News and Articles

Read about upcoming exhibitions and see art demonstrations and art tutorials from Dupont Art Club.

Tonal Values in Drawing 19th September

Caroline’s session today was a talk about how the use tonal values affect a painting, followed by a demonstration of how to build up tone in a pencil drawing. First Caroline showed us examples of the use of light and shade and colour in paintings by Norman Rockwell. He was an American artist who depicted everyday scenes of life in the USA in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  He used photographs and often set up scenes this way to capture an image he had in mind. The first example was a painting titled “Freedom from Want” 1943, which showed a family having a meal around a table. Caroline pointed out the way the use of dark colours drew the eye in to the picture. The male figure in a black suit in the centre contrasted with the woman next to him in white and the dark hair of the children and other adults around the table gave the picture a sense of fluidity.  In many other paintings by Rockwell he used dominating dark or strong colours to draw the eye in while various paler colours are passed over by the eye.  One particular picture showing two black children facing a group of white children in suburban area caused quite a bit of discussion among us, both in his use of colour and social commentary. It was painted in 1967 and reflected the racial tensions of the day. Caroline then demonstrated how to build up a pencil portrait concentrating on light and shade. First she lightly sketched in the features of the woman and her head gear, starting as she always does with the nose, moving on to the mouth and eyes and brow. She kept on taking account of the proportions by measuring with her pencil until she was satisfied...

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...

Some Useful Hints on Framing

Caroline gave a helpful talk on preparing your painting for the annual show. It’s a good idea to finish off the back of the painting using gum tape and parcel paper to cover up all the fixings and make your painting look more professional   Please note that all pictures ( apart from canvasses) should be finished by using D rings or eye rings and then strung with sturdy nylon string or wire to make sure your painting will hang securely for many years. It is possible to buy 100 D rings from Amazon for as little as £7 or £8. Caroline manages to pick up nylon string at boot sales very cheaply and will get some for you if you ask. Reasonably priced frames can also be found at Asda at Hollingdean. You could also consider picking up used frames from antique shops or even charity shops. You can easily repair any chips or gouges by using wood filler ( also available at Asda ) and then once it has fully dried sand it down and paint it. You can use any paint of your choice but chalk paint works very well, and looks great after you have waxed it.   When deciding what frame would best complement your painting, take into account   1 Colour.  Use a colour that appears in your work to bring it out   2 Texture.  Use a texture that enhances the style of your piece   3 Topic.  Use a frame which is in keeping with your theme   4 Size.  You should try out different sizes to see which gives your work most impact - you may want to use mounts which can themselves be in different colours.   As a basic rule plain neutral colours are popular or simply plain black....

Watercolour Treescape Demo 11th July

Using watercolour, this week Caroline presented a demonstration of a treescape. Firstly, putting a sky wash on she advised using a big brush, to avoid “picky” marks, she looked at the composition, noting the shafts of light and some nice dots of yellow. When looking at a watercolour landscape, look at the layers: sky, faded trees, land and foreground tree and take note of the lines in the picture. The pale wash for the sky can be enhanced with faint yellow and a spot of red. Using a blue/grey wash for the land and leaving gaps for the shafts of light, Caroline mixed Cobalt  with a spot of red . While the main washes dried, Caroline mixed the blue with a pinch of yellow and started working on the base shape of the distant trees, putting a little shadow at the bottom and used a rigger for the stem and branches. Starting with a pinch of yellow and a stronger orange, she put in foliage. Going back to the rigger the general shape of the foreground trees went in, leaving a little bit of light. First a purple wash for behind the trees then for darker trees mix blue + red +green. Tip: to fade out the edges of the foliage, dab with a tissue as you go. Using a rigger to bring up the foreground tree trunks, Caroline held the brush far back and dragged it down. She then softened the rigger lines with a bigger brush. For the greenery, first there was a pale green wash, then for the dark green a mix of viridian and red. Caroline then redefined the tree trunks that had faded with drying, and the final draft appeared. As a final note:  the usual rule of working from light to dark with watercolours...

