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.

Watercolour demo – Tom Hardy

tom hardy watercolour

Last week I tried to show how exacting measurement in prep drawing for a watercolour portrait can work in your favour by giving reassurance of the drawing and confidence before applying paint.

I knew this painstaking method would be challenging and rather laborious for the group so this week I offered a shortcut alternative and took a tracing and transferred the drawing that way.

I was asked if I could paint someone everyone knew, to give added interest. I chose Tom Hardy and no-one knew him!

It’s not great to paint from someone else’s photograph for portraits but hey, it’s only an exercise.

I tried the one on the right at home to rehearse the points and to make sure I kinda knew what I was talking about when I came to do it in class.

The photo is a good example of high tonal contrast and three quarter pose.

The one on the left was the demo. These are half hour paintings, with a one inch flat brush.

Watercolour girl

watercolour girl

A demo for Thursday group highlighting precision measurements when transferring drawing to paper.

I am not averse to a bit of tracing when drawing on to canvas or paper but this time I got the ruler out and showed the scaling up from measurements taken from the photograph.

The composition is cinematic widescreen. I like the way the girl is peering out through the letterbox like window. This was two hours painting and I will give it some more time in the studio to finish some raw areas. Eyes, some hair bits, tonal adjustments here and there.


Watercolour exercise (after Elizabeth Blackadder)



A watercolour exercise that borrows from Elizabeth Blackadder. A simple nature painting from life. A bit of dead stem from the garden; a daff, a lily and another flower(?) from the shops; and a budding stem also from the garden.

A semi-botanical job, kind of randomly arranged. I would like to put in more to fill the space but there is enough here , I suppose, to get the gist of the exercise.

This is for you, Thursday group!