Movement in People 4th October

Caroline started her talk by showing some examples of people in motion.

Artist Sergei Chepik used strong exaggerated poses to bring energy to his paintings such as the bullfighter.

 

While Mary Cassatt used the strokes of her pastels to convey movement.

She painted babies and toddlers who were “caught in the moment ” as it is obvious to the viewer that the child could not have maintained that pose for long.

To capture people moving can be tricky and it might help to draw a stick figure first, taking care to show the curve of the back, and the correct angles of the arms and legs. The correct slope of the shoulders, waist and hips can be indicated with a straight sloping line. From this base you can then flesh out the drawing. You don’t even need to paint fully every part of the body, sometimes it’s better to simply give a blur suggesting a hand or foot as this in itself will suggest movement. You should try to measure the angle between the head and the legs to ensure you position them correctly.

  

Once you are happy with the positioning of your figure you can enhance the feeling of movement by putting in creases in the clothing and shadows on the limbs to emphasize muscles being used. Hair is also great to convey movement as it can be shown flying in the wind.

Landscapes can be made more interesting by the inclusion of people working, or simply walking. If the figure is shown performing a sport , the brain automatically fills in the next move to your still frame and so movement is seen.

Once again, many thanks to Lesley McBride, who kindly provided the text and photos of this session.

 

 

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Mediums Demo 20th September

Today Caroline presented a selection of mediums: Pencils, both lead and coloured, charcoal, watercolours, acrylics and pastels, along with her personal recommendations as to brands.

Pencils

Caroline favours 8B for drawing, as it is possible to get a really dark tone with it. HB she finds too hard and light, but these can be used for watercolour sketch-ins. Recommended brands are Faber Castel and Staedtler.

Coloured Pencils

The cheaper ones need more pressure.  Caroline suggests that we press hard and add layers before adding water and blending. Best quality are Derwent, followed by Faber Castel and Caran d’ache.

Charcoal

Avoid Coates. There are different sizes in Winsor and Newton’s range. Some is reconstituted. Derwent charcoal pencils are good for fine lines. Can produce a very dark line too.

Watercolours

The Russian brand – White Knight are very sticky, but have lots of pigment. They are now available from Jackson Art, and can be bought individually.

Daler Rowney need a lot of rubbing. A good indicator is that if the paper shows through, the paint is cheap, as with Pelican, which has very feeble colours.

Acrylics

Golden and Liquitex are the recommended brands as System 3 student quality has some poor colours, particularly the yellows. Winsor & Newton Galleria come under the same banner.

Gel mediums can be used with acrylics: mix with acrylic to bulk up paint, but be aware that this will dilute the pigment. Also available are crackle textures. You can make your own gesso with talcum powder +PVA+water.

Pastels

WH Smith have a good colour range. Schmincke are very soft, for those who like this effect.. Pan pastels can be used with a sponge for smudge work. Sennelier are a favoured make. Faber Castel makes a range of pencil pastels.

Caroline said that it is best to start with a hard pastel for draughting, and then go over with a round soft pastel.

Oil pastels from Sennelier and Farrel Gold. Oil bars from Winsor & Newton and Stabilo can be blended with white spirit. A really useful gold wax by Pablio can be used to great effect.

As a final comment on all makes of any medium, Caroline stressed that “You get what you pay for!”

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Painting with Oils 6th September

Painting with Oils  6th September

Many materials can be used to paint on: canvas, canvas board, hardboard or paper, but all must be sealed before starting. Those bought ready made from art suppliers are “ready to go” but if you use hardboard or paper, you will need to apply a coat of size or, as Caroline does, a coat of household emulsion.

The importance of working fat on lean:

Start with thinned layers of paint for under painting and build up to thicker layers with added linseed oil for fluidity. You can choose from a range of oil mediums: linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time… Water based oils need their own specific oils, as per the makers’ instructions.

