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Canal Centre Painting Day

Saturday 20th April 2024

This is the second time that FCSA have met to paint at the Basingstoke Canal Centre. It was a beautiful Spring day, ideal for painting ‘en plein air’, although the air temperature was really quite cold. At the start of the day most people took advantage of the sunshine to paint outside.

Eventually most of the hardy ‘plein air’ artists found their way into the Function Room to join those who had already been painting in the warm where there was hot coffee/tea and a variety of biscuits and chocolate cake on offer.

The Function Room is light and spacious with large windows that look out on the canal and, at this time of the year, there were some beautiful trees full of pink blossoms.

In the centre of the room there were some spring flowers that members had brought and a floral arrangement to inspire a still life painting although in the main people took advantage of the scene they could see outside.

Below are a few more photos from Lesley Kilner to give more impressions of the day. With thanks to the Chairman, Sue Whitehead, and special thanks to Lesley Kilner, the Treasurer, who booked the venue, provided the refreshments and organised this very enjoyable painting day.

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Rick Holmes Pastel Demonstration

Friday 12th April 2024

Rick Holmes began the evening by saying that his passion is ‘plein air’ painting. He got into painting with an Art ‘O’ level but when he declared he wanted to go to art college but his parents were not keen on that idea so he did an apprenticeship and became a Design Draftsman in Crawley. He married and had three children but his passion for art was only revived many years later on a holiday with his family in Cornwall. Depressed by all the rain he took himself off to an old tin mine he had seen and he started to draw. This was the turning point and he has not looked back since. Below is the sketch he did on that eventful day.

On his return from his Cornwall holiday he decided to learn to do watercolours. He joined Farnham Art Society on a painting day with the artist Paul Banning. This was another important event in his artistic life. It was at evening classes and 4 or 5 trips to paint in France that he learnt about colour mixing, perspective and so much more at the same time as becoming good friends with Paul Banning himself. Rick has painted in watercolour but he has developed his own technique with pastels over acrylic inks which he will demonstrate tonight.

He always works on an upright board on an easel as can be seen in the photo above. He works against a smooth board; MDF or hardwood work well. The board needs to be smooth so that the pastel does not catch on any raised surfaces. He will paint on ordinary mount board. A good tip is to have a piece of card folded into an L-shape to put at the base of the board to catch all the pastel dust that will be created. Pastel is pure pigment and it can easily stain carpets and floors.

Rick handed everyone a swatch of different kinds of paper. He explained that the top piece of paper was Canson pastel paper which comes in various tints. It does not have much tooth. The next was Fisher 400 pastel paper which is much rougher and will eat up pastels very quickly. The grey piece is Colourfix Art Spectrum pastel card which has quite a lot of tooth but will allow ink to sit on the surface without the top surface coming off. Lastly there is a sheet that has had Colourfix Primer applied. This comes in a tub which is quite expensive so Rick likes to dilute it with water. He has primed the card he is using tonight this way.

To start his painting Rick will used acrylic inks: Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Red Earth and Magenta. He will also be using a two inch printing roller. This he finds is the ideal size. He will also use a little water spray and some small containers, he uses old cat food tins. He will use the roller to apply the acrylic inks.

The photo reference he has is of a section of canal by the River Wey. He uses a white Faber Castel Pitt Pastel Pencil to mark the centre of the photo with a little cross. This is to ensure that he uses this the mid point for reference and sketches from the centre out. It is time to apply the acrylic ink with his roller.

Rick starts with the Prussian Blue, then adds a little Magenta. He then sprays some areas with water to make the colours run into each other a little. Incidentally acrylic paint does not work for this technique. Watercolour inks are new and might be good but Rick likes to keep with the acrylic inks he knows. The ink must be dry before it is possible to start working with pastels on it.

Once dry Rick uses his white Pitt Pastel Pencil to sketch in a few guidelines before getting started with his pastels. There are many kinds of pastels on the market. It is important to use good quality ones and not something bought from a supermarket as poor quality pastels can never be a joy to work with. He used to use Daler Rowney soft pastels but he was not impressed with the pale colours. Unison pastels are hand-rolled and expensive but the colour range is very good especially for dark colours.