Introduction to Water-Based Oils 18th June

Caroline began with a description of the various brands and associated thinning agents: Jacksons Aquaduo are very thick and expensive Cobra is like System 3 acrylic, that is with less pigment Lukas thinner is specifically for water based oils. Cleaner: White Spirit When using acrylics, it is often necessary to build with up to six layers to achieve the desired effect. However, the water-based oils will cover in just one or two applications. Caroline suggested that we underpaint with acrylic when outlining the image, and especially putting in skies, and then continue with the oils. The benefit of using this technique is that the acrylic draft will dry very quickly, allowing us to take up the oil paint. Demonstration: Starting with a sketched in image, Caroline mixed the skin tones, as below: Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Deep, Titanium White, Manganese Blue Light Skin Tone:               White, little red, yellow ochre Medium:                           Less white, little red, yellow ochre Deep:                                Less white, little red, yellow ochre + ultramarine Apply the paint and allow to dry before blending. Using a filbert brush, to avoid angular marks, she painted over lightly, blending as she went, using skin tones and applying more than one layer. The oils proved much more workable than acrylics. Using the darker shades for the cheek , Caroline then put some red into the nostril and made it darker further in. She used the lighter tones after the medium and dark tones are done. Working around the mouth, the coloured shadows were put in. For the eye, an off-white was used with a little re inner and a white rim above the lower eyelashes. A dark piece in the corner of the eye. The green for the iris was made of Viridian and blue. For the eyelashes, black was a mix of...

Acrylic Demonstration 13th June,2018

  Caroline started the session by explaining some of the qualities of acrylic paints. Acrylic is different from other mediums as the pigments are mixed with polymer resin and this enables the paint to dry much faster than oils.  On the tubes of paint you may see a number 1 to 4. This indicates the price, 1 being the least expensive and 4 being the most expensive, often due to the cost of pigments used.  “Hue” on the tubes means it is cheaper paint, using synthetic pigment.  If chroma is mentioned this indicates brightness and intensity, grey being low chroma and pillar box red high chroma. For more information search “Munsell color solid and chart” online. Caroline recommended “Golden” as being good quality and she demonstrated how a cadmium yellow in “Golden” brand covered a dark colour better than a cheaper brand. Demonstration Caroline’s subject was a photo of a glamourous, elderly woman which she had roughly sketched in with a dark green so she started by mixing skin tones on her palette from light to dark using mixtures of white, yellow ochre, cadmium red and ultramarine in varying quantities. For example a light shade was a mixture of white and yellow ochre with a touch of cad red to darker colours incorporating ultramarine or even phthalo green. Using a pro-arte or graduate flat brush she blocked in the colours. Before they dried she wiped her brush dry and feathered the edges to blend the colours into one another. She worked in this way around the eye and along the nose. She picked out reds and mixed purple for the lipstick, telling us that Renoir achieved his bright red lips on women by underpainting white first. A discussion on the effects of painting over a coloured canvas ensured and Caroline...

Reflections in Spheres Demo 30th May

Reflections Demo  30th May Today Caroline is using watercolours and working from light to dark. To mask the highlights on the ball, she would normally use masking fluid, but as that takes hours to dry, candle wax is preferred for speed. A yellow wash was put on the top half of the ball. Caroline stressed that we should ignore detail at this stage, and break down the shapes we see, working in areas. Go for the big shapes first. Note the saucer used for the perfect sphere. Working wet-on-dry, she began on the darker area, using pink first, then blue around the bottom of the ball Fill in with impressions of shapes, such as class members, easel, the kitchen door. Remember that with spheres, all lines turn inward. Use a rigger for detail, such as the rafters in the hall and put in darker lines.  

Rest Areas in Painting & Pets 11th April

Rest Areas:  Caroline explained that in a busy painting, rest areas are needed for the eye to process the picture. Rest areas are often part of the background or could be a road or a lane in a landscape. Pets If painting from a photo it is essential to find a good picture with relevant information. Using a photo, for example of a black Labrador could leave you struggling with the detail. Also consider the character of the animal. If this is known you can add specific details, such as pet toys to the background. Too often people just paint an animal floating on the surroundings, so do consider the background carefully to match the pet’s character. Caroline was working from a phot of a tabby cat she had found on the internet. She had worked a good grounding and wanted to show us how she refined the details. She had made up a rug background, but she was not entirely pleased with it and as the cat looked quite young, she was intending to include fishes in the rug design to suggest a sort of playful character. She started by refining the fur on the cat’s face and used the following colours for shades of brown: Mix: Black, Cadmium red deep, Ultramarine for very dark fur Mix: Viridian, Ultramarine, cadmium red deep, Yellow Ochre & white for grey Mix: Viridian, Cadmium red deep, Cadmium Yellow for warm brown These colours were often slightly altered through the painting by adding more or less of the above colour palette. Brushes:  Caroline showed us the brush she often found useful. She had an old flat acrylic brush and had cut into it to leave it with spikes. Thus she could produce scratchy hair-like marks. Other brushes used were small acrylic ones and...

Painting a Sunset Demonstration 21st March

Today we enjoyed a demonstration by Caroline of painting a sky at sunset. To begin with, Caroline under painted the board with a sympathetic colour, in this case a Yellow Ochre. She started with the grey clouds mixing the darker tones of deep purple and brown. We should look for the shapes and, using a filbert brush, blend the edges gently. Use acrylic thickly, as a thin mix will dry too quickly. Also, using a thick mix makes blending easier. Caroline used white for the sun, and mixed a glaze medium to give the thin, translucent layer for the purple streaks in the sky. Yellow edges crept around the dark clouds. The reflection on the water was made with an off white, using a flat brush and moving the paint from side to side. This was a very helpful demonstration, as we are fortunate to benefit from such sunsets over water in this coastal area. To the canvas everyone! Palette: Ultramarine. Cadmium Red Deep. Yellow. Yellow Ochre.       

