in the sounds and the smells of the harbour. Everyone else was eating in that cauldron of an environment. My notes were pretty specific and underline exactly my thoughts and feelings at the time
The creation of art should be an emotive, soulful and wholebody experience says Max Hale
Mirror, Mirror, sanguine Conté pencil on A2 cartridge paper. The drawing here was made in a mighty rush. I had to scribble the notes knowing that the emptiness of the room and the cool light was key to making the painting reflect the emotion I felt at the time
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Practical The White Duvet, Winsor & Newton artists’ acrylic on Winsor & Newton canvas board, 30⫻193⁄4in (76⫻50cm). This painting is pure emotion. It was inspired by, and painted soon after I had been to see, the Lucian Freud exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. The dominance of the white and the triangular composition gave me such a thrill and was a challenge to paint
scrutiny. This also includes soaking up the atmosphere and it helps them to ask the question ‘what would I like to achieve from this?’ I ask them to describe what they see and tell me where they will begin their drawing, and if the shapes in the subject remind them of anything. I ask each artist in the group to do this preliminary study and every one will be different. After a while this subject ‘capture’ should become second nature and you will automatically create a picture in your subconscious of
‘Spend some time getting the ‘vibes’ from your subject’ Max Hale’s tips for how to be aware of your subject l
When working from the subject take your time and, if possible, move about to get an angle that you like. It may look completely different from the other side of the road or even better close up.
l Spend some time getting the ‘vibes’ from your subject: imagine that you are
holding or touching the item or that you are in the scene and feeling what it’s like to be close to the subject. t
Mirror, Mirror, Royal Talens Cobra oils on gessoed hardboard, 193⁄4⫻113⁄4in (50⫻30cm). The painting turned out well considering the panic of the drawing. The notes really were key in bringing back the emotion – I could still feel it as I painted
Think about your subject, imagine it at other times of the day, for example. Notice if the trees are growing at an angle or if the walls of the building are perpendicular. How did they get to be like that?
l If you are a portrait artist, study your sitter. Chat to them and try to make
something of their personality; observe the way they move their head and hands. This will help you to feel a connection with them and your confidence will grow as this background knowledge filters through to your subconscious.
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SOULFUL ART Try this exercise. It will help you to understand how connecting with your subject will improve personal satisfaction and show through in your work
STAGE ONE Place a jug or pot on a table and ensure the backdrop is plain: put a piece of card or paper behind so that your mind won’t be distracted from the subject. If possible make sure it is well lit, not necessarily straight on, but from the side so the modelling is good. Sit or stand with your drawing pad and look at the subject. Imagine that you are touching it with the tips of your fingers, cupping the shape. Imagine that you are holding it, feel the weight of it in your hands and the texture of the surface. Ideally your jug or pot will have a spout and a handle. Turn it around so that the view is different, or move your easel or chair so that you are seeing a new side. Already you are connecting with your subject and know more than you did when it was first put there. Now examine the shape of the pot and imagine your drawing finished. Think of how the proportions work in relation to each other. Is it taller than it is wide? Is the top narrower than the bottom? Does the subject create a shadow and is it forward or to the side or more towards you? By now you will have a picture in your mind that, if not complete, will be a major advance on the brief view you will have had of it before this exercise
STAGE TWO Coffee Pot, 4B graphite pencil on A4 sketch pad. After a few moments of close study you will have the proportions mapped out in your mind as you start to draw and the ‘sketch’ in your head will flow on to the paper via your pencil. One word of warning, don’t stop looking at the subject, thinking you can draw it without. The study you made was the research, the building blocks. This is the real thing
the scene as you see it before you draw. It is a very powerful creative tool.
Commitment The other element in the making of soulful art is, simply, the commitment to making art. If improvement is to take place then drawing and painting once every few months or even every few weeks will not advance your skills. I have known students attend a beginners’ drawing workshop and then see me six months later for perhaps a refresher or an intermediate session, never having drawn or painted in between. If you truly wish to improve your art you must practise regularly, like any other learning process. Connecting with your inner being and mentally feeling your way around your subject will bring you closer to not only more meaningful and expressive art but it will enhance your pleasure and your confidence immensely. I can guarantee that your work will improve and that your style will become TA more apparent.
Still Life with Roses, Winsor & Newton artists’ acrylic on linen canvas, 193⁄4⫻153⁄4in (50⫻40cm). The backlight and the simple way the light caresses the vase and the blooms lifts this still life from the ordinary into extraordinary
first love is painting people. After obtaining a degree in fine art from Harrow Art School he worked as an illustrator for a commercial studio before reverting to fine art. He now lives and works in Wiltshire, and is an active tutor and demonstrator, running varied workshops. For more information see www.maxhaleart.co.uk, or contact Max on email@example.com.
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Prizes and Competitions At over 100 years old, The Pastel Society Open Exhibition is an important showcase exhibition for the medium, as Oliver Lange reports he Pastel Society was founded in 1898, with its first exhibition held the following year at the Royal Institute in Piccadilly. Founder members and early exhibitors included such notable artists as Brangwyn, Degas, Rodin, Rothenstein, Whistler and GF Watts. Now, the exhibition is held at the Mall Galleries in London and it is open to entries from both members and non-members. Various prizes are awarded at the exhibition and there are workshops and demonstrations on most days.
Opportunities for nonmembers Pastel is a surprisingly versatile medium and it is this potential for original, imaginative work, exploring the full qualities of the medium, that the Pastel Society is actively seeking to encourage in
Case study Crawfurd Adamson, who won the 2012 Pastel Society Award for Non-Members and also the Schmincke Award, believes that open exhibitions are well worth a try. ‘You never know where the outcome might lead,’ he says. ‘I have exhibited with the Pastel Society in the past and I sometimes submit work to other open exhibitions, especially if they have an initial online submission. Online submission is hugely beneficial for those artists living outside London, as the cost of transporting work for initial selection can be rather high, and even more so if the work is large. ‘It is difficult to quantify the benefits of winning a prize. My painting won two prizes yet it did not sell during the exhibition. Being asked to comment on the prize for The Artist magazine is in itself a positive outcome, and several websites also wrote reviews of the Pastel Society exhibition, which certainly led to a far higher number of visitors to my website. Having been a professional artist for 40 years, I am often surprised to find that something I did many years earlier might pay dividends at a much later date. Sometimes I am contacted by people who saw something years ago and are now in
the submissions to its annual exhibitions. ‘We have a very open mind,’ says Cheryl Culver RBA PS, the current president of the society. ‘We are quite prepared to look at abstract work or work which is unusual in any sense. And with many prizes available, two specifically for nonmembers, our aim is to attract more submissions and, in time, more younger members.’ For those artists who haven’t submitted work before, Cheryl’s advice is to aim for a sense of identity and continuity in the works that are offered. ‘We like to see a direction of style,’ she says, ‘rather than five works that look as though they were painted by different artists. The other key point is framing: choose a framing style that is sympathetic to your painting – ‘loud’ frames and brightly-coloured mounts should definitely be avoided.’
a position to consider buying a piece. Having my work in collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Fleming Collection, London helps give credibility to my work, and the Pastel Society prizes reinforce that. ‘My work is almost entirely based around the human figure. I paint it obsessively. The form of the body has always fascinated me, its vulnerability, strength and fragility defines the gamut of the human condition. I am fortunate to have outstanding models who can sustain difficult and uncomfortable poses for long periods. My paintings are a fusion of colour and shape that creates an abstract design, but without compromising the academic integrity of the drawing. ‘I also use figures in large group scenes that create a strange, atmospheric, implied narrative. I set the figures into spaces, such as clubs and pubs, and then move them around to create compositions that use their shapes and colours in an abstract way to create a balance or imbalance that heightens the narrative. My ideas come from everywhere: reading, observation and imagination. I then pose models in similar positions and make drawings that provide me with the necessary information to
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition Submissions You may submit a maximum of six works, of which a maximum of four works may be selected. Acceptable media include pastel, oil pastel, charcoal, pencil, Conté, sanguine or any dry media. All works must be framed and offered for sale, with a minimum price of £300. Registration packs and online registration details are available from the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1, telephone 020 7930 6844, www.mallgalleries.org.uk; or from the Pastel Society website at www.thepastelsociety.org.uk. The 2013 exhibition opens on June 10 and runs until June 22. TA
Crawfurd Adamson, Text, pastel on paper, 51⫻42in (130⫻107cm) proceed. I mainly work in oils or pastels and enjoy the differences in approach. One additional pleasure of working with pastels is not having to clean every brush carefully at the end of the day! ‘Text is a large pastel of a group scene set in a club. The two main figures that dominate the work are looking out of the painting at something or someone unseen, while the smaller figure behind is looking the other way and texting.’ www.crawfurdadamson.com
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Catalyst Blades, Wedges and Polytip Bristle brushes These innovative new products have found a permanent place in Soraya French’s art box
rinceton Artist Brush Co was established in 1992 and today is one of the largest brush manufacturers in North America. In the years since, Princeton has brought many unique products to artists, the most recent of which is Catalyst, an innovative new line of creative tools. Catalyst Polytip Bristle brushes are super-strong yet quite responsive and Catalyst Blades and Wedges are a new kind of tool made of engineered silicone.
Versatile As a mixed-media artist working in acrylics including acrylic gels and pastes, I
have had to become quite resourceful in finding tools (not always from an art shop) with which to apply materials more easily and efficiently. I think I have lost count of the number of rusty palette knives, combs, and other gadgets that I have thrown away over the years. So it is great to finally come across a set of tools that are made especially for artists and tick all the right boxes. The new Catalyst Blades and Wedges are not quite brushes or palette knives. Made from flexible silicone they not only work for the more traditional artist but are absolutely ideal tools for experimental artists who are looking for more efficient
ways of making a variety of expressive and interesting marks and textures. These tools will do the job superbly, are easy to clean and long lasting.
