Judit Matthews Pen & Ink/Watercolour Demo

Friday 8 October 2021

Judit Matthews is a Hungarian born illustrative artist working from her studio in Banstead. She has been in the UK since 1994. After her ‘A’ levels she started a teacher training course in art and geography. She wanted it to be art and English, so she took a gap year and came to England as an au pair. While here she met her husband and she stayed. She began the evening by showing everyone her studio where she runs workshops and on-line classes.

She also showed everyone some of the work she has on the walls and in her art stand. It is mainly of wildlife; foxes, hares, owls, birds, but she has also illustrated maps and painted town and seaside scenes. Her work has a distinctive look with lots of detail in an illustrative style. She has also recently illustrated three children’s books.

In her work Judit uses ink, then watercolour and on larger paintings she adds collage. Since this process is quite slow, she will use three different paintings to demonstrate it this evening. She uses Winsor & Newton Black Indian Ink and a mapping nib. Her on-line students can use a fine-liner such as Muji pens to make things faster. Be sure to get the the non-shiny ones as the other Muji pens take longer to dry and become waterproof.

This evening Judit will demonstrate the pen & ink on a deer that she has drawn up in pencil already. Judit prefers the quality of ink and the variation in line that is possible with ink, despite the fact that the nib can catch on the texture of watercolour paper sometimes. You need to be very confident with drawing the lines especially when drawing curves. Do not stop or it will look unnatural. It is possible to teach technique, but it is difficult to teach imagination and composition. It is personal and depends on what you like.

Judit likes wildlife. She is seldom without her sketch book especially when she goes on holiday. She also takes lots of photos. She uses Pinterest and Instagram too for ideas and images, but be wary of copyright issues. Some of her inspiration comes from Hungarian folk art and folk stories. After developing ideas, sketching plants and flowers, Judit works at simplifying them into line drawings.  Being right-handed she works from left to right across the page. Always clean off excess ink from the pen at the end to prolong the life of the nib. The ink takes some time to dry so for the next stage Judit has a drawing of a fox looking towards a little house on a hill.

Judit has a well-used portable set of Winsor & Newton watercolours which she keeps re-filling with her favourite colours. She also buys different brands to get the colours she wants. She likes to work with a maximum of 5 colours and she uses her knowledge of the colour wheel to create a harmonious effect of juxtapositioning one colour with its opposite in the painting. The fox and trees have been simplified and she will use mainly oranges and blues.

For the orange she mixes Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, and sometimes Cadmium Orange from the tube. To begin with she uses flat colour for the first layer starting with the fox and the two trees in the foreground. She then mixes Winsor Blue, Vermillion and Indigo for the mountains and hills behind. Eventually she uses Cerulean Blue for the sky. She adds a little Viridian to the blue for the hill in the foreground.  She does not wet the paper first as working dry has more control.

Over the flat first layer Judit starts to add more pigment. Gamboge Yellow helps lift the slight opaqueness of Cadmium Yellow. Indigo and Burnt Umber is added to the orange for the tree and bushes behind the house. Viridian and Indigo darken the tree on the left. Once this layer is dry it is time to do some stippling or little dots, a kind of pointillism. Judit also assures us she has a plan for the foreground. She shows us a painting of a VW she has done before to demonstrate the effect she will be aiming at.

She fills in the leaves on the trees and then tackles the foreground. She has decided the light source is coming from top right so makes strong dark lines from the left-hand corner and using her brush to make the shape of the foliage she adds some leaves to these. She also likes to add shadows to the underside and other side of the object from the light source. This almost creates a 3D effect.

Judit used a white Posca pen to draw the white lines of the branches on the left of fox painting. The white Posca pen is great to cover up little errors such as small ink marks that have been made by mistake. They come in lots of different colours. This little badger picture was done using Posca pens.

For the third stage of the process Judit is going to use an owl picture she has painted to demonstrate the way she adds collage to her work. For this she uses a self-healing cutting board, a scalpel, PVA glue, a small brush, and a chocolate tray to hold the glue. She has a made a large collection of different papers of all kinds, from expensive Japanese printed paper to wallpaper from places like B&Q.

