Friday, 25 October 2013

Nigel Street - landscape in watercolour

On Tuesday I enjoyed a morning with Hereford Art Group watching Nigel Street demonstrate how he paints landscapes in watercolour. Although at the end of the session he had not quite finished, we gained a clear idea of where he was going and picked up some useful tips along the way.
Not quite finished

Having taken part in one of Nigel's Understanding Watercolour weekends a year ago, it was good to get some reminders even though I have a slightly guilty conscience about how little watercolour painting I've done in the last year. For more information on his courses visit Nigel's website.

Hereford Art Group paint most Tuesdays and only have a couple of demonstrators a year: very different from Ledbury Art Society where demonstrations and occasional workshops are the normal pattern.

Nigel's standard landscape palette is worth a mention. He uses plastic palettes with deep wells set out in a 6x2 grid. In the two wells furthest from him he puts pigments useful for atmosphere and distance: cobalt blue light and raw umber (insoluble opaque). The soluble transparent colours are arranged on the left so coming forward from the cobalt blue he has phthalo blue, sap green (which is an optional addition to the basic palette), primary yellow and alazarin crimson or permanent dark red. Notice how the order takes you from background to foreground. At the very front of the palette he has French ultramarine and burnt sienna (insoluble and dense). Yellow ochre is an optional addition which he places to the right of the primary yellow. This is insoluble and opaque and is a good carrier of colour.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Jon Davis - landcape in pastel and acrylic

I'm always fascinated by the many approaches taken by the different demonstrators who come to us each month.  Jon Davis had prepared an canvas board by painting it with white acrylic and he already had the basic scene depicted in light black. Only the sky has been added roughly at this point in the demonstration.

Jon studied classical portrait painting in the studio of Ken Paine. While we were setting up Jon told me how that came about. He had seen Ken working and rather rudely tapped him on the shoulder and asked what he was using. "Pastels.", was the reply and after a searching gaze Ken then asked "When's your birthday?" A date was named and Ken then announced "I've been waiting 20 years for you." They shared a birthday as did Ken with his tutor and so on back through several generations.