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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fiona Peart Demonstration

Water-colour Demonstration by Fiona Peart

We welcomed Fiona accompanied by her husband, the well known artist Terry Harrison, to our April Demonstration evening. 
Fiona studied painting and drawing at the Flemish Academy of Fine Art in Leuven in Belgium and went on to become well known as a painter, publishing books and demonstrating and running workshops to adults in this country and abroad. Her aim for the evening was to show the difference in technique used for painting outside and in the studio.
The subject for the first part of the evening was a street scene with horse-riders and cars but based on a photograph and painted in the studio. An outline drawing was made on Bockingford 140 lbs cotton rag paper and the highlights masked out. The colours are then worked out using a limited palette. The house colours are brown and gold darkened with blue/violet for shadows. The skin colour is orange/blue and foliage green/yellow The horses are brown/orange and the road blue with gold.
The paper is attached by the top only with masking tape then wetted and, when fully stretched, taped on the other sides. Large washes are put on over the paper covering the background houses, horses and road. The aim is to get rid of any white paper (the highlights are under the masking fluid). The paper is then dried. If painting outside everything has to be done in one layer but in the studio layers of washes are used.
Fiona then continued to paint the rest of the picture using the flat of the brush to move the paint around - if the tip is used more paint is added. She used the stippling brush for the foliage using an edge of paper to make a clean edge on the roof. Nothing should be painted too accurately and she puts colours on quickly next to each other so that they mix slightly. The shadows were painted last and the paper dried thoroughly. Finally the masking fluid was removed using a tissue or handkerchief and very bright areas toned down. As a last touch the reins were added with a pointer brush.
        Fiona's next painting was of children playing in the sea as a sketch in water-colour. First plenty of colour was mixed on the palette. Fiona uses two brushes for her outdoor sketching - one for flesh colour ( Indian Red or Burnt Sienna or pink and gold darkened with her "bluebell" colour)  and the other for clothes etc.
        She starts with the hair and uses the brushes loaded with the appropriate colour to paint the rest of the body but painting only where there are shadows. This allows the viewer to complete the picture in their mind for themselves A single stroke is used for each limb varying the pressure on the brush to alter the width. Several subjects are used to complete a picture of "one" person. The colours are allowed to mix and run to give more interest. Finally shadows are painted in using the brush held sideways. Water can be added at a later time.
        Fiona is an outstanding teacher and demonstrator. We all learnt a great deal and had a brilliantly entertaining and memorable evening so "Thank you very much" Fiona!  

Finished horserider painting

Tea Break
End of the Evening

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