Most months we like to have a demonstration either from one of our own members or from an outside artist. Below you will find details of our recent demos. Previous visitors have included Max Hale, Colin Brown, Robert Brown, Maggie Bunning, Paul Weaver.
We try to have demonstrations where members take part and draw/paint along with the demonstrator. Videos of some of our demonstrations can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDlZN8eTZ9uWtJeI0fBxPMQ.
THE LATEST DEMONSTRATIONS AT LACOCK
On 6 June 2019 it was time for acrylics as local professional artist Peter French shew us how he creates his wonderfully atmospheric monochromatic artwork.
Peter tackled 2 paintings of Frome and Picadilly Circus, alternately working on one while the other was drying. He used mainly blue and black, with flow improver for a more solid look, finishing with dashes of colour to add sparkle. Peter managed to finish Picadilly Circus and almost completed Frome before the clock beat him, not bad going for an hour and a half! Here is his work:
Peter has been a professional artist and illustrator for 40 years and also works in watercolour. He brought some of his watercolours along to show us:
A thoroughly inspiring demonstration which is available on DVD to members and will shortly be added to our YouTube channel.
May 9th saw Keith give us a demonstration using acrylic inks - Keith first explained the different types of inks and their history before showing us how he uses acrylic inks showing several examples of his artwork.
|Below to the right shows the painting Keith worked on during the exhibition and to the left, how it should look when finished. ||Below, members discuss with Keith how he gets the effects he achieves on his paintings.|
Ona April 4th Sue Gilmore Powell gave us a demonstration using mixed media.
Sue outlined her approach to painting, illustrated by 2 beautiful examples of her work.
She then took us through the complete process of producing a painting using acrylic, with some members painting along. Along the way we learnt a great deal about the overall process as well as many useful tips and anecdotes to help us with our own work in the future.
Our Chairman Paul, gave a demonstration to the Group on Thursday 21st march entitle "Adding Interest, Depth, Distance and Atmosphere"
The demonstration was based on a photo of Derwent Island in the Lake District which had a number of problems for the artist to overcome Also during the evening, Paul gave demonstrations on 'capturing the light' and 3D skies.
|The subject photo||The demo picture with the atmosphere changed along with the position of the fence (to guide the eye into the focal point), a skiff added along with cloud inversions to give light behind the trees.|
|A 'mini' demo based on an unfinished painting of Willy Lott's cottage - Cobalt Blue was first added to the water keeping the distant water white to 'capture the light'. The light area was then painted blue to 'shit the painting down'...…..||…..and then glazes were washed over the painting to alter the time of day - New Gamboge (yellow) to take it to late afternoon; violet + cobalt blue to take it to evening and finally Paynes Grey to take it to night time at which point light was recaptured by switching a light on in the cottage using white gouache.|
|Another 'mini demo' for 3D skies starting with Naples Yellow above the horizon in the far distance, followed by cobalt blue for the middle distance sky half way up...…….||………..followed by Cobalt Blue + Ultramarine Blue for the closest sky which is at the top of the painting.|
Our first demonstration of 2019 was given by Catherien Beale - it was a pen and wash 'paint-along' demo based on a Dartmoor farm in which Catherine talked about her gravity-wash methods which use plenty of water and the paper set up at a high angle.
It was interesting to note that she now uses many Daniel Smith colours for their high granulation qualities (much like David Bellamy). For pen and wash she starts with pen and then re-enforces this with more pen later after some of the washes have been put on.
Catherine explains her methods
Inking the drawing first followed by painting the sky
The subject - a derelict Dartmoor farm
Catherine's painting almost finished
On 11 November 2018 we held our annual open demonstration by a famous artist. This year we were delighted to welcome the renowned artist, author and wild explorer David Bellamy. As expected we had a high turnout of members and visitors from other local clubs.
David shew us his sketchbook and explained how he used it to capture reference material from his adventures, and how he then used that material to produce his studio paintings. It was a facsinating insight into the life of a professional travel artist.