The tools The wedges are designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, thus allowing for a more direct interaction with your paints and materials. They come with plain or serrated edges for a variety of mark making possibilities and are great for pushing the paint around the canvas, or for preparing your support by priming or applying gels and pastes to make a textured ground. The blades come in different sizes and are colour coded. Mounted on beautifully crafted artists’ wooden brush handles with a good length, the silicone heads make for a smooth application of either paints or gels to the support, while their flexibility allows you to get to those hardto-reach places. The heads can be removed from the handles for ease of cleaning. The variety of shaped edges on both blades and wedges provides numerous possibilities for all kinds of exciting textures. Working with heavybody paints in impasto style often results in a certain amount of wasted paint, which remains lodged within the hairs of the brush. The silicone heads of the blades allow for every last drop of paint to transfer to your canvas, reducing the amount of wasted paint. Silicone is heat and solvent resistant, so suitable for use with encaustics and ideal for the oil painter. Both blades and wedges work Spotty Blue Jug, Golden Heavy Body acrylic, 10⫻10in (25.5⫻25.5cm). This quick and spontaneous study was done mainly with my Polytip Bristle bright size 12. The brush holds a good amount of paint for this fast and bold approach to painting with heavy body acrylics. I then used my round brush to add the flower heads and spots on the jug
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Surface prep gesso The straight-edged wedge is great for applying gesso to the support as it covers a large area in a very short space of time. It is equally great for applying large amounts of oil or acrylic to your canvas or paper, and moving the paint around
Spreading gels Spreading various gels and pastes is an absolute breeze with these tools. On this sample board I applied Golden Heavy Gel, Coarse Pumice Gel and High Solid Gel using various blades. For larger canvases I would use the wedges, which can quickly cover a large area of the paper or canvas
Mark making This is one of my mark making sample boards. Here you can see the variety of marks that can be achieved with the different blades – the possibilities are endless. These textures can be easily incorporated into any conventional or more experimental and adventurous paintings
‘The true advantage of Catalyst is the Polytip feature’ equally well with soft-body acrylics, such as Golden’s Fluid range, and these versatile tools can be used for sculpting and a variety of crafts.
Surface preparation If you have ever attempted to obtain a smooth finish when applying gesso you will know that it is a rather challenging task. Inevitably some brushmarks are left behind, which is good when you need a more textured surface. I used a smoothedged wedge to apply gesso and was delighted to get the seamless and smooth surface that I required for a particular painting. The surface of the wedge is designed in such a way that it allows every last drop of the gesso to transfer from the wedge to the support. There was hardly any waste and it took me under a minute to clean the wedge thoroughly – it takes considerably longer to wash gesso from a brush. For a more textured application of gesso you can choose from a number of wedges or blades with serrated edges. The same applies to other kinds of ground preparation products, such as Golden’s
acrylic ground for pastels, and absorbent ground.
Catalyst Polytip Bristle brushes Catalyst Polytip Bristle brushes are another Princeton breakthrough that advances the science of synthetic hair. These brushes have the right amount of stiffness to be used with heavy body acrylics and oils while remaining extremely responsive. Unlike natural bristle hair brushes, they tend to keep their shape when immersed in water. The true advantage of Catalyst is the Polytip feature. The tip of each individual hair has been split to replicate the natural
flags on the finest natural bristle. As each individual hair has two to three distinct tips, Catalyst brushes are able to hold a higher volume of paint while providing a smoother application. They come in various shapes such as flat, round, fan, filbert and angle bright. I enjoyed working with Polytip brushes, wedges and blades and found them really effective. They have all got a permanent TA place in my art box.
Catalyst Blades, Wedges and Polytip Bristle brushes are distributed in the UK by Global Art Supplies. For stockists, telephone 01980 625625
Purple Mountain, mixed media, 10⫻12in (25.5⫻30.5cm). I started this painting by applying gesso with a straight-edged wedge and then used one of my plain size 30 blades for spreading coarse pumice gel on the darker area on the right-hand side to suggest the trees. I used heavy gel mixed with my paints to paint the mountains with a size 15 straight-edged blade. The blade with a comb-like edge was great for sgrafitto technique to scratch out the top layer of paint and reveal the colours underneath. I used the same blade dipped in Golden Airbrush colours to splatter some light green ink on the dark trees
Artists’ materials since 1859
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The Four Gentlemen Maggie Cross begins a two-part introduction to Chinese brush painting hinese painting can be addictive. I studied conventional art at school and college but, having been brought up in Hong Kong, it is Chinese painting that has had the greatest influence on me. In addition to learning the techniques, you cannot avoid becoming fascinated by the history, symbolism, the ritual and tradition that surrounds it. Chinese painting has its origins in calligraphy, which is completed with a brush and requires the same skill of handling the brush as the painting. A well-written piece of calligraphy can be just as highly prized as a painting. The two are often referred to as the ‘twin sister of the brush’.
The Four Gentlemen I have chosen The Four Gentlemen as the subject for my first article because they are regarded as the foundation for all students. They consist of plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum, and represent the four seasons as well as having their own symbolic meanings. The plum blossom, representing winter, is also symbolic of endurance as it often flowers when the snow is still on the ground. The flowers, which may be pink or white, appear before the leaves and this is how they are depicted in paintings. The symbol of spring is the orchid, which also signifies virtue and simple beauty. It is the delicate wild orchids that are referred to as they tend to grow in inaccessible areas such as crevices in rocks overlooking rivers or streams, and you could easily walk past without noticing them. The bamboo is the symbol of summer but also of strength, both physical and mental, as it will bend and sway in the severest of gales but does not break. Its hollow trunk means humility. Bamboo, together with plum blossom and pine are also known as the ‘Three Friends in Winter’, as pine and bamboo are evergreen and the plum blooms in the cold. The chrysanthemum, which represents autumn, is thought of as a loner, preferring autumn, which is less crowded with flowers than the profusion in spring.
Materials The materials used for Chinese painting play an important part. The basics are known as ‘The Four Treasures of the artist’s studio’. They consist of an inkstick, inkstone, brush and paper. The inkstick is made from soot (most commonly from pine) and glue, which are mixed with water to a consistency of pastry. This is kneaded until it is smooth, when it is placed in moulds and left to dry naturally. When dry the stick is removed from the mould and hand-painted with a variety of designs. The inkstone is most commonly made from slate and has a well for grinding ink. Those with a lid are most useful. The process of grinding ink, apart from the
obvious function, also has a calming, meditative effect. The method is to drop a small amount of water – roughly a teaspoonful – on to the stone and grind the inkstick on it in firm circular movements. Once a reasonably black ink has been made the stick must be laid to one side. If it is left on the stone, it will stick fast! Nowadays, many Chinese artists use ready-mixed liquid ink but it seems a pity to omit this grinding stage. Brushes are made from a variety of animal hairs, such as goat, which is soft, to squirrel or wolf, which are firmer and easier for a beginner. The hairs are carefully graded and arranged in a bundle before being wound with twine and glued into a bamboo handle. The brushes, when dampened, make a fine point. There are many sizes and qualities of brush. They are comparatively inexpensive but it is advisable to buy the best you can afford. If in China, visit an art shop rather than a tourist one. The paper is made by hand from a variety of plant fibres and is absorbent, which makes it a little tricky to master initially but it becomes easier with practice. There is a wide variety of papers but in these demonstrations I have used grass and Xuan papers. Other materials include colours, November 2012
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C H I N E S E B R U S H PA I N T I N G palettes, water pots many other very collectable objects. Nowadays most Chinese artists use tube colours. These are water-soluble but they contain gum, which makes them less fugitive and some colours are opaque. Gouache or watercolours could be used as a substitute.
shaft between your thumb and first two fingers, using the other two fingers to anchor it. It can be held upright, ie at right angles to your paper, or to one side to create wider brushstrokes, as shown (below). Another fascinating effect that can be achieved in Chinese painting is that of loading two or more tones or
colours on to the brush at the same time. First roll the brush in the paler tone or colour (approximately two thirds of the way up the brush) and follow by rolling the tip in a darker tone or colour (below). The Chinese believe in observing and sketching the subject and committing it to memory before painting directly on to
Getting started Confident brushwork is the key to successful Chinese painting. Therefore it is a good idea to practise brushstrokes on a paper such as grass paper before painting your composition. Grass paper contains a certain amount of size, which makes it less absorbent and easier to handle. It is important to hold your brush correctly. Grip it about halfway up the
Shades of ink - all Four Gentlemen
Plum blossom and bamboo
the blank paper. It is thought that by doing this your painting will have more chi or vitality. The result is impressionistic although remaining realistic. As a beginner you will be copying my examples. It is a good idea to study this for a while before starting to paint. A traditional Chinese composition is based on the Yin Yang symbol of the two fish expressing the importance of balance. Therefore you will notice that a composition always has areas of space. Another rule of composition is the ‘host’ and ‘guest’ theory where one area of a painting will be denser than another. This is more obvious in some paintings than TA others.
I have combined bamboo and plum blossom, making the latter the more dominant. First paint the bamboo trunks and branches followed by the leaves and joints in pale indigo (see below). Allow it to dry completely before painting the branches and plum blossom
Young bamboo leaves
To paint leaves, bring brush down vertically, drag and lift gradually Old leaves
To paint side branches, brush slightly at an angle, keep equal pressure
To paint bamboo canes, brush slightly at an angle, keep equal pressure
Branches and plum blossom Begin with the trunk and branches of the plum blossom, using dark ink, leaving spaces for the flowers on the younger branches. To paint the flowers, load your brush with a pale ink before rolling the tip into a darker red. I have used rose and rouge but any blue-red is suitable. Be sure to dab off any excess liquid on a paper towel before you start. Paint groups of flowers, showing them in a variety of perspectives and include some buds. Remember to make one group of flowers more dominant to follow the ‘host’ and ‘guest’ rule. Finally paint in sepals and stamens in ink after the flowers and buds are dry to avoid any bleeding
Paint trunk and branches with a fairly quick stroke. Lift brush to achieve thinner stroke
Spaces for flowers
Draw circle shape with brush held slightly at an angle
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Practical Lift off
To achieve the fine, tapering end of leaves, take brush off gradually (like a duck taking off) 2
Press Phoenix eye Lift Press
Sweep on and off to achieve point
The Orchid The orchid is generally painted in tones of ink but the flowers could be painted in a delicate colour if preferred. To achieve a variety of tones, add varying amounts of water to your ground ink. I have painted several flowers to a stem but there is also a variety that has one flower to each stem. Beginners will probably find it easier to paint the stalk first, before adding the flowers, which grow alternately
Begin by painting the leaves in dark ink, tapering them off to a fine point. The arrangement generally includes two leaves crossed over, known as the ‘phoenix eye’. Another leaf may be painted crossing the ‘eye’. The flowers are now arranged among the leaves. A space could be left for a flower to cross over the stalk. Finally, when the flowers are almost dry, paint in the stamens. These are an important part of the composition as they represent the eyes of a beautiful woman!