She chooses paper with similar shades of colour to her painting. It is very important to use a decent thickness of paper, at least 250 grams, or the paper will wrinkle and buckle with the effect of the wet glue. Collage gives another dimension to the work. Judit also likes to go around the collage with a fine liner Muji pen, not the ink, when the glue has dried.

Over the course of the demonstration Judit gave lots of different pieces of information about herself and her art. She won the Surrey Life magazine’s Landscape Artist of the Year in 2017. In 2000 she took part in Channel 4’s Watercolour Challenge, which she did not enjoy much because it was dominated by the needs of the production staff to the point where she got very cold because she could not put on clothing for the sake of continuity. 

On a much more positive note, she has exhibited at the App Art Exhibition in Godalming and her work has been accepted by the Society of Women Artists (SWA). She has two pieces in their current exhibition at the Mall Galleries.  She has also illustrated these children’s books written by Tina Talbot, which are available from Amazon.

Lockdown was good news for her on-line classes. They take place on Saturday from 10.00 – 11.00 am. The cost is £5.00. She also runs workshops from her studio in Banstead. The full day workshop is £45.00 for 10.30 – 3.00 pm. For more information see her Facebook page.


Annual Exhibition 2021 – Report

The Annual Exhibition could not take place last year because of the Coronavirus and it was postponed until 10th & 11th September this year rather than holding in July as had been happening for some time.

The Exhibition has now moved online and can be found here.

The Reception Evening was held on 9th September 2021 and was attended by the wonderfully colourful Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Sarah Jane Croke.

Exhibition sales

The sales from the exhibition were very pleasing indeed especially given that the number of people at the Reception Evening was down from previous years, not surprising given that many people have not been attending gatherings indoors.

In all 19 paintings were sold, 14 Ready-to-Hang and 5 Portfolios.  It is very good to know that all of Val Brooks’ beautiful pastels sold.

Exhibition Prizes

This year the judge was Eleanor Harvey from The Frame Centre who kindly selected the following three prize winners:

The Winsland Prize for the best watercolour/mixed media painting in the exhibition went to Lesley Kilner for her painting “Mouse”.

The Themed Competition entitled “Lockdown Dreams” was won by Olga Lucia Salgado for her painting “Changes in Life”.

The Committee Prize entitled “Water” was won by Tracy Allen for her acrylic painting which has subsequently sold.

The Jerry Seward Trophy which is also known as The People’s Choice was won by Lesley Kilner for “Raindrops on My Windowpane”.

Brush With Art Raffle Prize

Peter Tuitt asked Liz Seward this year if she would donate one of her paintings to be raffled to raise money for the Brush with Art Group at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.  Peter Tuitt set a target of £500 and he was delighted to announce that the sum of £512 was raised.  The winner of Liz’s lovely painting “Turfhill, Lightwater Country Park” was Mick Keeley.

Thank You!

Congratulations to Peter Tuitt and the committee team for getting through to the point where it was possible to hold the Annual Exhibition once again. Thank you to everyone who attended.


Kristin Rawcliffe Oil Portrait Demo

Friday 13 August 2021

Kristin began by introducing herself. She is an artist who lives in Yateley. She is currently doing an MA in Fine Art at Reading University. She has exhibited in a variety of venues including the Mall Galleries ‘Best of British Art’ and ING Discerning Eye 2020.

This demonstration was going to be a challenge because Kristin will be working ‘alla prima’, Alla prima is an Italian phrase that means ‘at first attempt‘. It refers to a wet-on-wet approach whereby wet paint is applied to previous layers of still-wet paint, often in a single sitting.

She is going to be working on Arches oil paper. She likes to prepare the paper with a mixture of half and half turps and linseed oil to which she adds a tiny amount of black paint to create a pale grey base. She uses Jackson’s Shellsol T because it has no smell and is not expensive.

Kristin chose this photo reference for her demonstration because she knows from experience that artists find a semi profile difficult especially when the face is looking slightly down. She had laminated the reference photo so that she could demonstrate her thinking by drawing the lines on the photograph and then transposing them to the painting.

She begins by dividing the face looking at the ratios of facial features, hairline, nose, lips. She then marks in the basic outlines constantly checking the angles using her paintbrush to determine the line of the shadow on the face, for instance, before drawing it on to the page. This is called triangulation. She finds it a better method of painting a portrait while some artists prefer using the grid method.

