TA10 2013 Front cover _TA12 Front cover 02/09/2013 10:52 Page 1
October 2013 £3.90
THE PRACTICAL MAGAZINE FOR ARTISTS BY ARTISTS – SINCE 1931 and
Art Coursess ay & Hol/2id 014 2013
of art courses and holidays in the UK and abroad
news The latest provide rs from holiday
Painting in paradise
s Hazel Soan discusse ues the colours and techniq a hot used to paint in (page 5) and humid climate
Susie Hodge talks about the holiday providers le to the activities availab non-painter (page 8)
Holidays Indigo Brown Creative
for Joy, Detail from Running Soan watercolour by Hazel
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Tips on watercolour sketching en plein air from Charles Reid
City impressions by Peter Graham
Step-by-step still life with cat in oils
Go wild in mixed media with Carry Ackroyd
9 770004 387131
PLUS LOST & FOUND IN WATERCOLOUR l MARINE DEMO l PORTRAITS l PERSPECTIVE l APPROACHES TO DRAWING l COLOUR TRIADS
TA10p3_5_contents_TA04p3_4_Contents 02/09/2013 10:55 Page 5
First established 1931 ISSN 0004-3877 Vol. 128 No.11 ISSUE 994
incorporating ART & ARTISTS
10 Rural idylls
23 Lost-and-found edges
46 Going wild
MASTERCLASS with Sarah Bowman on her naïve style and painting from memory
Watercolour techniques with Jake Winkle
Painter and printmaker Carry Akroyd discusses her fondness for paper, wildlife and landscape
15 Noel Paine
26 Subject in absentia
IN CONVERSATION The artist talks to Susie Hodge about his oil landscapes
Molly Schmid’s strategy for coping with a part-time model
18 Portaits with impact
30 Unstoppable colour
Paul Riley offers advice on how to tackle perspective for watercolour interior scenes
Agata Wojcieszkiewicz describes the process employed for her colourful portraits
Soraya French tests the new Golden High Flow Acrylics
54 Charged with atmosphere
33 An artist in Sydney
Robin Storey describes his process for a busy scene in watercolour
Peter Graham interprets Sydney’s landmarks in his trademark colours
66 Colour triads
56 The Radev Collection
36 An English watercolour sketchbook
Soraya French selects a triad of quinacridone burnt orange, indanthrone blue and green gold
Julian Halsby reviews this must-see exhibition
Tips for on-site watercolour sketching with Charles Reid
53 Mounts and frames The right frame will enhance your work, Oliver Lange advises
40 Drawing distinction Observation is the key to good drawing, says Tom Robb
43 Drawn to the sea How marine artist John Scott Martin captures light and movement
THIS MONTH’S COVER
Carry Akroyd Swan Valley, acrylic on paper, 271⁄2⫻39in (70⫻100cm). See pages 46 to 49
50 Interior perspective
PLUS 6 8 59 61 62
You write In View Art books and DVD reviews Opportunities Exhibitions
www.painters-online.co.uk October 2013
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press release that landed in my inbox in August caught my eye because of its focus on an issue which has exercised me ever since leaving art school in the early 1980s. It arrived with a document containing a challenging article in the art journal The Post Modern Times by British art critic Dr Michael Paraskos, arguing that art schools and colleges in Britain have counter-intuitively helped to undermine British art by debasing the skill of the artist. According to Paraskos, unlike musicians, writers, dancers and actors, for artists in the 1960s the idea that there is an important basis of technical knowledge required to be an artist, like the ability to draw, was seen as wrong. Then, it was a political rebellion against the old regime of art education, but as a result, Paraskos argues, many art tutors now lack the ability to draw so cannot teach it to students, despite more and more art students demanding to be taught how to do so. I consider myself an unwitting product of this rebellion and have strong memories as an art student of being encouraged to reject the art education of the past, to come up with new ways of thinking about and making art. We were discouraged even from organising our own life-drawing sessions. Such attacks on traditional ways of studying were, as Paraskos argues, also attacks on the idea that art students should learn artistic skills. The craft element of art, encompassing technical skill, how to mix colour and the ability to compose credible pictorial space, was acquired as a facility by most students to some extent, but in their own way and in their own time. In attacking the skill base for art education, as Paraskos goes on, we were left with a notion that art is not a learned skill, but rather the illustration of an idea or meaning, and it doesn’t much matter how this idea is illustrated. Despite this, I was interested in Paraskos’ belief that there is nevertheless something positive in the desire of past art tutors to rebel against the traditional teaching systems. He argues that the idea of great, or even averagely decent, art proceeding simply from technical knowledge or a direct emulation of our past masters, divorces it from life so that it becomes no more than an object of decoration. His argument suggests that our immersion in preexisting knowledge, technical skills - or even technology - creates too much of a barrier between the initial aesthetic or sensory experience of the world and the artistic process of responding to it. But, in a conclusion that surprises me, and challenges my previous thinking on this issue, Paraskos maintains that the desire to free art from what the rebel-artist/tutors saw as its enslavement to an obsession with technique and its own history was sound. If I’m interpreting him correctly, he concludes that art ceases to function as art if artists fail to engage with the world either through an over-reliance on technology and technique, or an excessive dependence on its own history. Portrait painter Agata Wojcieszkiewicz alludes to this in her article on pages 18 to 21, in which she describes her rebellion against her traditional art school training in her quest to free herself from past academic boundaries and discover her own individual voice. Could it in fact be the case that it can be more productive for an artist to rebel against the work of past masters and current tutors than to over-obsess about their approaches and techniques? Whichever way you look at it though, I would think that you need to know and understand what you are rebelling against, and why, for such a process to be successful. I would be interested to hear other artists’ viewpoints on these issues.
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.
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
Sally Bulgin Editor
November issue on sale October 11
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.
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Oct You Write 2_Opportunities for Vivien-5 02/09/2013 12:40 Page 56
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STAR LETTER Give the subject an equal voice Kim Sommerschield asks an interesting question in his letter (The Artist, August 2013) when he says ‘should I be empathising with the human condition or pondering technical dexterity?’ The thing that appears to upset Kim is that photo-realism (in this case, a group portrait by Philip Renforth in the May 2013 issue of The Artist) not only interferes with his appreciation of and empathy with the subject, but somehow shows a lack of humility on the part of the artist. I can understand, and even sympathise with that, but the issue, in my view, is as much to do with the subject of the painting as it is with the technical skill or lack of humility of artists who paint photo-realistically. More particularly, it is the balance between the two. Take Philip Renforth’s painting of his father, Bevin Boy that was illustrated on page 12 of the same issue. This is an amazing piece of painting virtuosity and absolutely stunning in its impact (it rightly made the BP Portrait Awards in 2007). I suggest its photo-realism really enhances the drama of this work – the lines, the veins, the nuances of facial topography seem to provide a detailed narrative of the life of this Bevin Boy, now a proud, elderly man – and makes this a painting that is extraordinarily compelling. By contrast, Hugo, Oona and Elisa (the cover picture that left Kim so bewildered) leaves me rather cold. This is not because Renforth has suddenly lost his humility and gone on a self-indulgent foray into photo-realism, but rather because the painting’s subject matter, or so it strikes me, is barely worthy of his considerable skill. This young attractive trio, ingeniously draped around a little table, provide a pleasing composition but little more. Hence, the photo-realism of the painting begs the question (in my mind, at least) as to why a photograph wouldn’t have done just as well. I suspect this is what lies at the root of Kim Sommerschield’s angst. It’s not that technical dexterity always shouts too loudly; it is, in too many instances, the subject that fails to find an equal voice. So, the answer to the question he poses is: ‘In a good portrait, you can and should do both!’ Duncan Thomas, by email
This month’s star letter writer will receive a selection of art products and books from our lucky dip bag, worth around £50. Boating bliss I had just returned from my first adventure on a narrowboat when I was greeted by the scene on the front cover of the August 2013 issue of The Artist. What a joy! Early each morning I attempted to capture the essence of the scene of where we had moored over night. Each watercolour sketch would take less than an hour. Like John Somerscales, I enjoyed the freedom of painting without the need to create a finished piece, and enjoyed capturing some of the atmosphere
and sense of place at that moment in time. When looking at John Somerscales’ painting I felt a part of it – I was back on the tow path with my watercolours, a mug of tea to hand. Rosemary Mellor, by email
French lessons In his letter, Alan Taylor (The Artist August 2013), writes that amateur artists should not, if their work is good enough, sell at prices that undercut the professionals, as this would be ‘working on the black’. Like Alan, I also live in France. With my French wife of
some 50 years standing I have lived permanently in France for close on 20 years. A 'black economy' exists here, as it does in all developed countries, but Alan Taylor is clearly unaware of the French mindset towards what is known as délation – the denunciation of fellow citizens who are perceived as engaging in anti-social activities. It is totally unacceptable, being redolent of the often vicious and vengeful tipoffs that took place under the despised Vichy régime in Occupied France. This mindset persists today day across all generations. The professional artist has no special rights or privileges. Like every self-employed specialist, he has to live by his skills and products. If he is unable to do so, even in competition with amateurs, the conclusions to be drawn seem to me to be painfully obvious. John Bennetts, Paris
Standing tall I would like to recommend Harris Moore canvases (www.harrismoore canvases.co.uk). I recently ordered a 71⫻113⁄4in (180⫻30cm) canvas from them to paint a commissioned landscape (a vertical thinscape) for a half landing wall. My qualms about ordering such a size without seeing the quality were dismissed as soon as the packaging was removed. It all oozed quality and their prices are very reasonable, too. A great many of my commissions have been triptychs on 233⁄4⫻113⁄4in (60⫻30cm) panels for reasons of ease, storage and tighter canvas results but for this one I agreed to search the internet for one panel. I will never need to worry about size again. Diana Nuttall, by email Diana Nuttall Tall Birches, acrylic on canvas, 71⫻113⁄4in (180⫻30cm)
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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Oct In View _Layout 1 03/09/2013 09:30 Page 8
NEWS, VIEWS, INFORMATION AND SPECIAL EVENTS IN THE ART WORLD compiled by Deborah Wanstall
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS MONTH The Royal West of England Academy are celebrating 100 years of royal patronage. A selection of prints, drawings and watercolours, loaned by Her Majesty the Queen from the Royal Collection, have been hung with key pieces from the RWA’s own collection, including work by past presidents Paul Ayshford, Lord Methuen, Bernard Dunstan and Leonard Manasseh. One Hundred Years: The RWA and Royal Patronage is at the Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX until November 5. Admission is £4. Telephone 0117 973 5129; www.rwa.org.uk. LEFT Eustace Button The Royal West of England Academy, 1976, watercolour, 12⫻8in (30.5⫻20.5cm)
Focus on Australia The Royal Academy of Arts is showing Australian Art from 1800 to the present, with a focus on the influence of the landscape. Key works by Aboriginal artists, 19th-century immigrants, the Australian Impressionists and 21stcentury artists include paintings, drawings, photographs, watercolours and multimedia. Many of these are from
important public collections in Australia and have not been seen in the UK before. Australia is at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1, from September 21 to December 8. Admission is £14. Telephone 020 7300 8000; www.royalacademy.org.uk. BELOW Charles Meere Australian Beach Pattern, oil on canvas, 361⁄2⫻48in (91.5⫻122cm)
The Big Draw Julia Sorrell has organised Big Draw events at the Mall Galleries, London, on October 2 with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and on October 3 with the Royal Society of British Artists. Both events are from 11am to 3pm and basic materials will be supplied. Julia and the Norwich 20 Group have arranged a Big Draw event at The Forum, Millenium Plain, Norwich, from 10am to 4pm, where help will be on hand from members of the group, followed by similar events around the city. All events are free and no experience is necessary; two clothed models will do short poses throughout the day. No booking required, just turn up and draw for as long as you like. East Devon Art Academy, Old Fore Street, Sidmouth, is hosting a Big Draw event on October 19 from 10am to 4pm. Four tutors will teach workshops in figure drawing, animals and plein-air sketching on the seafront. Booking is essential – telephone 01395 516284. www.eastdevonart.co.uk www.mallgalleries.org.uk www.theforumnorwich.co.uk www.campaignfordrawing.org/bigdraw Next month in The Artist Julia Sorrell writes about her father, Alan Sorrell.
This month’s exclusive offers ● Great Art – free I Love Art apron with orders over £49.95.
● Jackson’s – 20 per cent discount on all Jackson’s pencils.
● Painters’books – any three books from the Ready to Paint range for the price of two. To take advantage of these latest offers you need to subscribe to the magazine and be registered with Painters’Club. Current members can access these offers at www.painters-online.co.uk/PaintersClub. Not a subscriber but would like to join us? Please see page 22 for full details.
Oct In View _Layout 1 03/09/2013 09:30 Page 9
Charting Hockney’s early career Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery is showing around 40 early works by David Hockney, dating between 1960 and 1978. Hockney’s early influences and the development of his style and subject matter are explored in this exhibition, which is divided into four sections: his early years at the Royal College of Art; his admiration for the Greek poet Constantine Petrou Cavafy; the water-themed paintings, particularly the swimming pool paintings; and portraits. Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool, which won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1967, is given a central role as representing the success of Hockney’s change in approach and technique. David Hockney: Early Reflections is at the Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EL from October 11 to March 16. Admission is free. Telephone 0151 478 4199; www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker. For details of how to enter this year’s John Moore’s Painting Prize, turn to page 61. ABOVE David Hockney Gregory, 1974, etching, 36⫻28in (91.5⫻40cm)
● Bath Society of Botanical Artists hold their annual exhibition in the exhibition room of Bath Central Library, Northgate Street, Bath, from October 15 to 16. For information, telephone 01225 834424; www.bsba.co.uk.
● South Hams Arts Forum Arts Trail is from October 19 to 27. Brochures will be available locally. www.shaf.org.uk. ● The third lkley Art Trail takes place between October 9 and 13. www.ilkleyarttrail.org.uk.
Workshop roundup Treat yourself to a The Artist & Leisure Painter workshop at Art Materials Live, NEC, Birmingham, on November 8 and 9. The cost of each three-hour session is just £50 (inc VAT) per person and includes materials and entry to Art Materials Live and Hobbycrafts for the day. • Light and bright watercolours with Judi Whitton, Friday November 8, am or pm. • Coastal scenes in oil with Tim Fisher, Friday November 8, am or pm. The above two workshops have been organised in association with Canson, who will provide each student with over £65(rrp) worth of paper. • Landscapes and markets with Soraya French, Saturday November 9, am or pm. This workshop has been organised in association with GreatArt, who will provide each student with a Molotow One4All Marker Main Kit, comprising 12⫻4mm round nib markers and 2⫻30ml tubes of acrylics worth over £50(rrp). • Animals in Museum Aquarelle Pencils with Mary Herbert, Saturday November 9, pm. This workshop has been organised in association with Caran d’Ache, who will provide each student with a box of 12 Museum Aquarelle Pencils, waterbrush, waterspray and watercolour pad, worth over £80(rrp). For more information and to book your place, please visit www.paintersonline.co.uk/workshops or telephone Liza or Dawn on 01580 763673.
Editor’s website gallery choice This month’s editor’s choice from our website gallery is by Alistair Knight, who comments: ‘I’ve always viewed landscapes as living entities that are powerful, spiritual and emotional. I am frequently drawn back to the dramatic terrrain of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, which both overwhelms and exhilarates me. This painting is from a recent visit to The Isle of Skye, where the weather can shift suddenly, dramatically changing the look and feel of the environment from one moment to the next. When the mist came down there was an alluring beauty in the muted colours of the hills and heather, but a distinct air of danger. ‘My working process involves spending time on location, making sketches that are then developed back in the studio. I often paint the same scene many times, filtering the experience through memory, emotion, and reflection.’ www.alistairknight.com 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. Alistair Knight Should We Turn Back?, acrylic, 281⁄4⫻281⁄4in (72⫻72cm)
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Rural idylls Sarah Bowman has gained widespread recognition for her distinctive oil paintings. Caroline Saunders talks to her about her use of muted colours, scumbling and composition, which ‘just happens on the canvas’
arah Bowman’s naïve style combines domestic objects with landscapes. Her work echoes that of Winifred Nicholson, although she also adopts the same simplistic and intuitive approach as visionary Mary Newcomb. ‘My philosophy is to paint subjects that strike a cord. It's very hard to achieve something unique, particularly with the subject matter I paint. I produce my best paintings when
I've really felt a connection to the landscape I've seen and a real feel for the season, be it spring, summer, autumn or winter.’ Sarah’s paintings are derived from memory. They are made up of a mixture of places she has visited: Cornwall, Devon, the Scilly Isles and Andalucia in Spain. A trip to Tuscany in her late teens was an important milestone in her development:
she uses the same trompe l’oeil device of the foreground window framing a distant landscape as Renaissance fresco paintings.
