Josie Tipler – Pastel/Mixed Media Still Life Demonstration

Josie is fond of cubism and ‘wonky’. She works mainly in acrylics, pastels and pencil and does a lot of animal art commissions for which she takes her own photographs. She brought with her an eclectic mix of objects – her old teddy, a jig doll, a drum, a glass dish, a metallic dish, a green glass amphora and a glass
bauble. There were lots of challenges – metallic reflective, transparent and reflective glass, silky and plush fabrics and wooden surfaces.

These are some of the tips Josie gave:

  • Buy good quality pastels
  • Scrape back and then add highlights
  • Oil pastels are quite chunky so difficult to get details – use pencils to add these
  • Use chalk pastels for soft blended backgrounds and textured matt materials
  • Use oil pastels for hard surfaces – wood, glass, metal etc
  • Use blenders for chalk pastels not oils – useful for getting in the small gaps
  • Don’t put chalk pastels on top of oils
  • Any opaque paint will work with pastels – but gouache could crack
  • Black acrylic ink/ acrylic mix on a rigger flows well for details
  • Try ink over oil pastels for a transparent effect
  • She does not like fixatives as they can dull the picture
  • Brush or blow off loose powder gently
  • Mount as soon as possible using double mount with a gutter

Liz Seward’s Understanding Acrylics Workshop

Acrylic paint is a relatively new medium. It is ideal for new artists as mistakes can easily be remedied. Liz recommends buying good quality acrylics with less garish colours that mix well and produce better results. Get to know colours by making a colour wheel. Painting on a background colour has advantages. Liz used Liquitex Medium Magenta which gave a warm colour
for the background for one of her demonstration paintings.

At the end of the afternoon Liz called everyone together to do a plenary and to look at what we had all achieved. There was a fabulous variety of work and Liz praised everyone for achieving as much in the limited time available. This year the hall was only available to from 10 am – 2 pm.


David Whyte – Acrylic Seascapes Workshop

Dave White began the evening by saying “I paint for a living”. It was clear from the way that he had set out his work and his books that he makes a good living from his art. He exhibits annually at Crufts Dog Show where on a good year he can have £4,000 worth of commissions. He explained that he was a finance director for 30 years with Flagship which runs Navy Training Centres until fourteen years ago he discovered he could paint when he helped his daughter with her project “Moving Water” which she had to paint for school.

Here are some of the tips he gave during his demonstration:

  • Use the golden ratio for composition.
  • Make the focal point the height of the viewer’s eye.
  • Sea needs transparency and opacity, blue ultramarine is usually transparent, Hooker’s green usually opaque.
  • Use greys and purples for the under shadow of white waves.
  • The waves should conform to the lines of perspective.
  • The sand and the foam on the beach also follow the lines of perspective.

In Memoriam -David Painting

David Painting, a long-standing member and past Chairman of FCSA very sadly passed away recently. His funeral on Monday 19th May was attended by several members of the art society. He succeeded Liz Seward as Chairman in 1992 and he will be remembered as a very popular chairman with an impish sense of humour, a refreshing down to earth approach and a penchant for practical jokes.

FCSA want to send our sympathy to his wife Marian and thank her for her kind donation of his art equipment to the Society. Peter Tuitt, our current chairman, visited her to collect it and was pleased to be able to assure her that it would go to a good home. He is going to take it to “The Brush with Art Group” at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice as this is the charity that FCSA are supporting this year.


The Surrey Heath Show

As you can see, the new banners that Peter Tuitt ordered recently worked really well and made the stand look very good. There had been a number of changes to the set up inside the marquee at the Surrey Heath Show this year so that the FCSA stand was smaller than before and we found ourselves in one of the corners.

The Guides were no longer providing teas and cakes in the central area of the marquee. Instead their place was taken by the music stage and straw bales for the audience to sit on. Instead of tea and cakes there was a beer stand. It should be said that despite the smaller pitch it was a successful event for us. We sold three paintings, a few cards and even signed up a new member.

Peter Tuitt and John Stacey manned the stand throughout the day while members came to offer their support, some in the morning and others in the afternoon. Congratulations to Val Brooks and Sue Whitehead for the sale of their paintings.


Surrealism Talk/Workshop with Cedric Day

Cedric began the evening by showing a variety of slides by different Surrealist artists, some were well-known such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Magritte. He also told us about some lesser-known surrealist artists such as Odilon Redon, who is regarded as one of the predecessors of the surrealist art movement, or Yves Tanguy who explored dreams and the unconscious through his paintings of misshapen rocks and lunar landscapes.

The second half of the evening Cedric encouraged everyone to produce some surrealist inspired work of our own. He had told us about Andre Masson, who developed automatic drawing where he would allow his hand to move freely across the page or canvas without a conscious plan. Next Cedric experimented with creating communal drawings. We were given around 60 seconds to add our contribution before the paper was passed to the person on our right. We continued until our original piece of paper returned to us.


Cedric also introduced the idea of decalcomania where paint is squeezed between two surfaces and then pulled apart. At one point in the second half of the evening Cedric directed a communal set of paintings by giving each artist 60 seconds to work on a sheet of paper before passing it on to the next person. The results were surprisingly successful, and one might even say ‘surreal’.

Margaret and John clearly enjoyed seeing the result of their efforts with this technique.


Freddie Drawing Workshop

Jenny Colquhoun brought along her Sealyham Terrier, Freddie, to act as the model for this unusual life drawing event in the calendar. Although Freddie was incredibly obedient, quite naturally, he did keep moving. This was a challenge which people tried to meet in different ways. Some people started a new sketch for each different pose while others, who must have had photographic memories, chose to concentrate on one pose.