This first stage can go wrong but it will be constantly checked and can be corrected when it comes to blocking in the colour. Kristin likes to outline the socket of the eye where she looks for the shadow shapes formed by the shape of the face. Remember the ear is located differently here because the face is tilted down. The bottom of the ear would usually align with the bottom of the nose but in this case, it is higher, from her eyebrow to halfway up her cheek.

The next stage was to block in working from dark cool to the lightest warm. Kristin uses a form of the Zorn Palette. The Zorn palette refers to a palette of colours attributed to the great Swedish artist, Anders Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920). It consists of just four colours being yellow ochre, ivory black, vermilion and titanium white. Cadmium red light is commonly used in place of vermilion by modern day artists.

Kristin likes Indian yellow rather than yellow ochre. She will also be using ultra marine blue. Turquoise is another colour she really likes and so she has this colour on her palette too. The limited palette reduces the choices to be made to one of four tones. It is a good idea to develop what is around the face too as the background affects the painting. Black, ultra marine, yellow and white creates a dark turquoise blue that will make the background colour.

The paint brushes Kristin uses are square synthetic brushes that seem to work well on this Arches oil paper. The lightest areas are on her cheek, forehead, and the bridge of her nose. Next for her hair. To make the brown colour Kristin mixed black, red and Indian yellow. People often over think the hair. It is really a mass of tones so Kristin will paint it in blocks.

The model is wearing quite a lot of make-up and has very red lips. She used alizarin crimson darkened with a little blue for the bottom lip then adding some cadmium red to make it zing a little and white for the highlights on the top lip.

Using the same four tones Kristin returned to her shoulders and neck. It is a good idea to keep working on the whole painting. With oils the paint remains live for a few days. This would not be true if it were being painted in acrylics. If using acrylic paints, it can help to use a retardant.

After the break it was time to work on some of the details and for this Kristin uses smaller synthetic Scroll brushes. She begins by tackling the eye which is at a difficult angle to get the position of the pupil and iris. She softened the edges on the nose working dark into light and then painted the eye on the far side of the face. The philtrum under the nose should be hinted at rather than made too distinct.

Kristin finds that working on paper rather than canvas means the paint sinks in and can be easily blended. Hairlines are another area where it helps to avoid a strong line. When painting the ear, she paints the dark first then the light. She likes to name the shapes she sees. To her mind there is a Y in the upper part.

At this point Kristin began to review what she had painted, she added highlights in the hair, worked a little on the jaw line and brought the background down to the shoulder. She was not going to be able to finish the painting as the session was coming to a close, but it had been fascinating to watch how quickly she developed a portrait in oil over a period of just a couple of hours.

Kristin is going to be an Artist in Residence at a school next term, but she did say she may be running classes in the future too.

If you are interested in taking classes with Kristin, she can be contacted by email at

For more information, see her website.

She is also on Instagram.

This was the first Zoom demonstration that Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts has had where members were asked to make a £5 payment to attend. It was pleasing to have 26 people subscribe and the feedback from members has been very positive.


Prize Raffle 2021 – Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

The Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts have once again made the Brush with Art Group at The Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice our nominated charity.

In 2019 we were able to raise £234 by holding a raffle at our Annual Exhibition. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we had to cancel all public events in 2020.

We are holding the FCSA Annual Exhibition on the 9th (evening reception, invitation only), 10th & 11th September (open to the general public, free entry) at High Cross Church, Knoll Road, Camberley, this year. We will once again be raising funds for the Brush with Art Group by running another raffle.

The prize will be a framed painting of Turf Hill, Lightwater, generously donated by Liz Seward, an FCSA member and a local professional artist.

We do hope that you are able to help us to support Phyllis Tuckwell by buying tickets, which will be available at our exhibition.


Summer 2020 Update

This week there should have been the Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts 59th Annual Exhibition at High Cross Church. The Coronavirus has meant that all our plans, meetings, demonstrations and events have had to be cancelled since the lockdown in March.

Nonetheless, the committee has held two futuristic committee meetings via Zoom. The first meeting was to progress the new look website which was launched at the beginning of July. This week the committee met again to consider how to best serve the membership during lockdown.