Early years Born into an artistic family, Sarah and her sister Vanessa have followed in their father Michael’s footsteps. He is an established impressionist landscape painter and her mother is a framer. ‘My father taught us
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Sweetpeas, oil on canvas, 231⁄2⫻231⁄2in (59.5⫻59.5cm). ‘I love sweet peas – they are so fresh and reminiscent of summer. I've used the opening of the windows to add a vertical element to the painting.’
‘The structure of the window, opening slightly, perhaps with a wispy curtain gently blowing in the breeze leads the eye further into the painting’
Spring Dartmoor, oil on canvas, 191⁄2⫻271⁄2in (49.5⫻70cm). ‘In this typical Dartmoor view, the daffodils stand to attention, giving the hope of spring. I like to use gates in paintings; they’re another focal point and an opening to the view beyond. They often have three birds on them – it’s a subconscious thing but at the back of my mind maybe there's some reason.’
both art at school but he never put us under any pressure to become artists. We would go to London with him, to see exhibitions; we have a mutual admiration for art and our tastes are so similar – we will pick the same flowers as subjects for our paintings. Growing up with the smell of turpentine in the house we gathered annually around my father’s latest
collection of paintings to think of titles for the next exhibition. ‘My first sale came when I was about 14. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve sold work fairly regularly since my college days. Some exhibitions have been more successful than others, because there has been a particular flow with the paintings. I’ve never stopped painting, in case I October 2013
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MASTERCLASS might not be able to get back into it, even when I had my children.’
Influences ‘My style has been influenced by an amalgamation of Scottish and Cornish artists.’ Like so many artists, Sarah has been inspired by the warm Mediterranean light of Cornwall,’ says Sarah. ‘My work has similarities with that of the Cornish-based St Ives School – a combination of still life in the foreground and landscape backdrop, often glimpsed through an open window; most of my paintings are in the same format. They are divided into
Dog Walker in the Snow, oil on canvas, 191⁄2⫻271⁄2in (49.5⫻70cm). ‘I always like painting winter landscapes, particularly when the fields are blanketed with snow. It keeps the whole painting neutral and touches of colour stand out even more. I adapted the pattern on the jug from a cup I've seen; I like the bird on it. The dog walker adds a narrative and the painting wouldn't be the same without it. There was a lot of interest in this painting, so we made it into a print.’
three: windowsill, land and sky. I learnt about the golden mean at college. The structure of the window, opening slightly, perhaps with a wispy curtain gently blowing in the breeze leads the eye further into the painting – these are all devices I consciously and subconsciously use.’ Whilst living in Edinburgh the flat, twodimensional arrangements of Scottish artists such as William Gillies, Anne Redpath and Elizabeth Blackadder also had a significant impact. This led to her subsequent still-life paintings.
Composition Despite her art training, Sarah does not have a desire to draw objects realistically and instead opts for a primitive style that provides an arresting composition and catches the eye. Foreground objects sometimes have an exaggerated aerial perspective. ‘Before I begin painting I’ll look at photos from my many scrapbooks, maybe pick some flowers from the garden or even look at saved images on the iPad; then I’ll put all those things down and start painting. It is important I do most paintings from my head, otherwise they
would be too precise and not evoke the dreamy, imaginative quality for which I am aiming.’ Choosing to paint on a very fine weave of canvas, Sarah begins by dirtying the canvas with the muddy sludge from the turpentine jar. She applies it with a rag to get rid of the whiteness. ‘Sometimes I underpaint with a wash of warmth. If I'm painting Andalucia with a hot landscape, I'll underpaint in a wash of cooler colours, predominantly Payne’s grey, a touch of viridian and titanium white.’ Then Sarah blocks in colour to form a general landscape and windowsill. Specialising in oils, she mainly uses Winsor & Newton and sometimes indulges in Old Holland when she can afford it. ‘I use Liquin to thin the paint into almost a glaze.’ She also uses acrylics, especially when painting abroad.
Delicate colours The charm of Sarah’s work lies in the delicacy of the colours – she uses a gentle, muted palette – and careful placement of specifically chosen colour. She creates an ambiance with the dry texture of the paint and mostly similar tonal values with the
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occasional dark tones to give a strong contrast. ‘If the painting’s looking too tight or the colours are too bright, I will apply the sludge from the turps jar to the whole thing and rework it. I also like to mix a glaze of Indian yellow and Payne’s grey and put a wash over the painting to dull it down then begin again, pulling out flashes of colour. I often tone down colours using Payne’s grey. I keep mostly to a cool palette, especially in my coastal paintings, with hints of warmth. Some Indian red, a touch of alizarin crimson mixed with an even smaller touch of Payne’s grey.’ Occasionally Sarah illuminates the canvas with a flash of post-Renaissance geranium pink or cyan blue. ‘There aren’t any rules as such. I don’t like loud colours. I like accents of colours; I think they say more. A tutor once told me that if all the colours are shouting, you create a din. If most are quiet and one or two are heard, then you have a melody. I’ve always remembered that. I love violet in painting – I try to use it as much as I can.’
Visiting the Neighbour, oil on canvas, 231⁄2⫻311⁄2in (60⫻80cm). ‘I was pleased with this painting, the warmth of the ochres in the hot Andalucian landscape and the farmers chatting over the wall create a narrative.’
Quail Eggs and Spring Flowers, oil on canvas, 151⁄2⫻191⁄2in (39.5⫻49.5cm). ‘This scene reminds me of the Scilly Islands, where we've been many times. I like the freshness of spring, the delicate whites of the flowers and the milky yellow primroses.’
Optical mixing Using long, mostly round-headed brushes of various sizes, Sarah uses a scumbling technique, which is similar to glazing. ‘By
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MASTERCLASS scrubbing in a circular motion with a dryish brush I deposit light over dark and the paint clings to the textured surface of the linen canvas. This happens when the paint is dry rather than mixed with Liquin; it scumbles over the surface. It tends to ruin my brushes but I like the delicate effect it gives. Although the paint is opaque, it is applied very thinly to allow bits of the paint below to shine through to mix optically. I scumble white over the surface to bring a fresher quality, otherwise the colours get too grey and dreary.’ Never knowing exactly how a painting will end up, Sarah just lets things happen on the canvas. She starts with the
landscape and the windowsill or the table, and the rest emerges later; the objects are placed last. China cups, fruit, seashells and plants in richly decorated pots are carefully chosen and strategically placed on the windowsill. ‘Quail’s eggs are such pretty objects to paint and I love the use of black in my paintings, it gives the eye a point to rest upon.’ Each element of the composition is a reaction to the last thing painted and everything ‘speaks to each other’ within a composition. ‘Sometimes they don’t work out, but then planning a painting doesn’t always guarantee success either. A jug will change its place on the window ledge;
the sky will turn from blue to grey because it clashes with the red of the flowers. It’s easy to change things in an oil painting.’ Sarah spends days or sometimes weeks working on several paintings at a time so that she can dip in and out of them and they stay fresh. ‘Sometimes it’s hard to find time to reflect but this is a very important part of painting. Although there has to be a balance between thinking too much about a painting and painting freely. I like to have them around me in the studio for a while. Sometimes they come back from the framer’s and I TA carry on working on them.’
‘Each element of the composition is a reaction to the last thing painted and everything ‘speaks to each other’ within a composition’
Smoke Rising, oil on canvas, 311⁄2⫻311⁄2in (80⫻80cm). I'm drawn to the sea in spring and summer and the moor in the winter months. I use chairs quite a lot in my paintings, they anchor the painting down, particularly with the black. This use of black is then continued in the rooftops, the trees and the cows. Accents are added throughout the painting otherwise the strength of the black would just hold your eye at the chairs.’
studied at Wimbledon School of Art and Falmouth College of Art, where she gained a BA in Fine Art. She then moved to Edinburgh, where she was gallery director to Nexus Galleries, a collection of three contemporary art galleries. In 2003 Sarah and her husband Jolyon established White Space Art gallery in Totnes, Devon. The gallery exhibits a range of work from emerging artists and Sarah’s work is always available. Sarah has had solo and mixed exhibitions throughout the UK; in 2005 she won the Mary Fedden Award at the Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition. She was also selected for the RA Summer Exhibition in 2005 and 2006. White Space Art, 72 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5RU. Telephone 01803 864088; www.whitespaceart.com.
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I N C O N V E R S AT I O N
Noel Paine Noel Paine describes his work as ‘solitary practice’. As he tells Susie Hodge, each composition is carefully considered and he makes many on-site sketches before he commits an idea to canvas ABOVE Bow Trench 1, oil on canvas, 51⫻67in (130⫻170cm). Resembling jewel-bright, multi-faceted stained glass windows, this diagonal composition also seems to blend realism, illustrative techniques and elements of Cubism
oel Paine's paintings have the jewel-bright qualities of enamels or stained glass. His landscapes often feature man-made elements, such as gates, windows or walls, all in intense colours and textural brush marks. His preferred medium is oil, which he says ‘feels and looks alive’; he finds the flatness of acrylic too graphic. Noel's focus on landscape has been a gradual development. ‘One day, I found
myself more intrigued by looking outside the window than studying the objects inside,’ he says. ‘It was then that I began to paint the buildings and trees close to my studio in East London, thinking of them as figures in a landscape’.
Careful planning 'Before I begin any painting, I have detailed ideas about how I want it to look. These will almost always focus on colour, October 2013
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of the same theme, is different. Atmosphere, colours, light, structure, contrasts of nature, and the man-made in the landscape all appeal to me’. 'For my paintings to be complete it's important that they're seen. I never consciously produce for an exhibition, but I do have clear ideas about the body of work I'm making, as I tend to work in a series.'
Leonardo's Red Gate, oil on canvas, 471⁄4⫻471⁄4in (120⫻120cm) line, and space across a flat surface. I focus on very abstract ideas from the figuration I see in front of me. All the effort in terms of drawing, colour mixing and so on that goes into the creation of a painting can be lost if the composition is not planned.' Noel makes countless sketches, small studies in watercolour, ink, oil pastel and chalk but he nearly always starts with a pencil. ‘Every time I make a drawing it leads to something. I think my style has just evolved through working and, most importantly, through drawing.' Does the composition 'appear' to him when looking at a scene, or does he adapt elements? ‘'The selection of a subject is a very slow process. I spend much time considering a possible painting. In the visual world everything relates to everything else, and I believe that one of my roles as a painter is to acknowledge these connections and contrasts. 'Scale is very important. I rely on the assumption that a small painting should read big and a big painting read small. I'm thinking here of Rothko's vast canvases that can be reduced down to a close relationship with colour, or a Corot oil sketch that expresses space across a landscape. Recently my paintings have got smaller, I like the intimacy of small works, but the physicality of large canvases. ‘I begin by drawing a chosen subject many times in different lights, weather, seasons and so on. I never use photographs;
my sketchbooks provide the first point of reference. I also make a series of drawings, which provide the main source of information for me to develop into a painting. For a larger canvas, I often produce preliminary drawings for line, colour, and detail. I also refer to art history and study the great masters. Something I continually return to is how they took on colour or space across a flat surface’.
The painting as an object 'I try to imbue a sense of reality in my work. For instance when I see the colours yellow or orange, I focus on the colour itself, not just its representation of something. I'm also inspired by abstraction, and have always been influenced by artists who play on abstraction as figuration: Piet Mondrian and Sean Scully are good examples. I want my paintings to be seen as physical 'things' in themselves. Great paintings work on many levels. ‘I tend to work on the same subject for many months so I seek out quiet locations, often hidden from view – I don't like being disturbed when working. I also avoid working in direct sunlight, or in areas where my personal safety may be at risk. I identify with Cézanne and Leon Kossoff. In working on the same subjects repeatedly, they acknowledged that the light, time of day or mood “changed” the subject and therefore each painting, even
Noel mixes all his colours and does not have a set palette. 'I keep my palette very simple and never use colours direct from the tube. I love the colour green, it is endless; you can have a very dark green and a very light green, whereas light red becomes pink and dark red becomes brown. I never use pure white on the canvas as I believe white doesn't always mean light. My black is always made up of dark reds and blues.' Although passionate about colour, technique is 'not something that consumes' Noel, but he does experiment with a variety of brushes. 'I do not have a strict painting kit but I have my favourites, like Norma paints, a good quality German make. Often the painting or drawing itself will dictate what I use.’
Working procedure ‘I draw every day and work on many paintings all the time but a completed larger work will only be resolved every few months. Although my work is slow and considered, I am also quite prolific because I work all the time. ‘The drawing must be spot-on – look at Manet or Degas. Even though some areas of their canvases are loose, the drawing remains solid, and everything is built around this. Also understanding how colour creates space on a flat surface, as with a Cézanne or Matisse helps. Completing a work can be as hard as getting it started. It can be frustrating, but usually a work tells me when enough is enough. ‘I do not follow any particular order in constructing a painting. Much depends on the subject. I do a lot of measuring before I begin, finding the middle of the canvas and recording where things are across the whole image. I also do a lot of underpainting. Making a painting is about finding 'moments', that is where one area begins to work with another area. Once I get my first few 'moments' on the canvas I begin to build everything up and, in turn, new ‘moments’ occur to take the painting on.’
Influences Noel acknowledges his admiration for a wide range of artists: Diebienkorn,
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Balthus, Gilman, Bomberg, Gwen John, Palmer, Sargent, Degas, Cézanne, Courbet, Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Del Piombo and Raphael. ‘To consider composition, I might look at Manet's A Bar at the FoliesBergère, and if I am considering line and atmosphere, I look at Constable's Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds; on a more contemporary level, there’s Sean Scully, Jake Berthot and Lucian Freud.'
Future challenges 'I have been fortunate to work as a copyist in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and I hope to spend this autumn and winter in Austria, where I also plan to make some paintings in the snow – I find the end of winter the most interesting time of year. At the moment, I am trying to take on subjects that I have not given too much thought to and am keen to have an exhibition of my London paintings alongside my Italian ones. On a practical level, I'd love to be artist in residence in a national park, garden or forest. Anywhere in the world in fact – I'd see that as a TA challenge!'
Hill-Top Olive, oil on canvas, 193⁄4⫻193⁄4in (50⫻50cm)
Noel Paine completed a Foundation Course at City and Guilds, London; he then obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Art and Aesthetics (First-Class Honours in Painting) at the University of Wales in Cardiff, and an MA in Fine Art at the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church College, UK. He has worked in Charleston, South Carolina, USA and in a studio in New York City. He was awarded an Acme Studios residency in London, and later worked at a studio at Trinity Buoy Wharf. Since 2008, he has lived and worked in Italy. He has exhibited extensively in solo and joint exhibitions, nationally and internationally. These include the BP Portrait Award 1996, the Discerning Eye 2000, the Dash Gallery in Tower Hamlets 2002, City Hall Mayor's Office 2010, and the Menier Gallery 2011. His most recent exhibition was at Gallery 27, Cork Street in May 2013. www.noelpaine.com
Brown Stump, oil on canvas, 311⁄2⫻311⁄2in (80⫻80cm)
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Process for a portrait Agata Wojcieszkiewicz provides an insight to the intimate process used to create her revealing oil and acrylic portraits and self portraits y strong interest in representational painting comes from the very traditional training that I received in Poland, where art education is still quite academic and very much based on the observation of nature. During these years my perception of the world became very sharp and sensitive. I discovered that I could see everything as a composition of patches of different colours in various tones. By closely examining these colours I learned how to perceive them exactly as they were and, therefore, how to transfer them precisely on to a canvas.
Expressive thoughts I quickly understood, though, that art is something more than exact depiction of the reality. I realised that it is my personal expression of thoughts and feelings, resulting from a perception of nature
therefore it is also a great challenge for me to work on commissions and paint people who I do not know very well.
Fascination for faces I have been always fascinated by people’s faces and their different characteristics. The face is a kind of a map that reflects the drama of life; because it identifies us it is the most important and the most individual part of our body. The human face has the most complex musculature of the entire primate species, as well as the most subtle and complicated system of mimicry, thus we can express ourselves with an endless range of moods. I could risk a statement that the face is the most intimate part of a human body – it reveals our mysteries and becomes a cognitive object encouraging every one of us to try to read it, because of our strong need to
‘My art is a journal that is a reflection of the true world of my creative forces’
environment defines their personalities. I find it very interesting to observe how differently people organise the spaces around them, what kind of items they tend to select, in what sort of order they like to group them, how they describe their habits, living and working routines. Within the constant and careful study of the world around me I notice details before the overall view. By the precise recollection of these details within my paintings, I seem to work against the selectiveness of the memory. This tendency has become more intense since leaving my native country, and longing for my home. Suddenly, all the everyday objects and little characteristic things from my familiar environment, which I had never seemed to notice before and which I had taken for granted, became incredibly important. Preserving them in my memory for further examination became an essential part of the process of painting and discovering my identity, both cultural and historical.
