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Sunday, July 29, 2012


"Throw away your pencil says Dennis Hill. He only uses one to sketch the angles of the face in a portrait. Using loose transparent washes, he likes simple shapes with some negative painting and is not afraid to introduce an abstract element. The results are stylish and timeless. Dennis paints freely and abandons himself to the painting process. Like many of us, he 'gets lost' in it.

His preferred support is stretched 90lb Saunders Waterford for the smoother surface. His favourite brush is a no. 10 filbert oxhair and they are supported with a squirrel mop and a nylon rigger. He uses transparent colours: burnt sienna, raw sienna, ultramarine, permanent rose, alizarin crimson, aureolin, cadmium lemon, cadmium orange, cerulean blue, winsor blue and winsor violet.

Dennis used flowers for our demonstration and then added a cottage shape on the right-hand side. He enjoys painting cottages and dry stone walls in the Purbeck hills.  

Dennis's Tips:
  • Apply the colour and leave it. He never wipes preferring to lighten with clean water and a brush.
  • Don't touch an almost-dry wash
  • Use the best quality paints
  • Place additional colour to the base of a shape
  • Mix, don't buy, greens - for example: cadmium orange and ultramarine
Dennis brough portraits and other examples of his work to show us.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Helen Davies organised our trip to the S.A.A. show at the old Temple Meads Station in Bristol. She was fantastic - counting us all out and counting us all back!
There were many workshops and demonstrations going on throughout the day. Art materials were also on sale, but not quite as many as previous shows in London. Here are Di's photos.
Dee Cowell ran a tight ship on the Derwent Artbars workshop. She whistled to gain our attention!
Denise and Audrey stopped for a chat.
Helen enjoyed Fraser Scarfe's Interactive Acrylic workshop...
...and his individual attention!

Murial took part in Sue Deighton's drawing workshop...
...while David paid close attention to Matthew Palmer.
Ruth was fortunate to secure a seat at Hashim Akib's popular acrylics demonstration.
Mary and Claire were spotted shopping.

Braving a heavy shower to get back to the coach, we were greeted by sunshine in Totton. I took a group photo of a happy bunch of artists.
Now to get started on the paintings for the summer exhibition!


Sharon made a welcome return to Totton, this time concentrating on constructing the face. Sharon used ShinHan watercolours and employd flat washes painted as shapes. The shapes were finally blended to a smoot finish with a damp brush.

Sharon masked her lightest areas before beginning to paint.She painted a wet-into wet background with the board turned upside-down. The basic skin tone was burnt sienna. Other skin tones would have tiny amounts of alizarin crimson or burnt umber added. 
Sharon paints washes on small areas, rinses the brush with water, and adds another wash beside it. The modelling is achieved by the use of a darker skin tone on the outlines and shadows.

Sharon's painting tips are:-
     Don't worry about pre-stretching the paper.
     Fill a brush with soap and roll it before dipping it into masking fluid
     Don't let the edge of a wash dry as you are painting it.
     Don't go back over a wash until it is dry.    
     Don't leave masking fluid on for more than 24 hours.
     Put salt on the paper before the paint has soaked in.

Sharon takes commissions for paintings and special occasion cards.
See for more information.