Pastel sticks inevitably break and a full set is expensive so Rick has put together a starter set of half sticks in a box for £35 which can only be purchased through him. While Rick is working he tends to put each colour as he uses it into the lid of a box which he keeps by his side. He will only be using a few colours tonight so this is not so necessary but when he is using lots of different colours it helps to keep them together. To his mind it is tone that matters rather than the exact colour of everything.

The focal point of the picture is where the sun is going down and it is here that Rick begins to apply the lightest colours of yellow and white pastel. He uses the side of the pastel which enables him to work quite fast. To blend he uses his finger but a torchon or even a piece of insulation foam can be useful too. Rick also demonstrated how he uses a razor blade to scratch off an area that was too dark in order to be able to get more vibrancy from the light pastel he was using for the water.

Rick stressed that the idea of this demonstration was not to produce a finished painting but to illustrate the process. He was asked what he would do to finish this work and he said that he would give it a little time, setting it aside before working it up into a finished piece of work. However, the next problem is how to get it home. He would NEVER spray it with fixative which dulls the colours and does not work well having used inks. Instead he uses a sheet of Glassine paper. Glassine is a smooth and glossy paper that is air, water and grease resistant. He showed how he could put it over the painting and rub hard on it and yet very little of the pastel transferred to the sheet.

To end the evening Rick had a few more handy tips. When it comes to framing he puts a little strip of card on the back of the mount which serves to let any pastel dust drop down behind the mount as it stands a little proud of the painting itself. This can avoid having to double mount it.

It is a good idea to divide any small and broken pieces of pastel into colours from dark to light. Rick then takes the light section first and puts it into a pot to which he adds some dry couscous. After putting a top on the pot he gives it a good shake, he then uses a sieve to separate the couscous from the pastel pieces and hey presto! the pastels look so much cleaner. It does not take too long to work through each section of colours ending with the very darkest section.

Rick had introduced everyone to a different and interesting technique that combined acrylic inks with soft pastels. The transformation from rough rolled lines of acrylic ink made to mix with sprays of water dripping down the page to a clearly recognisable canal scene with muted sunshine streaming through trees and reflected in sparkling water was impressive. Thank you to Rick Holmes, who has developed this technique to his advantage as can be seen from a selection of his paintings made into cards.

Rick organises Surrey Hills Plein Air Group which visits various locations around Surrey, occasionally even venturing to the seaside. Whilst there are over 110 members most Fridays between 15 and 20 artists turn up paint and then go to the pub.

For more information see : https://rickholmesartist.com

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Member led workshop by Mark Wells

‘A Cornish Hedgerow’ in watercolour

Mark started out by saying this demonstration will be wet on wet and if would be advisable to tape down your paper so it wouldn’t warp but if you didn’t have tape, then wet both sides of the paper. He said that he mainly uses just two colours for the main painting (Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow) a bit of white gouache and some sort of red.

He first took a fairly large brush and wet the entire paper lightly.  He then got out a fairly large amount of both colours on his palette to use throughout his painting. Starting at the top he put a loose and light spread of the UM blue and continued down the paper making it lighter as he went down, stopping about two thirds. He then grabbed a bit of dry tissue and dabbed out the paint to form clouds. The clouds get thinner closer to the horizon.

Now he made a very light green using both colours. Washing this across below where the sky ended but not down to the bottom. He then added more UM blue to make a darker green to finish all the way to the bottom. This colour should be fairly thick as you will be scratching it off in the next step.

To start scratching off the paint use the end of a brush or a scratching tool. Scratch thin lines from the bottom upwards making stems, grass and stalks. Keep wiping off the excess paint on a tissue while scratching.

Now to the flowers. He used a bit of Permanent Rose as his main colour but it’s your choice what colour the flowers are. Pick one of the long marks you just made and using a slightly damp tissue, blot out (taking away the paint) where your flowers will go. Make some long and thin and others round and small. Once that is done, take a flat, small brush and the red paint and dab to form flower shapes in a vertical shape. Now pick up the Cad yellow and paint small circular flowers between the grasses and stems. Try to spread them out across the painting.

Look at the painting to decide where the light is coming from and use all the colours to make a brown paint. Add the paint down some of the stems on one side, under the flowers and add a few leaves too (using a size 4, round brush). Don’t forget that as it’s a hedgerow, there will be lots of leaves not attached to flowers. Using a flat brush, put on more different shaped leaves.

