Still Life by Caroline Marsden

Start out by choosing your main object, then you can add interest by selecting additional objects which compliment this. It’s probably best to have a theme, which can be anything  – the possibilities are endless.

You should use an odd number of objects as this is more appealing than an even number. Make sure you have variety in size and shape as well as colour. When arranging the objects try to ensure that you use the shapes to lead the eye into and around the image.

A square format works well for still life, but depending on your subjects you can also use portrait or landscape.

Good lighting is essential and it may help to position an Anglepoise lamp to get good shadows which create tonal value.

This is the still life Caroline prepared

She started by lightly drawing the main object  in outline which was the large bottle, which she positioned slightly right of centre. Next she drew the small bottle outline, noting its size and shape relative to the first object. Continuing, she added the onion the orange and the bottle top, carefully checking where objects overlapped. The scissors were then drawn in very carefully, as the long point of the blade is used to lead the eye . When trying to place an object at an angle like this, it may help to hold your pencil horizontally  up towards the object and tilt it to the required angle. Then place the pencil at this angle on the paper. Don’t use an eraser if you are unhappy with the positioning, just redraw in the correct position next to it. The danger of using an eraser is that it is easy to redraw the same mistake once you’ve removed the original.

Once all your outlines are in you can go back and enter the details . Finally you put in the shadows. These are very important to add tonal value . The dark line on the scissors leads the eye up to the dark top of the onion and from there up to the hanging leaf. This will create harmony.

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Painting or drawing upside down by Caroline Marsden

It is a good idea to try this as an exercise to change the way that you look at things. By working upside down you draw only the shapes you can see and not what you think should be there.

Caroline started by using this photograph pinned upside down

You can, if you prefer, simplify things by splitting the photograph into four  to help you in positioning.

Using a 7B pencil she first drew an ellipse ( representing the tabletop ). Using this shape to work from, she went on to put in the oblong shape underneath and the black square to the left of that. From there she entered the curves which take the eye down from both the square and the oblong to the bottom. She continued in this way, plotting in the main larger shapes.

After all the main shapes were done she moved on to the more intricate parts. This is done by paying close attention to where things are positioned relative to the other main shapes already done. This really will hone your observational skills.

Finally think about adding tonal value. Caroline used  an 8B pencil to shade in the darkest areas first then the lighter areas using a variety of hatching and crosshatching.

Only when she had finished did she turn the drawing the right way up.

this was a very good representation of the original photograph

 

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A winter scene in watercolour using only Sienna and Ultra Marine 11/12/19

Caroline chose the two colours of sienna and ultramarine blue as they can be mixed in many different ways to give you both cool and warm colours.

The group selected this photo for Caroline to use as her inspiration.

 

When starting a watercolour it is best to work from light to dark. Looking  at the picture, first determine where your lightest areas are.

Caroline was using White Knight watercolours and a large round  brush with a good point to it. She began using a dilute sienna for the sky and the reflection, and let this dry. She then mixed two shades of grey using both colours . She began to put in the tree line using the lighter colour. She used the brush in small  upward strokes moving along the tree line. Then she drew up the water in a horizontal stroke to avoid a harsh line. She went on to add a darker line underneath for more tonal contrast. You may need to revisit the darker area as it will dry lighter.

Once happy with the top part she went on to do the reflections carefully putting them in the correct position .Using a dry brush she put in some texture.

She put in the darker trees using a rigger for the trunks and finally the darkest trees .

She decided that the little island in the foreground would be the focal point, so she painted this in a warm tone using only sienna at first. She added some more sienna to the parts of the painting for cohesion.

She put in the ray of light by swiping a tissue in a diagonal line which was very effective.

Finally she put in a ghost wash to of ultra marine to add mood to the background.

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Painting a Christmas Card 27/11/19

Caroline suggested that to get inspiration for your card it is a good idea to have a look at cards from earlier years. Christmas cards have evolved in their design from the Victorian age to the present day.

We looked at several different cards from the Art Deco to the war years , here are a few examples:-

Caroline decided on a stylised angel for today’s demo.