Chrysanthemum In the chrysanthemum composition I have used autumn colours for the flower and shades of ink for the leaves. It is important to vary the shades from pale grey to black to make your painting more interesting
Having planned your composition, begin by painting the flowers, then the main stems, leaving spaces for overlapping leaves. The leaves are painted next. In the illustration there are darker leaves with paler ones in the background. To achieve the twotone effect, roll your brush first in a lighter ink (making sure to dab off any excess), followed by dark ink on the tip of the brush. Finally add details such as veins and stamens when the paint is only slightly damp Maggie Cross has put together a Chinese brush painting starter kit consisting of ten sheets of grass paper, a sheet of Xuan paper, two brushes, a bottle of ink and her book A Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Painting price £15 plus £3 p&p. Alternatively, she can supply a starter kit that contains an ink stick and inkstone rather than a bottle of ink, for £20 plus £3 p&p. To order, contact Maggie via her website: www.maggie-cross.co.uk or email Maggie directly: maggiex.email@ yahoo.co.uk. Please indicate whether you require liquid ink or an inkstick and inkstone.
You can read more about Chinese brush painting in The Art of Chinese Brush Painting by Maggie Cross. Copies can be purchased from Painters'books at the discounted price of £16.99. Please quote 201089 when ordering. For details of how to order, see page 63. Other suppliers of Chinese materials are Sidewinder Studios: www.sidewinder studio.co.uk; telephone 01243 552186. November 2012
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LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS
Pastel techniques Susie Hodge’s four-part series continues by studying pastel portraits from our museums and art galleries
he name pastel comes from the French word pastiche, meaning mixture or jumble, as artists’ pastels are pure powdered pigment mixed with a special binder, usually gum or wax, ground into a paste, rolled into a stick and allowed to dry. Because the greatest proportion of the sticks is pure pigment, pastel is the most permanent of all media. Chalk pastels have been in use since the Renaissance, although oil pastels were not used until the 20th century. All pastels allow fast work, broad blends of colour and abundant layering. This month, four pastel works by different artists from the Courtauld Institute Gallery and Leighton House Museum in London and Down
House in Kent are featured. Although each work is a portrait, each is completely different.
Tools and techniques Quentin de la Tour (1704–88) and Edgar Degas (1834–1917) are the artists most well known for their pastel paintings. Yet they were not by any means the earliest pastellists. Chalks and other powdered pigments have been used for thousands of years across the world, some dating from around 40000 BC. One of the earliest references to pastels (as opposed to simple chalks) occurred in a treatise in Italy by the 16th century painter and writer Giovanni Lomazzo (1538–c1600),
who wrote in 1585 of ‘specially made points of coloured powders.’ Yet their invention is often attributed to a German painter who was born a century later, Johann Alexander Thiele (1685–1752). Chalk pastels are available in soft or hard consistencies and hard pastels are also available in pencil form. Soft pastels contain a higher portion of pigment and less binder. They are easily smudged and blended and work best in free, loose work. Hard pastels have a higher portion of binder and less pigment, making them useful for fine details. Many artists have used pastels over body colour, usually gouache or occasionally oil paint. Body colour can
Samuel Laurence Charles Darwin, 1853, pastel on grey card, 35⫻29in (90⫻73.5cm), Down House, Downe, Kent Considering the depth, sensitivity and expressiveness of this portrait, it is rendered with surprisingly few marks. Black, brown, pale blue and white pastels have been used with no underpainting or body colour – marks have been applied directly to the grey card support. Once Laurence had marked down the essentials of Darwin’s three-quarter profile and collar, he left the sketch alone knowing that to overwork it, the fluency and clarity would have been lost. Soft edges were created for the hair, eyebrows and highlights on the cheeks, while hard edges were used for the outline, facial features and collars. Soft edges were achieved with layers and blending, while hard edges were created with firm strokes of the chalks in particular areas. Laurence began by focusing on the darkest tones, building up the form of Darwin’s head and shoulders. The pastel was smudged and blended in some areas, while a sharpened tip or point picked out some of the most expressive lines in the hair, eyes and under the collar. He made sure that he left plenty of untouched paper for the lighter tones. Next, he established just a few marks in certain areas to represent light shining on Darwin’s face, giving it a certain amount of zest and the impression of three dimensions.
Laurence used the simplest, minimal marks to capture Darwin’s likeness. Initially, the contours of the head were marked in and then strokes of pastel began to build up details, such as hair and facial features. He used the grey card beneath as the mid-tones
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Practical add another dimension or intensity to a finished work. Apart from that, generally with chalk pastels, grounds should have a ‘tooth.’ Too much texture or roughness however can take excessive amounts of colour from the stick. In the 18th century, smooth supports primed with glue and marble powder were popular as well as textured surfaces. Coloured grounds, such as neutral mid-tones have an enriching effect with any form of chalk or pastel. Torchons are useful blending tools; a kneaded eraser is good for lifting out colour and spray fixative can help to ensure that the pigment adheres to the support. Fixative can be used during the building-up process, when the work is complete, or not at all. There is no traditional method of using pastels, although as with any opaque medium, it is usually best to start with the darkest colours. How you apply it is an individual TA choice.
Two apples, one pastel (above), one charcoal (below), 6⫻6in (15⫻15cm) each. These images demonstrate the differences between pastel application and chalk and charcoal. Apart from the obvious colour differences, pastel allows for layers to be blended, creating a more in-depth, lifelike image, while charcoal and chalk tends to be applied with minimal, light strokes and fewer layers
Frederic Lord Leighton Study of a Female Head in Contemporary Dress, 1891–96, black and white chalk on brown paper, 10⫻8in (25.5⫻19.9cm), Leighton House Museum, London This is probably Dorothy Dene, an actress who became Leighton’s muse from the early 1880s. By the 1890s he was a baronet, respected throughout Europe for his fluent and fashionable paintings. Leighton was trained abroad and maintained the continental practice of making successive preparatory drawings for final works. By this time in his career, his handling of all materials was free and confident, while his understanding of colour and representation of textures were expressive and eloquent. A prolific painter and sculptor, in common with his other artist friends, he produced numerous detailed studies for finished works in black and white chalk on brown paper. Most of these were preparatory works and this chalk study demonstrates some of the differences between the handling, treatment and effects of chalk as opposed to pastel. Chalk requires a lighter, sketchier touch, the paper beneath is used significantly as part of the image and there is little layering, unlike the smoother, firmer approach and successive layers usually used with pastels.
Leighton’s touch is light, with small, quick, linear strokes that focus on the curves of the face, while the firm outlines show his adherence to contemporary continental methods of draughtsmanship. This shows the general directions of his lines and his fluid, confident handling of the medium
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LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS
Although it is not immediately apparent, Fairfax Murray used several different colours to build up Emma’s skin and hair tones, applying layers to create intensity, with lighter marks to pick out elements such as her eyes, mouth, eyebrows and facial lines. After the advent of photographs, this adherence to naturalism in fine art became fashionable. The few lines portray the sitter’s character and give a more personal expression than a photograph could
Charles Fairfax Murray Emma Darwin, 1890–6, pastel on brown paper fully lined on linen, 47⫻39in (119⫻99cm), Down House, Downe, Kent
Emma Darwin (1808-96) was Charles Darwin’s wife as well as granddaughter of the potter Josiah Wedgwood. Charles Darwin, who shared the Wedgwood grandparents, was her first cousin. Despite their close blood connection, they had ten children, seven of whom grew up healthily. This portrait of her was completed when she was in her eighties. From an early age, Fairfax Murray showed great skills in drawing and painting and spent almost the
whole of his career involved in some capacity with the Pre-Raphaelites John Ruskin and William Morris. This work demonstrates his proficiency and confident handling of pastels: the face and hands are lightly rendered but detailed, while the clothing and chair are sketchier. The kindly face is built up with small marks, layered and blended to create a lifelike impression and the expressive hands are depicted with the subtlest of marks and tones. Details such
as her hair, buttons, the bow around the neck and her lace cap are picked out with small marks, blended and worked carefully and precisely, while the blanket around her shoulders is created with long, loose layered lines that convey the texture and drape of the fabric. The lines and other marks build up impressions of pattern, texture and tone, giving viewers enough information to work out exactly what the sitter was wearing and sitting on.
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Practical Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Jane Avril in the Entrance to the Moulin Rouge putting on her Gloves, c1892, oil and pastel on millboard, laid on panel, 40⫻21 ⁄ in (101.5⫻55cm), Courtauld Institute Galleries, London 3
Jane Avril was a well-known dancer and from 1889 she and ToulouseLautrec became close friends. This radical composition (for the time) reflects his admiration for Japanese prints. Toulouse-Lautrec’s treatment of his subjects was notoriously harsh; he made no attempt to flatter them and his style came to typify the era. Yet this image of Jane Avril, while not complimentary, was certainly not cruel. As with any medium he used, Toulouse-Lautrec used pastels in a personal and innovative manner. Experimenting with techniques, here he initially painted broad areas of oil paint in sweeping, approximate strokes and then worked judiciously over the top with pastel. In this way, he combined colour and drawing, defining forms sharply and accentuating colours. One of his greatest strengths was in his quick and assured application of whatever medium he was using. He simplified everything, reducing his subjects to essentials only. His application appears spontaneous, but it was actually carefully considered and with his innate understanding of viewers’ interpretation, he used strong colours that catch the eye without jarring or irritating. His sinuous lines have a similar effect, drawing viewers’ eyes around the image. His overall style, although unique, is an amalgamation of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Art Nouveau, Japonisme and his own poignant life experiences.
Toulouse-Lautrec created this image with scratchy, loose, long marks. Around Jane’s face and bonnet, fine strokes of reds, yellows and greens are set against the blue-green background, drawing attention to her vulnerability and hinting of the person behind the celebrity. The marks go in all directions and they had to be applied quickly to achieve the effects made by Lautrec
The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, www.courtauld.ac.uk Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ, www.rbkc.gov.uk Down House, Luxted Road, Downe, Kent BR6 7JT, www.english-heritage.org.uk
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Adele Wagstaff finds that working further afield affords exciting opportunities. Here she describes the joys and offers advice on the practicalities of drawing people in a different location aving an opportunity to be able to work in a new environment or community, whether it is overseas or a little closer to home can offer us some interesting and inspiring experiences. Being able to break away from our daily routine and being open and responsive to new places, light, colour etc may take our work in quite a different direction.