He took a rigger brush (size 2) with light brown paint to make ‘interesting’ marks and some more shadowing.

He took the white gouache and added this to the stems to show where the lighter side is and some of the flowers and make white flowers. (at this stage you can get a fan brush with white or yellow paint and splash a bit around the paper to make tiny flowers).

Everyone was painting along including one member’s six year old son who had a go.

Mark loved the diversity of the paintings that everyone did and emphasised to be free and flowing with the painting and mostly, just to enjoy  the process.

A really great demonstration by Mark and very enthusiastic show of paintings by the members.

(Thank you to Patti Dutton for the photos and write up.)

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Inspired by Knepp

Dear Art clubs,

In May, a number of Art Profile’s featured artists will be taking part in an exhibition at the nationally renowned Knepp Rewilding Project. 

Inspired By Knepp‘ will be taking place from 4th – 16th May, at the Knepp Estate near Horsham.

This short film will tell you more about the Exhibition and its aims. 

The exhibition features artwork from 12 artists, who all want to celebrate Knepp’s vision for a wilder future. The artists have spent time immersed in Knepp’s inspirational, transformed and thriving landscape and are all currently making artwork in response to it! 

Knepp was the first major rewilding project in England. What was, up until 2020, intensively farmed arable and dairy land, is now a transformed landscape thrumming with wildlife. A host of rare species are now thriving at Knepp, including turtle doves, nightingales, cuckoos, and the purple emperor butterflies that you may have seen in David Attenborough’s Wild Isles series. Knepp is also home to the pioneering White Stork Project, helping to reintroduce this charismatic species to England for the first time in over 600 years. Knepp really hit the public consciousness with the release of Isabella Tree’s book, ‘Wilding’ in 2018. An instant lockdown hit, Isabella’s moving account of their pioneering conversion back to nature, showed the nation how it is possible to restore and heal our broken landscape.

In addition to the exhibition, there are a series of fabulous workshops and demonstrations that you can now sign up for:

  • Sunday 5th May (10am – 1.30pm) – Introduction To Lino-printing with Lizzie Wheeler – BOOK HERE
  • Monday 6th May (9.30am – 4.30pm) – Painting with earth with Peter Ward   BOOK HERE
  • Tuesday 7th May (10am – 3pm) – Clay Animal Portraits with James Ort – BOOK HERE
  • Thursday 9th May (10am – 1pm) – Quick Watercolour Birds with Tom Shepherd – BOOK HERE
  • Thursday 9th May (2pm – 5pm) – Quick Watercolour Wildlife with Tom Shepherd – BOOK HERE
  • Friday 10th May (7pm – 9.30pm) – Landscape Painting and Music with Hester Berry & David Smale – BOOK HERE
  • Saturday 11th May (10am – 4pm) – Free-motion Embroidery Workshop with Harriet Riddell – BOOK HERE
  • Saturday 11th May (7pm – 9pm) – Drawing Trees Zoom Workshop with Jake Spicer – BOOK HERE
  • Wednesday 15th May (7pm – 9.30pm) – Landscape Zoom Demonstration with Hester Berry – BOOK HERE

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Exhibition Details:Free entry4-16 May, between 10am and 5pm every dayLocated at the Gathering, at the Knepp Wilding Kitchen and ShopWorthing Road, Dial Post, RH13 8NQwhat3words: intricate.variety.weeds Accessibility:We regret to say that at present, The Gathering, which is the main venue where the majority of the exhibition is being held does, not have level access and therefore is not accessible to wheelchair users. The same is sadly true for the Granary where all of the workshops are being held too.There are several steps going up to both the Gathering (9 in total) and the Granary (7 in total), each set of steps have handrails.The shop, entrance hall (where there will be artworks), restaurant and cafe all have level access and there are accessible toilets in the Cafe too. 

 If you have any further questions or queries, please do contact JamesOrt – the exhibition’s curator: 07765980508 / james@orts.co.uk)

Please do share these details with your art club members and I hope as many of you as possible can get along to support this fabulous exhibition.

Best wishes

Kimberley Keegan

01296 733200

info@artprofile.co.uk

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áppART Easter Art Exhibition & Sculpture Trail 2024

People might be interested to know that appArt is happening again at Prior’s Field School near Godalming over Easter this year. Many local artists have their work on display and for sale there.

