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Sunday, October 2, 2016



     Jonathan comes from a family of artists and starting at the age of two (!) taught himself to draw and paint in different media. Recently he won third prize in a competition in the International Art magazine and runs courses and workshops in painting in acrylics, pen and wash and coloured pencil.

      Firstly he showed us an abstract landscape produced by pouring liquid acrylic on canvas followed by oil based household paint while the acrylic is still wet. Where they meet the paints form a sharp edge. These paintings were inspired by photographs from the Hubble Telescope and are usually worked on the floor taking a month to dry.

The ideas are worked out first in a sketch book using felt tip pen then in a larger book using oil pastels blended with a solvent. The success rate for this type of painting is about 50%!

     Then Jonathan started on his demonstration painting of Scotney Castle in Kent.

He uses Atelier Interactive acrylic paints on a stay-wet palette when they remain workable for about a week. The paints are sold by the SAA and are slightly cheaper than ordinary paints. The drying time is a couple of hours and they can be re-activated using a mist spray on an ordinary palette. There are various additives available for them but they cannot be used with normal acrylics or additives. They can be blended or used impasto and colour is excellent.      

 To start the painting yellow ochre was put on as a background colour then the main picture elements drawn in using burnt umber. The sky was painted using a mix of cobalt blue and titanium white with the addition of burnt umber to form a grey for

the base of the clouds.  To do this Jonathan used his favourite - a filbert brush.

Next came the background trees using cobalt, yellow ochre and titanium white put on with the side of the filbert brush. Further details were added with a mixture of Payne's grey, cadmium yellow and white. The foreground was painted next and yellow and white put over the top for light areas. A flicks of the brush rendered the spiky bushes. This system was used to paint all the tree and grass areas and the dam.  Details such as a gateway and wall were added using a smaller brush.

The pond was tackled next with a mixture of ultramarine and burnt umber for the water and Payne's grey for the reflections. This showed how the paint is easily blended ( especially if the blending medium is added) and if interrupted painting can be resumed using an unlocking spray.

Moving on to the buildings the roofs were painted with a combination of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and white and using grey for the walls and chimneys. Highlights and windows were put in with a small brush. Jonathan uses old brushes which have lost their points for various effects including fine animal hairs.

Using the tip of a filbert Jonathan carefully painted the waterlily pads in light green using a fan brush very lightly to move the paint across and soften them. The large foreground tree had light and dark areas added and using blue he made few holes for the birds.

Finally to enthusiastic applause the finished painting was presented in a gold frame.

This was a brilliant evening. Jonathan explained his methods clearly and concisely as well as imparting his favourite hints and tips so thank you, Jonathan, very much!

In the gold frame

The finished painting


Potential Abstracts

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