Self portraits ruled and filtered by unknown processes from the subconscious parts of my mind. So, following my instincts and intuition, I started to experiment with different techniques and media in order to be able to free myself from these academic boundaries and distinguish my individual language. My art is a journal that is a reflection of the true world of my creative forces. It is the result of a very intimate process of picturing my memories and internal needs, in combination with the images of the surrounding world. That is why one of the main subjects of my work is myself, as well as people that I am emotionally connected to and who have had a big impact on my life. I have always felt a strong empathy towards people,
understand one another. A face painted on a canvas is a kind of a document of the relationship between the artist and the sitter. Eyes are, for me, a central point where the dialogue between the viewer and the painter can begin. Being an immigrant, I paint people as representatives of two different cultures and I try to distinguish the results of historical and cultural influences that shaped their lives as well as mine.
Background detail My latest portraits are very narrative and intricately painted compositions, where the rich background seems to be more important than the sitter. They tell stories by representing people within their everyday surroundings and show how the
My self portraits seem to be much more personal. They are a kind of a performance where I am not willing to present typical sensations such as happiness, sadness or fear. By making numerous representations I am trying to show the complexity of my personality and a constant dialogue between the many selves that inhabit me. With the rest of my art they are a part of a process of a reflection on the nature of my identity, but from the psychological point of view. And they actually show my failure in finding the one, ultimate definition of myself. They are definitely painted for different reasons, rather than portraits of other people, such as those of my artist friend Anita Bell (right) or my father, which are more of a tribute to my relationships. Self portraits (pages 20 and 21) show
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Portrait of Anita Bell in her Studio, acrylic and oil on canvas, 24⫻20in (61⫻51cm). This was painted at Anita’s home in Portsmouth, as a gift and a tribute to our close relationship. I was always captivated by Anita’s appearance, which clearly reveals her hearty and open personality. Her art, knowledge and creative engagement hugely inspired me within my work. I had the opportunity to paint Anita within the intimate environment of her studio space which, for me, is an incredible piece of art in itself
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Self Portrait with a Rag, acrylic and oil on canvas, 79⫻63in (200⫻160cm). My self portraits are parts of a self-directed performance, which is a very exciting and unpredictable experiment in which I try to discover myself, showing things that cannot be described in words. I am a main character, wearing all sorts of masks. I am also an audience and, with the viewer, I reflect on it, watching the act, wondering where it leads me, not knowing the end and not being able to predict the outcome different kinds of truth, and this comes from the need to express frustrations and internal struggles.
Working process I start the whole process of painting by preparing the canvas, which I do from scratch. I use finely woven but densely structured cotton fabric, which I tightly stretch on to a wooden frame. I always want to make sure that the primer will not soak through the canvas, so first of all I impregnate the canvas with rabbit skin glue, applying one or two layers, which also helps the canvas to stretch properly. Some artists use only this as a background and paint directly on it, but there is still a risk of paint soaking through so I prime it with two or three thin layers of acrylic gesso, always white, to help colours stay clear and vivid. I use very smooth and delicate brushes, so before I start painting I always smooth the primed surface with very fine sandpaper to protect them from the abrasion. I work in acrylics and oils and never use turpentine or white spirits to thin the paint because they cause colours to lose their glow. Instead I use mediums based on damar resin and linseed stand oil, which are specially designed to increase gloss and impart depth to paint film. In order to minimise gradual damage and dissolution of the bristle, I do not use any chemicals to clean my brushes – I use ordinary cooking oil instead. I work from photographs I have taken myself. I often combine them, using a computer, into collages, creating drafts, which I transfer directly on to a canvas, starting from a very general outline using just water-thinned paint. I do not use a projector because the surface of the picture changes constantly and I want my process of work to be unpredictable. It is very exciting to make decisions as I go along rather than have the final composition ready from the beginning.
A Break, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18⫻15in (46⫻38cm). This painting won both First Prize and Visitor’s Choice Prize in The Stride open art competition at Oxmarket Galleries in 2011
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2 O'clock, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18⫻15in (46⫻38cm). This painting and A Break (below left) are portraits of my father, made as part of a series I am currently working on entitled ‘Poland, Intimate Landscape’. I am trying to reveal a typical fragment of post-communist urban Poland that represents the daily life of my family and friends, people who strongly suffered living at the interface of two political systems and the effects of the sacrifices they had to take during the struggle as they tried to adapt to a new capitalistic reality
Layers of colour I love colour, so I use every colour that I am able to obtain. I want my palette to be as wide as possible. It is amazing how many hues of colours I can find when I study every square inch of every surface; when enhanced in my painting these colours have a magical quality that seem to make my pictures glorifications of the internal and external worlds I portray. I want the composition to look finished at every stage of painting. I work with layers, first in acrylics applied in a fast, gestural way to create a general abstract outline. Then I apply a few more transparent layers to bring out the shapes of all the elements, which I later develop with very precise brushing, trying to leave the background visible in some points. By combining textures with a wide range of colour and forms I hope to make the picture more interesting from both a visual and technical point of view. My aim is to create very ordered pieces of work by using very undisciplined methods, so that the final image comes about partly by chance. By assembling realistic, very detailed elements of the composition with an abstract background, I hope to lure the viewer’s attention. I want the viewer to come closer, to investigate further, and thus establish some sort of relationship TA with the work. Agata’s solo exhibition of portraits is at the Wilson Studio, Oxmarket Centre of Arts, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1YH from October 15 to 27 telephone: 01243 779103; www.oxmarket.com.
Agata Wojcieszkiewicz obtained an MA in Fine Art Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, Gdańsk, Poland and is now professionally based at Making Space Community Arts Centre in Havant. She has exhibited in Poland and in the UK – her portrait of Anita Bell was selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition and she won The Stride open art competiton at the Oxmarket Centre, Chichester.
Self-Portrait in Red, acrylic and oil on canvas, 32⫻39in (81.5⫻100cm) October 2013
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PRACTICAL Make your mark in watercolour: 4
Lost-and-found edges This month Jake Winkle explains when, where and how to use the lost-andfound technique to simplify your watercolour painting pure watercolour that looks effortless, like it just ‘happened’ without any struggle on the part of the artist is, for me, one of the most beautiful of artistic statements. The painting should contain elegant fluid brushstrokes coupled with an apparent disregard for the conventions of accuracy, its story being conveyed simply and harmoniously through shapes that link and intertwine.
What are lost-and-found edges? A watercolour is a compendium of different marks. Some marks or washes will stand alone as hard-edged shapes whilst others will blend on the paper with neighbouring marks to form continuous strands of linked shapes. These linked
When to use lost-andfound
shapes in the foreground. In a similar way the brain fills in the gaps when an object becomes lost, or disappears tonally into its surroundings before re-emerging again as found – see Grand Canal, Venice (below). I am often asked how to simplify a painting and I usually explain that simplification is not omission, as this materially alters what it was that attracted you to the composition in the first place. Instead, I like to include everything but
A painting never requires all elements to be completely resolved at all times. The brain will make sense of marks and shapes that are not clearly defined by making associations with what else is in the picture. So a few abstract dots and dashes making up the background in a nautical painting may become boats by association with more recognisable boat
Grand Canal, Venice, watercolour on Arches Aquarelle Arches watercolour paper, Rough, 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2⫻181⁄2in (32⫻46cm). This painting is full of abstract shapes resulting from lost-and-found edges. A few clearly defined shapes help to clarify the abstraction
shapes contain lost-and-found edges: lost where they fuse together and found where they are crisp and hard-edged against the white of the paper. Lost-andfound produces that lovely lyrical look where the painting appears deceptively simple and yet remains so elusive and difficult to achieve.
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Hare Portrait, watercolour on Arches Aquarelle Arches watercolour paper, Rough, 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2⫻181⁄2in (32⫻46cm). Here all the shapes were blended together on the paper, regardless of colour or tone. The last brushstroke was applied whilst the first was still wet
paint it in a simplified way, and this is achieved by using lost-and-found. If you think of hard edges as being your detail and soft edges as being your simplification, then the more edges you merge the more simplified the painting becomes. I will usually merge any adjacent shapes if their tonal values are the same or similar; this often means painting the darks first to connect shapes across the paper, which gives the painting a loose and somewhat abstract appearance. The process requires that objects are not completed in one go because only one tonal element is being painted, which is then blended into other similar tonal elements in adjacent areas. The result is a combination of soft and hard edges, or lost-and-found. In other words, simplification is a result of the technique rather than a deliberate, thought-out process. See Spring Collection (right).
a waste of time to spend too long mixing the perfect colour and getting it to just the right consistency if by the time you apply it the first one has dried a little – it is not surprising that so many beginners find watercolour challenging.
Lost-and-found design Not all paintings need to work by connecting only tonal areas that are similar. Some of my most exciting work is the result of blending absolutely everything on the paper. These paintings are not wet-in-wet as this process would
only result in lost edges. They are produced on dry paper and worked at great speed wet-up-to-wet. My aim is to finish the last brushstroke whilst the first is still moist and to do this, different colours and different tones are blended on the paper, making use of mark making rather than flat washes. The brushstrokes are the most important element here as each one attempts to complete a shape – it is certainly not painting by numbers and is not for the faint hearted or squeamish. The technique involves choosing your start point and then painting by the seat of your pants, embracing any ‘cauliflowers’ on the way. A tip for this style of painting is to look for colour in terms of warm and cool as this frees you up to interpret colour temperature rather than mixing perfect colour matches. If the colour is cool you can use greens, blues, violets and greys; if it is warm, go for oranges, yellows, reds and browns. It is much quicker to work this way than to attempt colour accuracy. These are wet-on-dry pictures using colour merges to create lost edges, and calligraphic brushstrokes to create found ones (ie the brushstrokes with gaps of white paper showing). Not only does this form soft and hard edges but the white spaces imply contour as well. Wet-in-wet is used as well but this is not the primary technique. After the colour is ‘thrown’ on the paper a little more modelling is often suggested wet-in-wet but the most important aspect is still the design of the lost-and-found brushstrokes. See Hare Portrait TA (top left). Next month: Positive and negative distractions
Perfecting the technique Connecting wet colours on the paper is not as straightforward as you may think. If the artist works too slowly the washes form ugly tram lines; if they are painted too wet they may merge too much, or vice versa if not painted wet enough. It takes confidence to merge shapes but whichever effect you are aiming for a sound knowledge of the water consistency in the brush is essential. If you don’t want ‘cauliflower’ shapes you must try to balance the water content in each connecting shape and of course you must work quickly so that the next colour goes on whilst the previous one is still wet. It is
Spring Collection, watercolour on Arches Aquarelle Arches watercolour paper, Rough, 140lb (300gsm), 181⁄2⫻121⁄2in (46⫻32cm). Same or similar tonal values were connected to create a pathway of lost-and-found. Any detail in the flowers or stems would have interrupted the pathway
You can find out more about Jake’s methods in his new book Light and Movement in Watercolour, published by Batsford and available from Painters’books, price £14.99; quote 201190 when ordering, www.paintersonline.co.uk/bookshop. Jake’s DVDs Watercolour from Dark to Light and Light and Movement in Watercolour are available from Town House Films, telephone 01603 259441, www.town housefilms.co.uk. You can see clips on Painters-Online TV. Look out for Jake’s new DVD Going Wild in Watercolour, to be released on January 9, 2014. It can be preordered from Town House Films from December 9. Jake uses Luxartis brushes, which are available from www.luxartis.biz.
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DEMONSTRATION Eagle Owl Portrait
I made a light pencil sketch, paying particular attention to the draughtsmanship around the eyes and the beak; the rest was just hinted at. If the eyes and beak are recognisable the remainder of the painting can be made from a fury of brushstrokes. I then squeezed out fresh paint from tubes into my palette. This approach requires direct painting with thick as well as thin mixtures of colour and this is best achieved with moist paint rather than dry cakes. I decided upon my starting point – the pale shadow on the light-coloured feathers around the beak – and then commenced, painting as far as possible in the direction of the form so that the brushstrokes would imply contour as well as texture
There is only one real stage in this painting as everything is required to blend together on the paper. Ideally the last brushstroke should be applied whilst the first is still moist, so the brushstrokes are dashed on to the picture using dilute colour where a pale tone is required, and intense colour where a darker one is needed. I looked for warm and cool and reacted by adding plenty of pure hues that mixed together on the paper. My intense darks were made from any two dark colours, such as ultramarine and sepia or violet and green. Edges were fused right across the picture and darker accents added wet-into-wet with almost neat pigment
FINISHED PAINTING Eagle Owl Portrait, watercolour on Arches Aquarelle Arches watercolour paper, Rough, 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2⫻181⁄2in (32⫻46cm). Towards the end of the painting I used the rigger to scribble some detail and also to scratch across the pathways of colour, thus breaking up any repeating patterns. Last of all a little spatter was added to the background to integrate the painting as a whole
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Subject in absentia How do you cope when your subject can vanish at any moment? Molly Schmid demonstrates a still life in oils with the occasional cooperation of her cat y cat Mistoffelees has a propensity for napping in my stilllife setups and this has led to more than a couple of interesting paintings. Working from life is one of the best methods in terms of the learning experience as well as yielding very rich paintings. However, it can also be particularly challenging and, at times, frustrating, especially when dealing with a living subject who will eventually wake up and walk away in search of an afternoon snack or a simple change of scenery. I’m used to dealing with flowers that wilt and fruit that rots, but it takes a lot longer to paint a life-size cat in detail than it takes to paint a rose or an apple. So, my challenge was to paint my mischievous but infectious cat amidst fresh hydrangeas from my garden and to create as much of the painting from life as possible. In order to pull off such a feat I had to have a plan. My plan included a well thought out strategy for both the composition and the process, several trips to the garden for replacement flowers, a dark towel shaped into the size and form of the cat and a camera for backup.
This was my subject, my cat (above) and fresh hydrangeas (below), both complex and highly detailed. The cat eventually woke up and moved, which I anticipated. The flowers were a bit more cooperative, but nonetheless had to be replaced periodically
The set up I set up the basic still-life area with one element that wouldn’t change – the flower vase. The flowers were going to have to be replaced periodically, but the vase would stay in the same place unless the cat knocked it over, which has happened in the past. Knowing that the cat was going to be a moving target I didn’t bother dealing with him until the opportunity presented itself. Instead, I just left an area both in my actual staging area and on the canvas for the future placement of the cat. In typical fashion Mistoffelees jumped into my setup for a nap, so I photographed him for later use. When, as predicted he
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PRACTICAL Advice from an expert: l I like to have some thick areas of paint
on my canvas, but I’m careful not to paint too thick in the beginning. The thicker you paint, the easier it is to lose control, that’s why I use a lot of transparent washes for block-ins when I’m doing a full colour oil painting. l
Paint clean – wash your brushes frequently between brushstrokes and changes of colour. Clean your palette often. When painting complex or highly detailed subject matter, simplify things in the beginning and build up the detail.
Push your colour. Something might look neutral or grey but try to figure out what colour it really is that you’re looking at. Is it a greenish grey or reddish grey or blueish grey? Don’t over mix your colours. There’s something nice about one colour swirling into another. If you find yourself painting the same area over and over trying to make it look right, STOP! Take a break, stretch, inhale deeply then ask, ‘why doesn’t it look right?’ Be your own constructive critic. Are the colours not correct? Are your measurements off? Is the area too
dark, too light, not dark enough, etc…? Once you know what the problem is you’ll know how to fix it. Mistakes can be excellent learning opportunities. Paint things you like to paint and want to share with others. It makes the process fun. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with a difficult composition or difficult circumstances. You can only grow from the experience. Once, I painted en plein air in the freezing rain in Scotland – talk about challenging. The Scots thought I was mad. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment.