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Mark Warner Zoom Demonstration

Seascape in Acrylic

Friday 1st March 2024

Mark Warner says he can sum himself up with “Coffee, Music, Paint, lots of Workshops and Demos up and down the country”. Mark was brought up on the west Wales coast at Aberystwyth. He studied Fine Art at Newport and went on to take a teaching degree. He was Head of Department and really enjoyed his time as a teacher. He now works from his studio in Shropshire. For information about the workshops and painting holidays that Mark offers please see his website: www.brushmark.co.uk

Drawing is paramount to Mark. Before he does a painting he will have made numerous sketches. He likes to sketch in these sketchbooks from Seawhite of Brighton Ltd. https://www.seawhite.co.uk/Catalogue/SKETCHBOOKS-PADS

He particularly likes to sketch across both pages to produce a panorama format. There were sketchbooks for Seville, Glastonbury, Chester, etc. He uses 4B black watersoluble pencils. He will then use a roundhead brush and carefully dipping it in water he develops the drawing into a painting. He later explained that it is maintaining the white in these sketches that is key.

Once in the studio he works in A5 and A6 smaller sketchbooks to work on his composition for a painting as can be seen from the photo below.

Mark is particularly fond of using Cerulean Blue as can be seen in the painting he did of apples in his sketch book from north Wales where he has started with Cerulean Blue and then worked into it with a limited palette.

Here Mark has used a Conte sketching pencil, pastels and then highlights with acrylic paint. Pastels can be useful for sketching and painting outside as they are easily transported.

For this demonstration Mark is working on Fabriano pastel paper. He begins by putting some frog tape across the horizon. He then puts Cerulean Blue and Titanium White on his palette. He uses heavy bodied acrylic paints by Golden or Winsor & Newton. He uses a synthetic flat paintbrush even for oils. He has a set of brushes for both acrylic and oil paints.

Mark provided a picture of a beach that he would base his painting on. It was sent to participants prior to the demonstration. He had this displayed picture pinned above his palette for reference.

He mixes pure paint without diluting it. He uses the side of his brush not the tip. In a sense this is going to be the under painting that will seal the paper. He works dark to light. He wants movement and depth so he uses the brush briskly changing direction and pressure all the time.

The underpainting for Mark needs to be quite rough with a sense of movement. He likes to use a slightly smaller brush to produce interesting marks. He leaves the sky underpainting to dry and removes the frog tape carefully pulling at an angle of 45 degrees. He finds that frog tape is better than masking tape which tends to allow paint to seep.

Colour harmony is very important. Mark will incorporate the Cerulean Blue into the sea a little but he starts with Prussian Blue and the lovely Cobalt Turquoise Light and Cobalt Turquoise by Winsor & Newton. Golden have Phthalocyanine Turquoise and Liquitex have a Teal that work well for the colour of the sea.

Variation in colour in the sea helps to give perspective and the dark area behind the waves will push them forward. He uses Turquoise Light for the breaking waves and he adds some Naples Yellow to bring in a green into the colour of the sea. In the shadow of the waves he seas Cobalt Blue. Everyone sees colour differently. He likes to test out the colour on a strip of the same colour paper as the one he is using to see how the colour will look on it.

When painting the waves Mark is looking for shapes by twisting and turning his flat brush. He mixes Naples Yellow and Magenta to create a warm colour for the wet sand under the waves. He scrapes along the unprimed paper which is sucking up the paint. The paper doesn’t cockle but even if it does it is easily remedied by turning it over and ironing it on the other side when the paint is dry.

He uses more Naples Yellow for the dry sand in the foreground and he lightens the sea at the horizon. Then using Titanium White and Cobalt he moves the brush with different pressure to work up a series of layers and colours for the white waves. The danger is to go too light too soon.

He begins to develop the shape of the waves. He advises to take care with symmetry and the foam will give perspective. He uses a rigger brush but always the side of the brush never like a pen. He does lots of scraping and flicking but he takes care not to go over it all. He uses a ‘0’ rigger to work in some surface foam behind the waves. He also uses some Cerulean Blue in some of the wave to keep the colour harmony which would be reflected from the sky.