Use a thin under-paint consisting of a colour and turpentine, which won’t take too long to dry. You can then add layers of subsequent paint without delaying too long.

With over-painting, sometimes if too many layers are applied, it can become muddy and overworked so the options are to scrape off or leave to dry and paint over.

Glazing – Building up layers of thin paint. As with the last demonstration on 16th August Glazing on Black & White Acrylics), start with a thin layer of paint + turps  which allows the sketch to show through and keep over-painting, adding heavier amounts of colour. You can also use a technique called Impasto – this involves using the paint thickly to show brush or knife marks, Van Gogh painted in this way.

Disposal: Oil paints and the thinning mediums are flammable, so soak any rags or paper towel in water before throwing them in the bin. They can dry out, and become dangerously combustible if left to dry out.

Brushes – Oil painting can ruin brushes so I buy cheap from Sussex Stationers. Bristle brushes are more hard wearing and good cleaning with white spirit will keep them going for quite a long time.

Makes of paint:  Lukas, Aqua-duo, Windsor and Newton.

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Peoples Choice Winner

Victor Perkins was the winner of the Peoples Choice award at this years Dupont Art Club annual Art Exhibition. The lovely pencil drawing titled SHH is shown here with Victor and Dupont Chairman, John Hird. Victor received the Dupont cup and a free membership to the Dupont Art Club for the coming year. Well done Victor!

This years exhibition had over a dozen pieces of art plus dozens of cards and gifts sold resulting in a very successful exhibition.

Many thanks to everyone involved in the organising and setting up of this exhibition.

 

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Glazing on Black and White 16th August

 

The use of  glazes over a black and white portrait painting  gives a different glowing result. Caroline had a photograph of a young person and had painted it in black, white and greys to start with.  She pointed out that it is vital to get tonal values set first.

Working from light to dark, and using either a glaze medium or cheap paints, apply a wash, which allows the dark image to show through. The use of cheaper acrylic paints is suggested because they have less pigment in them therefore a glaze effect is much easier.

Using a filbert brush, mix a light flesh tone and add it to the pale area of the face, adding more pigment layer by layer. The filbert brush doesn’t give hard edges. This is the result needed with this type of portrait painting.

Add pink to the image, bringing in the warmth. At this stage you can go back and forth between the dark and light areas. Working wet in wet blends better, which means you can mix colours on the page if you want to.

Use solid paint for definition, and block in with white if you make a mistake, then start again as it is very easy to go dark in portraits.

Palate: Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Hookers Green, Cadmium Red medium.

It was agreed that this was a really helpful session for those of us that aspire to portrait painting, as this technique allows a very gradual build of a work instead of the dramatic and sometimes disappointing results of using solid paint from the outset. The use of glazes results in a real glow in the work which can’t be achieved with the use of direct non layered painting.

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Preparing Work for an Exhibition

Thanks go to Lesley McBride, who recorded Caroline’s talk, and to Judy Alexander for the images.

Caroline Marsland’s talk today was especially helpful, with the Club’s upcoming exhibition in August now only weeks away. Some valuable advice about choice of frames and examples of different effects will be valuable to those who are putting work forward shortly.

Choosing a Frame

It is always best to go simple. For example, a busy picture does not want to compete with a very ornate frame, but using a large white mount can offset this.

The frame should hold the picture together. Maybe use a lesser colour from the picture in the frame.

Natural wood frames are not in vogue at present, and heavy dark frames are also out of favour.

 

Using mounts can help to draw the eye into a smaller picture, or a larger, thicker frame can add drama to a small picture

Framing

Try car boot sales for old frames, where you can fine old frames very cheaply. You can rub them down before painting or varnishing, (chalk paint  is available in Aldi for £4.95 per tin and comes in antique white and grey). Also try second hand shops or charity shops . Ikea do good frames at reasonable prices, as do B&Q, Dunelm, Asda @ Hollingbury and The Range in Worthing. Use architraving if you have a mitre saw.