First steps It can be daunting at first to work somewhere completely new. It is easier if you have a contact or friend of a friend who can help to get the ball rolling. I had first visited Cairo and the Nile Valley many years ago, and was immediately struck by the beauty of the people and the quality of light and colour. It was in 2006 that I made my first working visit to Luxor after being shortlisted for the BP Travel Award. At the time I did have a contact in Luxor who was able to make a few introductions. Once I had made a few drawings I found that volunteers for other portraits came thick and fast. I worked with models young and old, male and female. Once I had made a drawing of one member of the family, everyone else wanted to sit for a drawing too. Always ask before talking a photograph or of course sketching someone. In some countries photography isnâ€™t welcome, and you may be shouted at if you try. In Egypt people I have asked have always been happy to pose for a photo or two. With digital cameras it is so easy to show them the image once taken. Sherif, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. One of the great things about making repeated trips to a particular place is that you are able to continue to work with the same people. In Luxor I have had the wonderful opportunity of being of able to draw and paint young people growing up, and a series of portraits of the same person documents a changing relationship. This young man first sat for me while at school and has continued since during each of my stays
Drawing a portrait Finding models was the easy part for me. The problem sometimes is where to work. Sitting by the roadside means you are open to the elements and you may attract
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Aya, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. This beautiful young model volunteered to sit for me during my second visit to her family home. By then she had seen a number of drawings and the drawing of her father Eid (below). Now a little older, she happily sat for an hour. Each time I looked up from the drawing board, she had moved a little closer, such was her curiosity
The Card Players, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. This rapid sketch was made while two neighbours argued their way through a game of cards
Eid, B, 2B and 4B pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. I was sitting on a wooden bench at the side of the road, shaded from the heat of the late afternoon of yet another scorching and dusty day, with a model seated in front of me. We both sat cross-legged on the bench facing one another. I had long wanted to draw Eid, and finally he agreed to sit for an hour or two. He was wearing a very smart galabiya, light in tone as is the custom at the start of summer to reflect the heat. It was quite an unusual sight, our sitting by the side of the road, my drawing board and paper in hand, working on a portrait drawing (right). The neighbours were curious and people walking by came to peer over my shoulder to take a look, to smile and give the thumbs-up before walking on. Iâ€™ve had many more volunteers to sit for a portrait this way. Local children ran up to observe, getting so close they started pushing. Always smiling, hoping that a little bit of chocolate or a pen might be handed over. As time passed the light began to change, the sky took on the hues of lavender and peach and the call to prayer began from the mosques, signalling the end of another dayâ€™s work making portraits of friends and local people in a small community on the edge of Luxor. The scale of this drawing is approximately two-thirds life size (right) and the sitting was approximately an hour and a half
a lot of unwanted attention, and you may need a friend to act as a chaperone. One of the difficulties has been that many of my models want to keep the drawing once it is finished. Although one or two portraits have made their way back to Egypt, I was very reluctant to part with any work too soon as I had
exhibitions planned for the portrait series. If a return trip is planned, a copy of the portrait, or a photograph, will act as a reminder of the moment. I have since made many of my drawings into etchings or dry points, so I have then been able to take one of the series to give to each of my sitters. If you don't have another visit
planned, try to find a local photocopier if you don't want to part with your work before heading home.
Practical points When working away from home it is important to plan ahead and make sure that you take with you all the materials November 2012
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PORTRAITS FROM EGYPT you will need for the trip. It can be difficult to source materials locally, and seeking out them out takes up valuable time. l Double-check what you can take on to an aeroplane. Many airlines no longer allow travel with oil paints, for example, so an alternative may be easier. l Think about the scale of the work you will be making. If travelling with sketchbooks, papers, boards or canvases remember your weight allowance. When added up, materials can be rather heavy in your luggage! l Do check dates of local festivals, customs, etc. For example, my first working trip fell during the time of Ramadan, which made it more difficult to persuade people to sit towards the end of the day when they were exhausted through fasting. Those who did sit would disappear very quickly as soon as the evening call to prayer began for the family meal. l Do consider the temperatures you will be working in when planning a working trip overseas. During the Egyptian summer the heat is fierce and working in temperatures of 50 degrees in the shade may not be the most productive. If working in this part of the world, it is important to make sure that you are dressed appropriately â€“ covering up as well as being protected from the sun. TA
Mahmoud, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. This model has sat for a number of drawings and paintings. He is very interested in the entire process and has always been willing to sit for another work if he can see another medium being used. He has been captured in oils, pencil, drypoint and, most recently, silverpoint
Old Man Waiting, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. On my daily walks around the community I would pass this old man, always sitting by the roadside in front of his house, always the same. When would I draw him? Eventually I took time between other sittings to make this drawing of him. As it is very linear I intend to develop this drawing into a drypoint etching
Aza, pencil and graphite on A3 cartridge paper. In this drawing you can see the strong and welldefined features that first attracted me to the Egyptian face. In my portrait work the way in which I observe is to focus on the planes and facets that describe the head. It is these shapes and contours that are so wonderfully descriptive and remind me of ancient sculpture
Next month Iâ€™ll discuss sculpture and wall reliefs as inspiration. Different etching processes will be described and explored to demonstrate linear, tonal and textured prints.
TA11p53_How to be an art tutor_Layout 1 26/09/2012 13:50 Page 53
Could you teach art? Steve Strode offers some advice to those who are thinking about becoming an art tutor rt tutors come from all walks of life but most tutors agree that while good subject knowledge is vital, most good painters are capable of teaching ‘leisure’ classes. Working for a local authority, educational foundation or even privately could be a solution to earning a regular income.
Points to consider:
l Public liability is covered by most providers, but the private teacher should also consider this. A policy can be tailored to suit your needs, so shop around.
It may be better to gain experience working for your local authority or an educational provider before you strike out on your own, as this gives you invaluable experience of running a course. When it comes to teaching on accredited courses, Bernie Kennedy of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) offers some advice: ‘A teaching qualification is always welcome but not an absolute requirement. If you’re confident about your work and your ability to pass on those skills, it’s not in our interest to discriminate against someone for not having a teaching certificate. After six months we’ll get you on a short teaching course of about 30 hours, which we’ll fund. Get in touch with the WEA in your area and see if they’d be open to a course before you commit to getting everything together. You’ll need a six-week scheme of work and one lesson plan. Alternatively, send in a CV or speak to someone at a local level. On more than one occasion I’ve got back to a prospective tutor at a later date with news of an opening.’
Structuring your lessons You can teach your technique alone, but I feel student painters benefit from looking at different artists when they’re developing their own voice. Each of my lessons follows a familiar structure and we work no bigger than A4 due to time restrictions. Students can work as large as they like on home study assignments, which accompany most lessons and reinforce the points covered in class. I paint a small demo at home for every lesson, to plot the teaching points and pitfalls. Every session is like a magazine step-by-step demonstration, brought to life with a tutor commentary.
l Official bodies such as the WEA are legally required to have you vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). They usually do this at their own expense although some agencies may expect you to foot the £44 bill. l Local Education Authority (LEA) and other educational providers can also require that you’re a member of the Institute for Learning (IFL), which is usually funded by the artist. This is not a requirement at the WEA or for the private practitioner.
l Whilst the hourly rate of pay may be good, lessons can take many hours to prepare, and you risk being buried in lots of paperwork, because established providers often have to justify their numbers for funding, etc. l Private teaching can be less formal and paper intensive, but the actual requirements for good teaching and preparation won’t change. l If you intend to run your own course, look at the market and gauge the prices paid in your area – do the maths. Estimate what you’d have to charge a minimum number of students after deducting costs for room hire, paints and other expenses, such as photocopied handouts, travel etc. l Every course will have different expectations of student achievement with a different medium. Think back to when you were learning and make a list of all the things you‘d like to have been shown. Break this down into achievable steps and you have a scheme of work. The lesson plan is a guide to the individual topics you will cover during each session. Schemes of work that I’ve used for both educational establishments and private classes are not the only way to teach a painting course. A course of ten different lessons would still be valid, and yours will probably be different again.
Artist-turned-teacher Roy Munday says: ‘Most of my income derives from teaching art. My week involves running classes for the council and private courses. While some students want to explore art up to a qualified level, most adults take it up as a leisure activity
Drawing and painting one of the models used in a life class Photo courtesy of art tutor Roy Mund
Each lesson begins with a recap of the previous week and a ‘walk around’ of the students’ home study. It ends with a class display of the work produced and a question-and-answer session. This beginning and end to each session generates a genuine camaraderie and builds confidence among students. Don’t try to get students to run before they can walk: what you now find simple to execute will take the student twice as long, with varying degrees of difficulty. Why not put together your own short
course and pass on your skills and knowledge. And remember, the students don’t have to turn up – they’re investing as much time in the tutor as in the painting. One final thought: teaching is often a good supplement to your own practice, and could lead to all sorts of new TA discoveries in your own work. www.wea.org.uk/jobs/teachwithus www.simplybusiness.co.uk/insurance /artists
Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2013
CALL FOR ENTRIES
A prize for representational painting
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Final submission day: London 12 January 2013
Sponsored by: The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Lynn Foundation Minerva Magazine Linklaters LLP
Total prize money £25,000
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.parkerharris.co.uk Or send a SAE to: Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Parker Harris, PO Box 279, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8YZ
Tel: 01372 462 190 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLICK & SAVE! Get FREE P&P and Members prices with your first online order at
www.saa.co.uk No membership fee required! Please quote: AR1211
Image: Dice Jar by Charlotte Harris, 2012 exhibitor
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The smart approach to A
ll artists like to see their pieces prominently displayed in art galleries, and why wouldn’t they? Be Smart About Art Academy has conducted some research that should help you to find, and maintain, a working relationship with a gallerist. Here are some key points to bear in mind when trying to secure your first gallery show. They will also help you to maintain an ongoing collaboration with the gallery. l It’s all about your network. l You should regularly exhibit in group shows, juried exhibitions and open studios, which includes building credibility as a professional artist. l Maintain clear communication and set expectations with the other party. l In your working relationship with an agent it’s important that both parties view the relationship as a collaboration that includes transparency and willingness to communicate regularly. This results in a healthy, trusting situation. Put any agreements in writing, even if it’s by email. l Attitude. This is frequently what informs the gallerist’s final decision about representing an artist. Established gallerists say that the weight on an artist’s
Tips on how to secure a first exhibition and build a long-term working relationship with a gallerist, from Susan Mumford
ability versus the likelihood of having a good working relationship is at least 50/50. Whilst the artist must produce pieces that the agent likes and can sell, the individual needs to be a willing, supportive partner. As artist Marcus McAllister says: ‘Don’t expect a gallery person to be riding up on their white steed to whisk you off to the castle. If it does happen – it’s the exception.’
