Thursday, 13 February 2020

Zorn Palette Workshop

Bethany by Sally Struszkowski, watercolour
We got the New Year off to a great start with a workshop led by Jane Palmer this January. Most of us did a portrait using the palette made famous by Anders Zorn, where he used only two colours with black and white to complete the work. These colours were Ivory Black, titanium white, cadmium red and yellow ochre. We allowed the substitution of Payne's Grey for ivory black  however, for a near blue hue as it is not possible to mix true blue or green from this combination of colours.The advantage of the Zorn palette is that it limits decisions but allows enough colours to produce a stunning painting.

The evening included a short PowerPoint presentation to show what could be achieved by using this palette. Most of us managed to complete our paintings and some excellent results were achieved with this limited palette. 

Portrait by Frank Bingley using gouache paint

Some of the shades that can be mixed by using the four
colours in the Zorn Palette. Picture by
Cornelia Wontner

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Gorgeous Gouache

November's meeting was a mini workshop, led by Frank Bingley, on 'Gorgeous Gouache'.

Members learnt that the history of gouache dates back to the 16th century, although it wasn't until the 20th century it became available in tubes.

It is a water based medium made up of water, pigment and either gum arabic, dextrin or

Unlike watercolour, gouache is opaque. This means light colours can be painted over dark. The other advantages are it is fast drying, has a matt finish and can be reworked when wetted.

Although it can be bought in pans, for the workshop everyone used the same colours from tubes, mixing it to the consistency of single cream. The subject was a echinacea flower, from a photograph taken by Frank.

As always time seemed short and the members had to work hard to complete the painting of the flower, but almost every picture was finished by the deadline.

Although the same basic colours were used, it was interesting to see the differences between the paintings, from the light and delicate to the bright and bold.

Text by Lynda Talbott, photos by Jane Palmer

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Autumn Painting

The subject for our October meeting was Autumn. The members brought in leaves,   Autumn fruits or an image to work from. As usual there was a wide range of styles from small and delicate to strong and bold. Various mediums were used including pencil, crayon, watercolour and Gouache. At one stage the concentration was so intense you could have heard a pin drop, but coffee and a biscuit quickly livened things up!

Pictures in order were by Helen Armitt-Warnes, Sally Struszkowski, Bethany Struszkowski, Cornelia Wontner,  David Coleman, Jane Palmer, Frank Bingley, Lynda Talbott and Jill Scott.

Words by Lynda Talbott, photography by Frank Bingley

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Outdoor Sketching/Painting

Foxton Locks Inn - Neocolor oil pastels by Frank Bingley
For our August meeting, we arranged an outdoor Sketching/painting event at Foxton Locks. The morning started out cloudy, but brightened up to a warm sunny day later. 10 of us attended, some of whom met up later to compare our efforts! Below are some of the sketches. The header photo was finished off in the studio.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Appraisal evening with Di Lorriman

I loved Di’s approach; she qualified her experience in all mediums including felt (much to my surprise)!  We saw a selection of her own work, and then she proceeded to tell us what she would be looking for in the artwork. This was most helpful as you can consolidate the thinking throughout the evening and apply it to your next piece of work. Her observations looked for:
·      Good composition – use of the rule of thirds
·      Tonal contrast
·      Perspective
·      Use of complimentary colours
·      Visual description, exploiting all the ideas
·      Mood
·      Mystery, have you given your viewer something to think about?
·      Balance, somewhere for the eye to rest
·      Texture
·      Importance of good framing

No time was wasted as the images arrived Di was scanning the work. Di ensured that individual artists remained anonymous and consequently every one received an impartial good honest critique. If this were a review I would give her full marks.

Monday, 1 July 2019

April Painting Together

The subject of our Painting Together evening was "Animals". Most of us managed to complete the work Alla Prima. The images below are some of the completed works, which will be shown in a separate display at our exhibition to be staged at the Harborough Theatre in October.

Work shown here (in order) are by Alan, Carole, Cornelia, David, Frank, Lynda, Pia and Sally.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Workshop: Figures and Movement by Ken Lilley

Ken's red carrot figure and MW figure
 This month we had a workshop led by Ken Lilley. His aim was to get us all painting figures in a simple constructive way so that we would feel competent to add figures to our landscapes or city cityscapes. He said”, Very little is needed to persuade the viewer that the figure is a credible person, but the proportions must be right. To help this to be effected, he suggested that the head would go into the length of the body 7 times. Michael, standing with his hands in his jean pockets, was used as an example for this rule.

Ken's painting expressing movement
We were not going to try to draw a figures in detail but rather give an impression. The first exercise that was demonstrated was the use of a carrot shape and then the MW concept. Further illustrations were put onto a board and onto a computer screen.

The first task in a sequence of suggested quick paintings was a line of people from the imagination with  their backs towards the painter. Next, movement with ink or pencil added to a quick painted figure to give a feel of movement. Lastly, a rainy day with long vertical shadows (from Ken’s sketch book).

Other prompts circulated were a book entitled “Learn to paint people quickly” by Hazel Soan, an SSA article in this month’s Paint magazine and another article in this month’s Leisure Painter.

This exercise gave us all more confidence in describing the human figure in a simple and economical way when using watercolour paint.

Below are works from (decending) David, Michael and Frank.