Unusual frames can be made using driftwood, twigs, or an old clock face. Craft frames can be made using any old stuff glued to the frame, then sprayed to unify it. Box frames always look good.

Backing

Use D-rings or eye hooks. D-rings are on Amazon for a bag of 100 (£5-£6). String can also be found at car boots or on-line. You must use strong string or wire with proper eye hooks or D-rings. Clip frames are not accepted.

A pushing tool is available online to put in the flat hooks which secure the painting to the backing board.

Put your name and contact details on the reverse, along with any that the Club has requestewd. Think about how the back will look to the buyer, when it is taken down.

Pricing

£35 minimum please, for the club exhibitions. Base the price on the amount of work time you have put into the picture. Also consider the materials used (frame, brushes, paint etc.). Or, if it is one of our favourite pieces, charge accordingly.

Helpful Hints

Offer to help on hanging day to get your work in a good position! If you are very unhappy, tell someone about it and they’ll try to improve things for you, maybe with better lighting.

When selling, remember that people often don’t want a really big picture, as they may not have room in their house.

You must be quite thick –skinned when hearing comments on your work. Try not to take offence, but take on board any constructive criticism.

Good fortune to all exhibitors!

 

 

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Plein Air Painting 19th July


Caroline began her demonstration with some points to consider before starting an open air painting session.

  • Reconnoitre before choosing a site. Are there a lot of possibly intrusive people around?
  • Consider the weight of your equipment. A half-size easel will ease the load, as you may have to climb for a better vantage point
  • Do some thumbnails to help decide on your composition
  • If using acrylic paints, remember that they will dry more quickly outside. Use a stay-wet palate

Once you are settled and starting to paint, lay down light tones and darks at the outset, bearing in mind the changing light as time passes. Get your tonal values down at the beginning. She suggested working with big brushes to do this, to avoid “fiddling”.

Outdoor painting needs you to make light colours lighter and darks darker, which will compensate for indoor light levels.

Method: Working from the back to the front of the scene in light tones…look-paint, look-paint. To achieve shafts of light, use a glaze at the end of the work.

Focus on lights and darks is most important. As an example, your composition should be 70% cold and 30% warm colours or vice versa.

Keep a varied selection of greens and add a few browns to your palate for woodland scenes. Use a rigger for the small upper branches, which can be added later, along with foliage.

Lastly – Be rougher and have fun with it!!

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Lino Cutting Demo

Caroline Marsland, our tutor gave a demonstration of lino cutting at our July wednesday class. I have taken the liberty of copying the description of lino cutting from ‘Gradually Greener in Print making’ from the web site. Carolines comments and instructions are added at the end.

“What is a Linocut?: Linocuts are very similar to woodcuts. It is a printing method using a sheet of linoleum, in which a subtractive cutting method is used to take away the parts of linoleum where you want to leave the white of the page, and keep the parts you want to be inked! In the result you have a linocut that can reproduce the same image over and over again.

A Short History: While linoleum was first invented in the 1860s, it wasn’t used as a medium for printing until the early 1900s in Germany, where it was first used for making patterns on wallpaper! Artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Henri Matisse have made linocuts, and today it is considered a respected art form. Linocuts are also very popular in teaching children in schools about the rewarding art of printmaking.

Why linocuts?: First off, linoleum does not have a grain like wood does, meaning there is no need to cut in one direction. Also, it is much, MUCH easier to cut than wood, especially when heated. Although linoleum is not quite as durable as wood, you can still make hundreds if not thousands of copies of the same image with a single linocut before it is too degraded to use. Linocuts generally remind me of illustrated children books, which is a style I very much like. One can even make several linocuts to be used together to make a print including color, and in some cases (depending on the ink and paper you use) a linocut print can be colored after wards with your medium of choice.

So lets get started!

Step 1: Materials

Materials

You will need . . .