Finding a gallerist When we asked art dealers how they met the artists they represent, the majority replied that it was via other artists they worked with. The second most common method of introduction was ‘discovering’ an artist at an exhibition: this takes any pressure off the gallerist and enables an independent selection. The last method of
introduction was via another art dealer/agent. These three key introduction routes place emphasis on artists’ networks as well as regular group/juried exhibitions. A gallerist wants to see that an artist is actively building a career and such experience is evidenced on a CV full of exhibitions, open studios and more. Quotations by critics, scholars, gallerists and collectors should also be included on a CV to show credibility. However, the steps to achieving a first exhibition are not limited to your art world network, there are other routes to consider – see TA Marcus McAllister’s story (below). The Be Smart About Art Academy www.besmartaboutart.com; email@example.com; telephone 020 7748 2340
Case study: An American artist in Paris Marcus McAllister is a full-time professional artist who has lived and worked in Paris for 16 years. His first experience of exhibiting highlights the importance of artists’ general networks. Marcus’s first show, a restaurant show, was secured because the Parisian restaurateur was a friend of a friend. A problem arose at the private view, because whilst Marcus viewed the occasion as an art preview, the restaurateur saw it as an opportunity for increased trade and was not amused when Marcus’s friends, and friends of friends, packed out the venue. When Marcus returned a few days later, all paintings had been taken down. The show had abruptly ended and Marcus and the restaurateur fell out. Thus Marcus learned an important element of exhibition preparation: set expectations and communicate with the exhibition partner. Find out what the other party wants. Ask the question: ‘Can our goals meet in the middle?’ Be willing to compromise, but only if each party’s aims will still generally be met. This applies to shows throughout an artist’s career, no matter how green or established they are. Despite all this Marcus got one fundamental
right, which led to his next opportunity. He had presented a clearly defined body of paintings and, as a consequence, was invited to exhibit at the Art Lovers’ Association. Here, Marcus met the curator of the Parsons School of Design, who subsequently visited Marcus’s studio during the annual open studio event (note point: regularly exhibit) and, on seeing the artist’s commitment to his practice alongside presentation of strong bodies of work, offered a solo exhibition. By the time of the Parsons show Marcus was well on his way to being able to make a full-time living from his art. In the gap between the open studio and solo exhibition, he was picked up by agents who sold his pieces to private clients. Art consultants, curators and consultants recognised that this young American in Paris was committed to his career. Furthermore, the artist’s positive attitude made him an easy, enjoyable collaborator. Marcus sold a number of pieces at the Parsons show, and some of the fellow arts professionals that he met at those early events are still associates today.
Marcus McAllister Gift of Wholeness, acrylic on canvas, 391⁄2⫻231⁄2in (100.5⫻59.5cm)
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Dante Gabriel Rossetti:
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82) Lady Lilith, 1866–68, oil on canvas, 38⫻33½in (96.5⫻85cm). Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R Bancroft Memorial, 1935.
ollowing the death of his wife and muse, Elizabeth Siddal, in 1862, Rossetti was so overcome with grief that it was two years before he started to paint in oils again. When he did start, the theme that most occupied him was the beauty and power of women. During the 1860s he painted a series of ‘mirror pictures’ which focused on a female figure preoccupied in contemplation of her own beauty. Of this series, Lady Lilith was one of the first and it certainly lived up to Rossetti’s expectation that it would be his ‘best picture hitherto’.
Symbolism According to ancient myth, Lilith was the first wife of Adam. She deceived Adam before he met Eve and she is known as a
powerful and evil temptress of men and a murderer of children. Rossetti’s interpretation of Lilith is more generous and, arguably, more ambivalent. On one level the painting may be viewed simply as a toilette scene, on another level it is full of symbolism and overtones. According to the researcher and writer, HC Marillier: ‘no painter has ever captured like this the elemental power of carnal loveliness’. The key contributing feature towards this sense of seductive beauty is the long, flowing hair which Lilith holds out to show its full extent and radiance – it is a metaphor for Lilith’s sexuality. This inference is reinforced by Lilith’s provocatively loose, flowing clothing. The focus on the hair was influenced by earlier portrayals of Lilith and in particular
the hair imagery of Goethe. The painting is inscribed with a sonnet by Rossetti himself and, according to this, Lady Lilith represents bodily beauty. He also painted Sibylla Palmifera, which represents the soul’s beauty. There are sketches and studies for this painting that date from 1866, although some scholars believe Rossetti started work on the idea as early as 1864. The original model was Fanny Carnforth. However, three years after having delivered the finished work to his patron, Frederick Leyland, Rossetti asked for it back so that he could make some revisions. In fact he made some major changes, working with a different model, Alexa Wilding, to repaint the face. It is not known whether it was Leyland or Rossetti who wanted this important alteration made. The background of the painting is wonderfully ambiguous. It is both a lady’s boudoir and a sheltered garden alcove or bower. The chair, the mirror and the candles suggest a room, but as well Lilith is surrounded by white roses, symbols of sterile passion, on the bureau we see a spray of foxgloves, which signify insincerity, and a red poppy, a symbol of death. The sense of pictorial space is also deceptive. Essentially it is a very shallow, superficial and crowded space, but somehow it works. The roses, for example, are painted in a single plane and consequently the impression is more of a floral wallpaper rather than one of real space and depth. While Rossetti’s ideas were invariably imaginative and poetic, equally they were always well planned, with drawings and studies made from life. For instance, for the flowery background of this painting Rossetti sent his assistant out to gather white roses from John Ruskin’s garden in Denmark Hill, so that he could refer to the actual flowers. However, perhaps this process did not apply to the mysterious garden reflected in the large mirror in the top left of the painting. Or could this mirror also be suggesting a window into another world, a link between the realistic TA and the mythic? You can see Lady Lilith at Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, an exhibition at Tate Britain which runs until January 13. This exhibition traces the work and history of the Pre-Raphaelites, from their formation in 1848 through to their Symbolist creations of the 1890s. showing that, whatever their subjects, they were committed to the idea of art’s potential to change society. Over 150 works are included, amongst them many well-known paintings, such as Ophelia and The Lady of Shalott.
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Your first solo exhibition Shirley Bradford Millichip shares some wisdom following her first one-woman show
t all started innocently enough with a visit to a small museum to view some drawings of the poet Dylan Thomas during his sojourn in New York, one of which we purchased. On collecting the drawing I mentioned to the gallery manager that I am a painter and, at her request, sent her a few images of my work. To my surprise back came an invitation, along with a formal contract, to mount an exhibition of my paintings and drawings for the month of May 2012. The exhibition, I'm delighted to say, was a success, but it raised some unexpected organisational questions. I have compiled the following checklist for anyone who happens to find themselves in the same position: l Will the work be insured for the duration of the exhibition, and will public liability be covered? In my case, public liability was insured but not the artworks themselves. Despite research and telephone calls I could find no insurance company willing to oblige. All these matters must be agreed prior to signing the contract. l How will the financial side be handled? How much commission does the gallery take and is VAT added? If work is sold, when is payment due? l Familiar with the gallery? If not I suggest you visit prior to accepting the offer. Check its size and the layout of windows and doors (photographs are useful here), including taking wall measurements. This is of great assistance when you are planning which works to show and roughly how they will look when placed in that particular situation. l How will you present your work? Methods of hanging or showing work vary, so check what you will need in good time. In my case, the unfamiliar
method comprised hooks and metal chains. Thus each painting needed a stout hook on either side, fixed with two screws, so packing the paintings for transport needed to be done in pairs, glass-to-glass for watercolours, and drawings and packed alternately right side up and upside down. l How will you prepare your work to exhibit? If you are showing paintings or drawings, it's better to use simple plain frames – I use plain limed ash – and plain white mounting board. It’s the work that the public want to see, not the frames. l Publicity is a vital part of the success of the exhibition – the sooner this is arranged the better – and depends on your budget. Some galleries do this automatically, mine not so. Art magazines need at least three months’ notice. If you have a website, this and any other media can be a good way to get your exhibition advertised.
l Do you need to be at the gallery during the exhibition? It is likely to help them if you attend from time to time and, of course, by appointment should anyone like to meet you. Keep as high a profile as you can manage. Should you be commissioned to produce a specific piece of work for a purchaser, discuss this with the gallery first because they may have a policy of taking commission on commissioned work. You may arrange with your gallery to let clients purchase by installments, if they have such an arrangement. Money arrangements will have been made as part of your contract – be sure to keep a copy of all paperwork. I leave to your imagination the final task, that of taking the whole thing down and getting it home! I wish you every success in this TA demanding exercise.
l What preview arrangements need
to be made? If you like the idea of having your exhibition opened by a well-known figure, ask in good time. In my case the MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster (the first pyrotechnician in Parliament) obliged, and very nicely too! I provided wine for the occasion and borrowed glasses. The temptation is to send out invitations as early as possible; about three to four weeks prior to the preview is about right. l Delivery and hanging is the next
hurdle. Do arrange transport in good time as another pair of hands is vital. Your own car, if you have one, should be fine for transportation of the works if the rear seats fold flat. There are plenty of art transport firms should you need help.
Please feel free to contact me or arrange to call in at my studio: The Barn Studio, Horn Street, Winslow, Buckingham MK18 3AL. Telephone: 01296 713232; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.millichipbarnstudio.com
Art Materials Live November 8 to 11, 2012 It’s showtime! This year’s Art Materials Live will showcase a raft of features, artist demonstrations, workshops, ‘try before you buy’ areas, competitions and a product launch, that will inspire, encourage and enthuse experienced and beginner artists alike SIMPLY THE BEST
See our website at www.painters-online.co.uk/workshops for details and to book the remaining places on half-day workshops tutored by popular artists Dave Pilgram, Liz Marsden-King, Tim Fisher, Barry Herniman and Paul Talbot-Greaves, with materials supplied by Maimeri Blu, Chroma Europe and Daler-Rowney, and FREE entry to Art Materials Live included in the workshop price. Or telephone Liza or Dawn on 01580 763673.