David explained the paper, brushes and paints he uses, with particular emphasis on the Daniel Smith range of granulating pigments. He paints fairly flat to maximise the granulation and the wonderful textures it can create.
Using source drawings from his sketchbook David treated us to a full demonstration of how he produces a painting from start to finish. The demo was made more entertaining and exciting by his numerous anecdotes from his travels. Here is the painting at the halfway stage and the final result. I think you will agree it is very atmospheric, and it ably shows how the granulation can help (in the right hands of course!).
David had on sale his numerous books and DVDs as well as some of the paints he uses. He was joined by his wife Jenny Keal, herself an accomplised pastel painter and tutor, with some of her wares available too.
This prestigious evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and we had some great feedback from it. It was filmed and will be available on the LAG YouTube Channel shortly. A DVD will also be available to members on request.
The 18th October saw John give us a pastel demonstration based on a photo he had taken of a recent visit to Stourhead.
|We used our new camera, projector and screen allowing everyone a good view.|
|Nearing completion......||……...and explaining his 'tea-cosy' hat!|
A DVD of the demo is available to members on request. You will also be able to view it shortly on the LAG YouTube channel.
On 6 September 2018 we had a high turn-out for the award-winning artist Jamel Akib.
Jamel introduced us to his loose, impressionistic style of painting, taking us through some fine examples of his work.
Jamel then painted 2 portraits in oil using the Zorn palette which is a limited palette consisting of ivory black,
titanium white, yellow ochre and a red. The members painted along with him although no-one could quite match the size of Jamel's brushes!
It was a very useful evening painting in a different way and Jamel's lively and enthusiastic approach to art made it fun and entertaining too. It was filmed and is now available on the Lacock Art Group YouTube Channel. A DVD is also available to members on request.
On 2 August 2018 Catherine Beale from Bath demonstrated her gravity painting technique using watercolour on board.
Catherine gave us a comprehensive insight into the materials and methods she uses to create her unique loose style, illustrated by fine examples of her paintings. The heavyweight watercolour artboard doesn't require stretching and takes liquid washes that she lets run down the surface, combined with thick paint for the darks and details. She uses a limited palette of colours specifically chosen for their granulating properties, applied mainly with flat brushes for their markmaking versatility.
More than 20 members then painted along with Catherine as she put theory into practice using a beautiful woodland pathway scene.
On 12 July 2018 over 20 members welcomed Frank Collict back for another line and wash paint-along, this time tackling a challenging river scene.
Frank uses a sharpened matchstick held in a length of bamboo and dipped into indian ink (which is waterproof) to achieve his effective loose drawings. Shading is included so that at the end of the drawing stage the work is already half-way there.
Then colour is added using a minimal watercolour palette of subtle colours so as not to overpower the drawing. The result is an atmospheric painting that draws the viewer in.
On 14 Jun 2018 local professional artist Julie Weir
showed us how she approaches a wildlife painting using acrylic inks. She explained and demonstrated the advantages of these materials for her favourite subjects, using a hare as an example.
On 17 May 2018 a good turnout of 24 members saw our Chairman Paul Fisher demonstrate how to paint free-form, ie without a pre-drawing. It was a paint-along with many members having a go.
In the first half Paul illustrated the difference between painting eyes with and without a drawing. Then, without a pre-drawing, he built up a market scene using the 'Bob's Blobs' approach for the crowd figures and adding a cottage, stalls, carousel, lampost and special figures derived from various sources. This allowed him to achieve the composition he wanted in order to tell his story.
For the second half Paul demonstrated how to paint a sunset scene based on Pinmill on the River Orwell in Suffolk, again using elements from different photos to achieve the compostion the wanted.
It was a very informative and fun evening, interspersed with amusing anecdotes from Paul's childhood sailing experiences! (Did he mention his book 'A Slight Mist On The Horizon' which is available from Amazon?)
On 19 April 2018 we were visited once again by renowned artist Ronald Swanwick
who this time gave us an introduction to abstract painting.