1. One sheet of linoleum!

You can get these at your local art stores such as Jerry’s Artarama, or even at generic craft stores such as Hobby Lobby. The bigger you go, the more expensive the sheet, but generally they are not too expensive. If this is your first linocut, I suggest getting something around the size of 4″ x 5″. This way you do not have a giant piece to work on, but you also won’t have to work with itty bitty details. For your first linocut, I suggest doing a simple pattern with no positive (left, uncut away) pieces smaller than half a centimeter. I know folks who buy linoleum for flooring when they find good deals, and use this for carving. I have never tried this, but only imagine it is much harder to cut than art store grade linoleum. Stay away from anything pink or white that claims to be good for lino-prints, generally it is a rubber that is much too soft, and you will hack it to pieces within seconds.

2. Linocutting tool with an assortment of blades!

You could buy several different handles with blades and v-cutters permenantly attached for about $7 each. I don’t suggest this, as it is very expensive and simply unnecessary. Most art stores and some craft stores will sell a beginers kit that comes with one handle and 5 or 6 different blades for anywhere between $7 and $20. This is what I have, and it works perfectly! I bought mine from Jerry’s Artarama for $14. There is a similar product here ( http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Printmaking-Supplies/Speedball-Block-Printing-Supplies/Speedball-Lino-Cutters-Handles-and-Linozips.htm ) for those of you who would like to buy your tools online or who want to get an idea of what they are looking for.

3. A piece of glass! (At least 8″ by 12″)

You can get your piece of glass anywhere really. Many glass cutting stores will sell you scraps, as artists often use glass for pallets as well. I would get one that is at least the size of your common printer paper. I simply bought an old picture frame from a thrift store for $3, kept the glass and recycled the frame. You will be using this to roll your ink out onto before applying it to your linocut.

4. A brayer!

A brayer is very similar to a paint roller, but instead of the strange cushy material the roll itself is some kind of rubber. I suggest getting a hard or soft rubber brayer, and these will run from between $6 and $20, depending on the size and quality. I suggest getting a brayer that is at least 3 1/2″ wide. Once again, these are found at art stores and in some craft stores. Here’s an example. (http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Printmaking-Supplies/Speedball-Block-Printing-Supplies/Speedball-Barens-and-Brayers.htm)

5. Ink!

You can also get your ink at an art store or craft store, but make sure it says on the bottle it can be used for print making! Any color you like will do. I found a nice little jar of navy blue speed ball ink for $4. A little bird told me once you can use slightly watered down acrylic, but I have never tried this.

6. Paper!

This is the paper you will be using to put your final prints on. If your ink is semi-transparent, you’ll want a lighter color of paper. If the ink is solid and white, try some darker colors! I suggest artist’s quality light weight paper, though stay away from anything that is very textured, such as heavy duty watercolor paper.

7. A dark magic marker!

8. A pencil!

9. An idea for your print!

For your first print, I suggest a pattern or drawing that does not have a ton of detail and without any shading. Try to keep your thinnest positive points (where linoleum is not carved away) about a half centimeter thick for your first print.

10. BANDAIDS

I cannot stress this enough. If it is your first time making a linoleum cut, I highly suggest you have a box of bandaids on hand. You aren’t in danger of cutting a finger off while making a linoprint, but no matter how careful I am, I always manage to slice a finger or two. Some antiseptic ointment is a good idea as well!”

Caroline covered much of the above information and went on to say that the use of two colours could use the same piece of lino with you doing the first print and then cutting back on the lino for the second to do the second print on top of the first. She suggested that you use the lightest as the first layer proceeding to the darker colours. Just a reminder that when you print, it comes out as a reverse. One can use a professional printing press but these are very expensive. A simple wooden spoon can also be used to rub the paper or textile over the block.
The inks come in water and oil based. Oil gives more of a sheen. There are also special textile paints as well.
She touched on repeat patterns which are used in textiles, and wall papers with Standen House being used as an excellent example of these wall papers.
UK suppliers include Intaglio in London as well as Lawrences in Brighton who both are well supplied.
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