Painting leaves in watercolour and in acrylic by Caroline Marsden

When working in watercolour you should always work light to dark.

Caroline started by lightly sketching the outlines of the leaves in pencil and then she used masking fluid to map out the main veins. Then it was left to dry.

Using a round brush with a point she started by putting a wash of yellow with a little red over the entire leaf. While it was still wet, she dropped in a red mixture around the edges of the leaf, letting it do its own thing. Next she put in the green, using a bright green mix (cooled down with a little bit of the yellow wash). Using a clean brush she pulled out some veins from the still masked area. Next, she put in the leaf tips using a dark brown and a rigger.  If at this stage you can see that your colours are not strong enough this is easily rectified by first adding water, then dropping in more of the desired colour. When you’re happy with the painting rub out the masking fluid with your fingers. Then paint in the veins using a pale yellow and  finishing with a dark reddish brown.

Below is the leaf still with the masking fluid.

 

If you don’t want to use masking fluid you can carefully paint around the main veins leaving them as white paper, as with the small leaf below. You can then simply go in with a bright red paint for the vein and a darker colour underneath for depth.

The picture shows the final paintings using both methods

 

When using acrylic you should work from dark to light.

Caroline started the painting by outlining the leaves using Hooker’s green. She mixed three shades of green; dark, medium  and light. She first painted on the dark green where the veins were, then blocked in the leaf using the medium colour and finally used the light colour for all the highlights. She let this dry. She mixed up some quite runny yellow paint and used a rigger to drag the yellow vein over the top of the darker green . She finished it off by putting a dark green colour over the bottom of the yellow vein for depth.

For the berries she started by painting them white. Next, she mixed three shades of red and started with the dark red to put in the darker areas, then filled in the berry with the medium shade and lastly the highlights in the light shade.  By painting the berries white first it is easier to get a really vibrant red.

 

 

Report and photos by Lesley McBride

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Painting a still life in acrylic by Caroline Marsden

When tackling a complex  subject like a vase of flowers, it’s a good idea to draw the outline of the entire thing using a dark colour.

Start the outline by placing your main flowers ( the ones that are wholly visible ) first  and then moving on to the partially visible ones, moving round and outwards till you have captured everything.

Now you can move on to painting the flowers. Start by painting the background, then the rearmost  flowers, so that you can paint the main subject of the wholly visible flowers on top of the background ones.

Caroline advised buying a high quality yellow paint as it often is very difficult to get a good mix using the cheaper ones with less pigment. She mixed three shades of yellow using lemon yellow, yellow ochre and white. Adding the white makes the colour more opaque and also stops it becoming too acid. You can also add a tiny bit of red , but be careful not to add too much.

Using a pointed round brush you can make a nice petal shape. Start by putting in the darker areas and then paint on your petals on top. Concentrate on darks and lights to bring out the shapes of the petals. Next,use a smaller brush to add lots of bright tips to represent the tops of the petals, also using this brush to put in more darker shades to further define your petals.

For the red flower, first put in the centre in a bright phthalo green. Then, using a rigger, go over with small dots of yellow, finishing off with the rigger to put in a dark shadow under the dots. Paint on the red petals and then add white on top where you see the lighter colour.

Then paint on your darker red and finally, once it’s dry, paint over with the first red, and the white areas will now pop! For the leaves and stems use phthalo green with red to get a dark green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rest areas in paintings

Caroline used the Pre-Raphaelites to demonstrate very good use of rest areas in paintings.

Rest areas are essential to allow the viewer to easily move their eyes around the space. Use of colour is also effective in leading the viewer around the painting. Cool colours will recede and as such will be a good choice for rest areas. You should save your more intense colours for the most important parts of the painting. You may also opt for duller colours or very similar colours for the rest areas with little contrast, keeping your lighter and brighter colours for the main focus.

In Sir Joseph Noel Paton’s  Bluidie Tryst the pale sky offers a relief, and silhouettes the main character. The right hand side of the painting is very dull so as not to distract from the main action.

In William Maw Egley’s The Talking Oak he uses tonal restful colours for the background. Notice that the blue sky echoes the colour of the girl’s dress, which will lead the eye to it.

 

In Sir John Everett Millais’ Isabella he sets the busy scene against a fairly bland wall and a very pale blue sky.

It is a good idea to do thumbnail sketches to ensure you get the correct balance of rest areas.

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Chroma of colour

All colours are made up of combinations of different pigments. The resulting colour can be either cold or warm depending upon the exact proportions of each pigment used. When selecting your palette you should  choose one of both cold and warm for each colour .  For example a cool version of red would be Cadmium red deep or Alizerin crimson, whereas a warm version would be Cadmium medium or Flame red.  If you were wanting to make a purple you would choose a cool red plus blue, but if you were making an orange you would opt for the warm red plus a warm yellow. To make a lively green use a cool yellow and blue because if you use a warm yellow you will get an olive green .

Use of a colour wheel can let you see which colours compliment each other .

Caroline painted a series of red squares all identical then changed the background to show how different chroma change how the red square is perceived.

 

 

You can see that some of the squares now appear more intense than others. Using the cool blue and the cool yellow makes the red recede , but using the higher chroma colours of the warm yellow and the orange make it really jump out.

Here we can see the effect using greens of different chroma.

 

 

In this case the more intense the green the more the red stands out.

In portraits  using a background colour of a less intense chroma than the one you will use for the eye colour is often an effective way of making the eyes stand out.

Rothko was very skilled in his use of chroma for effect. Many artists use the technique to bring their work alive. Using a high chroma in the foreground against a background  of more muted colours always works well.

 

In the painting below, the tree and the buildings in the background really stand out, as a high chroma was used.

 

 

 

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2018 AGM

We had an excellent attendance for our AGM with over 30 members present.

Various topics were discussed and decisions taken which will be fully covered in the minutes to be issued later.

A Bring and Buy table afforded members a very good selection of books and art supplies at a nominal price. This was followed by tea, cakes and socialising.

Our next group activity will be in December at our lively Christmas Party, which will be held on Thursday 13th of December at the Bridge Club on Third Avenue .

 

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Dupont Art Annual Exhibition

This year was a successful year for the Dupont Art Club’s annual art exhibition. 

We saw close to 500 people attend with over £1000.00 in sales. We were pleased with these numbers considering the poor weather for half of the days. This year we set up a separate area for our gifts and cards which proved very popular and successful with sales better then ever. 

There were many people voicing an interest in joining this September which would be lovely. We also had a delightful lady sit down at the piano and give a impromptu recital. We captured her pictured with John Hird enjoying the music.

The  peoples choice award was won by Pam Monk. This beautiful oil painting was called ‘the Sting’. The runner up was Carol Cleveland with her painting of Prince. 

All in all, it was a successful exhibition with many people commenting on how professional the paintings were painted and exhibited. 

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Brian Blessed and a Dupont Painting

One of Dupont Art Club’s  most successful painters, Pam Monk,  painted a dramatic picture of Brian Blessed in one of his famous roles as King Lear. Pam had said that she would be happy to give the painting to Brian. Dupont member Carol Cleveland who is also an actress contacted Brain who was thrilled to receive the painting. We are thrilled to have photos of the exchange. 

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