Whilst we do not run formal teaching sessions we do have a number of members who are expert in their particular field. They sometimes give short practical demonstrations and provide information of interest to members. They are also very willing to help and advise members who want support for their art work at any time during our normal weekly meetings.
Coffee/tea breaks are a time when members can wander around and look at each other's art work and discuss and share materials, methods, etc.
We are very keen to enhance our drawing techniques and skills and so we also run occasional sessions with people who sit for us so that we can practice figure drawing and painting. Still life sessions are also organised with the aim to develop quick and accurate sketching skills.
Below is some of the useful knowledge we have gained.
HOW TO CUT A MOUNT
During an extended coffee break on 2 February 2017 John Harris showed us how to cut a mount to display our paintings.
After cutting the board to the desired external size John drew the required cut-out on the reverse side.
Then using his special guided cutter with angled blade he cut along the lines. A professional finish was achieved, the 45 degree angle of the blade producing a neat bevelled inside edge.
There was much interest from members, with Jo getting some practical experience.
There are a number of different models of this type of mount cutter available, some are already in use by members. For more information have a word with John.
We often have impromptu mini demonstrations and on 28th April 2016 Paul Fisher 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.
SUPPLIERS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN ART CARD
by Paul Fisher
This is my method for presenting art cards but you can go to printers who will supply the artwork you give them as cards with envelopes at a very reasonable price - however, I find that many of these cards do not have the impact of the cards you can make yourself.
|The cards I produce are 15x20cm with a glossy printed picture and protected by a cellophane flap bag with my name details on a sticker.|
The cream textured card blanks are from http://www.craftcreations.com/
, come in packs of 25 - ref no. PK493E-67 and cost £5.35 per pack making each card/envelope cost £0.21p
The cellophane flap bag to suit these cards is ref. no. PPB47 and is 150x203mm and costs 6p each.
The paper I use for printing the picture on is Epson ref. no. S042153 Premium Glossy Photo Paper in 10x15cm size costing £11.60 for a pack of 40 - 29p each.
For this job you need a printer with a straight print path and I use an Epson XP-750.
I use 6mm wide double sided tape to stick the picture to the front of the card but you can get glue rollers etc.
On the back of the card I have a small label stating "From an original watercollour painting by Paul Fisher" with my web address and phone number.
Once the card and envelope are put in the Cellophane flap bag, the flap is held by a further label stating "A hand made Fine Art card, left blank for your own message. Protect from damp."
|The total cost of materials including allowances for ink etc is approximately 60p per card and I get myself set-up to make batches of 20 at a time and a batch will normally take me 30-40 minutes.|
The Quick Method for Stretching Watercolour Paper
by Paul Fisher
If you are going to use a lot of wet washes on paper less than 400gms in weight, your paper will need to be stretched or it will 'cockle' and distort badly making it difficult to get consistant colour tones and making it hard to mount properly.
The Australian artist Charles Sluga showed me this technique which he uses when he does his overseas tours. It will give you a well stretched piece of paper ready to be painted on within 5 minutes.
I have used this method on previously used and un-stretched paper which had ended up cockled and it has allowed me to flatten the paper by stretching it and paint on the reverse side with success.
You will need - a stiff board at least 30mm bigger all round than your paper, hairdrier, gummed paper tape, cold water and large brush, paper towel, tape measure and pencil.
Apply plenty of water to the reverse side of your paper - make sure it is nice and glossy with water.
Turn the paper over so that the paintable side is uppermost and wet this side too. Leave the paper to fully soak up the water for 5 minutes and then smooth any wrinkles out with the brush.
This stage is very important - dry the paper around the edge where the tape will go, with the paper towel.
Tear off 4 pieces of gummed paper tape keeping the long and short pieces seperate.
Apply water to the first piece of tape
....and smooth it down over the edge of the paper - do the same with the
other 3 pieces of tape.
Use the hair drier to dry the tape - it is important to make sure the tape is dry before going further.
With the tape dry, start drying the paper working from the outside towards the middle of the paper going round in successively smaller circles.
Finally, with the paper dry, mark a rectangle just bigger than the aperture of the mount you intend using and you are ready to draw and paint.