After the break Mark uses a soft dry brush and heavy body acrylic to create the fissures in the clouds. Titanium White and Prussian Blue create the mid-tones again. The paint is well mixed and there is less paint on the brush to scrape it onto the rough surface of the paint that is already there. He wants some of the under painting to come through. He wants to avoid fingers of clouds in the sky. The paint is drying but Mark tends to work quickly even so he does not use retardants even when painting outside ‘en plein air’.

Mark uses Light Phthalo Green by Golden to create the clouds that seem to rest on the horizon. Using pure Cerulean Blue he paints the headland then mixes a light misty colour to paint along parts of the horizon. Mark will often paint two paintings of the same scene. He finds this stops him over working one and at the same time it allows him to push the other a little more.

Using Naples Yellow and a slight mix of Magenta to take the edge of the bright colour he paints the dry sand. Then he starts to develop the waves creating reflections on the edge and highlights on the crests. He tickles the surface of the water behind the waves to create the foam on the surface of the sea.

Mark likes to put lines into his work to create a balance between the different marks by adding shafts of light. He has even added a vapour trail. For the foreground he might use a palette knife or a credit card holding it almost parallel to the page to create the texture he wants in the foreground.

The time was running out on this demonstration. It was not possible to finish the painting but Mark had given everyone a very good idea of how he produces his distinctive style of painting with its energy, exciting brush strokes and appealing colour palette.

Mark was asked whether he would frame paintings that were on Fabriano paper and he said that he frames them behind glass as seen below. Oils on canvas tend to be in a floating frame.

During the course of the demonstration Mark showed a variety of different paintings he has done recently. To see more of his work and find out about workshops and painting holidays or to get his newsletter he has a website at: www.brushmark.co.uk

The chairman, Sue Whitehead, thanked Mark for his demonstration and reiterated the fact that his colour palette and method of mixing and applying the paint had been particularly helpful and inspiring.

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Members’ Critique 2024

Friday 9th February

There was a room full of artists at the Members’ Critique on Friday and Liz Seward, the President, had kindly offered to share her knowledge and expertise by adding her constructive criticism and ideas which were much appreciated.

Sue Whitehead and Patti Dutton put up the paintings on the easel for people to see and comment upon.

Natalia painted this boat in gouache. It was well received and people admired the lovely blue of the water. Gouache is not easy to work. It dries opaque and matte. Liz Seward said it was not easy to work and the artist has done well here. Acrylic is more forgiving.

Les Patey’s “Oyster Catcher” continued the boating theme. Once again people admired the water and the faint headland that gave a real sense of distance to the painting. Liz Seward pointed out that the mast was in exactly the right position as it is on the ‘golden third’.

[The rule of thirds and the golden ratio are both ways of dividing up a space in order to create a pleasing composition. The rule of thirds is a simple principle whereby a space is divided into three equal sections, both horizontally and vertically.]

Carole Head explained that she brought this painting in because it is painted on canvas that comes in a tear off pad. It makes it easy to store lots of paintings that would be bulky if painted on real canvas. Liz Seward said that once framed it would be acceptable for an exhibition. She also said she liked the birds in the painting as they were essential to give it scale. Les Patey warned that he had painted on this kind of canvas but be warned that when wet with glue to stick it to a board for framing the canvas can shrink.

Craig Whitehead said that this was an hour and a half portrait sitting. When the sitter arrived she asked to be allowed to read which meant that she had her head down which created a difficult neck to paint. It was agreed that this different perspective was a good learning exercise. Craig said that it was painted in only four colours which was another challenge.

Once again Natalia painted this painting of a tram in her home country of Hungary in gouache. People thought it was delightful but that it deserved a wider mount and a different frame to set it off to its best advantage.

This painting by Sue Whitehead of her husband Craig and their dog on a beach led to lots of discussion about composition. It was felt the figure’s legs seemed disproportionate. Craig recalled it had been very windy so the coat was wider than might be expected. Sue painted it straight from and photograph and Liz suggested it is always best to draw a sketch first which allows composition issues to be seen and remedied. One idea here was to swap the figure of the man and the dog. Sue was keen to try this.