This was a lively, instructive and fun evening attended by 21 members.
For the first half of the evening Ronald gave us a revealing insight into his approach to abstract painting, liberally illustrated with fine examples of his work. He shared his methods and processes with us together with much knowledge and useful tips and tricks. We learnt a lot and were kept entertained by his often light-hearted manner and the way in which he 'recycles' everyday objects into his work.
After the break Ronald put a fresh canvas up on the easel and we took in turns having a go at applying some paint to it. We followed his principle of simply making marks, following on from the previous ones, without initially worrying about what it could represent - or 'splash it on and see what happens' as he puts it! Ronald then played around with it further to make something of our random marks (in this case based on his memories of Venice) and explained how he could later refine it into a finished piece.
Ronald kindly allowed us to film the demo. A DVD is available to members - it is packed with useful information and well work watching.
On 29 March 2018 our resident pastel master John Harris
again led us through a paint-along of one of his beautiful landscapes - an idyllic south-seas beach.
Fifteen members painted long with John, captivated by his usual enthusiasm. He guided us through the process of applying soft pastels and blending them, then adding more to create shape, form and recession before applying the final details. It was an enjoyable and inspirational evening.
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
Our first demonstration of 2018 was on Thursday 15th Feb and was given by Jem Bowden
(SAA artist of the year 2014). It was a watercolour paint-along with the ruins of Much Wenlock Priory as the subject.
Jem worked with a restricted palette of Winsor Blue (red shade), Indian Red, Raw Umber with small amounts of Ult. Blue and Burnt Umber on 200lb Bockingford NOT paper and mainly using his Black Sheep brushes.
Gaining a feeling of distance, simplicity and tonal contrast were the main points of the demo ending up with a striking picture containing a lot of trapped light - an inspiring and thought provoking evening and an excellent start to the demo season.
On 16 November 2017 our own Catherine Strong was kind enough to share with us the method she uses to produce her amazing semi-abstracts in acrlyic.
Catherine explained the process, and the materials used, by talking us through some fine examples of her own work.
She then led over 20 members in a thoroughly enjoyable step-by-step paint-along to paint a seascape.
Many thanks to Catherine! A random collection of some of the member's efforts can be seen on the 'Catherine's Seascape Demo' page in the Gallery.
On 12 October 2017 artist and cartoonist Ian Gyllenspetz entertained us with an evening of cartoon fun.
Ian is a dedicated teacher and cartoon enthusiast with a keen sense of humour which proved to be the perfect ingredients for a fun insight into the unusual world of cartoons. More than 20 of us drew and coloured our way through comical expressive faces, figures and storyboarding.
It was a very enjoyable session and a great opportunity to 'do something different'!
On 7 September 2017 the acclaimed artist Soraya French was this year's open-event demonstrator.
She enthralled our members, together with visitors from other local clubs, with a mixed-media street scene.
Soraya asked not to be photographed or filmed.
On 29 June 2017 award winning artist and teacher Jonathan Newey guided us through a pen & wash paintalong of Edinburgh Castle.
26 members enjoyed Jonathan's method of painting in stages whereby we all gathered around to watch Jonathan draw/paint the next step before going away and doing it ourselves. Jonathan kept a watchful eye on us and was constantly offering help and advice.
Here's Jonathan's pen drawing and the final wash.
It was an enjoyable and instructive evening which highlighted how the simple pen & wash method can be used to produce quick sketches as well as effective completed paintings.
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
On 25 May 2017 our Chairman Paul Fisher gave us a demonstration on how tone can be used to give impact to a painting.
Paul started with a talk explaining the meaning of terms like tone, hue, chroma and temperature, with a useful handout for us to keep for reference. He shew us several examples by way of illustration and then demonstrated his points using a simple monochrome tonal sketch.
Around 25 members then painted along with Paul as he demonstrated using watercolour how to produce a cottage scene with impact using just one colour to give a wide tonal range.
A very informative evening. Here are some of the members having fun!