2020 Lockdown Exhibition

The committee discussed the possibility of organising an online exhibiting of members’ paintings, especially those that might have been done during the lockdown, by putting it on the new website. Olga Salgado and Steve Hammatt attended the meeting and offered to upload paintings into an exhibition area.

If interested, people would need to take good quality photographs of their artwork. The minimum size necessary to work well on the website is 1024 x 768 pixels, but bigger would be better. Once you have saved the photos onto your computer it would be a question of submitting them in an email to In the accompanying email there would need to be the following information:

  1. Artists name, Title of the painting, Size of the painting, and Medium
  2. Price of painting if offered for sale or clearly indicating NFS (Not For Sale)
  3. On the Exhibition web page there will be a notice advising that if anyone wishes to purchase a painting or commission work from an artist, then to contact the society via and the message will be passed to the artist.
  4. Artists will be responsible for agreeing the sale, and for the collection or dispatch of the paintings themselves.

There would be no hanging fees or commission fees on this occasion. Primarily the idea is to offer members of the society an opportunity to share and exhibit their work online. It would also help to promote the society through the website and keep everyone connected over the period when we cannot meet up.

Adult Education Art Studio

Camberley Adult Education Centre has informed us that it intends to re-open in September. The committee discussed the possibility of FCSA meeting again on a Friday if the art studio was made Covid-19 safe. It was agreed that we should find out from the membership how many people would be likely to attend if the Society were to open up again in September.

It was also acknowledged that even if we could socially distance to paint together we would not be able to hold demonstrations safely because more people would have to be sitting in a very confined space. It was suggested that it might be possible to arrange a Zoom demonstration online and we wondered if this would interest members. Since the demonstrator would expect payment, there would need to be a method of charging people to attend via a paid portal.

Survey Of Members

It would be very helpful if you could complete the following survey and return it to Just cut & paste these questions with your answers into an email. If you would like to add any comments please feel free to do so.

Do you like the idea of an online exhibition? YES/NO

Would you want to participate? YES/NO

If the studio were open on Friday nights in September would you attend? YES/NO

Would you be interested in a Zoom demonstration? YES/NO

Have you used Zoom already? YES/NO


Sketching with UNICEF

Our Chairman Peter Tuitt’s son has been a member of FCSA for some time. As the Field Security Advisor at UNICEF Afghanistan he has been sketching some of the interesting scenes he comes across during the course of his work.

If you follow the link below I am sure you will find this article interesting and enjoy seeing some of his sketches


New Website Launch

Sam Dauncey has been our webmaster for the past twenty years and anyone who has looked at the FCSA website will know that it is like a compendium of all the happenings within the society over those years.

A huge debt of thanks must go to Sam Dauncey for creating and maintaining the website and for all the work he has put into keeping it updated all this time. Thank you, Sam.

In May 2016 there were 2859 pages made up of HTML and Javascript. There must be considerably more now. Sam informed the committee that the system he was using was obsolete and the search was on to find a new platform that would work well on iPads and iPhones. However, it became clear that to translate all the pages on this website into a new programming language would take hours of work and cost the society a large sum of money.

After exploring a number of different ideas, the society was fortunate that one of our members, Olga Salgado and her husband Steve Hammatt offered to help build a new website from scratch. The old website will be archived and available to members on a memory stick.

The new website was launched on Wednesday 1st July. Grateful thanks to Olga and Steve for volunteering their expertise and for leading the subcommittee in creating the new look website.

The new website is accessed from exactly the same web address at


Brian Richardson 90th Birthday Celebration

Brian Richardson celebrated his 90th birthday in March, and on the Friday before his birthday all those at the studio celebrated with him with some birthday cake.  Many happy returns Brian.


Royal Surrey County Hospital Exhibition

7th February – 6th March 2020

The Exhibition in the Peter Thompson Gallery of the hospital was organised by Val Painter.  It proved very successful.  There were 42 paintings in the hang and of those five were sold. 


Heritage Gallery

There is a new hang in the Heritage Gallery which is part of the Surrey Heath Museum located opposite Argos in Camberley Mall.

The painting exhibition is upstairs where the Thursday lunchtime lectures take place. There are also some artists’ cards for sale.

BREAKING NEWS Due to the Coronavirus the Heritage Gallery has been closed for the foreseeable future.