She started by drawing out the shape to fill the card using the angel wings to stretch up into the corners.

She then chose a focal point which in this case would be a light being carried by the angel. Next she angled the lines of the wings so that they drew the eye to the focal point. You can find many different styles of angel on the internet on which to base your own creation.

Once happy with your outline you must choose your colours so that the angel comes forward in the painting.

Caroline started with a turquoise wash on the angel’s robe and then used a cobalt blue for the background. She mixed a warm red to add interest to the robe. The light is then added using a bright yellow and this colour is also added to the angel’s halo and as reflected light on her wings.

This was just a quick sketch from which she would go on to produce the finished card.

If you would prefer to make a humorous card , again there are many examples on the internet. Last year Caroline made a card for her friend who had a cat called Jack.  She drew Jack as a Christmas tree with his little paws holding candles and a fish shaped Christmas present under the tree.

 

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USING OIL PASTELS 16/10/19

Caroline introduced a session on oil pastels by saying that it is wise to use the best quality pastels. The ones she had were Sennelier (£3.50 a stick, or can be bought in boxes). For paper, a rough surface is needed and she was using a brown paper scrapbook (Seawhites).Caroline had a photo portrait of a long haired Roma male as her model for today’s demonstration.

Beginning with a dark brown outline, Caroline sketched his features with the edge of the pastel. She blocked shadows with dark brown, followed by red and green reflected on one side of the face by the grassy background. The green was toned down by use of yellow ochre on top. Various colours were applied and built up either by layers of pastel or by blending with fingers. A useful tool was a paper pencil-shaped blender, which could be dipped onto the pastel to pick out small delicate areas. This method was useful for sections of the eye, such as upper and lower lids, and for the light reflected in the iris.

 

 

 

 

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PAINTING ROTHKO AND COLOUR THEORY 2/10/2019

Mark Rothko. B 1903 D. 1970

Markus Rothkovitz was a Latvian of Jewish descent. His family emigrated from persecution and settled in Oregon in 1913, where he started painting. In 1920 he moved to the New York Art School where he became anti-establishment and was influenced by Klee, Cezanne and Picasso.
Rothko taught children for 20 years. He liked the simplicity of children’s art. In the 1950s his art became completely abstract, using blocks of colour and influenced by the Fauvists. In the 1960s he used blocks of intense colour, following which he suffered from depression, reflected in his use of darker colours with less luminosity.

Demonstration
Caroline chose a thick first coat of yellow, then mixed Phalo green and purple as a compliment to the colour wheel.

Then mixed an intense orange and placed it into the yellow square.

There then followed a succession of different choices of colour to illustrate the effect of one colour on another.

 

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Painting in the style of Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh was born in 1853, and had a tormented life with a lot of anxiety. It is possible that he may have been a manic depressive. He only started painting aged 27 and tragically died aged only 37.  However during those 10 years he produced roughly 2,100 pieces of work. His early work was very dark and his younger brother who ran an art gallery in Paris advised him to  change to a brighter palette. He therefore evolved from the Potato Eaters to  his much better known works like the Cafe at Arles or his famous Sunflowers. His favourite colour was yellow followed closely by cobalt blue, which together make for a striking painting. He had a unique style of painting which was driven by emotion.

He used various brush techniques including contour painting and pointillism. His famous Irises were painted much more flatly using the silhouette method of outlining the subject first.

Caroline started her painting of sunflowers by a background of a pale blue colour onto which she painted the outline of the sunflower in a light brown.

Then she mixed up 3 shades of brown and using small expressive strokes she quickly filled in the centre of the flower. Next, she went over this with a darker shade of brown for depth. Van Gogh would have done layer after layer using very thick oil paint straight from the tube. After this, she filled in the petals with a dark yellow colour using swift expressive strokes.

Using a filbert she went over the background with a strong blue and then mixes of white and blue and green and blue making sweeping strokes to create movement.