Patti Dutton likes to work from her own imagination. She is an intuitive artist. She does not paint to sell however the room agreed that this painting would be likely to sell well. Patti always starts with the background. She paints with Brusho Crystal Colour which when sprayed with water the colours spread and change. For the butterflies she did use a stamp, and why not, it works well.

Sue Whitehead painted this seascape which brought lots of admiration for the sky. Liz Seward said that the white corner distracted from the sky . Sue said it was painted directly from a photograph. She agreed that making the foreground all grasses would be worth trying.

Diana Flier started the drawing of this street scene of Skopelos in the Greek Sporades. It is painted in watercolour with additional detail in pen. The yellow masking was very distracting and it provided Liz Seward with the perfect opportunity to use her half cut mounts to show everyone what a difference a good mount can do for a painting.

Not only has the mount helped to give the painting a greater presence it also lead people to notice the interesting detail of bags and clothes in the shop in the bottom corner. It was suggested that there could to be more detail on the other side of the painting to bring it balance.

Jonathan Morse brought this painting of a painting by the artist Vlad Yeliseyev. He chose to practice watercolour as he liked the subtle colours the artist used. Liz Seward could see the appeal but at the same time darkening the windows in the near building would bring these forward to create more perspective. Also at the moment everything is one tone where as a green glaze might work well here.

This still life painting by Jonathan Morse came from an exercise of wet in wet watercolour painting from the SAA magazine. The lovely colours and the background were much admired. Liz Seward remarked that the green fruit on the right had been cut off and that often a still life group is expected to be contained within the painting.

There was an audible gasp from the room when Lesley Kilner’s waterlily painting was put up on the easel. FCSA have their own Monet, someone suggested. Liz Seward remarked that waterlilies are not easy to paint. She admired the way the eye is drawn through the painting into the distance. The light on the leaves and the water is also masterful.

Maureen Hayward’s mixed media painting fascinated everyone with its variety of texture. Maureen explained that she had used lino cuts for the birch trees and that she had made the the textures with egg shells, oats and bits of string among other things.

Lilya Zinchenko is an artist from Ukraine who is living in Frimley at the moment. She wanted to paint these icons on wood and she eventually found some that was suitable in Hobbycraft. Lilya used gold paint for these icons but she has now sourced some gold leaf for the future. (In ‘breaking news’ Hobbycraft will be opening soon in the vacant unit next to Waitrose in Bagshot).

Greg Ward grew a significant number of sunflowers in his garden specifically to be able to paint them. This is one of a series of six sunflowers in oils. This is his least favourite. It was painted in full sunshine so it has no shadows. The painting of the bottom leaf was admired.

Greg Ward told us that he is also known as “Smile” as he has been painting under this pseudonym for some time. He always starts with sketches. Above are ideas for two large paintings that will be called “Cat Scream” and “Passed Out from Life”. They will eventually be about eight foot in size.

Everyone was impressed with the detail and reality of this delicious looking strawberry by Lesley Kilner. It is painted in acrylic with admirable realism.

John Stacey is known for his neat attention to details as can be seen clearly illustrated in this painting of Shanklin in the Isle of Wight. It takes John quite a long time to achieve this level of detail.

Above is a detail from the painting showing the little figures and the care that has been taken with the thatched roofs and the shadows.

“Loch Arkaig” painted in water based oils by John Stacey shows the same careful attention to detail. People admired the serenity and simplicity of the scene.

Natalia painted this watercolour of cars from a photograph her brother took in Italy. Liz Seward was impressed with the accuracy of the drawing of the cars and people liked the clever reflections of the cars in the wet road and puddles.

Carole Head painted “Northern Lights” when she was doing a watercolour techniques course some ten years ago. Everyone had to frame at least one painting each term. The double mount with the brown edging and a brown frame now looks so dated. She is wondering whether it was worth removing it and perhaps re-sizing and re-framing it. Liz Seward agreed it has a dated look although the painting itself had some merit.

Fran Green brought this work-in-progress in to try to decide whether to continue it in the same way across the top. Liz suggested that she might paint the upper part in lighter green to keep the focus on the bright fruits at the bottom.

Craig Whitehead has made several re-workings of this seated figure but he is not happy with it. He does not like the fact that he could not get the shoes onto the page. Liz Seward said that not all paintings have to be perfect finished pieces, this was a good exercise that produced some successful elements.