DEMONSTRATION Still Life with Cat
STAGE ONE I began the process with a light wash of transparent red oxide and ultramarine deep to give a thin and warm base of paint to work into, rather than just the dry surface of the canvas It took a few minutes for the cat to settle into my still-life set up, which gave me the opportunity to block in the vase and begin working on the foreground flowers – these were going to wilt quickly since they weren’t in water. The flowers in the foreground were an important part of the composition. They offered balance and interest, plus they were simply gorgeous
woke up and repositioned himself on the floor of my studio, I had to rely on the photograph I had taken earlier in order to complete the details of the cat. Luckily I had the actual cat snoozing nearby for colour and texture reference. I also had to replace my wilting flowers. This did not pose a problem because I intentionally left areas of the canvas blank in anticipation of introducing new visual information (fresh flowers) at a later time. If I had been painting a still life with elements that never moved or changed form, I probably would have done a full block in right from the start. Lastly, to make life easy on myself, I formed a dark towel into the shape and the size of the cat as a substitution for the real thing. I then placed a fresh set of flowers around the substitute cat and in the vase and, with a fresh setup, I was ready to finish TA the painting. October 2013
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When Mistoffelees jumped into my setup for a nap it was my opportunity to begin working on the cat, starting with a rough block-in of the general shape. Once he had settled into his pose I photographed him for later use. I then made the necessary anatomical corrections, still using a thin wash of transparent red oxide and ultramarine deep
Once the corrections were made I began painting as much detail as possible before the cat moved, starting with his head and facial features. At first, I used a variety of brush sizes, mainly flat soft bristle brushes â€“ small brushes for small areas, larger brushes for larger areas. That may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget to choose the right tool for the job. And since the likelihood of the cat moving in the near future was high I needed to paint efficiently
After painting the main features of the head (eyes, nose, mouth and ears), I focused on creating the texture and pattern of fur. In areas where the fur was soft and fuzzy, (nose, behind the ears and tummy) I laid down different colours on the canvas and blended by stippling with a dry, soft bristled brush. When painting the main body of the cat where the fur was longer and more textured I laid down light tones next to dark tone (overlapping slightly) then gently pulled one colour into the other using a set of brushes with slightly frayed ends. When pulling a dark colour into a lighter colour, I had to be very careful to clean my brush frequently otherwise I would end up with a muddy mess that would look like anything but like fur. Speaking of colour, the colour of the cat could be described as black and grey tabby, however, when painting him I was careful to mix a variety of greyish greens, purples, pinks, tans and tinted whites. The dark areas were a combination of ultramarine deep mixed with transparent red oxide and transparent oxide brown or alizarin crimson, sometimes phthalo green. At no time did I break out my tube of ivory black. I wanted the appearance of my kitty to reflect his personality â€“ rich, warm and colourful
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Still Life with Cat, oil on canvas, 18⫻24in (45.5⫻61cm). In the final phase of painting I was able to move around the canvas more freely, going back and forth between the background and foreground. I painted the rest of my flowers by putting down big blocks of a middle-tone colour, then painted the darker areas as well as the lighter areas, keeping it simple. After getting those three main values established I careful painted a few key petals in more detail. I didn’t try to paint every petal of the flowers, that would have driven me crazy. I simplified what I was seeing into general shapes of colour, working in detail at the end. I used my palette knife on the flowers as well, which gave my flowers a lot of dimension. Final touches were put on the cat around the edges of his form providing an opportunity to make interesting brushstrokes, some hard, some soft, some disappearing all together. Shadows were darkened, and highlights exaggerated where need be in order to give the composition depth. I added a few pink flowers behind the cat. The final phase of painting was also the time to finish the foreground, which I kept simple in order to direct attention to the cat and the flowers. The foreground was painted loosely with both a large brush and a palette knife
Detail of finished painting October 2013
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Soraya French has tried them and says that the new Golden High Flow Acrylics really have the wow factor
have been waiting with baited breath for the arrival of the Golden High flow Acrylics. Launched to replace the discontinued Golden Airbrush colours, these paints dry to a harder and more durable paint film and there are 49 colours in the range. High Flow Acrylics have an ink-like consistency and contain high-quality pigments with 100 per cent acrylic polymer dispersion, so have excellent water and chemical resistance. Their finely ground pigments reduce any issues with clogging of airbrush nozzles and small tips of pens. They contain additives such as flow improvers, film levelling products and retarders, which makes for very thin, free flowing ink that can be used in all kinds of applications from fine line detailed work to loose and free washes of colour on all types of support. These acrylics come in a lightweight
container with a twist-top cap. Shake the container to create an even and consistent colour, but make sure you close the cap beforehand or, like me, you will be covered from head to toe. The denser the pigment required, the longer you need to shake the bottle to achieve a homogenous mixture.
Using the inks High Flow Acrylics mix together to give an infinite number of hues to work with, as well as numerous tints when mixed with titanium white. A few primary colours plus white is enough to start you on the road of exploring these versatile acrylics. High Flow Acrylics can be used for any kind of watercolour-style application and whenever you require paint with an inky consistency. They are ideal for pouring so the colours mix on the support – colours with larger pigment particles settle more
rapidly than the ones with smaller particles. One of the more exciting ways of using these gorgeous colours is wetinto-wet applications as the colours spread to create wonderful patterns. Preparing your surface with different types of gels and mediums results in different behaviour and it is great to see the exciting and varied patterns that emerge; learning to leave the happy accidents is the key for creating spontaneous results. Apply High Flow Acrylics with synthetic and sable watercolour brushes, pens, airbrush, sponge rollers, dipping pens and other implements used with inks. They are great for glazing, staining your support, splattering, stamping, spraying and fine lines; they can also be used to refill acrylic marker pens. As with any Golden paint, High Flow Acrylics may be used to add colour to gels, mediums and
I dampened the paper in some areas to create both wet-into-wet soft edges and some hard edges where the paper was left dry. I sprayed some of the hard edges to let them run, which created some lovely patterns. I also splattered darker colours. I was left with a random and chaotic surface, ready to be manipulated into shapes and patterns (right)
Iris Patterns, Golden High Flow Acrylics on absorbent acrylic paper, 18⫻22in (45.5⫻56cm). I applied more washes to shape the flower heads, then went into their negative areas to bring more colour washes to suggest background foliage. I let some of the inks run, as I was working at my easel at this stage. I did more spraying of edges and splattering here and there to add more energy
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PRACTICAL absorbent grounds such as paper. Add more water when you are using as colour stains on absorbent surfaces but additional layers of acrylic medium applied on top will provide better long-term durability. High Flow Acrylics are influenced by gravity – like watercolours they absorb and spread freely and work well on all types of watercolour paper. They behave differently on each type of paper, so beware when you switch your support. On absorbent surfaces the inks can be overlaid within minutes without lifting. On non-porous supports such as canvas boards, some acrylic papers and similar surfaces, High Flow Acrylics take considerably longer to dry, so experiment to get the result you hope to achieve. For staining canvases use the inks neat; by adding Golden Flow Release you can improve the staining ability. Avoid thinning the inks with water more than 20 per cent volume when using them in pens and airbrushes or when you are applying them to non-absorbent surfaces. It is better to use Airbrush Transparent Extender for high levels of thinning or TA extending.
Summer Rain, Golden High Flow Acrylics on gessoed board, 12⫻6in (30.5⫻15cm). I stained the board with yellow and orange inks and let the surface dry before painting the figure – I used some oil pastels and candle wax to create resist and then dribbled the inks over the top
pastes, but they may prolong the drying time as they contain retarders. They are also compatible with most other Golden paints. Because they contain retarder, do make sure the inks are dry before applying other media on top and leave for at least 12 hours before you varnish your work. High Flow Acrylics are ideal for use in airbrushes, although a few pigments may cause clogging, so do refer to the colour chart. For high degrees of dilution always use Airbrush Extender rather than water. Avoid using mouth atomisers with High Flow Acrylics. Additional uses include marbling on both paper and fabric, wood staining and exterior signage and murals.
More information about Golden High Flow Acrylics, including a colour chart, can be found at www.goldenpaints.com
Types of support High Flow Acrylics create intense and vibrant colour washes. They can be modified with water when working on
Colourful Cockerel, Golden High Flow Acrylics, 10⫻10in (25.5⫻25.5cm). Firstly I created a random textured ground on the paper by applying some soft and heavy gels and drips of stringy clear tar gel and pumice gel. When that had dried, I applied the lightest, brightest colours – High Flow Acrylics take considerably longer to dry on non-porous surfaces such as this and I had to wait some time for the inks to dry before I could go on to my darker tones. It is much easier to wash out any unwanted area on this kind of surface
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Sydney Flying Colours, oil on canvas, 36⫻36in ( 91.5⫻91.5cm). The vaulting curves of the Sydney Opera House combine with colourful sales in this study of movement and form
An artist in Sydney Peter Graham brings a trip to Sydney to life with on-site watercolours and oil paintings developed back in his UK studio he adventure of making art is one of the simplest pleasures in the world, although I never thought I would travel and paint in Australia. It was in Sydney that I found answers to the artistic challenges of capturing the visionary architecture of the Opera House and the monumental Sydney Harbour Bridge. I also discovered the practicalities of working en plein air in the picture-perfect Royal Botanic Gardens. My visit coincided with the Biennale of Sydney, one of the
world’s most respected festivals of contemporary art.
First impressions In Sydney the sun shimmers on the water in a unique fashion. The commanding view from Macquarie Point, looking out over the approaches by sea, is spectacular. The harbour bridge is quite breathtaking as it looms large on the horizon and, somehow, confounds one’s sense of scale. When you see small troops of tourists
being chaperoned up its spine you realise just how enormous it is. As for Sydney Opera House, nothing prepares you for the elegance of its form.
The Royal Botanic Gardens With this creative backdrop I felt very much at home as a visiting painter. I found Australians to be very welcoming and during my whole trip I faced few difficulties whilst painting. There is a general feeling of well being in Sydney; in October 2013
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Royal Botanic Gardens View, watercolour on paper, 24⫻24in (61⫻61cm). This contre-jour study of the Opera House shows how the building had taken on the colour of the surrounding gardens and sky
Peter’s long-distance painting equipment l A foldaway camping chair (purchased there). l Pre-stretched blocks of high-quality 140lb (300gsm) watercolour paper. l A comprehensive set of watercolours – I hand pick my collection of Winsor & Newton watercolour pans, which are arranged in colour groups in folding enamel palettes. l A good range of sable brushes. l A couple of ceramic palettes to create washes. l A couple of water pots – I use the plastic concertina ones, one pot for washing brushes, the other for clean water to add to watercolour. l Kitchen roll and an old towel are essential to mop up everything. l A hard cover portfolio to keep my paper in also doubles as a drawing board. l A 2B pencil and a soft putty rubber. l A roll of masking tape comes in very handy.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, oil on canvas, 34⫻34in (86.5⫻86.5cm). I wanted to create a skyline painting of the harbour, focusing on the arching bridge, as viewed from 42 floors up in the heart of Sydney’s central business district
fact in the Royal Botanic Gardens where I painted over a number of weeks, there was a relentless stream of joggers, stretching and training the body beautiful – a wonderful legacy of the Olympics of 2000. The rich greenery, set against the harbour water, was quite intoxicating, almost creating an optical illusion of floating green and blue shapes. Compositions with the garden foreground looking out over Sydney Harbour took on a semi-abstract quality. At the weekend, hundreds of yachts and small craft appeared and disappeared as
Peter Graham at MacQuarie Point in Sydney
they navigated around the headland. It was quite a challenge to capture the ensuing medley of colours: the deep crystal blue of the sea, interspersed with turquoise and green, contrasted with the sails. Quite frankly, I was startled by the intensity of the light rich colours and found this inspirational! I began to feel that it was worth making the pilgrimage to the other side of the world. Could I do justice to the colour and make an impact with my own version of the scene? Well, one could but try. The combination of ancient ferns and plants set against a backdrop of the rich cobalt blue is simply stunning – the angle of the sun seemed to give real weight to colour, such as I have never experienced before. The colour was bright and almost transparent. Painting in the gardens was great fun – the major hazards were the ibis, prehistoric-looking long-beaked birds that were, rather curiously, interested in my paints – eating them that is! The birds’ magnificent arched beaks reminded me of a Venetian mask. However, in between fending them off, I experienced lots of
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Sunday Sailing, Sydney Harbour, watercolour on paper, 22⫻25in (56⫻65.5cm). This is the view across the harbour from the Royal Botanic Gardens, with the riot of colour as yachts glide by. My composition is split in thirds: the foreground of the greenery; the mid-distance with the medley of colour and sails; the distant headland and sky. It’s all framed by the carob tree on the left
good-natured tourists commenting positively, which was quite an encouragement.
Circular Quay Sydney’s Circular Quay is a buzzing hive of activity. Ferries, yachts, motor cruisers and speedboats manoeuvre effortlessly in and out of the harbour mouth. I found a good vantage point in the impressive Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. This public gallery sits right on the waterfront – I asked permission to paint from the elevated top floor. The gallery staff were both accommodating and delighted to meet a British artist, which was refreshing. The unique mix of old and new around Circular Quay preserves the past and anticipates the future. Over the next few days I found great subject matter here, in particular The Opera House.
Sydney Opera House Designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is a world heritage site. The building is a work of art and more like a
Sydney Harbour Bridge
harbour from central Sydney to the North Shore. Sydney Harbour Bridge became known as the ‘coat hanger bridge’ because of its arched appearance; Meccano springs to mind when studying the form. I found it could be viewed as both a solid object and as transparent latticework of iron and steel, which allowed both drawing and blocking-in of colour as a dual approach to capturing the bridge. Having the chance to travel and paint in the most iconic cities of the world is a great responsibility and privilege. One gets to grips with the reality of life and mood. I can only show a glimpse of Sydney through my paintings but hopefully I have managed to get across my enthusiasm for this city, which I truly TA feel is a work of art.
Harmony is key to design and Sydney Harbour Bridge exudes harmony. The bridge was designed and built by a Middlesbrough firm and opened in 1932 and was the widest long span bridge in the world at that time. The sheer volume of iron takes your breath away – a sensuous curve leads the eye across the
A major exhibition of new paintings by Peter Graham ROI FRSA can be seen at The Roger Billcliffe Gallery, 134 Blythswood Street, Glasgow G2 4EL from November 23 to December 24; telephone 0141 332 4027; www.billcliffegallery.com.
giant sculpture than a building and if its 14 ‘shells’ were joined together they would make a perfect sphere. To someone like me, who was brought up on Spirograph and Pantograph drawing toys, the Opera House resembles a giant doodle, but as soon as I started painting I found that each curve leads to the next. When drawing the contours I found my brush fell easily into place – a natural arc creates the main structure followed by complementary arches for the other domes. I like to see things in colour and I noted that the building takes on the colours of the sky, not least in the cool shadows and recesses created as the day progresses.
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An English watercolour sketchbook Travelling artist Charles Reid shares his approach to on-site watercolour sketching s an American I still get a thrill about visiting the UK and try to get back here every two or three years – usually to teach a workshop or two. Actually, I get around the world quite a bit teaching watercolour painting but wherever I go I make sure I take my trusty watercolour sketchbook, my travelling watercolour paintbox and travel brushes so that I can do some paintings on the spot. This year I was in a part of England that,
for many Americans, sums up how they imagine England to be – quaint villages, winding country lanes, chocolate-box cottages. In fact I was in the Cotswolds. I was teaching workshops in Stow-on-theWold and Burford as well as filming my new DVD, in which I wanted to set out my approach to on-site watercolour sketching.
Excitement Let me get one thing out of the way: there
warm and cool hues. Some of my colours will change but the core set up revolves around cobalt blue, French ultramarine, cerulean blue, raw sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow light, alizarin crimson, cadmium red, an earth red, cadmium orange, burnt sienna and often a couple of greens, which do vary. You will note that I do not have a ‘magic colour’. Some students feel that if only they possess the special colour their teacher uses their paintings will suddenly come to life. Sorry to disillusion you but it’s all about how the colours are used in combination and what they are next to that makes them work. A famous French artist once said he could create skin tones using only mud from the River Seine if he would be allowed to surround the mud with the colours of his choice!
I have to admit that I am not an artist who travels light! By that I mean I have to take all the things that will create for me the perfect painting environment. l
Most important is my English-made folding chair, which I take with me around the world. It’s an old friend that not only gives me a comfortable perch but has parts that I can hang things on – like my brush pot. This is useful if I am working on my lap.
For outdoor sketching I mostly use a ring-bound pad, 10⫻14in (25.5⫻35.5cm) of 140lb (300gsm) Not paper.
I have a travelling set of Escoda sable brushes in a variety of sizes from 4 up to 8.
My small travelling paintbox (right) always provokes a great deal of interest amongst students wherever I go. It’s hand made in enamelled brass by Craig Young at the Paintbox Company in Ludlow, Cheshire. It holds 16 colours, which is usually more than I need. I have several blues, reds and yellows in
is nothing wrong with using photographs as reference material. But the trick is to remember that photos are just that – reference material – and not something to be slavishly copied. A painting is, or rather should be, the artist’s original interpretation of a scene or a person or whatever the subject is. It is not, nor in my opinion ever should be, an attempt to render the subject down to the last detail. Do paint outdoors. It doesn’t need to be a trial or
An easel, which I do sometimes use, and my trusty umbrella, which also keeps the scorching light of a summer’s day off both me and my painting. Remember you cannot judge tone or colour if the white paper is being blasted by brilliant sunlight.
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PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION The Water Mill, Bibury
My location photograph The water mill at Bibury
I drew the subject using my adapted contour drawing technique. For this you need a mechanical pencil, in this case I was using a .5mm HB lead. This technique teaches you to see a series of interconnected shapes and not specific objects as you keep the pencil on the paper, without lifting, for most of the drawing. Sketching, by which I mean a series of short jerky strokes, will not produce a fluid, connected drawing
uncomfortable. Paint what excites you in a scene and play down, or leave out, the parts that bore you. Only you know how you feel about your subject. It’s your painting. And that really sums up my advice to you as a painter. Come to think about it – it’s a good recipe for life! In each of the following demonstrations I have included a photograph of my subject matter so that you can see how I edit and interpret TA the scene.
