Fish painted in watercolour

Caroline’s subject this week was “fish, painted in watercolour”. The vibrancy of the medium was well suited to this subject as can be seen in her beautiful rendition of a tropical fish.
First Caroline lightly outlined the fish in pencil then applied the fish scales and part of the body in a light tone. She carefully left some areas without paint to be filled in later.
The fish’s tail lent itself to some experimenting with use of paint. The tail was painted and then scored with the end of a paint brush to suggest lines and again some areas were left free of paint.
While the paint dried Caroline applied a viridian green loosely to the background to suggest water and reeds. Contrasting colour was used as opposed to considering tonal values at this stage, whereas later darker tones were used to enhance the body of the fish.
Finally the details were carefully painted in with a rigger and some of the white areas were washed over with a pale tone. Some of the painting was left to drip and flicking paint on the green gave it a watery feel.

 

 

Thanks to Judy Richardson for photos and text.

 

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The Zorn Pallet

On April 24th instructor Lucy Parker gave a brief talk to the Wednesday Dupont class  on the zorn pallet used by many artists She described the colours used as yellow ocher, cad red medium. black and white. She said that in using oils, the dark colors should be laid down first. This was a brief outline of her colour mix. 

 

It is described as follows on line:

“The Zorn palette refers to a palette of colors attributed to the great Swedish artist, Anders Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920). It consists of just 4 colors being yellow ochre, ivory black, vermilion and titanium white. Cadmium red light is commonly used in place of vermilion by modern day artists.

Whilst this may seem like an extremely limited range of colors, Zorn demonstrated through his paintings just what is possible with such a limited palette. Here are some of his paintings which appear to utilize the Zorn palette:”

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A successful BHAC Exhibition

A very successful  Brighton and Hove Arts Council Annual Art Exhibition  took place April 10th  -13th. Trustee,  John Hird was quoted as follows;

“Many thanks for your support last week at what turned out to be our best art show.
 
    I have been involved for the last eight years and this year was the most successful.
 
    We had 135 pieces of art work, paintings, embroidery,sculpture,drawings and calligraphy.
 
    We sold 15 works of art and had 1022 visitors, the largest number we have experienced.
 
    Congratulations go to Victor Perkins of Dupont Art Club who won the Peoples Choice Cup for his oil painting  ” Grace “
 
   The runner up was Vanessa Reynolds of Adur Art Collective.
 
   Please pass on our thanks to all the members of your club who took part, I am already looking forward to next year.
 
John Hird
    Trustee
   Brighton & Hove Arts Council
www.bh-arts.org.uk
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Pen and Wash demonstration by Caroline Marsland 3rd April 2019

When selecting a paper for pen and wash, a smooth hot pressed watercolour paper is best, as rough watercolour paper catches on the pen.

Caroline chose to work with India ink, you can also use Quink.  She doesn’t recommend hobby craft ink, as it can wash off when your wash is applied, whereas the India ink is permanent.

She prefers to work with a mapping nib rather then a drawing nib, which can be a bit scratchy. The joy of using a dip pen is in the good expression you can get from the different thicknesses of strokes.

First, think about what part of your painting is going to be pen and what part wash. You may want it mainly one or the other.

This is the photograph Caroline was working from ( it’s the steps up to Whitby Abbey)

Caroline chose to start with  the pen, as this gives the most freedom of expression. You should look for where the light is coming from and then make your lighter strokes on the side that is getting the light.

She started with the lamppost as this was central and then worked out from that. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfectly drawn; it is your impression of the scene.  If you prefer, you can draw it out lightly in pencil first.  Dip pens are good for squiggles and shapes to suggest bushes. You shouldn’t try to put in every line. A few details are all that’s needed and the viewer fills in the rest.  If you have an accident and get a splurge on the page, this can be covered using white gouache.

The distant subjects should be drawn lighter with the heaviest lines saved for the foreground. Caroline used a rigger for the railings to make them stand out. Random lines are always more interesting to look at than rigid straight lines.

Check that your ink is dry before starting on the washes. Bear in mind that warm colours make a subject come forward, while cool colours will make it recede. Put in your colours  paying attention to the shadows, and not being too exact with the paint, it’s ok if it bleeds a little. You don’t want it to look like painting by numbers!

Caroline used ultra marine and sienna to get the lovely dark shade for the windows. The more distant the lighter your  paint should be , so the stairs are paler at the most distant part which helps with the perspective.