Natalia painted this portrait of her son’s cousin from a photograph. This would have been the ideal candidate for a Themed Competition “Cute” but in the end it was decided that the Annual Exhibition Theme this year will be “Action”. People suggested that more shading between the rabbit and the little girl’s arm would give more definition. Painting teeth is often a problem and Liz Seward suggested that making the teeth at the back of the mouth slightly darker than those at the front can help.

There was still a little time before the end of the evening so Liz Seward showed the room the colour pencil painting she is putting into the Heritage Gallery for the new hang. This painting is called “The Last Straw” and it was created using Caran.

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Annual General Meeting

Friday 2nd February 2024

The Art Studio, Camberley Adult Education Centre

Peter Tuitt giving his Chairman’s Report

Peter Tuitt is standing down after five eventful years as Chairman during which time he helmed the society through Covid and the Lockdowns, helped to keep the show on the road via Zoom Demonstrations and Zoom meetings to the point where it was possible to meet again face-to-face. Last year the AGM was still taking place via Zoom. Happily this year a good number of members attended the AGM in person. Please note the Chairman’s Report and those of the other officers are in the AGM Minutes which have been circulated to members of the society.

Liz Seward, President of FCSA

Liz Seward, the President of the society took this opportunity to express her thanks to Peter for his chairmanship and to say how much she appreciates all that he has done over the time that he has been in office.

Sue Whitehead, the new Chairman, gave Peter Tuitt a gift from the committee

Sue Whitehead presented Peter with a gift from his grateful committee. During the course of the meeting Sue was elected as the new Chairman of FCSA. Peter was known to like Campari and he accepted he gift with evident pleasure.

Patti Dutton, the Hon Secretary, announcing the election of the Executive Committee

All the members of the committee agreed to stand again. Peter Tuitt asked if there was a member who might like to join the committee as there was a vacancy for a Vice Chairman. Diana Flier volunteered and was duly elected. The committee is as follows:

Sue Whitehead, Chairman

Diana Flier, Vice Chairman

Lesley Kilner, Treasurer.

Patti Dutton, Hon Secretary.

Craig Whitehead, Membership Secretary.

Olga Salgado, Webmaster.

Carole Head, News Editor.

Marie Bunce, Committee member

Lesley Kilner, winner of the Seward Memorial Trophy

The Seward Memorial Trophy is also known as the People’s Prize as it is given for the painting that won the most votes at the Annual Exhibition. Since the results of the voting can only been known at the end of the exhibition it is traditionally awarded to the winning artist at the AGM who holds it for a year until the next AGM. Lesley Kilner’s painting ’St. Paul’s from New Change Street’ not only won the Seward Memorial Trophy but it was also chosen as the winner of the exhibition’s Themed Competition “Old & New”.

Members will be interested to know that the title for the Themed Competition at the Annual Exhibition in September 2024 will be ‘ACTION’. One of the reason for this was to give an opportunity to take into account the Olympics that will be taking place this year, but there is ample scope for lots of different interpretations of this theme. Time to get painting!

Sue Whitehead, Chairman

The new Chairman, Sue Whitehead, ran through some of the plans for the Events Programme 2024/25. This will be sent out to members shortly. She closed the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and then invited people to socialise and enjoy some of the food and refreshments that had been provided.

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Eunice J. Friend

Delilah Mood Zoom Demo

Friday 19th January 2024

Eunice Friend had already given everyone who had subscribed to the Zoom Demonstration the sketch of the comical cow she was going to paint as well as the reference photograph to work from. She uses a limited palette and she has created her own paints which explains the colour Friends Grey. It is similar to Payne’s Grey which can be used in its stead.

Eunice has always enjoyed painting but in the last six years she has made it her full-time occupation. She has two children and she lives in Northamptonshire. She teaches art through subscription and all the information about her work and her lessons can be found on her website https://www.eunicejfriend.com.

Before starting Eunice mixes her colours on a porcelain palette, never a plastic one. In her opinion it would be better to use a plate than a plastic palette. The first mix was made with Phthalo Blue, Quinacridone Magenta and Burnt Sienna. If the mix is going slightly green add more of the magenta. Incidentally, Magenta + Burnt Sienna makes a good pink flesh tone.