I like to have a foreground interest in my painting and in this case I chose an old green Land Rover that parked in front of the mill while I was painting. Many artists leave out cars or trucks because they think they are ugly and will spoil the view. For me, this Land Rover gave me just what I wanted – a splash of colour in the foreground and a human dimension to the painting. I painted it first as I didn’t know just how long it was going to hang around
The Water Mill, Bibury, watercolour sketch, 10⫻14in (25.5⫻35.5cm) Having painted the Land Rover I moved on to the lovely old water mill. You will see that I have applied colour quite strongly in some areas while other parts of the painting are only lightly touched. If you compare my finished painting with the original scene you will see I have used colours that simply aren’t there in reality but make the painting work. This point takes me right back to what I was saying about making your own painting of a scene rather than slavishly painting what’s in front of you
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My location photograph In the lovely market town of Stow-on-theWold I chose the front of a delightful café, complete with a customer sitting in the sun drinking coffee and reading the paper
Café, Stow-on-the-Wold, watercolour sketch, 10⫻14in (25.5⫻35.5cm). Here my foreground interest – the customer – was likely to move at any moment so I drew and painted that first. Remember, you don’t need to complete the whole drawing before you start painting. I included the back of a car that was parked in front of the café; many people would have left it out but I think it gives the composition depth. I also drew an outline for my painting, in pencil, smaller than the actual page. This is sometimes used to focus the mind and eye on what you wish to capture. It also stops you falling off the edge of the paper as it gives you a little bit of a buffer round the edges of the picture
Notice how every shape in the drawing is connected to its neighbour – this was achieved using my contour drawing technique
My location photograph This river scene in Bourton-on-the-Water provided a busy composition. There were lots of people promenading up and down and I wanted to get them in, too
The foreground part of the picture was painted first, as that was likely to change the most. The hotel in the background wasn’t going anywhere!
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My location photograph Here the pub was a bit too far away for my ideal composition so I moved it closer to my foreground interest – my sitter doing the crossword puzzle, and her small dog
I painted the foreground figure and the dog first, just in case they were not going to hang around for an hour or so
The Plough, watercolour sketch, 10⫻14in (25.5⫻35.5cm). As with other watercolour sketches shown here, I adopted the vignette approach and used pools of colour around centres of interest in the composition
Craig Young Watercolour Paint Box Co. Telephone 01584 879848; www.watercolourpaintboxcompany.com. All the pictures in this article are taken from Charles Reid’s new DVD from Town House Films – Charles Reid’s English Watercolour Sketchbook on sale from September 9 price £27.95 plus £1.20 postage for the UK. Order line: 01603 259441 or order online: www.townhousefilms.co.uk
Bourton watercolour sketch, 10⫻14in (25.5⫻35.5cm). The final picture is full of colour and life and, I think, reflects how I saw that scene on the day
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Drawing distinction Drawing is still the essential requirement of all the visual arts, but there is no foolproof way of teaching, or learning to draw, as Tom Robb explains
he essential element of learning to draw is the ability to see, but seeing is not that easy. By developing observational skills the artist has the opportunity to develop intellectual awareness and knowledge, not only of the visual world around them, but greater awareness of themselves, their skills, likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Drawing, though for the most part being based on things seen, is an abstract learning activity involving sophisticated mechanical and intellectual skills. We bring to drawing all that has been learned, all the mistakes that have been made, and all the preconceptions that have both restricted development and encourage awareness of artistic development.
Factors at play Many factors are at work when we begin a drawing. Consider its purpose â€“ is it to learn what an object looks like, to collect information and details? Is there an element of interpretation that would assure the development through to a specific conclusion? What frames of reference and assumptions will be used to
Tony van Tulleken Seated Figure, pen and wash, 12âŤť8in (30.5âŤť20.5cm). At first this drawing defeats any attempts to understand why the artist drew it this way. It lacks the normal kind of detail expected and the head in particular is not the shape a head should be. So how does it manage to present the seated figure so convincingly? Here the expected conventions of drawing have gone through several selective processes; attempts at a resolution, lines and marks are together defying normality, yet convincingly depict the subject intelligently
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Tom Robb Eloise, pencil, 12⫻18in (30.5⫻20.5cm). An example of where fun and selectivity come into play. Here, less is more. There is no need to draw a complete outline of the form – what advantage would there be in completing the line of the nose and chin? There is more than enough to explain that which has been observed. The missing lines give more emphasis to what remains, enhancing the image and gaining interest, while clearly recording detail and the character of the young girl. What to leave out can be learned from careful observation of how other artists work. Cézanne did this with apples and Degas with dancers’ legs and arms. Often this selectivity endows a drawing with sharply defined characteristics and avoids what could otherwise simply be a statement of the obvious
condition the approach to method and conclusion in the drawing process? Should some critical thinking pre-empt the drawing task to successfully condition the process, or do you simply get on with it? Without critical awareness of approach and some clarity of intention a successful result is unlikely. Many of these processes take place whether or not we are aware of them. Does the drawing have to be detailed, and how accurate is it expected to be? How clear a statement is envisaged and how will that be achieved? Above all, how relevant will the activity of drawing be to you and your artistic development? What will your expectations be in terms of the learning experience? How will that be evaluated, and what criteria will be used for that assessment? How deep is the challenge set, how difficult the task in hand, and are the complexities beyond resolution? What interpretations are expected in the work, what will condition them and prepare the approach? How will the work compare with other drawings and what conclusions can be reached about its quality? All these questions and more will condition our approach to making a drawing, but also in our looking and evaluating the work of others. Is it fit for purpose? What factors were at work when Dürer drew a hare? Was it a success? And is it a ‘good’ drawing and how precise can you be in coming to that conclusion?
Method and knowledge The appropriate method is important and will be selected with a particular result in mind. What information do we wish to leave out? All drawing is selective in one form or another; some drawings require a
Trevor Frankland Studio, pen and pencil, 11⫻13in (28⫻33cm). Drawings come in many forms. The pen or pencil can be used in many ways, and none more interestingly than in this composition. It does have the characteristics of a print, and this artist was a consummate printmaker, but that in no way detracts from the attraction and originality of this particular drawing form. Depth of tone is explored by working up to a solid black in parts, and white areas left by the drawing are the dominant elements of the image, as opposed to the normal method of the dark area being the initial element in drawn form. The subject clearly has elements of an interior and this is an image of great character and dramatic linear power
Drawing checklist: l
What information is required?
Do you need to know more about the subject?
Is there a need for selectivity – how much information do you need in the drawing?
What kind of drawing is appropriate for the task in hand?
What is the expectation for the final work, and do you have a clear view of what that is?
Are there basic rules or theories that apply? If so, what preparation, in terms of attitude and approach, has there been?
John Minton Mediterranean Figure, pen and Indian ink, 10⫻6in (25.5⫻15cm). Drawing can be done from imagination or directly from a subject. Minton was a fine painter and master of drawing; this stylised and characterful figure shows skill, imagination and intelligent use of the pen. What skill is needed to concoct an image of this calibre! It shows what can be done in drawing using pen and ink, a wealth of memories and artistic ability October 2013
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Dennis Gilbert St Brides, London, pen and felt pen, 11⫻16in (28⫻40.5cm). This is a good drawing, finely observed and recorded, but behind it lies years of talent and dedication. With a subject as complex as this it is not enough simply to copy what is seen – unless you are experienced and talented in the craft of drawing. Here, many factors had to be considered and resolved within the total context of the finished drawing: perspective, scale, quality of light and shade, reflections in water and people. A drawing made for the sheer joy of recording a moment in time and place, with intelligent use of variety of line
Alfred Daniels Mona, coloured pencil, 16⫻10in (40.5⫻25.5cm). There is some element of geometry at work in this drawing. The artist believes that the subject can be isolated and selectively presented in square and triangular formats. It brings to mind the Cubists and yes, there is some elemental resemblance to Braque and Picasso. Drawn in coloured pencil, the form of the subject has been refined and the underlying characteristics of the figure distilled by the critical analysis. No attempt has been made to mix the colours. The background is blue, the figure is brown and the hair is black. Those colours remain isolated in their appropriate place, gaining and retaining a clear unambiguous image on paper. This is a fine balance between what is seen and what is required as a statement in the medium of drawing
highly selective approach, so clearly some information, some part of what is seen must be excluded, but only in a positive way and by intention. Knowledge of the subject might be helpful. If the subject is botanical, some details could be critical to the final work, so awareness of them may be essential. However, knowledge may not always be helpful and could be decidedly unhelpful – drawing things you know are there, but you are not able to see can be destructive. Anatomical knowledge may be of some use in figure drawing, but there is a danger of indicating things you know of rather than see. This can result in a muscular representation of an otherwise unmuscular model. Do we have to know all the muscles in the face to be able to draw a portrait? Do we need to know full details of the internal combustion engine to make a drawing of a car? I think not! TA
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Drawn to sea John Scott Martin
have always needed to draw, and believe that drawing is the most important element of my pictures. Although initially many of my paintings featured Cornish subjects, especially mining imagery, above and below ground, I renewed a long-term interest in painting the sea and ships and became a marine artist. From classic yachts and sailing barges to bulk carriers, if they are on the water they are an inspiration.
Collecting reference material I live about as far as you can get from the sea so have to rely on reference material for the subjects that inspire me: the sea, ships and boats. For this I use my own photographs and, sometimes, sketches, although it is difficult to draw moving objects – by the time a drawing is started the subject has often changed or gone. I am comfortable using a camera and when taking photographs I am also composing within the picture frame, always visually cropping. I often record how the sea moves with a photograph, and then refine and develop it with drawings – back in the studio I can smell the sea, hear the gulls and remember the light on the water when I look at a picture. The drawings will be retained for future reference and annotated with comments on colour. I will sometimes change a composition, such as the sky, the time of day and the state of the sea. My photographs are only for reference, mainly of technical details. I cannot possibly remember the positions of rigging when a boat is moving – if I get it wrong one of the sailing fraternity will comment. Whilst lecturing on a cruise in November 2011 I spent much of my spare time closely observing and drawing the sea in its many moods and movements. For much of the time there was little to be seen but the sea in its many wonderful
Marine artist John Scott Martin gives advice on the best ways to capture the sea, including the effects of light, weather and fast-moving yachts moods, often rough and occasionally sunny.
Basic techniques When drawing and painting the sea I find that a few basics techniques can be useful. These can be modified from time to time. l Firstly, fix the horizon line; whether high or low it is a most important factor. l Consider perspective: waves get larger and more detailed as they come closer. l When mark making, whether drawing or painting, apply the marks parallel to one another. Waves and water move in rolling curves, so your marks should imitate this. l Establish the direction of the light: shadows will add to the threedimensional quality of the waves. Picking out white wave crests and the wash of
boats gives the painting sparkle and interest. l Remember that water moves around boats, adding a swirling pattern. Try to make sure your brushstrokes are applied to copy this movement. In many of my paintings the ships and boats are on the move, so there are always going to be bow waves and white water. This becomes part of the dramatic effect that I find fascinating, although at times it can be difficult to get right, and this is when I have to refer to my library of photographs and drawings. l In a marine painting the colour of the sea, whether it is calm or rough, affects the overall result of the work. Sea colour is mainly affected by the sky, but also by the colour of reflections and by the depth of the water. For instance in sunlight,
Provident at the Dartmouth Regatta, gouache, 8⫻8in (20.5⫻20.5cm)
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DEMONSTRATION The ‘Js’ at Lymington Bank The scene for this painting is the West Solent, off Lymington, July 2012. These magnificent ‘J’ class yachts were racing, each with a crew of 30. These are big yachts, the hulls are 130ft long and the masts over 150ft high. The state of the sea was choppy, but not rough. Although there was some blue sky close by, overhead the sky was cloudy, therefore the colour of the sea in the foreground was not a bright blue
This is one of several preliminary pencil sketches developed from my own photographs. My first thought was that this suggested a landscape composition with the yachts widely spaced. However, I wanted to show the movement of the yachts racing together, the close action and the pattern as they turn at the buoy, so decided on a square composition. At this stage I also began to think of the tonal range of the painting
Here the final composition is defined, with the yachts close together. At this drawing stage I try to show all the detail that will be included in the final painting t
I began with thin watercolour washes, then used some gouache to cover the areas of watercolour that I needed to modify. I always cover as much of the picture area as I can with colour before moving on. I am not happy using only pure watercolour; I like the transparency of the medium, but I need opaque white, both for mixing and for highlights
shallow water over sand can appear as bright turquoise. The sea can be painted virtually any colour you like, but should bear some relationship to the sky and the surroundings. l For a sunset the sea colour can be seen as ribbed gold. If the sea is backlit, with the sun in front of the viewer, it may appear as beaten pewter. The overall blue-grey effect is overlaid with many speckled white highlights.
Materials I find that regardless of medium, excluding pastels of course, my colour palette is more or less the same. There are blues, Prussian, cerulean and cobalt; Payne’s grey, not to use on its own but as a mixer; for greens I like Hooker’s green, dark and sap green; the browns are Van Dyke, raw umber and raw sienna. When selecting a red, it’s what I feel that I can afford – given the option I would choose a cadmium. I do not seem to use much
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FINISHED PAINTING yellow, but I always keep a tube of Naples yellow by me. For darkening colour I often use indigo and, finally, I have lots of white. My choice of brushes is fairly conventional. Essentially I have good quality fine sable ones for detail, a range of square-ended brushes for the seas and very broad ones for the first washes. When working in watercolour or gouache I use watercolour paper. The make, surface, or weight of paper does not matter to me. When stretched the cheapest paper may be as good as any. When the drawing is complete I rub out most of the darker lines, leaving only the faintest of marks. To sum up, get the composition right before you spend hours painting it. Then work from the general to the particular, that is, the fine details usually come last. TA
The ‘J’s at Lymington Bank, gouache, 13⫻13in (33⫻33cm). There were no significant changes to my original ideas for this painting, which is an illustration of a very special event. There are references to the location, the light, the weather and sea conditions
John Scott Martin After graduating from Nottingham College of Art, John worked in graphic design, photography, art direction, illustration, design and print management and he was commissioned by the National Trust, Cornwall to produce a series of illustrations of the mining area of Botallack in West Penwith. John is currently President of The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, where his work is regularly exhibited. He has also shown with the Royal Watercolour Society, the
Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists on a regular basis. His work can be seen in ten galleries around the UK; his next exhibition is at the Geevor Tin Mine Gallery, Pendeen, Cornwall, which is to be held in conjunction with the exhibition Darkness into Light, Graham Sutherland: Mining, Metal and Machines at Penlee House Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall, from September 14 to November 23. www.johnscottmartin.co.uk
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Going wild For painter and printmaker Carry Akroyd not being quite settled about the right strategy for an idea is part of the creative adventure. But wildlife in the landscape is always her main trigger Carry Akroyd Photo of Carry Akroyd courtesy of Simon Warner
’m a bit of a flirt when it comes to painting. I like to spend some time with one medium and then switch to another for a while, although I never twotime: I stay faithful to the material of the moment for however long that relationship lasts. Size doesn’t matter, either. Sometimes I have the urge to work on a big canvas, other times I twiddle with something small.
Working with paper I am, however, most relaxed when working on paper. I could have at least a dozen things on the go being taken up, put aside and taken up again, and paper quietly accumulates, all in a heap at the end of the table. One drawback is that work on paper needs to be framed and glazed, which with a large painting means having to manoeuvre an expanse of glass. And it is imperative to keep mice out of the plan-chest. Maybe I like to work on paper because I am also a printmaker, and printmakers love paper. Different papers, like different brushes or pencils, behave in different ways, so the journey of discovery, forgetting, remembering, looking for that
Swans Quietly Hidden, watercolour, 121⁄2⫻6in (32⫻15cm). I like a limited palette and prefer reeds in winter when they are golden. With watercolour, I always like to leave some paper white
perfect relationship, is endless. Some of my favourite artists are both painters and printmakers.
Informed by the landscape All my images derive from the landscape, the history and geology of which continually interest me. I spend time walking and making drawings but seldom make a painting on the spot. Usually my work is a construct of all the information I have gathered from a place, either faithfully and directly or at a less identifiable distance. Seated discreetly somewhere, drawing and studying the landscape, I become aware of what is happening in that location at that time: the season, weather, light, people at work, a jogger, construction traffic, trees, rabbits, a kestrel or some wasps. While drawing, an idea for a painting may come to me and then all my attention will be on a particular aspect, and in noticing any wildlife around me. I always try to understand the essential characteristic of the landscape and how it is also a habitat associated with some particular plant or creature. In this concentration and communing, I find the subject of my work creeps up on me: of wildlife surviving in a landscape organised for human interests. I wander from it, of course, but it is the theme I am most faithful to.