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
On 20 April 2017 renowned wildlife artist Ronald Swanwick demonstrated his approach to painting an owl in acrylic.
Ronald's photo reference and himself engrossed in the process:
He had already prepared some of the background and painted quickly but some members were brave enough to try to keep up with him.
Here's Ronald with his 'finished' painting. Well, after 2 hours anyway - he would normally spend much longer refining the detail until he achieved the look he was after.
Ronald also brought along some great examples of his work to show us what can be achieved.
An instructive and entertaining evening with over 20 members attending.
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
On 23 March 2017 our own John Harris again took us through how to achieve one of his great pastel paintings, this time a lovely waterfall scene.
Many members joined in, inspired by John's usual enthusiasm and sense of humour.
John proudly displaying his final result.
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
On 9 February 2017 visiting artist Tim Wilmot treated us to a Harbour Scene paint-along in watercolour.
This was a very popular event with 29 members attending.
Tim took us through the stages of creating a painting from outline drawing through initial wash, blocking and detailing to the finished work with good clear commentary throughout.
We had an enjoyable evening and were certainly impressed by Tim's result.
The demo was filmed and a DVD is available to members.
On February 4th 2016 we had an inspiring demonstration by Frank Collict
Frank gave us a 'paint along' demonstration using line and wash (pen and wash). This was the first time Frank had done this as he tends to just do demonstrations but his personable style got everyone relaxed and enthused. We started sketching a simple country cottage scene including some hills and trees which we then inked - most used simple ink pens but along with Frank, some tried using a sharpened matchstick held in bamboo as a pen plus Indian ink. Below, Frank helps members of the class - there were 22 at the demonstration.
Everybody acheived good results and many were inspired enough to give the method another go. Below the sketch we worked from and a print of what our work should have looked like!
On Thursday 25th Feb we were given a demonstration, organised by Catherine and Karen, by Eli-Chem using their 1-2-1 clear coating resins (https://www.elichem.co.uk/p-21-mastercast-1-2-1-artwork-resin.aspx ). Using a couple of pieces of artwork by Catherine and Karen the method of using the resin and it's effect on the brightness of the artwork were shown. Below, having mixed colour pigments into the resin, Margaret gives it a go.
With the lights off the startling effects of adding photo-luminescent powder to the resin was shown giving the effect of making your artwork take on a different glow appearance at night!
On March 17th 2016 we had a very entertaining demonstration by our own John (Harris)
25 members attended John's pastel demonstration. Several who attended, including some of our new members, had never tackled pastels before and were greatly helped by John's very informative and relaxed approach. The subject was the snowy peaks of Snowdonia and everyone produced a good piece of art.
Below, a very full class listens whilst John starts his demonstration.
........and a close up of John working - he had a finished and framed example to show everyone what we were trying to acheive.
On April 14th 2016 we had an interesting demonstration by Dee Cowell
We again had a packed hall for Dee's demonstration using acrylics. She started by telling us of her upbringing in Zimbabwe and South Africa and her early years teaching art.
A quote from Dee - "2 things an artist needs - first the ability to draw and second, a sense of how to use colour."
|Dee came round to give individual help whilst we 'played' with the products|
We were able to 'play' with various modifiers and additives - starting with Aquawax as a resist and then Impasto gel, flow enhancer and a glaze medium.
Here are some notes Dee sent me after the demonstration as a reference for members to refer to:-
"I buy my equipment from the Society of Artists. Their website is www.saa.co.uk
1. I demonstrated AQUAWAX and ACRYLIC WAX made by BRUSHO. Put it on, allow to dry - it is a soft resist, then paint very watery acrylics or water colours over. you can layer it)
2. I demonstrated the following Acrylic mediums - different names from different manufacturers
SLOW DRY MEDIUM made by by Daler Rowney (slows down the drying time) Flow enhancer etc same thing
IMPASTO GEL made by Daler Rowney also known as HEAVY GEL made by Golden (thickens the acrylics for knife painting)
GLAZE MEDIUM made by Daler Rowney or GLAZING MEDIUM made by Golden(makes acrylics transparent).