Using a Size 12 round brush Eunice paints the forelock at the top of the head. Be sure to leave white space to suggest the fur texture. Under the eyes dot the paint rather than spread it to create more intense marks. Use Friends Grey or Payne’s Grey more thickly to drop into the taupe colour then by adding some water to the mix take some of the paint down the edge of the face.

To paint the nose dampen the nose area to paint wet in wet. Lift your paper to see where the paper looks glossy. Remove any puddles with your brush. Having mixed the pink paint to paint the nose make the area around the nostrils slightly darker. Mix Burnt Sienna and Friends Grey to a thicker mixture for the shadow area in the bottom corners of the mouth.

Whilst the paint remains wet create a little fan brush with your paint brush. Don’t worry the hairs will bounce back. Using this fan shape pull some of the paint out from the face to create some hairs on the side of the face.

The spots on the nose were all painted in the grey mix. Watch the condition of the paper. Too much water is what can create ‘cauliflowers’. It needs to be damp but not wet so that the paint is easily controlled. Some of the spots on the top of the nose will be lifted out later when the paint has dried to create the impression of sunlight hitting the top of the head.

When not demonstrating Eunice used a Faber-Castell graphite water soluble Hb pencil to sketch her drawing however the outline needs to remain clear for the demonstration. She is using a block so the paper has not been stretched but it can still lift in the middle if it becomes very wet.

While talking about materials and techniques Eunice talked about an eradicator brush which is a short, stumpy brush that is good for lifting out. It is possible to create your own by cutting a straight line across the hairs of a paint brush. Remember to always wipe the brush clean after every lift.

The cow’s eyes are on the far side of the head. Eunice uses a size 6 brush to paint the eyes and she uses the paint straight from the pan so that it is thick and creamy. Take care to leave a highlight in the eye and the white area at the bottom of the eye. Gently ‘walk’ the paint into the eyeball.

It is time to paint the ears and Eunice will ignore the tags in the reference photograph and even emphasise the pink in the ears. Back to the size 12 brush she applies the pink on dry paper and then works from the inside out with the grey colour. If you paint from edge of the ear into the wet pink paint the grey will leave an undesirable blob as the paintbrush is lifted, so paint from the inside out. Use flicking movements along the edge of the ear to suggest fur and be careful to leave some white space again.

It can sometimes help to turn the paper around so that the hair of the fur goes in the right direction. Create a fan brush again to soften the edges and make them appear fluffy. Repeat the whole process on the other ear.

Eunice has a set of faux red sable brushes on her website (size 12, size 6 and a rigger). It is also possible to purchase a set of her high pigment artisan watercolours from there too.

The body is painted wet into wet so that it remains softer in appearance which helps to keep the focus on the front of the face. After painting the body Eunice uses a hairdryer to ensure that the paper is completely dry before painting the background.

Phthalocyanine and Magenta can mix a variety of shades of blue. She uses clean water and takes care to mix the desired shade of blue for the background. She paints areas of the sky with the clean water and then drops colour into the water in a series of water-blot-creep softening the edges as she paints. The intention is to create the impression of a summer sky.

When the painting is completely dry there are some final touches that can be added. To add whiskers it is possible to use a gel pen, a craft pen or white acrylic. Eunice used a nib pen that she had to hand to scratch into the dry surface. Earlier she had used the pointed end of her paintbrush to create indentations in the nose to suggest lines in the skin. To end the evening she used the blue/brown mixture to splatter into the sky. Hold the brush parallel to the paper to do this.

Everyone had been encouraged to paint along if they would like to and several members had done so. Below are some of their Delilahs.

Here is a finished version of Delilah from the website Eunice J. Friend. Thank you to Eunice for a very informative and engaging Zoom demonstration which she recorded and has already uploaded to Youtube: https://youtu.be/g_9c-du2Q2M

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Christmas Party 2023

Friday 8th December

Around thirty members came together to celebrate at the Christmas party this year. Here is a selection of photos to give a flavour of the event.

Everyone brought a sharing dish, some savoury, some sweet and came dressed for the occasion.

We sat at tables of six or seven

Time for the quiz

The winning table celebrating their success

At the end of the evening it was time for the raffle. People brought wrapped Christmas gifts for the raffle prizes and Peter Tuitt, the Chairman, announced a generous sum had been raised for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.