Nurturing ideas In terms of Art with a capital A, wildlife is not an acceptable subject. When visiting any metropolitan or provincial gallery I notice how rarely wildlife appears in any
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‘I always try to understand the essential characteristic of the landscape and how it is also a habitat associated with some particular plant or creature’ t
Fox and Dandelions, watercolour, 93⁄4⫻93⁄4in (25⫻25cm). Here there is reliance on the use of opaque watercolour with cadmiums and Chinese white
picture or even incidentally in landscape painting. There are exceptions: the natural world was essential to mediaeval imagery, and is present as insects in the Dutch flower paintings of the 17th century. Game, either at bay or dead in a still life of fur and feather, is emblematic of property and plenty (as well as an opportunity for
virtuosity in paint). Lately, hares and umbellifers have returned to the popular picture galleries, but nevertheless wildlife is absent from the ‘serious’ end. Wildlife is my trigger, though, and a landscape looks dead without it. While drawing I am also observing animal activity near and far and, gradually while I
work and think, one or more species will demand to be part of the image. Thus does my subject matter sneak up on me. I can carry an idea in my head for days or months, adjusting aspects mentally, and as the idea intensifies it produces excitement, anticipation and obsession in me until the imagined work is made. October 2013
Swan Valley, acrylic on paper, 271⁄2⫻39in (70⫻100cm). 'This is an area I know very well. This painting is a construct of different elements condensed together. At certain times of the year green is such an exciting colour, innumerable in its variety. I quite like to play with the range, exaggerate it. Then later as an antidote I will react by painting something almost entirely in pink. I have done this reversal so many times unconsciously that I now am prepared for it, crimson at the ready.'
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WILDLIFE IN THE LANDSCAPE Once begun a painting takes on its own life. Nevertheless, the area of interest is circumscribed. For me, and I suspect this is partly due to my being a printmaker, a painting is less about light and shade and form, more about organisation of the picture surface, texture, shape and colour. After the initial motivation of trying to recreate the location and sensation that began the excitement comes the process of seeking some kind of balance and harmony on the paper. It is a necessary part of my printmaking that there is a limited palette. A layer of colour is applied, then another layer of a different colour and so on, although too many layers will kill the vibrancy. So the extra thrill with painting is that the colour range is not restricted, and just the smallest dab of a particular tint can have the most dramatic impact and change all the relationships within the image. Oh to
Fen Owl, acrylic on paper, 271⁄2⫻39in (70⫻100cm). There’s always something magical about seeing a barn owl. Most of the paint on this picture was applied and then scraped back
Layers of colour
be Degas, who could work in subdued tones and then add a small note of almost fluorescent orange or cerise in one small part of the work, animating the whole lot. How exciting is that! I recently spent five weeks making black-and-white vinyl-cut illustrations for a book. After that strict discipline in composition the endless possibilities of colour painting drew me back. How to choose that right blue-grey for a sky? A warm blue-grey or a cool blue-grey, how dark or light – and the effect the decision will have on the mood of everything. I imagine, mix and apply – and am right or wrong. When making a picture there are endless assessments to be made –
mistakes can be hastily wiped off, painted over or allowed to take the whole image in a different direction. Awareness is all.
Unsprayed, mixed media, 271⁄2⫻193⁄4in (70⫻50cm). This began as a screen monoprint. Water-based ink was painted on to the mesh of the screen and then pressed through with a squeegee. When dry, I worked over a few places with both coloured pencils and acrylic paint. This is the corner of a meadow that is inaccessible for spraying, so a diversity of flowering herbs survives
For a while I tried to work with impasto or palette knife to accentuate the difference between my printmaking and painting. Eventually I realised this was ridiculous and that, although I admire work with a knife, I prefer my surfaces to be flat. So my paint is often scraped, wiped or blotted back to being flat, like a print. Occasionally when painting I adopt another strategy from screenprinting, which is to use a stencil. This helps when I want a certain repetition within an image, or to achieve a sharp, hard edge to a colour. Watercolour is the medium closest to screenprinting in that it requires thoughts about transparency and layers, and nothing can be hidden. Acrylic is astonishing in that anything can be painted out and re-worked, leaving no clue. Sometimes this altering and working-over can be great fun. I may make a screenprint in which I am painting
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Lapwings and Lake, mixed media, 39⫻193⁄4in (100⫻50cm). This began as one of three screenprints with three or four layers of water-based ink. Each image was then developed in a different way using acrylic ink
through the screen-mesh, pressing through a one-off unrepeatable monotype, and then when it is dry add more paint directly to the surface. Sometimes I deliberately make an edition of maybe ten screenprints in which I have consciously not fully resolved the image; each is then modified with a little additional paint in a different way. This is what I do for fun.
Drawing Drawing forms the basis of my work – even works that begin with paint have the memory of drawing within them. Edward Burra’s late landscape works have been a great influence on me – drawing is the first step in his work. It remains an unresolved area of interest for me how much to allow a drawing to be part of a painting. I like very much the drawing of
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham for its economy, and of David Jones for its inclusivity, both of which used a very modest amount of additional colour. This kind of drawing is not a study for something else but an end in itself. Then there are the artists who draw an outline with paint, fill it in, re-instate it, such as Beckman – there are so many choices. TA
Carry Akroyd is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and is the jacket artist for British Wildlife Publishing’s new series ‘The British Wildlife Collection’. Carry's work can be seen at the SWLA's exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 from October 31 to November 10, www.mallgalleries.org.uk, and the Rob Fogell Gallery, 23 St Martins, Stamford PE9 2LF from November 2 to 23; telephone 01780 762099; www.robfogell.co.uk. For more information about Carry’s paintings and prints, and her work inspired by the 19th-century poet John Clare, view www.carryakroyd.co.uk.
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Interior perspective In the second of two articles about painting interior scenes, Paul Riley explains how to use watercolour to best effect and tackle complex perspective the prospect. Inspiration is different for different people but the choices are endless. Take photographs and make sketches, the views don’t need to be specific and you can mix up aspects to make a composition. It is entirely possible that you might love the idea of painting a specific location but are daunted by the complex perspective involved. For an explanation of the four main types, see the panel (below). If this proves too difficult, make a tracing from
an enlarged photograph and transfer it to your watercolour paper, using tracing paper and pencil.
Making a start Firstly, I like to have all my information to hand. This includes sketches, any photographic reference, the whole image drawn out and the paper prepared to the shape of the design – do not necessarily fit your design to a specific paper size! I then transfer the design to my p52 t
y last article was about painting interiors in oil, which is a completely different medium to watercolour. JMW Turner’s watercolours of Petworth House are beautiful mystical evocations of light and colour, and this ability to extract a mass of detail is very useful for the watercolourist. I can only liken it to seeing through an out-of-focus lens. There is no point considering intricate subject matter without being excited at
Perspective points These sketches illustrate the basic types of perspective you are likely to encounter when painting or drawing interiors.
One-point This is the simplest and is appropriate to a rectangular space with the walls at 90-degrees to one another. Set yourself square-on to the opposite wall. The vanishing point is dead opposite you at your eye level – I was sitting down
Two-point This is more complex and is applied when looking into a corner. Note that the vanishing point for the wall on the left is actually on the right, and vice versa. The points are, again, at your eye level but their location is a more complex issue
Three-point This is very rare in paintings and is somewhat exaggerated here. It is appropriate for depicting very tall buildings or spaces, eg cathedrals, looking either up or down. There are three vanishing points
Orbital This is rarely used, except for some graphic interpretations. It is often referred to as the ‘fish eye’ view and occurs when the field of vision is expanded by more than 60 degrees. Here I have shown an angle of 180 degrees. The intriguing aspect of this type of perspective is that there are no straight lines!
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DEMONSTRATION The Garden Centre STAGE ONE
I made a thumbnail sketch to work out the basic composition. To make sure that I reproduced the correct proportions in the painting I adopted the following procedure: The sketch was placed in the corner of my watercolour paper and, with a piece of string, I extended a diagonal to the top edge of the paper. I then divided the four sides of the sketch and the four sides of the paper into halves and quarters, which enabled me to locate all the basic shapes on my main image. Note that the vanishing point – a red dot on the sketch – has been transferred to the large paper (I used an inverted drawing pin). I used this to locate my straight edge for drawing all the radiating perspective lines. The blue Flexicurve has been positioned in readiness for the first of the curved lines of the roof
The painting was due to have myriad small flowers and foliage so, once I had done the basic drawing in using a No.2 sable round and very pale blue, a considerable quantity of masking fluid was applied by splattering, blotting with a variety of sponges and brushed in with a small sable round dipped first into some washing up liquid to protect the bristles. I then blocked in some of the basic tones of foliage that blended into one another whilst wet
With most of the basic tones and colours established I was becoming aware of the overall effect. This is often the stage at which all the weaknesses and mistakes start to show, and when it is so easy to lose heart. What you need to do is stand back or, better still, walk away. When you return, many of the faults will be obvious and can be addressed. Here I noted that the image had ‘bottomed’ and therefore needed more weight up top to balance it, and the figure needed some work. More depth of tone, particularly to the right-hand side, was required, as was more Pointillist-type detail to show the profusion I was aiming for
The Garden Centre, watercolour on Saunders Waterford Not 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2⫻17in (32⫻43cm). All the points noted in the previous stage were addressed. I introduced a plant in the top right-hand corner, the central section of foliage was raised and much more tone added. The figure was softened, as were other areas, to push them into the distance, and detail added to the foreground, to add depth. The vanishing point (a red dot) was given many more companions in the way of red blossom
Paul Riley teaches residential painting courses in all media from his studios in South Devon; Interiors in Watercolour is from October 28 to November 1. For details, see www.coombefarm studios.com, email: lara@coombe farmstudios.com or telephone 01803 722 352.
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Church Interior, watercolour sketch on Saunders Waterford Not 140lb (300gsm), 15⫻12in. (39⫻31cm). This is the type of study I would make before undertaking any complex image in either oil or watercolour. I drew with a No.2 round sable as I am able to achieve different line thicknesses and use different colours – in this instance phthalo blue for the white zones and a mixture of burnt umber and raw sienna for the woodwork. It is possible to use a straight edge for straight lines if you slide the ferrule of the brush along the ruler. An inverted drawing pin will serve as the vanishing point
Paul’s tips for interiors l Use photographs, but don’t be a slave to them.
Add and subtract bits for interest, and experiment with lighting. l Read up on perspective – don’t be daunted. l Look at as many examples of interior painting as
possible. See how they have been simplified. l Practise drawing with a brush, it will give more life
and spontaneity to the work. Don’t worry about straight lines being straight, wobbly ones give character.
Dittisham Church, watercolour on Saunders Waterford Not, 140lb (300gsm), 20⫻15in. (51⫻38cm). Having completed my in-depth study I felt confident about tackling the painting. If you compare this watercolour to the oil painting of the same church in my last article, you will see the strong differences in the medium. With oil, overpainting is possible, and texture and glazes can be added. With watercolour, you have to be fresh and direct and there is little room for error. The point about watercolour is its transparency (if used as pure watercolour), and the effect is quite different from that of oils
watercolour paper, either Not or HP, depending on the amount of detail – use HP for maximum detail. I normally use 140lb (300gsm) paper, not stretched but taped down with masking tape on all four corners. I also place masking tape around the outside edge to form a margin, without taping on to the board. This allows the paper to expand and contract whilst wet then drying. After drawing in, usually using a No. 2 round sable, I do any necessary masking using a low-tack tape or masking fluid. I
then look for the darkest element in the painting in order to establish a tonal range for the image. This makes for a very bold start and gets away from a wishywashy look that can make the picture very boring. Once the painting has been blocked in, with some areas painted in the wet to produce soft edges and others painted on dry for hard edges, I walk away. Returning with refreshed eyes I am able to assess what needs to be done in order to pull the whole thing together. This
might involve overwashing in part with some softening of edges using a soft natural sponge. Sometimes it may be necessary to use some opaque paint to add highlights and for this I use designer’s gouache, usually permanent white, which I can tint if needed with a little watercolour. Unsurprisingly it is easy to be daunted by a subject like interiors but I maintain that with a little preparation, inspiration and determination, the possibilities are TA endless.
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mount and frame can enhance, enliven and emphasise a work, or severely lessen the effect. Framing also has to satisfy practical and sometimes technical issues and may need to suit commercial considerations.
Choosing mounts Pastels, watercolours and drawings are usually protected with a mount and framed under glass. First, make sure there are no final details or alterations you need to make. With drawings, clean off unwanted marks and, if necessary, spray with fixative to prevent offsetting and smudging. Drawings on thin paper may need backing before fixing them to a mount. This is done by gluing the drawing to a sheet of thicker paper or card using water-soluble PVA adhesive or a similar product that has a neutral pH value. Ensure that all types of card, mountboard, tapes and adhesives used in framing are of conservation quality. Some of the cheaper products may contain acids that will eventually leach out and cause yellowing. When choosing mounts consider proportions, colour and texture. These need to reflect and enhance the overall impact of the drawing or painting and its style, colour and content – you may be able to buy or beg some offcuts from your framer to help you choose. Do you play safe and select a coloured mountboard that echoes one of the principal tones in the painting, or do you choose something contrasting? Mounts depend on accurate measuring, clean, straight lines and precise right-angle cuts. With the right equipment you can cut your own mounts, but if you lack the skill or confidence for this do have them cut by a professional framer. The mount is usually cut with a slightly wider margin at the bottom than at the sides or top. Work can also be flat-mounted – that is glued to a backing sheet of white or coloured card cut to a size that will give a border around the drawing – or you can use a double mount. Other techniques include embellishing the mount with wash lining, gilded lines or other decorative techniques; mounts which include impressed lines; or composite mounts made with various interlocking bands of different colours or tones. Generally speaking, a lightcoloured mount provides a breathing space round the painting and in a sense opens it up, while a dark mount closes the image in and creates a more focused, dramatic contrast.
Mounts and frames If a work is to have maximum impact, the artist must ensure that it is presented in the most effective way, says Oliver Lange Frames Frames should provide a positive edge for the work, but without being too conspicuous. The same principles apply as for selecting coloured mounts. For example, the colour of the frame or moulding could repeat or enhance one of the main colours in the painting. Moulding and mount should work together and must be assessed as a combination in relation to the particular painting to be framed. Most watercolours look best with a narrow, fairly unpretentious natural wood, lightly stained, or colour-wash frame. Oil painters often choose gold-swept frames, but you can be more
John Hammond On a Clear Day, acrylic on board, 24⫻24in (61⫻61cm). ‘I chose a light and airy looking frame to complement the painting. The timber moulding is hand finished with several coats of gesso and hand water gilding. The section itself is, in the main, a large scoop approximately 3in across with a detail around the inner edge and a rolled outer edge. The scoop has the effect of adding depth to the frame and to the painting. The cream finish is fresh and clean without being too white, which could have the effect of making the painting look dirty or too yellow which would fight with some of the white tones in the work. The
adventurous and perhaps consider different colour-washed woods or mouldings that incorporate coloured linen insets. Your framer should be able to help you with your choice. Although oil paintings and most acrylic paintings are not framed under glass, a similar effect to the watercolour mount can be achieved by using a gilded, painted or linen-covered slip. This is a narrow moulding that is placed between the painting and the outer frame. Consider, too, the width of the frame in proportion to the size of the painting. If it is too wide or bulky the frame will dominate the picture, whereas if it is too narrow it may look mean and, again, inadvertently draw attention away from the painting. Small pictures very often look best with a simple, narrow frame. TA
moulded detail around the inside edge of the frame is a nod to the architectural nature of the subject, and the gilded edge brings a warmth and richness while giving the frame a more substantial outline at the same time, in combination with the darker tone gesso applied to the outside edge.’ John’s next solo exhibition is at The Marine House Gallery, Beer, Devon from September 21 to October 4. Two books about his work are available – Capturing Light in Acrylics and Painting Atmospheric Acrylics, both published by B T Batsford. October 2013
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Charged with atmosphere Watercolourist Robin Storey’s compositions evolve gradually, whereas he admits, ‘the actual process of painting happens quite quickly’ y ideas and inspiration come from everyday people doing everyday things. Sympathetic illumination can enhance the most ordinary of subjects and for this the strategic use of light is central. Time spent in evolving the composition hopefully gives depth to the work, which I like to think evokes more than it describes. The actual process of painting is the relatively easy stage at the end of the creative process and happens quite quickly. I begin with a detailed drawing. I don’t like to change the composition by adding elements once the painting has begun, since it is easy to make mistakes with perspective or shapes and ruin an otherwise acceptable picture.