Then she went in with a paler yellow on top of the petals , leaving some of the original colour showing through. She used wiggly lines to add movement and liveliness to the painting. Lastly she put in the leaves using viridian green and white. She mixed  very dark brown using cobalt blue red and green for the very darkest areas in the centre of the flower.  This is the finished work.

 

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Tonal values in portraiture by Caroline Marsden – 4th Sept 2019

To get a good 3D image you need to use strong shadows to bring out the features. A focal point of a drawing or painting is always where the greatest contrast in tonal values is placed, i.e. the darkest dark and the lightest light of the range you are using. You don’t need to use pure white and pure black but should limit your range to somewhere in between these extremes.

 

This lady was chosen by the group as the most interesting to do.

Caroline started with a 4B pencil to do the rough outline very lightly. She always starts by drawing the nose and then works outwards from the nose carefully noting the position  of the other features . She next drew in the lips measuring (either by eye or using a ruler if needed) the space between the nose and the lips. Next she drew in the glasses and finally onto the face shape. She noted that the space between the chin and the nose was equal to the space between the top of the glasses and the top of the forehead. The last thing she did was draw in the eyes . She used hatching to create light areas of shadow.

This first stage done she moved on to put in much deeper shadows using a 7B pencil. This pencil is very effective for defining the darker areas. The only problem is that the softer the pencil the more likely it is to go blunt quickly and it will require regular sharpening as you sketch.

By squinting at the photo she could easily see where the darker lines and shadows were and she uses a really dark background to push the face forward. The greatest contrast in tonal values is seen in the eyes

 

 

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Dupont Exhibition a Success!

Our annual Dupont Art Exhibition was a great success this year. We had 477 people visit with over £1100.00 sold in pictures and over £500 in cards and gifts. This was above previous years totals.

Peoples choice award was awarded to Terri Micklam with her painting ‘Mrs. Cluckworth is watching you”. The runner-up was Diana Fabris with her painting of Dame Judy Dench.

Dupont starts their fall schedule off on Wednesday, September 4th and Thursday Sept 5th. There was much interest in joining the club shown at our exhibition so we hope to see many of you there.

 

 

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Acrylic and Collage

Collage was first used as early as 1910 and Picasso did some collages.

Collage is a great way to add new dimensions to your paintings. The list of things you can use in collage is almost infinite, but here are some suggestions :-

Natural things like – shells, stones, pieces of broken glass, seeds , lentils, rice, dried beans or dried grasses –

just be careful not to use anything which might go mouldy.

Household things like – keys. zippers, jewellery, coins, washers, screws, bolts etc.

You can also use newspaper, wallpaper, gift wrap, sheet music and  cut-outs from magazines. Note that it can be difficult to paint on top of any shiny magazine clippings.

You can either start your painting by using a lovely piece which inspires you and then incorporate this into your painting, or you can use the collage to enhance a painting or give an interesting background to it.

Caroline started with a striking photograph of a young african woman, then she selected cut-outs from magazines to add a lively dimension to her painting. The finished painting can be mostly collage or 50/50 or any proportion you feel works best. Once you have your theme it is best to choose items to use as collage which are related to it. Caroline recommends using wood glue to stick on your items as this is very strong and nothing will fall off when the painting is hung.

This was her photograph

She mixed up some thinned paint, diluted with some glaze medium ( this is a good chance to use up your cheap paints as they are low in pigment) and applied this  on top of the collage so that the pattern showed through. She then continued to build up layers. How much paint you apply and how much collage you leave visible is entirely a personal choice. If you find that you have overdone the painting and not left enough collage you can always stick on some more.

Depending on the finish you are looking for you can paint over the finished artwork with glaze and varnish over the entire thing until it all takes on a solid look, or you may prefer to leave it textured.

Caroline said she would have added a little more collage but she didn’t have it to hand. She used scumbling to do the hair, which was very effective.

 

Here are some examples of collage and acrylic

 

The one above used small rolls of paper to great effect.

 

While this seaside scene is made up of different shells with sandpaper for the beach and the sea is painted.

 

This one is a more abstract work about the space programme of the sixties.

It may be a good idea to frame your finished work in a box frame to protect it.

 

 

 

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