TEST, TRY AND BUY
and FREE DEMONSTRATIONS
Watch FREE drawing and painting demonstrations by renowned tutor Fiona Peart, sponsored by Daler-Rowney. See something new or watch techniques you haven’t tried before in our FREE half-hour demonstrations including flowers in watercolour, cows in acrylic, portraits in pastel and many more.
Art materials companies will be showcasing a range of popular brands including: Acrilex, Caran D’Ache, Cretacolor, Daler-Rowney, Daniel Smith, Derwent, Hahnemuhle, Humbrol, Leonardo Art Books, Maimeri, Molotow, Pan Pastel, Pebeo, Pro–Color and Winsor & Newton. Plus, GreatArt, sponsors of Simply the Best and the leading online art supplies company, will run a free prize draw each day for the lucky winner to receive £200 worth of GreatArt vouchers. GreatArt will also be working with Molotow art who will present an urban fine art demonstration each day. Calligraphy with Paul Antonio, sponsored by the Manuscript Pen Company, will be a prominent feature in the show. Paul produces hand-rendered calligraphy, working with high-profile clients including BAFTA and Asprey, the British Fashion Council and a variety of the Royal households creating beautiful invitations. His work is bespoke and enchanting. Premium Art Brands are launching a NEW marker range called Graph’it, in a unique ergonomic, triangular design and an array of colours to inspire every creative need. To celebrate the launch a number of sets can be won in the lead up to the show by visiting www.ichf.co.uk/artmaterials-live
Andrew Forkner Natural Art
Thirty of the works entered for Leisure Painter’s Simply the Best competition, sponsored by GreatArt, will be on show and you will be invited to vote for the People’s Choice winner. The winning painting Paul Cawser will be published in the February Sasha, acrylic, 24½x20½in (62x52cm) 2013 issue of Leisure Painter. �
Martin Kinnear DEMONSTRATIONS
Popular contributor to our magazines, Martin will be demonstrating in the theatre and working on a copy of Monet’s Waterlilies, held by the National Gallery. A special 3x1.5m canvas is being produced by Harris & Moore especially for this event. Martin will be replicating Monet’s original methods, mediums, pigments etc, based on the technical information provided by the National Gallery.
EARLY BIRD TICKETS Exhibitors who would like to participate in the show should call 01425 272711 or email email@example.com Visitors can purchase entry tickets in advance at REDUCED rates via the ICHF website at www.ichf.co.uk or call 01425 277988. Art Materials Live is at the NEC, Birmingham from November 8 to 11, 2012, open 9.30am to 5.30pm (Sunday til 5pm). Your ticket also gives you free entry into Crafts for Christmas and Hobbycrafts – three shows for the price of one!
Wet on Wet Oil Painting one day workshops in The Midlands
Originals, prints and drawing tuition by animal artist Andrew Forkner
01993 776322 www.andrewforkner.co.uk
58 p58_tanov12.indd 58
Bob Elcock – Pastel Artist
See Bob demonstrating Cretacolor products.
Choice of Landscape, Seascape, and Floral workshops Painting Holidays and Demos Ring Jayne 07968495177 www.paintwithjayne.co.uk COME AND SEE ME AT STAND M14
www.elcockpastelpencils.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01902 339160
Stand P18 www.painters-online.co.uk
TA11 Opps RH:Opportunities for Vivien-5
Opportunities Art society lecture Sarah Butterfield and her paintings Details: Radlett Art Society lecture. Sarah Butterfield is passionate about painting. She creates depth, highlights and shadows in her work and aims to capture a moment in time, starting with three primary colours and mixing them endlessly. When: November 13, 12 noon for 1pm. Cost: Entry is free. Contact: The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, Herts WD7 8HL. Tel: 01923 857546. www.radlettcentre.co.uk.
Gallery events Winifred Nicholson: a view from the Kettle’s yard archives Details: Lunchtime talk at Kettle’s Yard about their exhibition Winifred Nicholson: Music of Colour (see page 9 for details) with Anna Ferrari of Pembroke College, Cambridge. When: November 15, 1.10–1.40pm. Cost: Free, no need to book. Contact: Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ. Tel: 01223 748100; www.kettlesyardonline.co.uk.
Watercolour demonstration Details: At the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, Lynda Kettle will demonstrate her painting techniques, showing how she creates her dramatic watercolour landscapes. When: November 10, 11am to 1pm and 2–4pm. Cost: Free, no need to book. Contact: The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 4 Brook Street, St Paul’s, Birmingham B3 1SA; tel: 0121 236 4353; www.rbsa.org.
Sending-in days St Cuthberts Mill postcard competition Details: Biennial open
competition with over 100 prizes: first prize, paper worth £100; 100 runnersup. Entries must be painted on one of the special Waterford High White HP postcards, 140lb (300gsm) and can be painted in any suitable medium, such as watercolour, acrylic, gouache, pastel, pen and ink and charcoal. The postcards can be obtained, free of charge, from art shops nationwide, or send a C5 sae to St Cuthberts Mill, (Postcard Competition), Wells, Somerset BA5 1AG. The judges will be Cathy Frood, Marketing Manager of St Cuthberts Mill, Sally Bulgin, editor of The Artist, and Ingrid Lyon, editor of Leisure Painter. For full details, see www.stcuthbertsmill.com. When: Painted postcards must be delivered to St Cuthberts Mill by December 1, 2012. Cost: Free to enter. Contact: St Cuthberts Mill, Wells, Somerset BA5 1AG; telephone 01749 672015.
Derby City Open 2012
Art Gallery exhibitions team, telephone 01332 641916.
Royal Scottish Academy open exhibition Details: Exhibition of small works sourced from artists across Scotland at The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL from November 24 to January 31, 2013. New paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints photographs, film and architecture accepted. Up to two works may be submitted. Maxiumum size, 80cm in any one direction (outer frame size) in any medium. No copies of any kind, and no works that have previously been exhibited in Edinburgh. All works must be for sale. Many awards, including RSA Guthrie medal for outstanding painting by a young Scottish artist. When: Deadline for electronic media, October 29; handing-in of 2D and 3D works, November 9 and 10. Cost: £6 per work.
Jerwood Makers Open 2013
One Church Street Gallery winter open
Details: Competition designed to commission and showcase new work by emerging artists working in the applied arts. Five commissions of £7,500 will be awarded to artists to create new work. This will form a touring exhibition as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme, beginning at Jerwood Space, London, from July 10 to August 25 2013. Applicants should submit an 800-word statement outlining the proposal for new work or works: why they want to make the work(s), how they perceive the opportunity will benefit and develop their practice, the materials and processes to be used; and a maxiumum of six images of the current work or work in progress. For full details, see www.parkerharris.co.uk/ competition/jerwoodmakers-open. When: Deadline for entries, November 12, 5pm. Cost: £20.
Details: The fourth winter open exhibition at One Church Street Gallery, Great Missenden, Bucks, will be from November 24 to January 26. Up to four 2D or 3D works may be submitted in any medium except hazardous materials, and up to four works may be submitted for the browser; digital selection in the first instance, images to be emailed at time of registration. When: Deadline for registration and digital images, November 1. Handing-in, November 17. Cost: Registration is free. If selected, a charge of £20 will be made to cover all works; an additional fee of £5 will cover all accepted browser work.
Contact: Download entry forms and full terms and conditions from www. royalscottishacademy.org. Telephone 0131 624 6110.
Contact: Enter online at www.parkerharris.co.uk/ competition/jerwoodmakers-open, or contact the Jerwood Makers Open Coordinator at Parker Harris, tel: 01372 462190.
Details: Competition open to artists who live in the UK. Acceptable media are painting, drawing, design, craft, sculpture, print, video and photography. Up to three 2D or 3D works, completed between 2011 and 2012 may be entered; all must be manageable for one person in terms of size, weight and handling. Many awards and prizes, including £1,500 Derby Museums and Art Gallery Award. Digital pre-selection of 3D works; 2D works will be judged and selected in the gallery. Video submissions must be suitable to show on a TV monitor and standard DVD player, PAL formatted DVD with a maximum duration of six minutes. The exhibition is at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby DE1 1BS, from December 1 to January 13, 2013. When: Submissions deadline for 2D and 3D work, November 11. Cost: £6 per work.
Café Gallery Annual Open
Royal Cambrian Academy Open
Details: Unselected exhibition of small works at attractive prices. No advance application – all works to be delivered directly to Café Gallery, Southwark Park, London SE16 2UA. Up to three 2D works may be submitted, no larger than 25in (63.5cm) in any one dimension, including frame, or one 3D work, no larger than 25in (63.5cm) in any one dimension (including plinth). Video works must be supplied looped with a 14in combo unit. The exhibition will be from November 14 to December 2. When: Handing-in, November 3 and 4, 11am to 4pm. Cost: £6 per work; concessions £5.
Details: Open exhibition at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, for all painters and sculptors aged 18 and over. Up to two works may be submitted but there are no other restrictions. Send images on a CD for initial selection. Full details will be on the Academy’s website in October: www.rcaconwy.org. The exhibition is in January, dates to be announced. When: Deadline for entries, November 21. Cost: £25. Contact: The Royal Cambrian Academy, Crown Lane, Conwy LL32 8AN. Telephone 01492 593413.
Contact: Download terms and conditions and entry forms from www.derbymuseums.org/exh ibitions. Derby Museum and
Contact: Café Gallery, Southwark Park, London SE16 2UA. Telephone 020 7237 1230; www. cgplondon.org.
Contact: Download entry conditions and forms from www.onechurchstreet.com. One Church Street Gallery, 1 Church Street, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AX. Tel: 01494 863344.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists winter open Details: Open exhibition at the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, from November 28 to December 24. All media except photography accepted. A maximum of three 2D works and six 3D works may be entered. Various prizes. Hanging fee £15 for works up to 60cm in any one dimension; £23 for works over 60cm in any one dimension. Application pack will be available to download from October 14: www.rbsa.org.uk. When: Deadline for return of entry forms, November 21. Cost: £13 per 2D item; £13 for two 3D pieces. Contact: The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 4 Brook Street, St Paul’s, Birmingham B3 1SA. Tel: 0121 236 4353.
