Monday, 17 November 2014

Charles Evans - watercolour workshop 15 November

Wellington Heath Memorial Hall was a superb venue for this workshop led by Charles Evans.

First he gave us a quick demonstration of a highland beach scene.

You can watch him do a very similar demo on YouTube.

There's also plenty of other demos on YouTube and his website has lots of resources including step-by-step projects that you could work through.

"Trust me, I'm an artist." Not the first time Charles has used those words but trust him we did as we followed his guidance to create our own variations of a scene on the island of Bute.

We started with just the drawing and without knowing where we were going with it.

The images that follow show some of the progress, the finished painting and then our own efforts displayed on stage.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Brian Steventon - Café scene in acrylic

Sitting outside a café is one of the great pleasures when taking a foreign holiday and what wonderful subjects they make for painting. Brian brought with him some sketch books that show he makes full use of his time when out and about, whether on the continent or in Britain. His demonstration painting was based on a painted sketch which he showed us before beginning to paint.

Brian works with a variety of media - oil, watercolour, pastel - as well as acrylic. You can see more of his work at  and find out about what he offers in the way of workshops, holidays and as a tutor.

Brian used 2.5mm MDF board cut to 14" x 14" and primed with two coats of gesso (one coat horizontal, one vertical to give a little texture to the board). He showed us the colours he worked from in a stay wet palette but all his mixing was done on white enamel plates or dishes. He had drawn in the main outlines in advance so he was able to begin by blocking in some of the colour with a broad brush.

You can follow through the progress of the painting with the images that follow.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Christine Adams - Flowers in Watercolour

 When Christine saw the protective sheet spread over the carpet there was a definite suspicion that we knew how she works - lots of water so she can apply her pigments wet in wet. Actually we always protect the floor no matter which artist is demonstrating but the comments gave a good indication of what to expect.

The photo on the left shows the still life arrangement she had set up as inspiration for her painting. You'll see when you get to the final picture here that the image on the paper didn't slavishly follow the subject: colour and composition change.

She used a Bockingford 140lb  watercolour paper (that's 300gsm in real money!) taped onto a board that was almost vertical on the easel. In her own studio she usually works flat and begins at the centre. For the demonstration she started at the top right and worked across and down going a long way with the development of each section before moving on. The paper was wetted to start with and sections were dampened again with clean water before pigment was applied.

I found her mixing palette interesting as she had adapted a photographic tripod to hold it. See image on right.

This was a fascinating demonstration of wet in wet watercolour painting which showed how to get away from colouring-in which often happens when too much detail is drawn onto the paper. And quite clearly this seemingly free style of applying paint still does need a lot of skill and control.

Five more images follow

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Mike Skidmore demonstrates portrait painting

Mike gave us fascinating insights into his techniques and his life story. After three years at art school, he gave up painting for 15 years!

Usually Mike paints his portraits using traditional oil techniques. For this demonstration he took advantage of the quicker drying times of acrylic before switching to oil glazes in the later stages.

The portrait was based on a monochrome photograph - subject unknown but obviously with some depth of character which Mike likes to portray with realism.

His drawing with 2B pencil had been done in advance (about an hour of work) and washed over thinly with Payne's Gray acrylic paint. This seals the drawing and provides a base for the underpainting also done in Payne's Gray of varying intensity.

You can see more about Mike's technique on his website

Underpainting in Payne's Gray 

The painting after glazes with acrylic and oil

Monday, 25 August 2014

Looking forward

We're looking forward to the start of our Autumn and Winter programme on 2nd September when we have Mike Skidmore demonstrating how to paint portraits using acrylics. You may remember Mike was due to come to us in February but was unfortunately taken ill.

Advertising for the original date

For the full programme of demonstrations see the Autumn and Winter programme page

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Trumpet calls

Two LAS members, Ian & Anne Cook, are exhibiting some of their paintings and cards at the Trumpet Crossroads studio from July 2nd to August 31st2014 10;00am – 4:00pm

If you chance upon the right day you might find Ian at work on a new painting.

The studio is located 4 miles from Ledbury at the intersection of the A438 and the A417/A4172 next to Trumpet Garage – postcode HR8 2RA

More pictures follow

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Exhibition 2014

Ledbury Art Society's annual three day exhibition opened to the public this morning (Saturday 24 May). We have fewer paintings on show this year but the quality is high. The good thing about having only 90 paintings is they can be displayed to advantage more readily. To give a quick impression of what's on show I took some photos while we were in the process of setting up. That's why some of the labels are not on the boards. When you visit you will also see that many paintings were repositioned. Hanging is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle and finding, when you get to the last few pieces, that some you had already fitted in are not actually in the right place.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Postcard Art Auction

The following may be of interest to LAS members

Monday, 17 February 2014

Nigel Street - Aspire Watercolourist of the Year

Great news for LAS member Nigel Street. He's been named Aspire's Watercolourist of the Year.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Robin Holder - River Severn in Oils

We are very grateful to Robin Holder for stepping in at only a few hours notice to do this demonstration after Mike Skidmore was taken ill. When Robin came to us in February of the previous year he had used watercolour to paint the Severn at Kempsey. This time it was the Severn in Worcester showing the old Rowing Club boathouse behind the racecourse at Pitchcroft. You may have guessed that most of Robin's landscape work features the Severn. He does very little studio work and much prefers to get out in all winds and weathers ... and he's prepared to stand in flood waters while painting! I just hope he's been careful about where he stands in the last couple of weeks as the Severn reached record levels coming slightly higher at Barbourne than it did in 2007.

The demonstration painting was based on a painting that Mike had done a few weeks before. That had the sun coming from the left but for the demonstration he's repositioned it. Even in winter the sun would be higher in the sky when looking south but artists are allowed licence and this painting contre jour allows interesting light to play on the water. The photographs I took were so poor this time that I only include one here and that doesn't show the colour achieved. However, even with the original the tones did suggest moon rather than sunlight.

Do take a look at his website to see more of what he does and find out about the tuition he offers.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Christine Russell - Still Life in Pastels

The still life composed ready for action
Christine achieved some brilliant and subtle colour with pastels. The photos don't do her justice.

She set up a triangular composition with a black backdrop and lit it from the front right. The diagonal with red  stripes in the photo is not part of the composition but the leg of her easel.

She began by quickly sketching in some outlines of the brass pot and the apples, making sure that the oval shape of the pot top was horizontal. She told us she works top to bottom and applies darks before lights. Blending with the fingers is only used for backgrounds. All other blending is done using the pastels themselves by applying pigment with a light touch.

For more information about Christine and to see some examples of her work and get details of workshops and holidays visit her website

The photos that follow show the demonstration at various stages of progress.