TEXTURE PASTE made by Daler Rowney or MODELLING PASTE made by Golden and Pebeo. (put it on, allow to dry then paint over it with very diluted acrylics or water colours)
....and finally from Dee - please ask everyone to paint the dry paste poppy on the board and then they can finish off the painting with either more texture paste flowers(allow to dry before painting) or flowers made from using Impasto gel and paint etc"
We often have impromptu mini demonstrations and last Thursday (28th April) Paul gave us a 10 minute demo to help loosen painting styles based on "Bob's Blobs" - no initial drawing, straight in with the brush and loads of juicy watercolour to create vibrant crowd scenes wet into wet.
The idea is to be loose, starting with random vertical strokes of colour which are allowed to flow into each other on the paper, which is best kept vertical or at a steep angle. This is followed by 'sketchy' vertical strokes of a dark tone for the legs leaving some shorter than others to indicate walking - you don't need to be exact and have 2 legs for all the bodies - let them flow together and then finish by 'blobbing' burnt umber for the heads angling them slightly to indicate 'conversations'.
Finish with a stroke or two for the shadows to plant the people on the ground. Note the gap left to accommodate the person closer to the viewer (Paul's 'Bath' lady) and also note that on level ground, the top of her head is the same as the more distant people - it's the body which is longer. Below is Brian (Sherwin's) picture of Tower Bridge with Bob's Blobs used for the crowd scene to the left.
On May 19th 2016 our own Catherine gave us an inspired and very enjoyable demonstration - 'Portraits - Getting Away from Realism'
Catherine had a number of portraits set up around the hall and we started by being asked to stand in front of the one we liked best - having discussed our choices and the 'feelings' we got from the portraits members 'loosened up' by drawing a portrait in pencil/charcoal using their feet.
Followiing Catherine's example members then painted a portrait in acrylics based on a photograph but getting away from realism - the results can be seen in the gallery page 'Catherine's Portrait Demo'.
It was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable evenings we have had and a great inspiration to everyone, especially in how we look at portraits.
On June 16th 2016 we had a paint-along demonstration by local artist Melvyn Randall. After taling about good composition Melvyn took us through the stages of painting 'Old Harry's Rocks' at Handfast Point, Dorset using a limited palette. After the break, Melvyn talked to us about the importance of tonal values and good colour mixing.
|Above right, Melvyn in the early stages of the painting and right, Sally's painting, one of many very good examples by the Group.|
On June 23rd we could only use the Village Hall as it was being used as a Polling Station for the Referendum so we hired the Manger Barn which is a nice venue except that the National Trust only allow us to do drawing in there and not painting. So we arranged for our own member Jane to sit for us so that we could practice figure drawing - a very pleasant evening.
On August 4th we were given a demonstration by or own Keith on Perspective Illustration. Keith explained single, double and multi point perspective drawing and then concentrated on single point using a well prepared handout to show how all sorts of subjects can be arranged and drawn into our artwork. Keith explained that it is quite a technical part of drawing but one which when mastered adds to the artist's armoury of methods that can be used to draw an accurate and convincing picture. We had quite a full house of members with almost 30.
Above, a packed class watches Keith start his demo and below the frontice piecde from Keith's very useful handout.
On September 15th Paul gave us a 'paint-along' demonstration using what he call the 'Wet Spray Technique' for painting water colours. This technique is especially good for painting animals where you want to show movement and life - or as paul put it - "if you don't want your animals looking as though have been shot and nailed to the perch"
After completing a fairly rudimentary sketch, the technique involves spraying the image with water and then floating pure colour directly from the tube onto the water adding colours quickly so that they mingle and spread of their own accord without pushing them together with a brush - colour which is going into places you want to keep it from is'sculpted' using a hungry brush.
