Demo Wednesday 7th nov 2018

spotty cup n flowers acrylic demo

Demo today for Wednesday group.

An exercise in semi-abstraction. This is in acrylics with a few oil pastel additions at the end. This is a still life after Claire Harrigan. Significant is the use of bold blocks of bright colour; a scarcity of detail; and maintaining a sense of space and object without travelling over into pure abstraction.

There is only two real layers in this painting. It’s likely, if outside the parameters of a demonstration, I would continue the build up of opaque paint to strengthen the surface texture further.

Painting from a sketch II

Another acrylic painting from a sketch of a photograph.

This is a view in Irvine of Duntonknoll, a row of white houses with the Dalry hills in the distance. A simple composition of low horizon and sky filled with summery clouds.

Being a demonstration, it is quickly executed with little time to think and pore over details. So, I wouldn’t think of these as finished paintings but as stepping stones towards that, although they are fairly close to the broad style I am aiming for.


duntonknoll sketch

Painting from a sketch

I demo’d this exercise for Wednesday class and will roll it out to the others this week and next.

The aim is to draw from a photograph, recording line, tone and colour notes to the point where you have all the info you might need to create a painting without referring to the original photo.

This frees up the image from a strict copy of the photograph which can lead to tight work. It is surprising how the exclusion  of information at the sketch stage takes the pressure off and leads to a fresher vision.

loudoun hill

loudoun hill sketch

Irvine Harbour

Fionas ship inn


Fiona’s acrylic painting of Irvine Harbour with the puffer “Spartan” at the Maritime Museum pontoon. She is keen to move away from photographic flatness in her work and edge towards a painterly surface. I think this goes a long way to achieving it .

A nice control of colour and tone. In particular the reading of the shaded part of the walls of the buildings. White is the trickiest thing to get right, more so when the reflected light is anything but white.

System 3 Acrylic portrait

wendys2 opt

Trying out system 3 acrylics for a portrait exercise. They are fluid and soft. I expected an extremely quick drying time on the palette but surprisingly stayed wet for a time enough. Cryla are obviously thicker and meatier. I don’t know if I have a preference of one over the other. I do know I will always prefer oils!

The portrait is one I will use as an example for a workshop with some Higher Art students at Auchenharvie school tomorrow.

Painting like….

Corrie after Shierenberg

Katerina after Shierenberg

Louisa after Gale

Sukhada after Kelly b

…..Tai-Shan Schierenberg, Diarmuid Kelly and Anne Gale.

Saturday group were busy today painting these copies of contemporary portraits.

Scheirenberg’s fluid, buttery, criss-crossing brushstrokes present Corrie and Katerina the challenge of more paint on the brush that they are used to.

Anne Gale with her broken dot dot dash style reminds me of Gwen John in terms of colour and muted tones. Louisa has understood the layered, patient build up perfectly.

Then a contrast to the planar, flat style of Diarmuid Kelly, who models a third dimension from a deft use of tones. Sukhada’s mixing and matching of colour proved to be the essence of the task.