The process of painting Dhaka, shown here, followed my usual sequence of broad background washes becoming stronger into the middle distance and reserving the strongest mixes for the foreground figures. The colours were worked out on spare paper. I found that indigo gave the correct amount of yellow-blue for the effect I wished to achieve and to this I added a touch of grey. For 90 per cent of the picture I used only three colours: indigo, raw sienna and a touch of Payne’s grey. Only the peoples’ clothing received splashes of colour. This painting contains a tremendous amount of detail, which could have led to a loss of momentum for the picture as
a whole. To minimize this risk I divided the picture into its various elements, which meant that I was never overwhelmed by how much work was involved. Focusing on each element at a time allowed the whole thing to come together at the end. My way of working is to begin each day by rehearsing each stage of the painting in my mind, taking into account the TA impact of each stage on the next. Robin Storey began painting after a career in academia. He has exhibited widely, including being selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and the Royal Watercolour Society’s annual exhibition. www.robinstoreywatercolours.com
DEMONSTRATION Dhaka This painting is a synthesis of images. My aim was to create an atmosphere, not present in the reference photographs, generated by a mixture of exhaust haze and smoke from the foreground charcoal grills. The complex composition is unusual in having its focus in the bottom left-hand corner. I used Waterford 650gsm Not paper as this does not require stretching and is robust enough to take multiple washes, masking fluid and harsh treatment.
STAGE ONE The main shapes of the buildings surrounding the bus station and the vehicles were drawn with an HB pencil and areas of illumination were masked out, including things like the writing on signs. The background was simplified and a few additional mysterious lines and blobs were masked out in and beyond the crowds. A vital feature of the painting was the exhaust haze from the vehicles and I anticipated danger with the many washes this involved, so I left the fine detail of the foreground figures loose in case the washes went wrong and I had to start again. I tried to make sure that most of the lightest figures were placed against what would be the darkest backgrounds, to give maximum contrast
The background and mid-distant buildings were painted in using weak raw sienna. This was blued for the most distant blocks. When dry, windows and other features were added with raw sienna and indigo. When completely dry some of the most distant masking was removed and a wash of indigo with a touch of Payne’s grey was painted over the whole of the top half of the picture. This wash was diluted as it reached its lower limit – it faded into clear water so as not to leave a tidemark on drying. This did not have the effect of pushing back the distant buildings and losing detail in the haze, so when it had dried I repeated the wash
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of indigo with grey or burnt umber to add variety. Reflections in the windows were made by removing the dry paint with a moist, stiff-bristled chisel brush. Colour was introduced by removing masking fluid from various elements and colouring the carpet rolls and flags and the writing on the distant signs. The remaining crowd figures were introduced using the pencilled examples for correct perspective t
The mid-distance buildings on the right were developed using a stronger raw sienna /indigo wash. Whilst still just moist, clean water was spattered from a toothbrush to give texture to the brickwork. When this was dry the windows overlooking the main street were represented by vertical lines of burnt umber or Vandyke brown, whilst those on the side street were blocked in using a stronger mix of indigo/grey. Once dry, the whole painted area, including the background, was given a further wash which sent the distant buildings even further back and added to the haze. This was mopped out in areas of more intense haze, using paper towel. Distant flags were painted in using alizarin crimson blued with a touch of indigo and trees were sponged in using perylene green. I developed the vehicles by painting a series of layers of the indigo/grey wash, starting with the lightest shade over the whole area occupied by the vehicles. Subsequent stronger washes were applied to the shaded left-hand side of each vehicle, finishing with the darkest. I did not want the individual vehicles to stand out so I kept the colours the same throughout. Windows were added using a stronger mix
I introduced the remaining crowd figures close to the focal point
FINISHED PAINTING Dhaka watercolour, 16âŤť18in (40.5âŤť45.5cm). I painted the foreground figures, which had initially been left loose until the shapes and configuration were correct before the details of faces, clothing creases and shadows, were added. In the bottom left-hand corner, any edges to the smoke rising from the cookers were mopped out during the application of the first wash and mopped out again from subsequent darker washes. The darkest indigo/grey wash was brought down between the figures. Behind the sunny figures the wash was darkened further to accentuate the sparkle of the clothes catching the light. Details of writing, faces, decorations on the carriages were left until the end, as was the important structural element, the scaffolding. The final stage was to add the smoke from the cookers in the bottom left-hand corner. Neat white gouache was applied at the origins of the smoke at the charcoal grills and gradually diluted on the paper as it rose, irregularly, in the draughts
TA10p58_59_Radev_Layout 1 29/08/2013 16:09 Page 56
The Radev Collection Julian Halsby reports on a must-see exhibition at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, which provides a rare opportunity to see some major British works
he art world often comes up with some surprising and unlikely stories and the Radev Collection is an example. Mattei Radev came to Britain from communist Bulgaria as a stowaway, having avoided armed border guards while crossing into Turkey. He built a new life for himself in London, working as a picture framer for leading galleries and mixing with artists. He struck up a lasting friendship with the gallery owner, artist and collector Eardley Knollys, who had inherited the fabulous collection of Eddy Sackville-West after his death in 1965. When Knollys himself died in 1991, the entire collection passed to Mattei Radev. It contained works by many French masters of the early 20th century but its real strength lay in its holding of British Modernist painters. The collection is being exhibited at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, which has an extraordinary reputation in attracting interesting exhibitions.
and sailor who moved to St Ives in 1890 to establish a marine store. In 1922 aged 67 he took up painting, often working on old bits of cardboard boxes with paint bought from ships chandlers. He ignored all the rules of perspective and scale but his unusual work caught the attention of Ben Nicholson and other progressive artists working in St Ives. He died in a workhouse in 1942 totally unaware of his growing popularity. The Radev Collection has five of Wallis’ seascapes. Ben Nicholson himself is represented by a stylised view of Carbis Bay, 1942 (below). The collection also contains some fine works by Graham Sutherland, including three of his wonderful, neo-romantic etchings from early in his career as well as
The collection One of the best represented groups in the collection is the Bloomsbury Group with important works by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry. The Bloomsbury Group were considered very avant-garde in their time and their personal lives and affairs certainly shocked many but today, in historical context, their art is perceived to be quite moderate and very much within the British tradition of observational painting. Duncan Grant was highly skilled as a draughtsman and colourist and has a wonderful touch when working in oils. The collection contains portraits of both Mattei Radev and Eardley Knollys. There are also two good still lives by Vanessa Bell and an unusual painting of Venice dating to 1929 as well as a still life by Roger Fry. The naïve painters in the collection include Alfred Wallis, a Cornish fisherman
Ben Nicholson (1893–1981) Carbis Bay, 1942, oil on card, 103⁄4⫻7in (27⫻18cm)
a gouache by Keith Vaughan from 1946, a typical landscape by Ivon Hitchens and a lovely Dorset landscape by Lucien Pissarro, the son of the French Impressionist who settled in England. There is a stunning 1920 flower piece by Sir Matthew Smith in his Fauve period and the Camden Town Group is represented by four interesting landscapes by the little known Hubert Wellington as well as Camden Town Theatre from Mornington Crescent, 1911, by Spencer Gore, and two 1920s paintings by Henry Lamb. In addition there are works by John Piper and some lesserknown artists such as Lionel Bulmer and Robert Medley. Julian Machin, curator of the Radev Collection says ‘The remarkable thing about this collection is it is deeply personal as it has been formed by three individuals over the course of time.’ Helen Watson, Director Exhibitions & Collections, Lakeland Arts Trust says: ‘From my first visit to view this eclectic collection I was overwhelmed by the quality of artwork and breadth of artists. The exhibition features work by some of the greatest British and international artists from the 20th century and tells the intriguing story of the people behind this fabulous collection.’ This is a great opportunity to see some major works that are very rarely on public view, and to see how a collection is TA formed. The Radev Collection is at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5AL from September 27 to December 21; www.abbothall.org.uk; telephone 01539 722464. Gallery opening times are Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 5.00pm (4pm November to February). Admission is £6.20. Free entry for children up to the age of 16 and full-time students with valid card.
TA10p58_59_Radev_Layout 1 29/08/2013 16:10 Page 57
Ivon Hitchens (1893–1979) June Day, 1953, oil on canvas, 153⁄4⫻291⁄2in (40⫻75cm)
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) Lemons in a Jug, 1921, oil on canvas, 241⁄2⫻163⁄4in (62⫻42cm)
Duncan Grant (1885–1978) Seated Male Nude from Behind, 1938, oil on canvas, 233⁄4⫻171⁄4in (60⫻44cm)
Alfred Wallis (1885–1942) Sailing Boat, Lighthouse and Half Moon, oil on card, 61⁄4⫻7in (16⫻18cm)
Liberate your painting with the latest techniques in acrylics from top artists The hottest professional artists share their magical painting tips and their enthusiasm and love for the medium of acrylics. Use their expert advice to improve your own painting skills. ‘Sometimes I break rank and mix it all up, paint, sand, collage, wood and earth, in the style of a child at school. When did children ever worry about the kind of paper they are painting on?’ Glyn Macey To describe Glyn as enthusiastic would be an understatement. He bursts with enthusiasm and that would be annoying if he wasn’t so damn good at explaining what he does and how he works … Here you get landscapes, mountains, buildings, boats and flowers and techniques that use quite a lot of scraping, spattering and even collage. Yes, it does all sound rather random and wild, but Glyn is also a master at reining himself in and at no point do you get the feeling that this is just technique for technique’s sake. Artbookreview.net RRP 14.99
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‘Liberating your painting arm and mind from the shackles of control and tradition are the overriding factors of Vibrant Acrylics. Free yourself from the mechanics and creativity will conquer’ Hashim Akib Hashim Akib paints in a heavy impasto style and there’s an immediacy and urgency to his work that fully justifies the title. The author’s style and his concentration on the creative as well as the technical process make it something that even the most accomplished artist should find interesting - even an exercise as simple as ‘paint a flower in 50 brushstrokes’. With subjects including animals, people, buildings, still life and abstracts, there’s something for everyone. The Artist This is a totally original way of painting with acrylics. The colours in Hashim’s work really “sing”. I have attended two of his workshops and this book takes me further with his technique. If you want to produce paintings that are really sensational then buy this book. Amazon
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TA10p57_books and DVDs_Layout 1 29/08/2013 16:06 Page 57
Oil Sketches Peter Brown A painting is planned, while a sketch coalesces. Watch this absorbing and welledited film and you’ll see what I mean. Peter Brown works almost exclusively outdoors and in oils and is at home dealing with moving people and vehicles, changing light and even the odd shower of rain. Finding him in his natural habitat makes particularly instructive viewing. There are five demonstrations here. The first, a busy street scene at the top of Broadway Market in Hackney, deals with all the problems I suggested above. Peter then moves to the South Bank at Lambeth Bridge, where he handles a limited tonal range with aplomb. The final three scenes are painted at Bantham Bay and Burgh Island in Devon. These are calmer locations, though well-populated, and a slightly more conventional approach is apparent. Nevertheless, light plays an important part when bright sunshine makes it difficult to judge tones and later work is required. Henry Malt
Books & DVDs
APV Films, 115 minutes, £28.55 inc p&p To purchase a copy of this DVD, telephone APV Films on 01608 641798 or see www.apvfilms.com.
Just Draw It!
written by a couple of illustrators who have a nicely fresh slant on the whole thing. Henry Malt
Sam Piyasena and Beverly Philip Concealed behind the rather unpromising cover of this book is a cornucopia of intriguing ideas. The first impression is of a collection of random and seemingly confusing images. However, it doesn’t take long to make you look and get you thinking. Subtitled The Dynamic Drawing Course For Anyone With A Pencil, the authors’ aim is to teach by stimulation and example rather than through words. There are words, but they’re only there to explain what you’re looking at and what you should be doing to achieve it. Sometimes it’s a bit kooky but not deliberately and, crucially, not archly so. Its aim is to teach anyone drawing just by stimulating the imagination. Personally, I love the idea. It’s eclectic, unconventional, unpredictable, maybe even a bit controversial in a good way. It’s also been
Search Press, £9.99, 160 pages (S/B) ISBN 9781844488988
Painters’books price £7.99 Quote 201060 when ordering
Pastel Painting Atelier Ellen Eagle This is without doubt the most comprehensive book on pastel to be published within living memory. At once scholarly and intensely practical, it offers a look at both the history and creative possibilities of the medium. As with all Watson Guptill books these days, it is something to sit down and read as much as to look at. That does not
mean, however, that it is not sumptuously illustrated, both with the work of greater and lesser-known masters as well as by the author herself, whose style lies somewhere between the hard-edged and the more impressionist. Ellen Eagle is primarily a portraitist and her figures have a haunting quality that demands long viewing. The book is constructed of both essays and demonstrations that are more discussions than lessons, where information and wisdom emerge rather than being shoved at the reader. This is a hugely rewarding and worthwhile book. Henry Malt Watson Guptill, £24.99, 192 pages (H/B) ISBN 9780823008414
Painters’books price £19.99 Quote 200931 when ordering
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When you spend over £15 you can order one of the following brush cases complete with ten brushes for just £14.99 (rrp £55.95). Quote TAOCT13 when ordering: l Daler-Rowney System 3 Acrylics Brush Zip Case (order code 200904) l Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolour Brush Zip Case (order code 200903) l Daler-Rowney Georgian Oils Brush Zip Case (order code 200902) Free p&p for online orders over £25, otherwise £2.99
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TA Oct Opps RH_Opportunities for Vivien-5 02/09/2013 15:58 Page 59
Opportunities Art society lecture The life and art of Modigliani Details: Was Modigliani a flawed genius? Opinions are divided as to whether Modigliani had already produced his best work before his early death, or whether he would have gone on to be a modern master. Radlett Art Socity lecture with Frank Woodgate. When: October 24, 7.30pm. Cost: £7. Contact: The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, Herts WD7 8HL. Tel: 01923 857546. www.radlettcentre.co.uk.
Gallery event It’s not easy being green Details: Lunchtime talk in the Seminar Room at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Dr Paola Ricciardi explores the use of green pigments and mixtures in manuscript illumination. Collect admission token from courtyard entrance desk from 12.45pm on the day. When: October 24, 13.15–2pm. Cost: Free. Contact: Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge. Tel: 01223 332900; www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk.
Valerie Dugan Details: Calligrapher and botanical artist Valerie Dugan demonstrates her detailed drawings and watercolours of flora and fauna at the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham. When: October 12, 11am to 1pm and 2–4pm. Cost: Free. Contact: Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham B3. Tel: 0121 236 4353. www.rbsa.org.uk.
Sending-in days Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Details: Annual open
exhibition of miniature art. Up to five works may be submitted. All works must be for sale – only human portraits may be submitted NFS but entrants who do this must also send in one non-commissioned work, which must be for sale. Full submission details, including rules about frame sizes, etc, can be downloaded from the website: www.royalminiature-society.org.uk. The exhibition is at the Mall Galleries, London, from October 15 to 27. Awards include the Prince of Wales Award for Outstanding Miniature Painting; the Gold Memorial Bowl for the best miniature in the exhibition; The President’s Special Commendation; the Society’s Award for the Best Set of five or more works; the Bidder and Borne Award for Best Sculpture. When: Handing-in, October 6. Cost: £15 per work. Contact: Claire Hucker, Executive Secretary RMS, 89 Rosebery Road, Dursley, Glos GL11 4PU; tel: 01454 269268. Schedules and labels can be downloaded from: www.royal-miniaturesociety.org.uk.
Royal Scottish Academy open exhibition Details: Exhibition of small works sourced by open selection from artists across Scotland and further afield. Includes new paintings, sculptures, original prints, photographs, film and architecture. Reproductions of any kind and applied art will not be accepted. Works previously exhibited at the RSA will only be accepted with the express sanction of the Council. Up to two works may be submitted, no larger than 31in (80cm) in any one dimension (outer frame size). Awards include RSA Guthrie Award for an outstanding Scottish painter, £750; RSA Maude Gemmell Hutchison Prize for the best painting or drawing of an animal, £600; RSA Open Exhibition Prize, £500, and many others. All works must be for sale. The exhibition will in the Lower Galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinburgh, from November 23 to January 26.
When: Registration deadline, October 25; submission of electronic media, October 25; handingin, November 8 and 9, 10am to 4.30pm. Cost: £10 per work, £18 for two works; students, £6 per work. Contact: Download entry forms and conditions from www.royalscottishacademy. org. Tel: 0131 624 6110.
Royal Institute of Oil Painters Details: Competition, open to non-members, held at the Mall Galleries, London, from December 12 to 23. Oil paintings, or paintings in acrylics framed as oils, are accepted. A maximum of six works may be submitted, up to four may be selected. Many prizes are available, including the Phyllis Roberts Award of £2,000 for a promising young painter, the Winsor & Newton Oil Painters Awards (for artists under 35 years of age), Winsor & Newton Awards to Non-Members and the Alan Gourley Memorial Award of £1,000. Online selection: at the time of registration, upload your image file, preferably JPGs or PNGs, no more than 4MB. Alternatively, print a copy of the registration form and deliver it with your work(s) on the receiving days. Regional handing-in points. minimum selling price, £300 per work. When: Registration deadline, October 10, 12 noon. Handing-in, London, November 2 and 3, 10am to 5pm. Cost: £12 per work; under35s, £6 per work. Contact: Download registration pack from: www.mallgalleries.org.uk/oil or send an A4 sae to ROI, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD.