Paul finished concdentrated on and finished 'Peter the Puffin', did some work on 'Clarissa the Cow' and only had time to sketch the cottage but will paint the cottage as a mini demo in a few weeks time for those who want to see it.
|Above - the class prepare to draw||Fuzzy puffins and cows begin to emerge|
|Peter the Puffin complete and looking as though he needs a feed||There was not time for me to complete Clarissa or the cottage but I will demonstrate them on another evening.|
On October 13th we had a sit back and watch demonstration from Jake Winkle. Because this was not a 'paint along' demonstration we were able to invite guests and non-members - so apart from the 24 members who attended we had over 20 from other art clubs etc.
Jake's demonstration was brilliant and apart from the two paintings he did - a street scene and the head of a cheetah, he spent time explaining his philosophy towards colour choice - he is a 'colourist' and 'impressionist' and is famous for his vibrant paintings of animals and street scenes.
Below are some photos taken of the evening and notes I took of his approach to colour choice with some further explanation.
|Above - having let the initial washes dry Jake starts to 'sketch' with his brush.||The almost finished street scene - pencil drawing is kept to a minimum with whatever detail is needed put in the with the brush|
|Jake had a wide selection of his original artwork for sale||Jake talked extensively about his choice and use of colours - see below.|
Notes from Jake's demonstration :-
1. He is a 'colourist' and his palette contains mainly 'primary' colours (red, yellow and blue (Magenta, Aureolin Yellow and Cobalt Blue for instance)) plus 'secondaries' (orange, green and violet (Cad Orange, Winsor Green and Dioxazine Violet)), plus one or two other favourites like Sepia Brown and Turquoise and for highlights etc, white gouache. He uses no 'earth' colours except perhaps Raw Sienna.
2. The reason he uses secondaries rather than simply mixing them from the primaries is to keep these colours vibrant and fresh - if you look at the colour wheel above and remember that the colour shades towards the centre of the wheel are duller than those on the edge of the wheel, mixing red and blue to make purple which is so often used for shadows etc, you end up with a 'dull' purple because the line between the red and blue passes towards the centre of the wheel. So instead of mixing the colours, Jake will often use a pre-mixed secondary like Violet which is between the red and blue on the edge of the colour wheel.
Remember that if you want to 'dull' a colour down you use it's 'complimentary' colour which is opposite it on the wheel - so typically if your green is too 'bright' you use it's 'complimentary' colour, red, to dull it down - the line between these colours passes directly through the centre of the wheel where it is dullest.
3. Jake will alternate cool and warm colours and paint them side by side which produces vibrancy and interest and, rather than doing the standard thing and using cool colors in the background, he will simple use a very weak tint of a primary or secondary colour - ie. if you gradually weaken a colour by adding water too it, it gets duller and moves towards a 'grey' tone - rather than mixing a grey. These 'vibrant' greys must be put beside a dark in order for them to become effective and show up - so a distant building is painted as one shape in very weak cobalt or violet but then a very dark building in the foreground perhaps in shadow is put directly beside it.
4. Like many other professional artists he will join shapes which helps a picture to 'hang together' - he mentioned Edward Wesson in relation to this - Wesson was a brilliant arranger of 'shapes'.
5. Jake will often use 'scribbles' either directly with a brush or 'under' the painting having previously 'flicked on' and scribbled with thin masking fluid before he starts to paint. He also uses 'splatter' to gain vibrancy and 'movement' to his work.
6. Backgrounds are not always painted first (a technique also used by Charles Reid)
On 17 November 2016 our own Catherine showed us the techniques for 'Keeping Your Greens Clean' with Acrylics.
Catherine gave us a very informative talk on how the Impressionists had tackled the issue and offered a fine example of an original Charles Neal painting, together with some examples of her own work, to illustrate what can be achieved.
Then the fun began - Catherine demonstrated how to mix clean greens, avoiding the dreaded 'mud', and 24 members eagerly mixed along with her. She went on to produce a completed painting with the members following suit.
Examples of the evening's results can be seen on the 'Catherine's Greens Demo' page in the Gallery. A thoroughly enjoyable evening with many members inspired to go home and give it another go!