ON THE WEB
A much larger selection of opportunities can be viewed on our website, where you will find a list of workshops, tutors, painting holidays and more.
www.painters-online.co.uk November 2012
TA11 Exhib2:Exhibitions for Vivien
EXHIBITIONS Richard Pikesley High Summer, Lyme Regis, oil on canvas, 16⫻20in (40.5⫻51cm), at Jerram Gallery
Gallery opening times and exhibition dates can vary; if in doubt, phone to avoid disappointment To submit details of an exhibition for possible listing here, email Deborah Wanstall at email@example.com or telephone: 01580 763673
LONDON Bankside Gallery 48 Hopton Street SE1. ☎ 020 7928 7521 Royal Watercolour Society Autumn Exhibition; until November 3.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery 6 Cork Street W1. ☎ 020 7734 3431 Bruce McLean: The Shapes of Things to Come; until November 3.
Burgh House New End Square NW3. ☎ 020 7431 0144 Constable: 200 Years in Hampstead; October 10 to April 7.
The Courtauld Gallery Somerset House, Strand WC2. ☎ 020 7848 2526 Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision; until January 13.
Dulwich Picture Gallery College Road SE21. ☎ 020 8693 5254 Cotman in Normandy; until January 13.
Kings Place Gallery 90 York Way N1. ☎ 020 7520 1485 Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Collection: The Next Generation; October 17 to November 28.
Llewellyn Alexander 124 The Cut, Waterloo SE1. ☎ 020 7620 1322 Peter Graham: This Side of Paradise; until October 26.
Mall Galleries The Mall SW1. ☎ 020 7930 6844 Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Gravers and Sculptors; October 16 to 28. The Natural Eye: Society of Wildlife Artists; November 1 to 11. ING Discerning Eye; November 15 to 25.
November 2 to April 14.
Robert Bowman Modern 34 Duke Street SW1. ☎ 0207 930 8003. Hanneke Beaumont: New Works; November 8 to January 31.
Royal Academy of Arts Piccadilly W1. ☎ 020 7300 8000. Bronze; until December 9. RA Now; until November 11.
Tate Britain Millbank SW1. ☎ 020 7887 8888 Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avante-Garde; until January 13.
Tate Modern Bankside SE1. ☎ 020 7887 8008 A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance November 14 to April 1.
39a Canonbury Square N1. ☎ 020 7704 9522 Bruno Munari: My Futurist Past; until December 23.
The Fleming Collection 13 Berkeley Street W1. ☎ 020 7409 5732 Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour; October 23 to February 9.
8 Cork Street W1. ☎ 020 7437 5545 David Parfitt; until October 20.
The National Gallery Trafalgar Square WC2. ☎ 020 7747 2885 Richard Hamilton: the Late Works; until January 13.
The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace. ☎ 020 7766 7301 (tickets) The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein
BRACKNELL South Hill Park. ☎ 01344 484123 The Lewis and Mary Elton Collection; 38 pieces include works by Picasso, Chagall, Cocteau and Klee, until October 28.
The Strand. ☎ 01332 716659 Sarah R Key: Where I End and You Begin; paintings, until October 28.
Harrison Lord Gallery
The Bowes Museum
5 Bradford Road. ☎ 01484 722462 Paul Talbot-Greaves and Clare Haley; new paintings, November 5 to 30.
Barnard Castle. ☎ 01833 690606 Feast Your Eyes: the Fashion of Food in Art; until January 6.
Royal West of England Academy
Queen’s Road, Clifton. ☎ 0117 973 5129 160th Autumn Exhibition; , October 21 to December 30.
1 Barnfield Crescent. ☎ 01392 278 522 South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts Open 2012; October 19 to November 10.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
Museum & Art Gallery
Queen Street. ☎ 01392 265858 Exeter’s Fine Art Collection; until November 4. ☎ 01326 211132
Terrace Road. ☎ 01298 24658 Colette Payne: Images in Linocut; until October 27. Buxton and High Peak Art Society; until December 1.
GREAT MISSENDEN One Church Street Gallery
CAMBRIDGE Fitzwilliam Museum Trumpington Street. ☎ 01223 332900 Snow Country: Woodcuts of the Japanese Winter; until January 13. Higher Ground: Prints by Gerhart Frankl; October 16 to December 30.
BATH Victoria Art Gallery
Bridge Street. ☎ 01225 477244 The Ravdev Collection: Pissarro – Picasso; until November 18.
Derby Museums & Art Gallery
9 North Pallant. ☎ 01243 774557 Gwen John and Celia Paul: Painters in Parallel; until January 27.
☎ 01628 471885 50th Anniversary exhibition; until November 4.
Pallant House Gallery
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
171 Union Street SE1. ☎ 01372 462190 Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012; until October 28.
Members and Associates; October 24 to November 24.
GUILDFORD Watts Gallery Down Lane, Compton. ☎ 01483 810235 Dickens and the Artists; until October 28.
IPSWICH John Russell Gallery 4–6 Wherry Lane. ☎ 01473 212051 Constance Stubbs; until October 27.
Colchester Road, Chappel. ☎ 01206 240326 Wladyslaw Mirecki: Around and About; watercolours, November 3 to 25.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
4 Brook Street, St Paul’s Square. ☎ 0121 236 4353
Stanley Spencer Gallery High Street.
1 Church Street. ☎ 01494 863344 Drawing Open 2012; October 13 to November 17.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
☎ 01539 722464 Hughie O’Donoghue; until December 22.
KINGSBRIDGE Harbour House Gallery The Promenade. ☎ 01548 854708
TA11 Exhib2:Exhibitions for Vivien
Blue; open exhibition, works in a range of media, October 20 to November 10.
81 High Street. ☎ 01256 701082 Jake Winkle; watercolours, until October 31.
Hop Gallery Castle Ditch Lane. ☎ 01273 487744 Peter Messer: bounded in a Nutshell; new paintings, October 20 to November 1.
LIVERPOOL Lady Lever Art Gallery Port Sunlight, Wirral. ☎ 0151 478 4136 A Pre-Raphaelite Journey: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale; until November 4.
OXFORD Christ Church Picture Gallery Canterbury Gate. ☎ 01865 276172 Illustrating Alice: Dali’s Alice in Wonderland; until October 22.
PENZANCE Penlee House Gallery
Albert Dock. ☎ 0151 702 7400 Turner Monet Twombly; until October 28.
Morrab Road. ☎ 01736 363625 Sven Berlin: Out of the Shadows; retrospective, until November 24
Whitworth Art Gallery
City Museum & Art Gallery
University of Manchester, Oxford Road. ☎ 0161 275 7450 Hockney to Hogarth – A Rake’s Progress; until February 3.
NEWCASTLE University Gallery University of Northumbria, Sandyford Road. ☎ 0191 227 4424 Sculptors’ Drawings and Works on Paper; October 19 to November 23.
Drake Circus. ☎ 01752 304774. In Pursuit of Art: Charles Eastlake’s Journey from Plymouth to the National Gallery; until December 15.
Crypt Gallery Norway Square. ☎ 01736 795582 National Acrylic Painters’ Association; annual exhibition, November 4 to 16.
Tate St Ives
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Porthmeor Beach. ☎ 01736 796226 The Far and The Near: Replaying Art in St Ives; until January 13.
NOTTINGHAM Nottingham Contemporary Weekday Cross. ☎ 0115 948 9750 Kafou: Haiti, Art and Voodoo; October 20 to January 6.
NUNEATON Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery Riversley Park, Coton Rd. ☎ 024 7635 0720 United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society; 111th open annual exhibition, until November 25.
Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop at 30; until December 15.
until November 24. Gary Hume: Flashback; until January 19.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
82 Hillhead Street. ☎ 0141 330 5431 Rembrandt and the Passion; until December 2.
Lichfield Street. ☎ 01902 522055 West Midlands Open; October 13 to January 5.
75 Belford Road. ☎ 0131 624 6200 Picasso and Modern British Art; until November 4.
WORCESTER Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum Foregate Street ☎ 01905 25371 Worcester Society of Artists; until November 10. Laura Knight in the Open Air; November 17 to February 10.
SCOTLAND ABERDEEN Aberdeen Art Gallery Schoolhill. ☎ 01224 523 700 Eric Ravilious – Artist, Printmaker, Designer;
Scottish National Gallery The Mound. ☎ 0131 624 6200 Expanding Horizons: Giovanni Battista Lusieri and the Panoramic Landscape; until October 28.
National Portrait Gallery 1 Queen Street. ☎ 0131 624 6200 The Modern Scot; until October 31.
Royal Scottish Academy The Mound. ☎ 0131 225 6671 Scottish Painters and Limners: works from the RSA collections (A Diamond Jubilee Celebration); until November 4.
Hunterian Art Gallery
CARDIFF St David's Hall The Hayes. ☎ 029 2087 8500 Affordable Art Exhibition; until November 3.
CARMARTHEN Oriel Myrddin Gallery Church Lane. ☎ 01267 222775 Jerwood Makers Open 2012; until November 3.
CONWY Royal Cambrian Academy Gallery Crown Lane. ☎ 01492 593413 Howard Coles: Paintings of the Land and Sea; until November 4.
University of East Anglia. ☎ 01603 456060 The First Moderns: Art Nouveau from Nature to Abstraction; until December 2.
SHEFFIELD Millennium Galleries Arundel Gate. ☎ 0114 278 2600 Paul Morrison: Auctorum; until November 4.
Ashford Art Club
Exhibition at St James’s School, Ashford, Middlesex, on November 3 and 4.
Hertford Art Society
Bishop’s Stortford Art Society Annual exhibition at Bishop’s Stortford Library from November 9 to 17. www.bsartsociety.co.uk. Tel: 01279 755538.
Broadlanders Art Club Autumn exhibition at the Chapter House, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston, on November 2 and 3. www.broadlandersartclub.mo onfruit.co.uk.
Cambridge Drawing Society
Autumn exhibition at St Faith’s School, from October 27 to November 3.
Guildford Art Society
Wellesbourne. ☎ 01926 645500. Richard Pikesley: A Bend on the River and other Meanderings; October 20 to November 7.
SUDBURY Gainsborough’s House 46 Gainsborough Street. ☎ 01787 372958
Annual exhibition at Guildford House Gallery, from October 20 to November 10. Tel: 01483 444751.
Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club Autumn exhibition at Ripley Town Hall, on November 10 and 11.
Exhibition at the Millbridge Rooms, The Wash, on October 26 and 27. www.hertfordartsociety.co.uk.
Highgate Watercolour Group
May’s School, on November 3 and 4.
Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society Winter exhibition at Sussex House, 61 The Pantiles, from November 3 to 18. www.rtwas.org.
Annual exhibition at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London N6, from November 13 to 25. Tel: 020 8348 8716.