Collage Demonstration 7th March

  Caroline demonstrated the art of Collage today, showing how to build up an image using paper, including magazines and papers in a good variety of colours. Torn Mosaic First she drew a line drawing of a face and then cut out pieces of coloured paper from fashion magazines, which give a good variety of colour and pattern for this type of collage work. It is best to lay out all the pieces before gluing. Use an indoor wood glue and always use a spatula to flatten, going over the edges. Leave the mosaics for a minute to avoid the edges curling. Use small pieces and gradually build up the image Ripped Paper Torn into long shredded lengths Three Dimensional You can order books on Amazon featuring animal, birds or butterflies to be cut out and stuck on the image. Collect old music sheets, maps and old books to provide resources. Below are works featuring beans, beads, photographs and many other accessible materials. When your image is ready and dry, use a gel medium or varnish to seal and protect it. The images following give ideas of how adventurous this art form can be. Caroline is holding three Collage workshops at Lawrence’s Studio on March 12th, 19th and 26th for those who would like to explore this activity further.        

Composition – A talk by Caroline Marsland. 22nd February

The talk began with Caroline listing five headings, under which she would develop the subject of composition: Line Tonal Values Colour Chroma Warm & Cool Line: When thinking about your composition, consider where lines go. In the above picture by Tissot, all heads are in a line in front of the railing, to the tree, down the invalid carriage, up the steering stick. None go off the page. So the image is formed of a triangle. The intention in composition is to move the eye around the picture. Think of what is most important, then put it in the middle. In the above picture all lines forma a triangle to the focal point of the woman. Tissot was very good with groups of people, so when looking at a picture  look for the lines, as in the picture below.   Tonal Value: What draws the eye is the contrast between light and dark. The light is on the rifle and the dark background pushes the woman forward. Tonal Range: As between white and black. Impressionists used mostly light. Peploe combined tonal values using strong and light values, as below Colour Ferguson used red and green to take the eye around the face, above. He used cool blues and greens for the background , and put all the colour in the face and hat. Use cool colours for the background and warm colours in the foreground. In the Norman Rockwell paintings below, note that the eyes are drawn to the portrait eyes and palette. Similarly, the cool background in the scout picture emphasises the warmth of the figures in the foreground.    Chroma Chroma is the value of a colour in terms of brightness/dullness In the Rockwell picture below the emphasis of the dark suit throws the lightness of the table....

Monoprinting 24th January

Acrylics and oil sticks, along with materials easily assembled at home, monoprinting was the focus of today’s demonstration. Using an oil stick and a glass sheet (ex-refrigerator), Caroline covered the glass with a layer of oil colour, then laid the paper on top, and used a pencil to draw the desired image, The first impression was quite faint, but further pressing with various implements brought out a stronger image.        Judy then produced her gel pad (must be placed on a plastic sheet to avoid absorption on surfaces). Here acrylic paints were used and slathered onto the pad using a brayer roller to get an even spread. Paper was applied, and a dotted roller to give texture to the print. Judy noted that any image can be cut out and used as a mask at any point in the process.     The third part of this very engaging session began with Caroline putting the glass panel on to a grid-marked sheet, which had the “impression” sheet taped, to facilitate a multi-colour print process. Caroline then painted a yellow pattern of circles on the glass, printed, then red circles.      Finally painting black around the patterns before removing the circles before printing the black , which produced the very attractive image below.     The final demo involved painting a sky and water scene, cutting a circle of paper (moon!) and inserting it in the image. Paint was wiped away from the path of moonlight and the paper pressed onto the plate, producing the most effective image below.   Equipment list: Rubber roller Glass plate (or card covered in Cling Film) or a gel pad Acrylic paint or ink Paper, Scissors etc. Et voila…..with thanks to Caroline and Judy, you are a printer!

