The use of a flat brush

Brushes come in various shapes including round, filbert (a semi round top and great for portraiture), fan, angular, and the flat brush. Each has it’s own uses.

Caroline Marsland demonstrated the use of the flat brush at class. These brushes  come in all sizes. She chose a medium and medium small to show how one could complete a landscape painting using this one shaped brush. A flat brush can make thick consistent strokes or when it is turned on it’s side, will give you fine lines. It is great for blocking in solid shapes of color such as in the painting of the building shown in her demo. She also showed it’s use in blocking in color for trees.

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DEGAS – Pastels with a twist

Degas was one of the forerunners in impressionism. He preferred to work in his studio, and was not impressed with his contemporaries who painted en plain air. Born 1834, he was a little older than the others. He was a trained draughtsman, who then went on to study  at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He was a highly skilled sketcher, who liked to capture everyday people.

The new paint colours which were just becoming available were the main catalyst for the impressionist movement. Degas’ compositions were dramatic and quite experimental at the time, as in ” Dancers “, 1889.

Caroline used the top left hand figure from this painting for her demonstration.

She began by grating some pastels using a nutmeg grater

Combining acrylic paint (Degas would have used oil paint) and pastel, she started the painting by using a dark pastel to form the outlines. She then put in areas of colour, blocking them in and also using scumbling.

Scumbling is a method of putting one colour onto of another, but leaving some areas of the original colour showing through. All of this work is considered the underpainting

Then, using a white pastel, she went over the face making the colours appear more flesh like. She used small strokes thereby mixing the colours on the paper.

If your colours should come out too white at this stage you can add a bit of yellow.  Working this way she built up layers , getting thicker and thicker.

Finally using some flesh tone acrylic paint, mixed with some of the white grated pastel for texture, she applied this on top. She then mixed some blue grated pastel with the flesh toned acrylic paint, and so on with the other colours, until the desired dramatic effect is achieved.

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Painting in the style of Monet

Caroline Marsland lead us in a demo of a Monet painting. She pointed out the Impressionists of whom he was most famous, were into seeing colours in their environment. `Monet painted with thick oil paint later stumbling with thick paint when his eyesite become poor. He used small strokes that blend often giving a feeling of a haze. His strokes for the sky were often verticle and the water horizontal. He often used a ground color of blue or cream. He painted at the lighter end of the light-dark scale.

`his brief biography is as follows:

Claude Monet, in full Oscar-Claude Monet, (born November 14, 1840, Paris, France—died December 5, 1926, Giverny), French painter who was the initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style. In his mature works, Monet developed his method of producing repeated studies of the same motif in series, changing canvases with the light or as his interest shifted. These series were frequently exhibited in groups—for example, his images of haystacks (1890/91) and the Rouen cathedral (1894). At his home in Giverny, Monet created the water-lily pond that served as inspiration for his last series of paintings. His popularity soared in the second half of the 20th century, when his works traveled the world in museum exhibitions that attracted record-breaking crowds and marketed popular commercial items featuring imagery from his art.

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Monoprinting by Caroline Marsland

Caroline gave us three demonstrations of monoprinting

Monoprinting is a spontaneous  and quick way of working, and good for getting texture.

The first example was using an oil stick. She started by preparing a frame using an old cat food box made of cardboard, tracing paper and regular printing paper. She then glued the frame in place so it wouldn’t move when she rubbed the top layer onto the framed part.

She ripped out shapes to form mountains from a separate piece of paper and carefully placed this on the framed paper.  You can draw this out if you prefer.  Then she pulled the tracing paper , which has been covered with the oil stick, over the top. She then rubbed hard over the frame and once the tracing paper was removed it revealed the outline of the mountains . Then, turning the torn paper upside down, she placed it to form the reflections of the mountains.  As some of the oil stick has already been removed the second rubbing will be lighter, which worked well.  She then went on to add more details by drawing on the tracing paper and reapplying some more oil stick where needed.

Next she did another print using charcoal. Pastel paper is best for this as it traps more of the charcoal and stops it just moving  around the paper.

She coated a sheet of pastel paper with charcoal then placed this charcoal side down on top of her regular printing paper. She did her drawing on the back of the coated paper and used rubbing to create the shadows.  You can use hatching and crosshatching if you prefer.

For the final demo, she used acrylic paint, and a piece of glass ( from her fridge) and printing paper.

First she coated the glass, starting at the bottom with a mid blue going darker to black at the top to represent the night sky. She put the paint on very thickly making the strokes dynamic to show the energy released by the fireworks. She then folded the paper over the glass and pressed very hard down on the paper.  Next she lifted the paper and, by flicking the paint, spattered several colours onto the glass.  Again press down very hard with the printing paper. Finally she added some buildings to the bottom of the glass and pressed down on top with the paper.  Resist the urge to paint directly onto your print!

 

 

 

 

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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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Using a Grid for Complex Subjects

Lucy was our instructor for the Wednesday class and took us through the use of grids when drawing accurately. Anytime you want to draw something that requires accuracy such as a portrait, pet, vehicle, a complex still life, etc. we may wish to use the grid method.

It starts with drawing a grid of squares over the photo of the work you wish to copy. These squares can be numbered and lettered  to make it easier to follow when drawing. Next you then draw the same numbers and letters  of squares onto your drawing paper/canvas. You then

carefully copy each square from the grided photo copy onto your painting/drawing surface. Be careful at the corner of the eye and bridge of the nose as these can be tricky.

If you don’t wish to mark the photo you can always copy the grid onto clear acetate and layer it onto the photo. There are also various grid drawing assistance apps on your tablet which you can download and layover the photo to be copied.

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