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Brighton & Hove Arts Council Annual Exhibition

The Brighton and Hove Arts Council’s Annual Art Exhibition

Friends Meeting House
Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF
10 – 13 April 2019
Wednesday – Friday • 10am – 5pm Saturday • 10am – 4pm
• Over 100 works of art by local artists • Vote for the Picture of the Year
• All art work available for sale
Participating groups include:
ADUR ART COLLECTIVE • ATTIC ART CLUB • DUPONT ART CLUB • EMBROIDERERS GUILD (BRIGHTON BRANCH) • ROTTINGDEAN ART CLUB • SEAFORD ART CLUB • SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC ARTISTS (SUSSEX REGIONAL GROUP) • SOCIETY OF SUSSEX PAINTERS, SCULPTORS AND PRINTMAKERS • ST THOMAS MORE ART GROUP
Show sponsors:
Brighton & Hove Arts Council
Registered charity No. 270293
www.bh-arts.org.uk
@BHArtsCouncil @BH_arts_council

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OIL PASTELS DEMO by Caroline Marsland

Caroline brought  oil pastels by Sennelier, which are an excellent choice as they are pigment rich and a delight to work with. Cheaper brands such as W. H. Smith are not so good as they are all wax and hardly any pigment.

Sugar paper is a good alternative to the preferred pastel paper and is cheaper. The most important thing is to use a paper with a good tooth to hold the pastel.

Selecting a colour that is closest to the mug to be painted, Caroline started by drawing a central vertical line to aid in the drawing of the mug. She then used good observation, not forgetting negative spaces, to make an outline of the mug. She squinted to see the reflected colours in the mug and then blocked these in. You can mix the colours on the paper, and then these can be deepened or lightened by layering until the desired hue is achieved. You may like to use your fingers to blend.

Caroline then worked the bottom half of the mug, building up layers . She made the inside of mug totally black as it appeared and then using the edge of the white pastel she put in the highlights round the rim and on the handle. She also used a torchon to make additional highlights and other small marks of colour. You can take off marks made with oil pastel using this tool, unlike chalk pastels (unless you scrape them off!). Using this tool she pulled out nice shapes in the reflected colours .

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Still Life in Charcoal Demo by Caroline Marsland 6th. March 19

Before starting the drawing, Caroline gave a few tips on working in charcoal:

  •   Sandpaper the paper for dramatic marks
  •   Use good textured paper
  •   Think … Where are my darkest shadows going to be?
  •   WORK BIG!

Blocking in very lightly, Caroline sketched out the group of bottles. Using light strokes to plot the work makes it easy to erase, should it be necessary.

Working dark to light she used heavy marks to start with, noting that wonky lines and random marks make it more interesting.

Using a small piece on its side, dark areas were blocked in and the fiddly bits (little shapes) were made using the end and the edge of the charcoal. At this point Caroline suggested working quickly, so there is “no fiddling”!

To make the image livelier, the background was strengthened, using strong lines and shadows.

Hatching is another useful technique to introduce texture. An eraser can then be brought in to remove parts of the darkest areas, in this case to give the shine on the bottles. Chamois leather can also be very effective instead of an eraser.

Thanks to Christine Elsdon for the notes and photographs.

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Charcoal portraits

The best charcoal to use is Windsor and Newton as it has good deep coverage and is just lovely to use.

Always break the stick into a smaller piece and then you can use it side on or using a corner.

You should use a rough paper with a tooth to give the charcoal something to catch on. Pastel paper is ideal for this.

When tackling a charcoal portrait, you should first decide which method you want to use. Caroline demonstrated both using shadows to define your shapes, and later drafting out your image using the charcoal a bit like a pencil.

She started by covering the entire paper with charcoal lightly, then she put in all the large shadow areas like the eye sockets and under the nose and the outline of the head.

Next she used a rubber  to erase all the lighter areas of the face and eyes and put in all the highlights. She frequently rubbed it on a piece of sand paper to clean the rubber. She used careful observation to ensure that the facial features were correctly sized and positioned, taking note of measurements of spaces between nose and mouth, eyes and nose etc. It’s just a matter of making continual adjustments until you are happy with the end result . Remember you can rub out and replace the charcoal as often as needed. You may prefer to use a charcoal pencil for the finer details, Caroline herself just used the corner of the stick of charcoal. You can also use your fingers to blend it.

The little girl was done using the drawing technique with the corner of the charcoal and then blending with the fingers.

 

 

 

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