Pen and Quink Ink Sketching

Instructor Caroline Marsland took a different take on using pen and ink in our art. She used the water soluble quink ink which comes in a few colors. She started with talking about the nibs. Dip nibs come in a number of shapes for different uses. The drawing ones are quite sharp and can tear watercolor paper. Smooth paper fairs better. She prefers writing nibs and ones with a rounded tip. They also can have a reservoir added but one has to be careful that ink doesn’t drip out. She does not recommend biros or other felt pens as you can’t get them to widen or become thin with pressure which helps to show emotion in the drawing. Before starting, one must decide if you want to do the wash first or the pen drawing. These both give different results. The demo started with using the pen first to outline the chosen art. She used some cross hatching and varied the width of the lines. She said to ask yourself, ‘how much pen do I want to put on or what kind of strokes or dots  to make? Once the drawing is completed, you must carefully add the watercolor wash knowing that some of the ink will dissolve into the colors. This effect can also be achieved using charcoal pencil. You can go back over the dried piece to enhance any lines or colors. Putting the wash on first is done with drawing the image with watercolor and a brush, letting it dry (unless you want it to bleed) and adding the quink ink lines and dots after. See below to note the difference in results. These are just two ways to use these lovely mediums. Play with them and see!

Painting Snow

Dupont instructor, Caroline Marsland gave a demo on painting snow on Dec 13/17. She used acrylic paint mixed in big batches of colours and started with a quick sketch. She informed us that snow was painted cool the foreground and warmer in the background. It works dark to light. Very often tracks in the snow lead your eye into the picture. Snow reflects all the colours around it. Watch out using grey as it kills the picture. Colour makes snow look bright, especially cad orange , yellows and pinks. Cobalt blue gives a clean look. Different whites can be used for buildings. Build up your painting and check tonal values.  

Painting Rust Demo 15th November

The title of this week’s demonstration may not sound that exciting, but Caroline presented a very interesting session, bringing a rather ordinary subject to life with innovative techniques. There were three images of different forms of rust, each requiring different treatment, as sectioned below: Mosaic Rust Acrylic Mixing  Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow deep making a rust colour, paint on a few shapes in purple, then fill in with a darker red and high light with orange/yellow. You can use a damaged brush .For the flakes mix white with blue for three shades of grey. Gradually build the flakes, using the three greys and inserting dark shadows, as below         Dripping Rust Watercolour Using a flat brush,  put on a water wash.  Mix Yellow Ochre & Orange and allow it to drip down. Then add the red and allow it to move around with the flat brush. Add the dark brown on top and, while still wet, sprinkle with sea salt.       Rust Columns Watercolour Put a water wash on first, using a blue grey. Wash in between grey infills using a yellow layer. Put orange onto the yellow and allow to drop. Splatter with dark red/brown.    We were all engrossed and found the demonstration really riveting!    

Painting Fur & Feathers Demo 1st November

This demonstration was most helpful for those of us wanting to paint animals and birds. Caroline started by introducing us to painting short feathers, as those on the owl below: Mix three shades: dark, medium and light of the colours of the feathers. Start with the dark shapes , loosely and with little strokes. Use the medium brown and build up layers, putting on blocks of colour. Use the white of the paper for the lightest part of the feathers Put in the lighter shades, pulling in colours using the side of a flat brush with little flicks, allowing dark colours underneath to create depth.   For longer feathers, as in the tail feathers of the hen draw out the outlines first, then put in the dark areas. Fill in the shadows using the medium shade.    When brushing long feathers, start at the quill and work outwards. Fur For fur use dark tones first and follow the direction of the fur. Use a rigger for finer points. Think about the highlights, which go on last Use a dryish “damaged “ * brush with unwatery paint for the wispy fur ends.. Using a mid- grey rather than white, build up the light areas. A useful trick is to use a flat brush with a different colour on each side *Any old flat brush will be suitable. Just snip it irregularly with nail scissors until it is nice and spikey!

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.    

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...

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...

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.

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...

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!!

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)...

Bauhaus Furniture 21st June

The Bauhaus (trans. School of Building) was founded in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius, who was very interested in manufacturing combined with art. It was created as a centre for all arts.  The Arts & Crafts movement was a big influence, as, under William Morris, it espoused the idea of functionality and beauty. After a while the medieval forms were thrown out and a more stripped down model favoured. The school had pottery departments, furniture workshops   and produced posters in the art department. After a while, metal became favoured over wood and the material for chairs and tables. Famous artists such as Kandinsky and Paul Klee taught there, and many others aspired to join the teaching staff, such was the growing reputation. Below is a diagram of the comprehensive course offered after the move to Dessau. There was a strong influence from Mondrian’s works, which is apparent in the building at Dessau, and the modernist architecture of the building set a style for many buildings. In 1932 the school moved to Berlin, where, under political pressure, it was closed by its leadership in 1933. Caroline showed us many images of the furniture produced by the school, which cannot appear here, due to copyright constraints, but for those interested, the internet has many images on Google Images under Bauhaus furniture. Some will seem familiar, as indeed they are. The influence is very strong in today’s market place with the growing taste for modernist style in the home. The talk was very interesting, particularly as we are surrounded by furniture and design whose origins are in the Bauhaus. Ikea, although a Swedish company with the Karl & Karin Larsson historical connection, has many pieces reflective of this famous German school.

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