John Moores Painting Prize Details: Biennial exhibition open to artists working with paint. Entrants must be 18 years or over on the day of registration and live or be professionally based in the UK. Only one painting may be submitted; it must be a new or recent work, be original, and designed to hang on a wall. Digital submission in first instance:
JPEGs between 2MB and 5MB and a maximum of 1,000⫻1,000 pixels. See www.liverpoolmuseums.org.u k/walker/johnmoores for full details. First prize, £25,000 and four other prizes of £2,500 each and a Visitor’s Choice prize of £2,000. The exhibition will form part of the Liverpool Biennial, and open as a summer show on July 5, 2014 at the Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EL. The winner will be announced in September 2014. When: Submissions deadline, October 25. Cost: £30. Contact: Enter online or by post to: John Moores Project Manager, Walker Art Gallery, William Brown St, Liverpool, L3 8EL, or collect an entry form from the Walker Art Gallery information desk.
Royal Marsden art competition Details: Open painting competition organised by the Royal Marsden hospital. Up to two paintings may be entered, subject to be suitable for exhibition in a hospital environment; portraits not accepted. Maximum size 39⫻39in (1⫻1m); all work should be varnished or under Perspex (not glass). The judges are the artists Susan Ryder and Diana Calvert and Dr Jacqueline Filshie of the Royal Marsden Arts Forum. First prize, £2,000; second prize, £1,500; third prize, £1,000 and a £500 fourth prize. The winning paintings will be exhibited for three months at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea and three months at the Royal Marsden in Sutton; thereafter they willl be kept permanently within the hospital. A shortlist of 30 paintings will be hung in a selling exhibition at the hospital in February 2014. When: Submission deadline, November 30. Handing-in to be advised. Send an email with images of your painting
8 ON THE WEB
attached to Chair of the Arts Forum, Audrey ArdernJones: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not include your name in the image attachments for anonymity for judging purposes. Cost: Free to enter, but please consider making a donation at www.royalmarsden.org/ donate. Contact: Email Audrey Ardern-Jones at email@example.com.
Rugby Open 2013 Details: Annual exhibition for artists living and/or working withing 15 miles of Rugby Museum and Art Gallery, or who are members of one of the following art groups: Rugby and District Art Society, Dunchurch Photographic Society, Tantalus or Rugby Artists’ Group, or who are studying or have studied in the borough. Up to three works created within the last year may be submitted in any media: painting, sculpture, drawing, print, photography, film/video and craft. Performance and installation are not accepted. Two-D works must not exceed 59in (150cm) in any dimension and must be mirror plated; 3-D works must not exceed 25kg. First prize is £1,000 plus an exhibition in the Floor One gallery; People’s Choice Award of £100 and many other prizes. The exhibition will be at Rugby Museum and Art Gallery, Little Elborow Street, Rugby, from November 22 to January 11. When: Deadline for application forms: October 25; handing-in, November 11 and 12. Cost: £5 per work or £12 for three works by the same artist. Contact: Email Rugby Museum and Art Gallery for an application form: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01788 533201. www.ragm.org.uk.
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 October 2013
TA Oct ExhibRev_Exhibitions for Vivien 03/09/2013 09:19 Page 62
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
Victoria Art Gallery
☎ 01392 265858 Queen Street.
LEFT Josef Maria Auchentaller (1865–1949) Portrait of Maria, 1912, oil on canvas, 471⁄4⫻431⁄2in (120⫻110.5cm) on show at the National Gallery in Facing the Modern: The Portait in Vienna 1900.
☎ 01225 477244 Bridge Street.
William Scott: simplicity and subject; until November 17.
Black Swan Arts
Museum & Art Gallery
☎ 01373 473980 2 Bridge Street.
☎ 0121 303 2834
Rachel Anne Grigor; September 15 to October 12.
GATESHEAD Shipley Art Gallery
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Gallery opening times and exhibition dates can vary; if in doubt, phone to avoid disappointment
imagery by modern Italian sculptor, September 25 to December 22.
Bankside Gallery 48 Hopton Street SE1. ☎ 020 7928 7521 . Watercolour Now; RWS autumn show with special guest Albert Irvin, October 4 to November 2.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
☎ 020 7409 5732
13 Berkeley Street W1.
Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn: Glasgow School of Art; until October 9.
☎ 020 7734 3991 6 Cork Street W1.
Ben Nicholson: Lyric and Line; limited edition prints, until October 11.
21 Cork Street. ☎ 020 7439 7766 Tom Phillips; until October 12.
☎ 020 7654 0179
171 Union Street SE1.
Café Gallery Southwark Park, SE16. ☎ 020 7237 1230 Clare Goodwin: Unforced Errors; acrylic abstract paintings and installations, September 18 to October 20.
Colnaghi 15 Old Bond Street, London W1 ☎ 020 7491 7408 Art of the Curios; the rare, the bizarre and the beautiful, October 2 to 20.
Dulwich Picture Gallery
☎ 020 8693 5254
College Road SE21.
An American in London: Whistler and the Thames; October 16 to January 12.
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art 39a Canonbury Square N1. ☎ 020 7704 9522 Emilio Greco: Sacred and Profane; religious and secular
The Fleming Collection
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013; September 11 to October 27.
Kings Place Gallery
☎ 020 7520 1485 90 York Way N1.
Sandra Blow RA: paintings and prints; October 4 to November 9.
☎ 020 7930 6844 The Mall SW1.
The Derwent Art Prize; The Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition; September 16 to 21. The Threadneedle Prize; September 25 to October 12.
Messum’s 8 Cork Street W1. ☎ 020 7437 5545 Modern Romantics; David Tress; September 11 to October 12.
The National Gallery
☎ 020 7747 2885
Trafalgar Square WC2.
Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900; October 9 to January 12.
National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place WC2. ☎ 020 7306 0055 Laura Knight Portraits; until October 13.
Osborne Samuel 23a Bruton Street, W1. ☎ 020 7493 7939 John Olsen; new works by this prominent Australian artist, October 3 to 26.
The Queen’s Gallery
☎ 020 7766 7301 (tickets) Buckingham Palace.
Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man; until November 10.
Royal Academy of Arts
☎ 020 7300 8000. Piccadilly W1.
Australia; September 21 to December 8.
Tate Britain Millbank SW1. ☎ 020 7887 8888 Lowry and the Painting of Modern British Life; until October 20.
☎ 0191 477 1495
Prince Consort Road.
4 Brook Street, St Paul’s Square. ☎ 0121 236 4353. Members and Associates; until October 12.
Ralph Hedley: Painting the North East; until November 2.
Royal West of England Academy
☎ 01483 810235
Queen’s Road, Clifton. ☎ 0117 973 5129 One Hundred Years: The RWA and Royal Patronage; until November 5.
Down Lane, Compton.
Frank Holl: Emerging from the Shadows; until November 3.
KENDAL ☎ 01539 722464
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
The Radev Collection: Bloomsbury and Beyond; September 27 to December 21.
Patchings Art Centre
☎ 0115 965 3479 Oxton Road.
25 Anniversary Exhibition; new work by Lucy Willis, David Curtis and Ken Howard, October 5 to November 17.
KINGSBRIDGE Harbour House Gallery
☎ 01548 854708 The Promenade.
Pairs; explores the concept, October 1 to 13.
☎ 01223 332900
The Night of Longing: Love and Desire in Japanese Prints; October 1 to January 12.
☎ 01273 487744 Castle Ditch Lane.
Sussex Watercolour Society; October 5 to 17.
Pallant House Gallery
☎ 01243 774557 9 North Pallant.
Lady Lever Art Gallery
Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture; until October 13. The Nicholsons and their Circle: Art at the Mill House; October 12 to February 1.
☎ 0151 478 4136
Port Sunlight, Wirral.
The Drawings of Edward Burne-Jones; until January 12.
☎ 0151 702 7400
Stanley Spencer Gallery
Chagall: Modern Master; until October 6.
☎ 01628 471885
Tate Modern Bankside SE1. ☎ 020 7887 8008. Saloua Raouda Choucair; until October 20. Mira Schendel; September 25 to January 19.
George Caitlin: American Indian Portraits; until October 13.
To submit details of an exhibition for possible listing here, email Deborah Wanstall at email@example.com or telephone 01580 763673
Express and Echo Local Art Show 2013; September 24 to October 16.
Summer Exhibition: Perspectives on Love; until November 3.
St Barbe Museum &
TA Oct ExhibRev_Exhibitions for Vivien 03/09/2013 09:19 Page 63
☎ 01590 676969 Art Gallery
Under the Greenwood: Picturing British Trees – Present; invited artists, October 12 to November 23.
☎ 01457 874705 Autumn Exhibition; until November 10.
OXFORD Ashmolean Museum
MALDEN Hayletts Gallery Gallery
☎ 01865 278000 Beaumont St.
2 High Street. ☎ 01621 851669 Shanti Panchal; paintings, until October 5.
Francis Bacon, Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone; 20 paintings and 20 sculptures depicting the human figure, September 12 to January 19.
Imperial War Museum North
Newlyn Art Gallery
The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park. ☎ 0161 836 4000 Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War; October 12 to February 23.
Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street. ☎ 0161 235 8888 Between the Wars; the diversity of British art between WWI and WWII, until October 13.
MARGATETE Turner Contemporary Rendezvous. ☎ 01843 233000 Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature; works from the Tate Collection, October 5 to January 5.
STOW ON THE WOLD
New Road, Newlyn. ☎ 01736 363715 Newlyn Arts Festival & Newlyn School of Art; October 5 to November 2.
Penlee House Gallery Morrab Road. ☎ 01736 363625 From Darkness into Light – Graham Sutherland: Mining Metal and Machines; September 14 to November 23.
PLYMOUTH City Museum & Art Gallery
☎ 01752 304774 Drake Circus.
Artists Make Faces; includes Freud, Lowry, Auerbach and Mark Quinn, September 21 to December 7.
The Square. ☎ 01451 831319 Welsh Exhibition; October 6 to 26.
SUDBURY Gainsborough’s House
☎ 01787 372958
The Henry Moore Foundation Perry Green. ☎ 01279 844104 Moore Rodin. until October 27.
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE University Gallery University of Northumbria, Sandyford Road. ☎ 0191 227 4424 A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker; until October 11.
CONWY Royal Cambrian Academy Gallery
☎ 01492 593413
Kate Downie: A Walk Through a Resonant Landscape; until October 6.
David Woodford: in nature’s presence; September 14 to October 19.
Pier Art Gallery
Victoria Street. ☎ 01856 850209 Jerwood Makers Open 2013; September 14 to November 9.
☎ 01492 879201
☎ 0131 225 6671
Mark Catesby: Watercolours from the Royal Collection; until October 12.
TELFORD Coalbrookdale Gallery
12 Heol Vaughan.
Dear Portrait; until October 13.
☎ 01952 43342 Ironbridge Gorge.
Pit Profiles: Re-Profiled; ’40s, ’50s and contemporary photographs, until December 31.
WOLVERHAMPTON Wolverhampton Art Gallery
☎ 01902 522055 Lichfield Street.
Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman; until November 16.
ART SOCIETIES Bigglesdwade and District Art Soceity Autumn exhibition at Northill Village Hall on October 19 and 20. www.biggleswadeart-society.co.uk.
Blackburn Artists’ Society Summer exhibition at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, from October 12 to January 7. Tel: 01254 245628.
Caston Art Club Worcester City Art Gallery
Martins Church Hall, Marple, from October 11 to 13.
New Dorset Art Group Exhibition at the First View Gallery, Stourhead, from October 19 to 27. www.new dorsetartgroup.co.uk.
Shefford Art Society Annual exhibition in the Community Hall, High Street, on September 28 and 29. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual exhibition at Caston Village Hall, on October 12 and 13. www.castonartclub.org.uk.
Southend Art Club
South Lafford Art Group
Autumn exhibition at the Cliff’s Pavilion from September 27 to 29.
☎ 01905 25371 Worcester Society of Artists; 66th annual exhibition, September 14 to October 12.
Clwydian Art Society
Rye Art Gallery
Dorking Group of Artists
Tate St Ives
☎ 01736 796226
Annual exhibition at Welford Village Hall, on October 12 and 13. Tel: 01604 505851.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Annual exhibition at Denbies Wine Estate, from October 11 to 13. Tel: 01306 883820.
☎ 01797 222433 107 High Street.
The RBA in Rye; October 12 ro November 10.
ST IVES Porthmeor Beach.
Aquatopia: The Imaginary of the Deep; October 12 to January 26.
SHEFFIELD Mappin Art Gallery
☎ 0114 278 2600
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Colour Coded; the history, science and significance of colour, until January 26.
Schoolhill. ☎ 01224 523 700 The Scottish Colourist Series: SJ Peploe; selection of 70 works, until October 19.
SHILDON National Railway Museum.
☎ 01388 777999
John McCombs Gallery,
Railart 2013; annual exhibition of the Guild of Railway Artists, until October 6.
12 King Street, Delph.
Royal Scottish Academy
NORWICH University of East Anglia. ☎ 01603 456060 Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia; September 14 to February 24.
1 Queen Street. ☎ 0131 624 6200 Tickling Jock: Comedy Greats; until May 20124
46 Gainsborough Street.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
National Gallery of Scotland The Mound. ☎ 0131 624 6200 Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands; until November 3.
The Queen’s Gallery Palace of Holyroodhouse. ☎ 0131 556 5100 Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man; until November 10.
Annual exhibition at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, from September 23 to October 12. www.clwydianartsociety.org.
East Sussex Arts Club Autumn exhibition at the Stade Hall, Hastings, from October 9 to 14. Tel: 01424 855275.
Henley Art and Craft Guild Autumn exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery, Henleyon-Thames, from October 11 to 15. www.henley-arts.org.
Market Harborough Art Club 50th anniversary exhibition at the Market Harborough Theatre, from October 17 to 19. www.marketharborough artclub.co.uk.
Mellor Art Society Annual exhibition at St
Biennial exhibition at Folkingham Village Hall on October 12 and 13.
Winchester Art Club Annual exhibition at the Discovery Centre, from October 12 to November 3.
Woking Society of Arts Autumn exhibition at the Lightbox Gallery, from October 15 to 20. www.wokingartsociety.org.
Worple Group Autumn exhibition at St Mark’s Church, Wimbledon SW19 7ND, on October 12. Tel: 0208 944 5077; www.worplegroup.co.uk.
York Art Society Autumn exhibition at the York Theatre Royal De Grey rooms, from October 15 to 20. email@example.com.
TA10p66_Colour_Layout 1 29/08/2013 16:10 Page 66
COLOUR: 11TH IN A SERIE S OF 13
Colour triads Soraya French discusses the merits of a transparent trio of quinacridone burnt orange, indanthrone blue and green gold
Quinacridone burnt orange
his transparent trio makes a series of striking combinations. Mixtures of these colours are great for autumn landscapes, woodlands, floral and still-life subjects and, because they are transparent, the mixtures have a high degree of clarity. They make a series of very useful lively deep darks. You can replace quinacridone burnt orange (Daniel Smith) with brown madder (PR 206), which is also a quinacridone pigment by Winsor & Newton. Daniel Smith’s green gold (PY150, PY3 and PG36) is a blend of phthalo green, hansa yellow light and nickel azo yellow. If you have any doubts about the lightfastness of a watercolour, it is always best to conduct your own test. Indanthrone blue (PB60) is one of the warmest deep blues with great reddish undertones. It is a super staining, nongranulating organic pigment. Its transparency results in deepest dark near blacks when mixed with orange-reds, and some amazing violets when mixed with magenta. It can be used instead of Prussian blue.
Quinacridone burnt orange (PO48) is another spectacular quinacridone pigment and is the most beautiful saffron shade of orange. It granulates beautifully, is staining and has an excellent independent lightfast rating. Its transparency allows for intense, clean and vibrant mixtures. Green gold (PY129, Daler-Rowney) is one of the most beautiful light green pigments with bright yellow undertones in thin washes. It is medium staining and is a non-granulating colour. It has a very good lightfastness rating, and is very stable in mixtures. Winsor & TA Newton also offer geen gold (PY129)
Chinese Lanterns, Daniel Smith and Daler-Rowney watercolours on Saunders Waterford 2001b (410gsm) HP paper, 16⫻16in (40.5⫻40.5cm). Green gold is the most dominant colour, then orange and a small amount of blue in their pure forms. The lively near-black in the background is a combination of all three colours. I also mixed a number of semi-neutrals from either two or all three hues of the triad
Indanthrone blue + a little green gold = dark green + more green gold = lighter green + more blue = a light blue-green useful for creating recession
Green gold + quinacridone burnt orange is similar to raw sienna + more green gold = light ochre + more quinacridone burnt orange = similar to transparent red iron oxide
Quinacridone burnt orange + indanthrone blue = dark grey + more quinacridone burnt orange = similar to umber + more quinacridone burnt orange = dark earth red
The three colours together create a whole range of transparent darks from green to brown to grey and near blacks
Published on Sep 13, 2013