Trysull Art Club
Kirdford Art Group
Wellesbourne Art Group
Annual exhibition at Kirdford Village Hall, on October 27 and 28. Tel: 01403 783831.
Menston Arts Club Exhibition at Kirklands Community Centre, Menston, Leeds, on November 17 and 18.
Napton Art Group Exhibition at Napton Village Hall, October 28 and 29. Tel: 01926 8129913.
North of England Art Club Christmas Show at Newcastle Cricket Club, Jesmond, from November 13 to 22. www. northofenglandartclub.co.uk.
Odiham Art Society Annual exhibition at Robert
Winter exhibition at Trysull Village Hall, on November 17 and 18. Tel: 01902 700947.
Exhibition at the Fire Station, on November 17 and 18. Tel: 01789 840146.
Whitehouse Tuesday Art Circle Annual exhibition at Whitehouse Community Centre, Hampton, Middx, on October 27 and 28.
Wimborne Art Club Autumn exhibition at Pamphill Parish Hall, near Wimborne, from November 16 to 18. Tel: 01202 888342.
Woking Society of Arts Autumn exhibition at The Lightbox, Victoria Way, from November 26 to 28.
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62 p62_tanov12.indd 62
TA11p63_Art books for Deb_Layout 1 26/09/2012 13:09 Page 63
Painting Watercolour Trees the Easy Way Terry Harrison After the drought, comes the deluge and after a dearth of books on painting trees, there have been several in recent years. Many of the more recent offerings have concentrated on painting trees as subjects in themselves, which is fine as far as it goes, but Terry offers trees in the landscape, which is more suited to the general painter. In this vein, he provides many ideas, hints and tips for portraying foliage and branches as well as outlines for a variety of species, conditions and seasons. As a guide to a difficult subject, this is an excellent and pleasantly fresh approach. Henry Malt
well known for his watercolours, oils and acrylics inspired mainly by the Cornish landscape and his understanding of natural history, ecology, and humanitarian and environmental issues. An introductory chapter is followed by a series of narratives written by the artist that take the reader on journeys across the breadth of Britain and Europe − from the Scilly Isles and Dorset Stour to a grand voyage by train to Greece. For anyone with an interest in 21st-century British landscape painting, Kurt Jackson Sketchbooks offers a unique insight into this important artist and environmentalist.
Painters’books price £12.99
Painters’books price £29
Quote 201091 when ordering
Quote 201092 when ordering
(Published November 2012)
(See our extract from this book on pages 32–35)
Pick up a Pencil: The Work of PICK UP Laurence A PENC IL The Work Fish LAURENCE of FISH
Search Press, £12.99, 128 pages (PB) ISBN 9781844487790
Painters’books price £9.99
A lot of recent guides to portraiture have taken the anatomical approach and, while this has its place, it can overwhelm the artistic elements of the process. Put simply, you can get a perfect representation that tells us nothing about the subject or how you, the artist, see the sitter. All of this is remedied in this pleasing book, which covers a good variety of sitters and media. An innovation is that it shows the sitters in a studio setting, rather than as just a single reference photograph at the beginning of each demonstration. This sometimes leads to rather less detail than we might ideally want, but it adds much to the creative process as both the pose and the drawing are visible at the same time. This is an ideal book for the
(Pre-order for delivery in early December 2012)
Kurt Jackson Sketchbooks Alan Livingston and Kurt Jackson This compelling new book supports Kurt Jackson’s assertion that his sketchbooks, as a body of work in their own right, should be regarded as seriously as his paintings, prints and sculpture. Drawing on a selection of 20 sketchbooks dating from 2007, the book offers a rare insight into the mind of a creative and original artist
serious student and a pleasant variation on the norm. Henry Malt North Light £16.99, 144 pages (PB)
Lund Humphries, £35, 144 pages (HB)
The Art of Portrait Drawing
Quote 201090 when ordering
Today, for preliminary and design work in many forms of commercial and fine art, it is often the computer that artists rely on. There was a time when what counted was the skill of the artist using just an ordinary pencil, and Laurence Fish belongs to that time. A versatile illustrator and artist, one of his favourite sayings was: ‘Sooner or later someone has to pick up a pencil’. His range of work was extraordinary, from coachwork designs for Alvis cars to illustrating brochures and magazines, designing book covers and posters, and a brilliant array of fine art work. Beautifully illustrated and with an interesting text, this fascinating book will do much to compensate for the fact that such a prolific and successful artist was not better known and appreciated during his lifetime. Oliver Lange JDF & Associates Ltd, £29, 144 pages (HB) ISBN 9780956209290
See our website www.painters-online.co.uk for more book reviews
PAINTERS’BOOKS OFFERS To take advantage of our painters-online bookshop service, with great discounts and offers, go to www.painters-online.co.uk and click on the links to bookshop. Or telephone 0844 880 5853 between 9am and 5pm. Calls cost just 5p per minute from a BT landline; mobile providers and other networks may vary. (Calls may be recorded for training or quality purposes).
THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL OFFER If you spend over £15 you can receive Drawing Secrets – Techniques for Realistic Results DVD (RRP £19) for just £7.99. Quote 201133 when ordering. PLUS p&p is free for online orders over £15
The Artist’s directory of courses, materials & services ART COURSES & HOLIDAYS THE HEATHERLEY SCHOOL OF FINE ART, Chelsea. Est. 1845. Part-time and full-time courses in ﬁgurative art. Portrait painting, ﬁgurative sculpture, printmaking, life drawing, ceramics, watercolour and oils. Tel: 0207 3514190 www.heatherleys.org
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PLEASE: nothing ultra-trendy. No silly sizes, mad prices, tantrums, copies, prints, or computer-based work. True artists like creating originals. OUR AIMS: excellent art, acceptable subjects, fair prices, low commission, no boring pretensions, long-term gallery artists. If interested please send 2 small non returnable photographs, landline telephone number and short details to Sarah Hubbard at Warners Group Publications, The Maltings, West Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 9PH Please DON’T send/bring/download anything unrequested. We plan 2-3 well presented works from the right artists before Mid-November.
St Andrew’s Court Chichester PO19 1YH
A place to visit, a place to exhibit.
Check our website for more details www.salt-of-the-earth.biz or call:
+44 (0)1747 852 221
If you’re reading this too late, but you’re good, get in touch anyway.
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Kurt Jackson Sketchbooks Discover the day-to-day working practices behind the stunning works of Kurt Jackson. Behind his ﬁnished canvases are hundreds of sketchbooks borne out of his continual routine of making drawings, marks, notes, poems and scribbles. The pages of his sketchbooks provide a fascinating insight into how the hastily executed images can help him to work out what he wants to achieve on canvas, or simply capture a spontaneous image.
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Make sure you get the best possible start by advertising them in the February Art Courses & Holiday Supplement published 4th January. For further details contact Sarah Hubbard.
T: 01778 392048 E: email@example.com
Ordering is quick and straightforward
Online: 24/7 at www.painters-online.co.uk, and follow the links to the bookshop. Or call: 0844 880 5853 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. calls cost just 5p per minute from a BT landline, mobile providers and other networks may vary.
For a wider selection and to order visit painters-online.co.uk and follow the links to the bookshop
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COLOUR MIX IN G: 12TH IN A SERIE S OF 13
Colour harmony Soraya French continues her discussion on balance and harmony in colour relationships, examining other possible combinations Complementary/analogous colour scheme Sometimes too many harmonious colours can result in a boring image. Conversely, complementary colour schemes can be too stimulating. The combination of the two colour schemes is a rather well balanced and pleasing colour choice. For example, the harmony of blue-green, green and yellow-green can be enhanced by accents of red or orange. This way a greater proportion of the painting can be made up of harmonious colours, which are both pleasing and restful, with accents of the complementary colour in the key focal areas of the painting to bring an element of excitement to the colour scheme – see Jaz and Saasha (below).
Split complementary colour scheme The split complementary colour scheme features three colours and it is a variation on the complementary colour scheme. In this colour combination we choose a colour and the two other colours on either side of its complementary colour. For example, if you choose red as the main colour, then you would go for a yellowgreen and a blue-green, which are on either side of its complementary: green. You can in fact go round the colour wheel finding a dozen different combinations. I find this colour scheme more balanced and visually intriguing, with less tension than the complementary colour scheme. It is an easier colour scheme for the beginner to cope with, and one that is frequently used in painting and interior and web design. By adding a little of the main colour to the other two colours you can create more muted versions of each colour. The whole scheme can become quite sophisticated and harmonious. For successful composing with this colour scheme it is best to have one dominant colour with the other two colours as accents – see Irises (below). Irises, acrylic, 12⫻12in (30.5⫻30.5cm). In this painting of irises, the violet of the flower heads is set against yellow-orange and yellow-green, both of which are on either side of its complement, yellow. This, in my opinion, makes for a much more pleasing combination than just the violet and bright yellow; the two more modified yellows make it a much more mellow colour scheme
Jaz & Saasha, acrylic, 12⫻8in (30.5⫻20.5cm). The majority of the picture was painted with cobalt teal, cerulean blue, green, and yellow green. The sharp contrast of red in the focal area creates a great visual contrast
Near complementary colour scheme
Poppies, acrylic, 8⫻8in (20.5⫻20.5cm). The warm bright red of the poppies zings beautifully against the cool bluegreen background. When these two colours are combined you can achieve a grey that could be either a cooler blue-grey or a warmer reddish-grey
In this colour scheme we choose a colour but instead of its actual complement, we use the colour either to the left or to the right of its complement. This makes a more interesting two-colour combination that it is very similar to the complementary colour scheme, but with a little twist. For example, instead of pairing red with green you can combine it with blue-green. These colours enhance each other when placed next to one another but unlike the true complementary colours don’t totally de-saturate each other, so their combination looks much brighter and cleaner – see Poppies (left). When mixed they do make grey but still retain some vibrancy. In fact, near complementary colours make a series of coloured greys together which are fabulous to work with
The Can Xenet School of Painting Majorca Idyllic 17th century manor house set in 25 acres of farmland, overlooking the bay of Pollensa
• Resident tutor: David Mynett • Price includes airport collections and daily excursions • Individual tuition for beginners • All tuition and lectures optional for advanced students “A Can Xenet holiday is a delicious recipe of fabulous food, great wine, excellent company,beautiful surroundings and - of course - painting, led by the engaging and immensely talented David.” Ros Dodd Birmingham Post, 2009
See examples of David’s work at www.numberninethegallery.com T: 01608 730086 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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